It might have made some nervous at first, but now that the first season of Lower Decks is behind us, it might be time to reflect on what a success it was. Perhaps, it should be asked — did Lower Decks just have the best first season of any Star Trek series?
When compared to the other CBS All Access shows, Lower Decks’ first season earned just a 65% rating on Rotten Tomatoes by the critics. Picard, on the other hand, rated at 85%, and Discovery also pulled in an 85% rating.
If the critics thought it was “fun, but not very bold,” then why was the show so popular with so many Trek fans?
We think that Twitch personality Nalvara summed up the feelings of many Trek fans when she said the following:
“I really enjoyed Lower Decks. You can tell it was written by Star Trek fans, with tons of references to the older Trek shows but still telling new stories. And it has a tribute to O’Brien, need I say more?”
Since the very start of Star Trek, all series seemed to stumble on their first years. The Next Generation famously took two full seasons to find its footing, and in that time, many wondered if the show would survive. But thanks to some personnel changes (namely when Michael Piller took over as executive producer), TNG became the gold-standard for all Trek that followed.
The same cannot be said of Deep Space Nine. That first season was not bad, per se, but it was laying the groundwork for the introduction of the Dominion, the Founders, and giving viewers a chance to get to know everyone before the conflict started. It could be said that the first season of DS9 was “slow.”
Voyager, Enterprise, and Discovery all suffered from a first season slump. Many hope that the third season of Discovery will be a breakout season for the show, much like The Next Generation had in its heyday.
We at Trek Report, think that Lower Decks may very well have had the best first season for any new Trek show — since The Original Series. It is almost not fair to compare the two, since the TOS team was creating the universe that LDS gets to play in and make fun of.
Here is how we ranked each episode of Lower Decks:
- Second Contact – 4 of 5
- Envoys – 4 of 5
- Temporal Edict – 4 of 5
- Moist Vessel – 4 of 5
- Cupid’s Errant Arrow – 4 of 5
- Terminal Provocations – 2 of 5
- Much Ado About Boimler – 4 of 5
- Veritas – 4 of 5
- Crisis Point – 5 of 5
- No Small Parts – 5 of 5
We ranked most episodes 4 out of 5, with the exceptions of Terminal Provocations (we don’t like Badgey), Crisis Point (that one could be made into a real Trek film), and No Small Parts (a great finale).
This is all quite stunning, since the second-ever animated Trek show, and the very first comedy. In our book, Lower Decks’ first season was an incredible success, and we’re excited to see what happens next season.
Star Trek: Lower Decks is currently streaming on CBS All Access.