Whatever. I’m Starfleet as hell.
It’s a crime that CBSAA played silly-horseshoes with Netflix and Amazon Prime with their international distribution, because only subscribers in North America can watch Lower Decks legally, which, by all best-guesses, is only about five million households. Because, as I’ve often written, this is the best new Star Trek in twenty years to the point where even a so-so, by-the-books episode like this is ends up somehow wildly entertaining. A trapped-in-the-holodeck A-story that ends up mentioning every fictional and historical character who ever appeared in a trapped-in-the-holodeck TNG episode wins all the points on hysterical, densely packed self-reference, alone.
I love that this show just does not care about the senior officers and bridge crew, like, at all. Every appearance of an officer is to set up, be the butt of, or pay off a joke. “I’m sorry; I didn’t know cats ate nachos.” See? No stuffed shirts here.
Jack McBrayer as a demented office assistant personifying an out-of-control holodeck is some twisted genius casting. his happy, innocent voice absolutely lends itself to barely contained psychosis.
And now, a few words about cussing. If you’ve been reading these columns at all you’ve seen my absolute derision for the Kurtzman era Trek using swear words because they can but that absolutely do not serve the story because they are so ineptly placed. The Drookmani captain clearly ending the subspace call with a contemptuous “Fuck you!” that is bleeped out is absolutely funnier than if he actually said it.
So many shout-outs this time. I couldn’t shake the feeling I was supposed to recognize some of ship wreckage. Did that say NCC-502 as it flashed by? My Franz Josef Tech Manual says that’s the Saladin class destroyer Darius, but who knows. I don’t think there’s anything big about that other than it explains how the Darius is an Akira< class in the video game Armada II. All I really recognized was the old school warp nacelle. And how to you transfer Fletch to the Titan without mentioning Riker is the captain? I suppose they kind of did by saying that’s Boimler’s dream posting, but, still. You have to believe Frakes is sitting around waiting for a call from McMahan.
…and I’m not sure why it took me umpteen press releases and six aired episodes to wonder is the Cerritos XO Jack is a relative of Captain Rudy Ransom of the Equinox but I’m sure it’s just I didn’t pay much attention to Star Trek: Voyager once it was obvious they weren’t going to do anything ground-breaking with their premise and I only watched them first-run. Oh my God that would have been my favorite Trek if they had blown the doors off and had Janeway turn into Captain Ahab with her “white whale” being the return of her ship and crew to the Alpha Quadrant at any cost. Hurm.