In Review: Star Trek Lower Decks – Temporal Edict (Episode 3)

"A more formulaic approach, and more evidence of good-writing"
Lower Decks

Synopsis:  Jack Ransom (Jerry O’Connell) gets more screen time this week, as he heads out to meet the Galrakiens. They’re newly initiated members of the Federation. We soon learn they’re hot-tempered, and it doesn’t take much to rile them. Meanwhile, Boimler (Jack Quaid) lets slip something to the Captain that ends up causing havoc for the whole crew . . .

 

The Story

A more formulaic approach, and more evidence of good-writing. Regardless of whether you’re a fan of the show, it knows how to tell a story and give “full-circle” resolution. It does all this and more in a very short timeframe. Things move quickly, because of this, but that doesn’t take anything away. If anything, it adds to the feeling of this being a comic in motion.

As well as getting to see more of First Officer, Jack Ransom (Jerry O’Connell), we see more of Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) and learn that the frustrations she feels drips down to all ranks, from most senior to the lowest (the Ensigns, which the show’s primarily concerned with). Actually seeing her resent the missions, in front of the other staff really works in helping to establish the feeling that the U.S. S. Cerritos really is the least important ship in the Starfleet.

 

The Voices

 

Good to see Jerry O’Connell get a little more time to develop the character of Jack Ransom. He managed to get the gung-ho aspect to the character, and appear Riker-esque, but maintain enough individuality so that the character appeared to be fresh. The voices of the aliens was also fun, especially the Gelrakians, in particular the one that Ransom fought. Again, more effort to ensure that the characters have agency and aren’t simple plot devices.

 

The Animation

 

The attention to detail was impressive in this week, as we saw the scars on Mariner’s  (Tawny Newsome)body. It shows that they’re more than just silly drawings. They have a depth to them and are thought out well. The new aliens, the Gelrakiens were a fun addition to the Federation, and worked well. The champion of the planet was drawn well, and when it was revealed they weren’t just a large brute, the animation let emotion come through, which is never an easy thing to achieve. Some well made scenes that were carefully considered.

 

Overall

 

The best episode of the first three, easily. This time the ideas that have been floated really came through, and the whole ship were involved in the drama, as a result of the Captain’s behaviour. Perhaps the subtlety has taken the first couple of episodes to warm to. There no longer seemed to be a need to for the show to go to extremes to lampoon the franchise. It really started to do it on its own terms. There are signs that this could be a more intelligent and cerebral satire than the silly cartoon which many (including me) thought it was floated as. It would still be hard to get too attached to the characters or see them as serious contenders for a place in the affections alongside other stalwarts from previous shows, but this show has grown since the first episode. It was nice to see an out and out tribute to Mile’s O’Brien, something that will give those fans determined to hate the show at least one thing to smile about.

8.6
In Review: Star Trek Lower Decks - Temporal Edict (Episode 3)
  • Story
    9.2
  • Voices
    8.7
  • Animation
    8.2
  • Overall
    8.5
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