Star Trek: Lower Decks—Season 1

star trek lower decks season 1 poster review episode guide
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun start to a show with a ton of potential

Doesn't push it as far as possible, needs to take a few more chances

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Here’s what the rest of the crew does…

The crew of the U.S.S. Cerritos travels the stars and makes second contact with civilizations.  Their job is to set up new civilizations with the Federation and prep them for future cooperation and inclusion.  While Captain Carol Freeman commands the deck with Jack Ransom at her side, the lower decks is where all the action is.  Beckett Mariner likes to buck the system while Brad Boimler dreams of bigger things like being the captain of his own ship.  D’Vana Tendi is on the path to become a doctor, and Sam Rutherford is using his new computer implants to try to be an engineer…the U.S.S. Cerritos might have a “normal” assignment, but the days are anything but normal.

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Glad to see Star Trek IV’s humpback’s getting some love

Star Trek:  Lower Decks—Season 1 is a science-fiction animated comedy adventure Star Trek spin-off.  The series was released on CBS All-Access from August 6, 2020 to October 8, 2020, and future seasons are scheduled to air on Paramount+.

Star Trek has always been sacred ground within itself.  There have been plenty of Star Trek episodes that poke fun at the series, but largely, Star Trek humor came from parodies and other shows making fun of it.  Star Trek:  Lower Decks is an attempt to rectify this, claim it, and still present potential Star Trek themed stories.

star trek lower decks season 1 episode 6 terminal provocations badgey vs sam

Don’t trust Badgey

The series feels like a pretty obvious evolution of Rick and Morty.  Mike McMahan who worked on Drawn Together, South Park, and Rick and Morty is behind the series and it feels like it.  Unlike Rick and Morty which pushes the limits of taste, Star Trek:  Lower Decks seems to have a cap on itself.  There is swearing, but not as much…and it is bleeped.  This seems to be the dividing line between a show like South Park and Rick and Morty and something like Lower Decks…but it is more than that.

Despite the vulgarity of Rick and Morty, the series deals in some very heavy science-fiction while being funny.  Star Trek:  Lower Decks feels like a limited version of that this season.  While swearing and other aspects of Rick and Morty can be skirted, it feels like Lower Decks is missing a bit of an opportunity for smart science-fiction (another great example the series could look to is Galaxy Quest).  There are things that wouldn’t work on Rick and Morty that Lower Decks could tackle with some humor, but it feels rather light on the “science-fiction” of this sci-fi series thus far.

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It is all fun and games in the lower decks until some Red Shirt gets his head phasered off

The set-up is kind of a slacker’s dream with the “cast” getting to be on a ship like the Enterprise (or in this case the Cerritos) without the responsibility of being a real player…but it also means they are all Red Shirts which have always been the subject of tons of Star Trek humor which isn’t really played with here.  There is some tapping into classic Star Trek parody fodder, but like the storylines, it probably needs to be pushed harder.  The series is an opportunity to reflect and critique all the goofy aspects of Star Trek and the world it created.

Despite some criticism, Star Trek:  Lower Decks is fun and shows immense potential.  With a good voice cast and a slick look, the series could be really fun if they can master the balance (something Rick and Morty, South Park, and The Simpsons did not do the first season…so improvement is always possible).  As a freshman outing, Star Trek:  Lower Decks—Season 1 is a good start…I hope next season will be a great season…Make it so!

Star Trek:  Lower Decks—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

star trek lower decks season 1 episode 1 second contact brad boimler

“Second Contact”

1.1       Second Contact Release Date:  08/06/20

Brad Boimler dreams of being a captain…but stuck on the lower decks of the U.S.S. Cerritos, his only hope can be showing his zeal for the job.  When Captain Freeman asks Boimler to watch and report on his coworker Beckett Mariner, Boimler might have to make a big choice.  D’Vana Tendi finds herself on the Cerritos for the first time and tries to adjust to her settings.  Sam Rutherford adjusts to his new cybernetic implants and goes on a first date with Ensign Barnes…but the zombie outbreak from second contact with the Galardonian people could ruin the evening.

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1.2       Envoys Release Date:  08/13/20

Sam finds himself jumping from department to department in order to spend more time with D’Vana.  Brad’s assignment as an envoy escort for a Klingon named K’orin comes crashing down when Beckett decides to take over the mission.

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“Temporal Edict”

1.3       Temporal Edict Release Date:  08/20/20

The cancellation of the U.S.S. Cerritos involvement with peace negotiations has Captain Freeman seeking to get her ship in shape.  When Boimler accidentally slips that most of the crew puts pad time in their jobs, Freeman orders the “buffer time” eliminated from everyone’s schedule…leading to chaos.  Ransom and Beckett’s gift giving assignment to the Gelrakians goes wrong and leads to armed combat.

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“Moist Vessel”

1.4       Moist Vessel Release Date:  08/27/20

Beckett’s behavior has pushed her mother to the edge…and punishment is an appointment to lieutenant…much to the chagrin of Brad.  D’Vana’s attempt to watch the ascension of Lieutenant O’Connor doesn’t go as planned.  The release of a lifeforce from a derelict ship could doom the Cerritos.

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“Cupid’s Errant Arrow”

1.5       Cupid’s Errant Arrow Release Date:  09/03/20

The U.S.S. Cerritos is teaming with the U.S.S. Vancouver to negotiate how to handle the collapse of a moon circling Mixtus III which leads to a meeting between Brad and his girlfriend Barbara Brinson who Beckett thinks is out of his class…and must have ulterior motives.  D’Vana and Sam compete to win a coveted T88 but discover they might get something more than they bargained for.

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“Terminal Provocations”

1.6       Terminal Provocations Release Date:  09/10/20

A routine salvage operation turns hostile when Captain Freeman finds herself facing off against the Drookmani for the wreckage.  D’Vana reveals a secret about her past training to Sam, and Sam recommends a trip to the Holodeck with his new program Badgey.  Meanwhile, a Chu Chu dance party has Beckett and Brad taking up Fletcher’s offer to finish their work recalibrating the ship’s isolinear cores…but when Fletcher say he’s been attacked and a core is missing, the entire U.S.S. Cerritos could be in danger.

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“Much Ado About Boimler”

1.7       Much Ado About Boimler Release Date:  09/17/20

D’Vana’s attempt to recreate a dog from scratch leads to a monstrous invention while Sam’s transporter creates a problem for Brad…leading D’Vana and Brad on a trip to the legendary Starfleet “Farm”.  Beckett learns her mother’s replacement is her old friend Amina Ramsey, but Ramsey discovers that Beckett’s new attitude toward Starfleet isn’t the Beckett she went to the Starfleet Academy with.  When Ramsey is called to the aid of a disabled Starfleet ship, the old Beckett might have to take charge.

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1.8       Veritas Release Date:  09/24/20

Finding themselves in a strange alien prison with no explanation, Beckett, Brad, D’Vana, and Sam find themselves testifying about a secret mission, but the Primes questioning them might not like their answers.

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“Crisis Point”

1.9       Crisis Point Release Date:  10/01/20

Freeman is tired of Beckett’s attitude and orders therapy with Dr. Migleemo.  When Sam recommends a potential Holodeck program made out of their files and personal logs, Crisis Point:  The Rise of Vindicta is born, and Brad might learn more about Beckett than he ever expected.

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“No Small Parts”

1.10     No Small Parts Release Date:  10/08/20

Brad reveals he knows Beckett’s secret, and that Captain Freeman is her mother…but an open communicator puts the truth out all over the U.S.S. Cerritos.  Beckett finds herself dealing with newfound fame, but an encounter with the Pakled could mean a big change for Beckett and Brad…plus, one crew member won’t be coming back while another might be changed forever!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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