Review: Star Trek Lower Decks Season 1 (2021)

Forget about Kirk, Picard and Janeway, meet the crew who really make the spaceships fly on the lower decks, available to watch on Amazon Prime Video now.

PLOT AND STORY 

The support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships, the U.S.S. Cerritos have to keep up with their duties, often while the ship is being rocked by a multitude of sci-fi anomalies.

Lower decks focus on four crewmates who have just started their careers with Star Fleet and although they have a lot to learn, often find themselves the perfect people to save the day. Brad, Beckett, D’Vana and Samanthan are the main characters all offering different, diverse personalities which blend really well together making for a fun group.

When I heard this show was created by Mike McMahan, one of the writers from Season 2 of Rick and Morty (the best season in my opinion) my anticipation was high. I wasn’t exactly expecting Rick and Morty do Star Trek but you can see some similarities in the humour filter through in the episodes, only much more watered down.

The writing team contains a number of names with big show credits and I would say they have worked well together in creating a fresh new, humorous take on Star Trek whilst keeping all the established traits you come to expect. It even goes as far as to take fun of itself and Star Trek as a whole, something we have seen on shows like Harley Quinn The Animated Series but never before in the world of Star Trek. This type of humour establishes the show as something new which I feel will help attract a younger audience to the brand.

The series’ writers include M. Willis, Chris Kula, Ben Rodgers, Ann Kim, Garrick Bernard, Ben Cochran, Ben Joseph and David Wright

PRODUCTION AND ANIMATION 

The beauty of this series is how much it pays homage to the Star Trek brand and remains in canon. Its animation yes, but it manages to capture the same aesthetics you come to expect from shows like The Next Generation, Voyager and even the newer shows like Picard and Discovery.

I would compare the animation to shows like Simpsons and Futurama with its humorous looking characters and surroundings. In fact Futurama is quite a good comparison for this show and I would say it feels very similar in both style and delivery. After a couple of slow episodes at the start this show truely finds its feet and identity towards mid season. By the end of the season everything has clicked into place setting things up nicely for a second season.

CAST

Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid, Noël Wells, and Eugene Cordero voice “lower decks” crew members of the Cerritos, with Dawnn Lewis, Jerry O’Connell, Fred Tatasciore, and Gillian Vigman also providing voices for the series.

Jack Quiad offers great innocence to his character Brad following his success in another Amazon Prime show The Boys. Tawny Newsome who people will recognise from the Netflix show Space Force, brings energy and charisma to her character Beckett. Noël Wells is a name I was not familiar with but brings huge amounts of voice over experience to her character D’Vana from shows like Craig of the Creek, Duck Tales and American Dad. Eugene Cordero completed the quartet providing the humorous android like voice for Samanthan. Cordero is an actor who has popped up in numerous shows like The Office and more recently Tacoma FD and The Mandalorian.

FINAL THOUGHTS 

A funny addition to the world of Star Trek with fun characters going on wacky adventures. Much like its live action compatriots this is a show which has long sweeping stories while each episode is self contained and anyone could drop in and out at any point and still enjoy each episode. This isn’t side splitting funny but does catch you unaware at times with its subtle quips and references. You don’t need to be a Star Trek fan to enjoy this series but if you are I think you will get lots of enjoyment from it.

I watched this via Amazon Prime Video and received no incentive to review this show.

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