Upon its initial airing in 2020, Star Trek: Lower Decks made waves among Trekkies (or Trekkers, depending on who you ask) with a fresh, humorous approach to the Star Trek universe. The show proved itself an unexpected delight, offering fans a clever, madcap, yet surprisingly reverent take on the iconic science-fiction franchise. Developed by Mike McMahan and streaming exclusively on Paramount +, the series explores the galaxy-shaking events of the Trek-verse from the perspective of the lower-ranking crew members of the U.S.S. Cerritos, Starfleet’s resident second-stringers. Now into its fourth season, Lower Decks has not lost a bit of its momentum and consistent high quality, cracking joke after joke at Warp 9 and never throttling down.
Alongside its intimate knowledge of the Star Trek franchise, Lower Decks’ greatest strength is its dynamic and instantly endearing cast of characters, brought to life by a vibrant animation style and some absolutely stellar voice acting. Fresh off a crossover with its sister show Strange New Worlds, Lower Decks’ fourth season sees its dysfunctional but eminently capable main cast grappling with newfound promotions to Lieutenants Junior Grade. Ex-Ensigns Mariner, Boimler, Rutherford, and Tendi, joined by exiled Vulcan newcomer T’Lyn, navigate changes to their tight-knit group dynamic as they acclimate to the rigors of command, all while still decidedly remaining “Lower Deckers” regularly shafted with ship-wide responsibilities that their commanding officers can’t or won’t attend to.
Lower Decks has always predicated itself on in its ability to poke fun at the familiar tropes of Star Trek while still celebrating the core values of the franchise and paying homage to its long history. The show consistently manages to balance quirky, often highly referential humor with moments of genuine heart and an optimistic vision of the future, creating a series that is both entertaining, meaningful, and respectful of its source material. Season four comes out swinging in this respect, featuring an excursion to legendary U.S.S. Voyager herself in a farcical take on one of that show’s most notorious hours.
A perfect fit for die-hard fans open to a light-hearted take on the Star Trek universe, Lower Decks’ fourth season offers a delightful and entertaining journey through the cosmos, boldly going where the rest of Starfleet can’t be bothered to.
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