In Review: Star Trek Lower Decks – We’ll Always Have Tom Paris (S.2 Ep.3)

'We'll Always Have Tom Paris' features a cameo from much loved fan-favourite Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill).
Kayshon His Eyes Open

Synopsis: ‘We’ll Always Have Tom Paris’ features a cameo from much loved fan-favourite Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill). Meanwhile, Mariner (Tawny Newsome) and Tendi (Noel Wells) have a very special side quest  – one that they end up bonding on . . .



Firstly, a very different feel to last week’s episode. For example, ‘We’ll Always Have Tom Paris’ was very much a standard sort of an episode, where most of the action takes place on the ship. Furthermore, the plot wasn’t over ambitious. Consequently, this means that when the plot is more exciting, or “bigger”, then such an episode as this allows for a much greater dramatic impact. Amongst the fun this week was more wonderful references, and a welcome cameo from “Voy”. The afore mentioned “Voy” is itself another very clever fourth-wall breaking easter-egg. The “B-plot” was yet another example of how Lower Decks skilfully uses the traditional Trek format.


Voices and Characterization

Hearing Robert Duncan McNeill again play Tom Paris, was wonderful. And, his trademark ‘cheeky chappy’ charm was still very much there. Also, it was great to see (and hear!) the return of Fred Tatasciore  as Lieutenant Shax. Creating the new iteration of the character was likely not an easy task. But fortunately, the creative talents of Fred Tatasciore were more than up to the job of doing so.


Nothing outstanding this week, yet again we saw the benefits of animation. ‘We’ll Always Have Tom Paris’ showed us just how much history there really is in the Trek universe, now. So, it just takes making sure that the artists responsible can create fun stuff. They do.


Perhaps not the single strongest episode yet, but a decent offering. Good pacing and a strong balance between the two stories ensured things worked well. Something else that we discovered this week was Mariner’s (Tawny Newsome) previous postings. of course, they handily went and included Deep Space Nine. No doubt that will mean more fun references can be weaved into the show. The wonderful ‘back from the dead’ arc provided a smart gag. The concept has been well-used over the years in various Trek shows.


At some point during the run of Season Two of Star Trek: Lower Decks, May The Verse Be With You will run a thematic special . . .

In Review: Star Trek Lower Decks - We'll Always Have Tom Paris (S.2 Ep.3)
  • Story
  • Voices and Characterization
  • Animation
  • Incidental Music
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