Star Trek: Lower Decks on CBS All Access complete series gallery
Yes, we know about First Contact — but what about Second Contact?
Star Trek: Lower Decks on CBS All Access
So far, one of the few bright spots in 2020 has been the sheer volume of NEW Star Trek bestowed upon us. CBS All Access (opens in new tab) is touting the next 6 months as "23 Weeks of Star Trek," and I couldn't be happier.
Their first offering is Lower Decks, an animated, irreverent glimpse into the daily grind & hilarious hijinks of the deck crew aboard the USS Cerritos. The show's eponymous title is a homage to a single episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. We get to follow around three crew members that aren't part of the core cast, and it opens up a strange and mundane new world outside of the gravitas of the Bridge & Ready Room.
For the past five decades, Trek fans have been accustomed to following the voyages of Starfleet's flagship vessels: The Enterprise (with its many incarnations), Discovery, The Excelsior, The Titan...iconic ships, helmed with beloved captains. Not every Starfleet recruit is lucky enough to join the crew of a flagship vessel, however. So, where do they end up, you might wonder?
Aboard the USS Cerritos, of course! It's a thoroughly average vessel generally sent off to new civilizations for "Second Contact" after First Contact (opens in new tab) is made. You'll find the usual crew - the Captain & her Commander, a prickly but good-hearted Doctor, and a rather burly Security Officer. As unremarkable & formulaic as this might seem, it couldn't be farther from the truth.
For only the second time in Trek history, the doctor of the USS Cerritos is non-human — and this time, she's a Caitian (opens in new tab)! Her direct yet compassionate temperament reminds me strongly of Dr. Katherine Pulaski; she made the Enterprise-D's sickbay her own in Season 2 of ST: TNG.
Our new crop of Ensigns is delightfully diverse as well. Sciences Officer Ensign Tendi hails from the planet Orion, and Engineering Officer Ensign Rutherford is part cyborg. The neurotic, rule-worshipping Ensign Boimler isn't your typical Command-track hopeful either. Though he's not an Ensign, Lt. Shaxs is our first Bajoran Security officer.
But what about Ensign Mariner, you might ask? Well, she's a different story. Mariner's got quite the reputation, and plenty of skeletons in her proverbial closet - not only is she the daughter of the ship's captain, but she once held a higher position and even hinted at a past stint in Rura Penthe, the galaxy's most notorious penal colony. Her mystery is one I look forward to unpacking in the weeks to come.
We'll keep this post updated as the episodes release. Make sure you check in regularly and follow our intrepid crewmates on their missions to where so many other crews have (almost certainly) gone before.