The arrival of Paramount+ (formally CBS All Access) has allowed the world of Star Trek to expand in ways fans only rumored would happen. The lack of having to follow the traditional season of 22 episodes has freed up the limits of pondering if a new show can meet the demands of a new network or syndication package. A perfect example of how a spin-off can break the established rules is Star Trek: Lower Decks. Who thought an animated Star Trek show not featuring a previous cast could become a hit? There was Star Trek: The Animated Series that was an extension of the original series in reuniting the Enterprise crew and having the same tone as the live action series. Star Trek: Lower Decks follows the support staff of the USS Cerritos who don’t have the glamor positions. They are the ones who have to keep things going on the ship so the officers can have most of the adventure. Star Trek: Lower Decks – Season 2 is the next 10 episodes.
“Strange Energies” has Ensign Beckett Mariner demonstrates her unusual workout routine that involves the simulator. Her cardio involves escaping a hostage situation. She deals with the frustration of having a mother who is the Captain of the Cerritos while she’s stuck in the cramped quarters. “Kayshon, His Eyes Open” has one of the crew join the bridge of Captain Riker’s team. You get to enjoy a bit of Star Trek: The Next Generation. “We’ll Always Have Tom Paris” involves the libido relief of one of the officers. It’s an awkward revelation. “Mugato, Gumato” has the crew investigate a species on the wrong planet. “An Embarrassment of Dooplers” has the crew encounter a guest who multiples when feeling nervous. Can they keep things calm and less reproductive? “The Spy Humongous” is espionage with comedic twists. “Where Pleasant Fountains Lie” has a planet occupied by LARPers. “I, Excretus” exposes tension between the ranks. They try to make things better with team building exercises. “wej Duj” is all about those Klingons. “First First Contact” is what can go wrong when the Federation wants to be friends with a civilazation.
Star Trek: Lower Decks is a fun show for Star Trek fans since it has fun with so much of the odd things in the various franchises. The series is more than just a spoof of a Star Trek series. The characters and plots work on their own so the comedy is an extra layer. This isn’t just a bunch of non-sequitur jokes involving red shirted security officers thinking they have to worry about their retirement plans. If you’re not deeply familiar with the various shows and Federation trivia, you won’t feel completely left out of the jokes.
A third season is scheduled to be released this fall and a fourth season is in the works. Star Trek: Lower Decks is going beyond where the previous animated series has gone in episodes.
The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The 1080p brings out the details in the animated worlds. The audio is 5.1 DTS HD MA in English. This gives you all the sounds heard on the live action Star Trek shows. There’s also 5.1 Dolby Digital Dubs in German, Spanish, French and Italian. The subtitles are in English, Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Finish and Swedish. You can host a screening party for the EU members.
A Sound Foundation (13:19) has them talk about the sound effects used in the various Star Trek shows over the years. The crew of Lower Decks jokes about the noises of the various parts of the ships. There’s talk of how they have to make sure a keyboard or transporter sound fits with the right visual effect. Plus a discussion about creating their own sounds for the ship and planetary adventures.
Lower Dectionary Season 2 (32:37) goes into how the animated series built upon the previous season. They talk about how it is about a mother and daughter and friendships between the crew members. Yet they have to keep the comic tone for the action. The cast and crew go into the episodes so best to watch this after the 10 episodes.
Audio Commentaries are featured on “Kayshon, HIs Eyes Open,” “An Embarrassment of Dooplers,” “Where Pleasant Fountains Lie” and “WEJ DUJ.” Creator Mike McMahan is joined by guests involved in the various episodes to go behind the artwork,.
Animatics and Easter Eggs are featured on all the episodes. The Easter Eggs feature points out the references to characters and events from other Star Trek series.
CBS BLU-RAY presents Star Trek: Lower Decks – Season 2. Starring Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid, Noel Wells, Dawnn Lewis, Jerry O’Connell and Jonathan Frakes. Boxset Contents: 10 episodes on 2 Blu-ray discs. Release Date: July `12, 2022.