Star Trek’s Lower Decks is not the first foray into animated features for this franchise, but this is one of the best ones. Fellow member of the site, Jim Newman specifically wanted to watch this show so bad, even though he didn’t have Paramount+ so he actually bought the first season on DVD. To which my response was they still make DVDs?
So when given the chance to take a look at the first season, we jumped at it! We at Nerd News Social are huge fans of adult animation and all of the creativity and ingenuity that the format can bring to a project. So without further ado and very little spoilers, but honestly they’ve already started season 2 so it’s more on you than us at this point, let’s look at season one and our newest Conner’s Critique!
As always we break down the critiques of the three categories: Story, Acting, and Overall.
The world of Star Trek is so vast, with so many movies, books, comics, TV series, and not to count how many episodes as a whole have been released. With all that existing lore, there are so many things you can touch on, and hint at in the background and foreground of the show. That’s exactly what Lower Decks does! As a die-hard The Original Series fan, who skipped the Next Generation went directly to Deep Space 9, I can honestly say that I sat there giddily watching all the easter eggs, while chuckling.
I have to say when I found out who was doing a lot of the voice acting on this show, I was very confused because when I heard the voices in my head I literally didn’t see the actor’s faces. The voice actors do a great job conveying comedy as well as a straight line in the over-the-top situations that they always seem to find themselves in. It’s important to remember that while people don’t give voice actors the credit they deserve, you can’t sell a show without any actual physical representation, without the amazing work of talented voice actors like Jack Quaid, Noël Wells, Eugene Cordero, and Jerry O’Connell.
Considering acting though as a whole, I think my favorite part about this show is the relationship between Captain Freeman, voiced by Dawnn Lewis, and Ensign Mariner, voiced by Tawny Newsome. The actors properly showcase frustration and love between each other in such a realistic and fun way that it’s clearly a familiar bond. Really sells the mother and daughter or parent and child relationship.
The one flaw I would say is that while the show is supposed to represent the lower deck levels of the ship and the people that work within them, the people focused on seem to spend a lot of time handling upper deck issues. Ensign Mariner, who leads the show, is so engaging and powerful that she ends up becoming more embroiled in the larger stories. It sometimes feels like if someone tried to force Captain Kirk into a low-level mailroom position.
So it can be a little disappointing if you were expecting a show about red shirts. Still, I mean they’re still trying to make a show that someone wants to watch.
Conner’s Final Thought(s):
The thing that slightly frustrates me is that I think about all the good that Seth McFarland could have done with Star Trek. If only they had agreed to work with him on his concept. However, they pushed him away and he created the show Orville, which is amazing. This series feels like what, the people behind Star Trek, thought Seth McFarland was going to make but wasn’t actually what he had in mind.
So it seems a little bit frustrating that they pushed him to the curb, but then make the show they thought he’d make. That being said, the show is awesome.
Make sure to watch the new season of Lower Decks, so you don’t miss out on all the cool and amazing canon that is celebrated and hinted at throughout the series!