What Did You Think of Star Trek: Lower Decks' Premiere?

Oh you know, just a Tuesday on a Starfleet vessel.
Oh you know, just a Tuesday on a Starfleet vessel.
Image: CBS

Today a new frontier in Star Trek opens up with the arrival of Lower Decks in the U.S. and Canada. You’ve already heard what we liked about the premiere (and a little bit beyond that), but now that you’ve had a chance to meet the crew of the Cerritos, what are your initial thoughts about the show so far?

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Consider this your chance to dive into a few spoilers for “Second Contact,” so—sorry for now, international readers!—this is your last warning to abandon ship...

Illustration for article titled What Did You Think of Star Trek: Lower Decks' Premiere?
Illustration: JIm Cooke

While the premiere leans heavy on zany action, from away team hijinks to, y’know, a causal viral rage zombie outbreak that infects most of the crew, there’s definitely already interesting seeds being sown when it comes to Lower Decks’ main crew. Especially the intriguing reveal at the end that Mariner’s anti-authoritarian ego is in part driven not by her regular demotions, but the fact that she’s serving under her dismayed mother, Captain Freeman (Dawnn Lewis).

One of the best things about the episode that inspired this whole animated endeavor was how it established the power dynamics that exist even among Starfleet’s officer ranks, and the great divide between an ensign and someone who’s part of the bridge crew. Those themes are still in place, but that personal connection that both Mariner and Freeman are trying to keep quiet from their fellow officers will make for an interesting thread for the show to pull on when it’s not busy being wacky space fun.

Anyway, let us know in the comments what you thought of the episode. Are you sticking with it, waiting for Discovery to follow Lower Decks later this year instead, or looking for the nearest runabout out of here already?

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Star Trek: Lower Decks begins airing today, August 6, on CBS All Access in the U.S., and on Sci-Fi TV and Crave in Canada.


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James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

DISCUSSION

the-constable
The Constable

I thought it was cute. I think it has the best foundation of any of the new shows and honestly feels like it evokes the hope and optimism in its tone, characters, and story more than either Discovery or Picard.

It wasn’t as laugh-out-loud as Rick and Morty, but I think, as an exchange, McMahon avoids the nihilism I think a lot of people were expecting. McMahon also handles the fanservice well; it felt a lot more integrated naturally into the world rather than just putting in a Tribble for no reason but for the audience to say, “Hey! I remember Tribbles!”

Its plot, themes, visuals and tropes could be easily excised from the show and put into a TNG/DS9/VOY episode. (I can’t say how much I missed that establishing shot; a station and trafficking ships just gently drift in orbit within a wide view of a placid planetary surface; it took time to let you feel like you were in space too. I don’t know how to describe it, but I never feel that in other new show or movie with maybe the exception of Beyond) A virus breaks out on the ship, doctor finds the cure. Mariner and Boimler encounter a vicious monstrous alien on the surface... which is revealed to be a pretty friendly herbivore. And if you didn’t like this week’s episode, welp, you have one that might be better next week. I don’t have to hedge my enjoyment on a few isolated scenes that fit into a serialized arc that I might not like that much. I miss that.

Also, and I think this is most important, its humor isn’t making fun of or mocking Trek, rather its laughing with the show. It’s funny that Rutherford would be more interested in a Level 2 diagnostic than making-out, because he’s a Next Gen era engineer. There’s this ebullient enthusiasm the characters have for living in this world, and I’ve been missing that more than I knew.

Really looking forward to seeing where it goes.