Star Trek Lower Decks: Second Contact (Pilot)

We're not really elite. We're more like the cool, scrappy underdogs of the ship. You know, we don't wash our hands, we're doing kick flips all the time.

When a second contact brings a virus aboard the U.S.S. Cerritos, it takes the combined efforts of all crew members to save the ship.

I've always wondered about the other thousand people on the Enterprise. Over the seasons, the cast expanded from the command crew to include people like Reginald Barclay and other regulars who managed not to die on planetary visits. Lower Decks bases its whole premise on exploring the hopes, dreams and experiences of Beckett Mariner, Brad Boimler, Tendi and Rutherford as they serve on the Cerritos; at the same time, in the background, Captain Freeman, First Officer Ransom, Shaxs and T'Ana provide an almost comedic view on what leadership in the Federation looks like. These are the voyages of those who do the paperwork.

When our crew members meet there's some great banter about ambition and what it means to move up in the Federation, and this sets the stage for a pretty fun pilot. Boimler and Mariner join landing parties on the surface, while Rutherford and an Ensign Barnes have their first date just as other landing parties return with some sort of parasitic virus that turns everyone on the ship into flesh eating zombies.

I really liked the animation during this first episode, and I had a great time watching the show. I'm seeing a lot of possibilities for where it could go in the future. The characters feel a little one-sided but that's pretty normal for a pilot, and the show calls back to the live series in so many fun ways that you easily forgive its failings.

A great revelation at the end, however, sets up the stage for some possible conflict, not just between individuals, but between the command crew and the lower decks – something echoed throughout the episode in a lot of ways. I'm curious to see where this conflict will go.

Scratched on the padd:

THE VOYAGER'S OVER BUT THIS VOYAGE HAS JUST BEGUN: This series begins three years after Voyager returns home and Janeway becomes an Admiral in 2380.

THEY SLEEP IN A HALLWAY: The Lower Decks folks don't get rooms, they get berths. It reminded me oddly of the party scene on the train in Some Like It Hot.

THE CARTOON CAT THAT CAN'T STAY DOWN: I love that the ship's doctor is a Caitian! There was also a Caitian in the original Animated Series.

WORF THE STARFLEET HERO: Mariner swinging a Bat'leth and shouting Worf! Worf! was one of the memorable scenes of the episode. At the end of the episode, she tells Boimler she's going to be his cha'Dich, after he gets her out of trouble.

ALL NUDE OLYMPIC TRAINING FACILITY. If I need to add more....

Heard in Ten-Forward:

Rutherford: There's a maintenance hatch on the other side of the saucer that should give us access to Deck Eight. What kind of music are you into?
Barnes: We have just enough oxygen to get there, but we're cutting it close. I really like this classical band called the Monkees. Ever heard of 'em?
Rutherford: Let's just say, "I'm a believer."

Overall:

This was like a delicious little bite of nothing, Star Trek mixed with Family Guy and a healthy dollop of something that sometimes reminds me of Parks and Recreation, sometimes of The Office. Five out of five Vulcan-normed implants.

3 comments:

franni1 said...

Sitting on the sofa on a Sunday Morning , prizing my eyes open with first coffee of the day... ahhhh, yes, I so need a dose of animation, and the added bonus if it being Star Trek...yep! Lead me to it! But what’s this? Not available in UK? Sigh....Scuse me while I go back into hibernation

Anonymous said...

Hey, franni1, the pilot is now available in YT for free outside the US... for some countries (don't know which ones, I can tell you that Spain is not one of them)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HzRGqvRK8U

Stupid CBS idiots, they might be releasing 24th century series, but they're still living in the 19th.

franni1 said...

Many thanks for the info.... I dash off to check the link... nope, they aren’t letting us watch it on Youtube here in UK. Never mind, I will have to be patient!