Way back in August, I posted about my initial reaction to Lower Decks. The verdict at that point was that it was my favourite new iteration of Trek since Enterprise ended. We were only two episodes in at that point, but the first season is over now and it’s been renewed for a second season. I hope it gets more.
Why? I’m going to steal most of the paragraph I wrote last time:
Lower Decks is about friendship, loyalty, compassion, understanding, finding your way, coming of age, and expanding what it means to be a Starfleet officer and a sentient being, human or otherwise. The character interactions come back to the base of Star Trek: supporting each other in a strange but hopeful future and building towards it being even better while doing the right thing because it’s the right thing.
Kind of what Star Trek is all about. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations and building a better world in every way you can.
I’ve really enjoyed Lower Decks so far. It’s been fun, it’s been funny, and it’s been Star Trek.
The reboot movies gave us action movies in Star Trek wrappings. They were beautiful, they were exciting, they were well cast, but only the third one tried to be Star Trek. It didn’t miss, but it didn’t really land, either.
The first season of Discovery was beautiful but had a lot of questionable aesthetic and writing choices and didn’t give me anything in the way of actually being Star Trek other than taking place in the same universe. I’m told it’s better since, but I’m not ready to give it a second try yet. I felt similarly about DS9 in its first run. In the middle of Season 6, I still kind of feel that way.
Picard tried to give us big ideas but mostly missed in the fuzzy, drawn out plotting and meandering storyline, a show that could have been a mini-series instead, told in half the amount of time while losing very little story.
However, I’ve said it before and I’ll restate it now: if any of these have brought new people to Star Trek who will explore the roots and the concepts and the heart of the series, that’s a good thing. It doesn’t matter if I like any particular series or movie and it doesn’t matter what I think of the respect (or lack of it) that might have been shown for source material or characters or concepts. If it means Star Trek continues to get made, that’s a good thing overall.
I’m probably not the audience for Prodigy (although will likely try it anyway), and I have concerns about Section 31 (nothing wrong with a little moral ambiguity in story telling, but I’m afraid this is going to push that off the deep end in search of the dirty, gritty universes that seem to be so popular in recent years), but I have great hopes for Strange New Worlds as a return to the episodic heart of things exploring the universe and what it means to be human.
In that light, Lower Decks has given me star Trek back. It’s about people and ideas and making a better world. And sure, it’s given it to me in the form of a sometimes-wacky comedy series, but the deep stuff is there, too, and that’s what I really want from my Trek.
Live long and prosper.by