As Star Trek: Lower Decks returns for its fourth season, the animated comedy series is still lots of fun while staying true to Star Trek.
Next to Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and the final season of Picard, this series is a nice way of introducing new fans to Star Trek. If the recent crossover episode was your first introduction to the cast, I recommend watching the first three seasons before the newest season.
The last time we saw the crew was during the crossover episode in July. There’s no mention of anything from that episode but series creator Mike McMahan and company are still offering us a fun time. Where another series might seek to change up the status quo, this series stays with a formula that continues to work. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, right? It wouldn’t work as a series if Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) wasn’t up to the same old shenanigans. Ensigns Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid), Tendi (Noël Wells), and Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) are up to the usual, too. Meanwhile, Provisional Ensign T’Lyn (Gabrielle Ruiz) is a now a part of the core group this season.
If there’s a way to disrupt things for everyone else, including Commander Jack Ransom (Jerry O’Connell), Beckett Mariner will find it. Of course, it would have ramifications for the crew but that just goes without saying It wouldn’t be Star Trek: Lower Decks otherwise! This is the fun that comes in watching the series. Nobody is missing a beat during the fourth season. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Beyond the crew, there’s a mysterious force ruining the peace in the galaxy. Ships are being destroyed in every which direction. The U.S.S. Cerritos crew doesn’t have to deal with any of that. They have their own things to worry about, such as what did Mariner do this time. They have to deal with computers acting up on planets and getting stuck in caves. You know, the usual. Meanwhile, there’s a good amount of Star Trek easter eggs this season, including the fourth season premiere. Paramount+ sent press the first eight episodes of the new season and they’re a lot of fun to watch. If I’m saying fun a lot, it’s because this is a comedy series but it stays true to the spirit. Star Trek: Lower Decks is one of the best Star Trek series on TV today.
I know that there are a lot of streaming services out there. The costs can build up rather quickly for that reason. At the same time, the writers and actors are not earning a fair share of the pie when it comes to streaming. Residuals are not the same as they are for broadcast and cable. TV animation can be made under different contracts. For instance, the High Budget Streaming Animation contract, which the series is produced under, is struck work. In any event, please keep this in mind as you’re watching new episodes of the series. Because of the double strikes likely to last into October, if not longer, it could be a while before we see a fifth season.
CREATOR/SHOWRUNNER: Mike McMahan
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Alex Kurtzman, Rod Roddenberry, Trevor Roth, Katie Krentz, Heather Kadin, Mike McMahan
CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Aaron Baiers
CAST: Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid, Noël Wells, Eugene Cordero, Dawnn Lewis, Jerry O’Connell, Fred Tatasciore, Gillian Vigman