Star Trek: Lower Decks – Season 3
While I am very impressed with the way that Strange New Worlds replicates the feel of classic Trek, I think that Lower Decks may well be the best Trek because it does two things brilliantly.
Firstly it mercilessly takes the piss out of Trek. The best example of that from Season 3 is “Crisis Point II: Paradoxus” which is set in a holodeck scenario scripted by Boimler. The rest of our heroes have their own opinions about Boimler’s scripting ability (especially Mariner), and this leads to discussion of the merits of various well-known Trek episode tropes.
On the other hand, the show is still very much in love with the concept of Starfleet, and its young heroes are just as much committed to boldly going and doing good as they were at the start of season one. That’s despite the fact that some of them are sorely tested.
Those of you who were expecting more of a story arc in this season, after the cliffhanger at the end of Season 2, will be disappointed. The affair of Captain Freeman and the bombing of the Pakled capital is wrapped up very quickly in one episode. Thankfully there are many fun episodes to come.
One of my favourites is “Hear All, Trust Nothing”, in which the Cerritos is sent to Deep Space 9 on a diplomatic mission. The episode guest-stars the inimitable Kira Nerys (Bajorans are clearly Welsh if they have names like that) and, of course, Quark. The episode shows us a side of Tendi we’ve never seen before.
Rutherford also gets a chance to shine in the episode, “Reflections”. Here we learn that he was once a young tearaway who spent his early years in Starfleet building and racing single-seater starships. Meanwhile Mariner makes the acquaintance of Petra Aberdeen, a former Starfleet officer turned “independent archaeologist”. Both of these storylines will come back later in the season.
Oh, and we get to hear more about the villainous little droid, Peanut Hamper.
All in all, this is a fine season, especially if you happen to be a Californian and not a Texan. Warmly recommended. I understand that Season 4 is in the can and I’m very much looking forward to it.