Star Trek: Lower Decks Debuts with Mixed Reviews

Star Trek Lower Decks
Image: CBS All Access

CBS All Access has invested quite a bit into the Star Trek franchise since its streaming debut. From Star Trek: Discovery to Picard, creators have attempted to take the iconic series in new directions. As to be expected, fans and reviewers are often mixed in their opinions with these new directions. The latest effort is an animated series called Star Trek: Lower Decks. It is the first since the oft-overlooked 1970s one featuring voices of the original cast. CBS All Access did test the waters a bit last year with some shorts, though.

Star Trek: Lower Decks features the former head writer for Rick and Morty. As expected, fans of that show will spot a number of similarities between the two. Right away, viewers will pick up that this show is all about spoofing various famous scenes, or stereotypes, from Star Trek. Whether witnessing the ship-clipping ice formations in space (Voyager opening scene), a shoot and run with some Borg (Wolf 359?), or ignoring medical protocols that lead to essential zombification of the crew, it becomes obvious the directions they intend to go. Well, the reviews are in, and as usual, they are mixed.

Image: CBS All Access
  • The New York Times: Lower Decks feels caught in between. It’s a smooth and zippy package, but it doesn’t register very strongly as either a geekfest or a transgressive satire.”
  • Rolling Stone: “. . .the entire show seems to be caught in between extremes. It’s just over the edge of being too adult for kids to watch. .but never really delves into truly R-rated Trek content.”
  • Indie Wire: “This’ll Be Called a Parody, but It’s Really ‘Trek’ at Its Purest”
  • The Verge: “As a result, the show fails to distinguish itself, even as it is well-animated and performed. If you’re a Trek fan and not too much of a purist, you’ll have a great time watching the show. .”
  • Hollywood Reporter: “There’s still room for Star Trek: Lower Decks to evolve into something with a stand-alone sense of humor, but for now it’s best suited as a good-natured time-waster between installments of DiscoveryPicard and whatever comes down the pipeline next.”

There are many more reviews of the show out there, but overall, the consensus seems to be the same. Most agree there’s a large amount of material within the Star Trek universe to work with. However, most also agree the show hasn’t quite hit the mark yet. As with many new revivals, it is perhaps not the worst, but not the best, either.

Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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