'Star Trek: Lower Decks' Premiere Available to Watch for Free

Image Credit: CBS All Access

Star Trek: Lower Decks is available for free online. This means those who do not currently have a CBS All Access subscription can get a taste of Star Trek's newest animated series in over 40 years.

The show is the latest Star Trek offering from CBS All Access, joining Discovery and Picard. Like the other two shows, Lower Decks will also sit behind the All Access paywall. Premiere episodes are typically offered for free to entice new viewers and turn them into subscribers.

With this freebie, audiences can get a taste of the fun aboard the USS Cerritos. CBS All Access made Lower Decks "Episode One: Second Contact" available on YouTube on August 13th. For those who are curious about the show, take a gander soon. The free offering is not slated to be available indefinitely. As of Saturday, August 15th, the episode garnered over 1.25 million views on YouTube.

USS Cerritos

Star Trek: Lower Decks is a humorous take on life within Starfleet, focusing not on the officers but on the lower-ranking crew. The show takes place aboard the USS Cerritos, a Federation California-class starship operated by Starfleet. For Southern California Star Trek fans, the name alone elicits knowing looks and giggles.

The name is a complete reversal of such inspirational ship names such as Enterprise, Stargazer, Voyager, and Discovery. Instead, the ST: LD takes place on a ship named after a wonderfully lovely, yet banal, minor city within the Greater Los Angeles area. Furthermore, the name is a reminder of the most unremittingly catchy tunes of all time from the Cerritos Auto Square dealership commercials.

Showrunner and Rick and Morty veteran, Mike McMahan, has plenty more nerdy humor where that came from. Whereas every other ship showcased in the Star Trek movies and television is on the frontlines of contacting new species, the USS Cerritos specializes in Second Contact. As noted by one of the characters, "We get all the paperwork signed, make sure we're spelling the name of the planet right, get to know all the good places to eat..."

It makes sense that once the flagship, Enterprise, establishes successful first contact, another ship like the Cerritos arrives. It completes all of the administrative minutiae. This type of logical, nerdy yet practical humor can be found throughout the show.

Main Characters

The show centers on crew members who work in the bowels of the Cerritos. Several characters make up the ensemble cast. The show focuses on the dynamic relationship of its central duo of Ensigns Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) and Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid). They are complete opposites in terms of career, ambition, and philosophy.

Ensign Boimler admires everything about Starfleet. He is driven in his desire to captain his own starship one day. Mariner is precisely the opposite. She is completely laid back, almost to the point of being a slacker. She has had some experiences on other ships, which have caused her to have a cynical view of Starfleet and her commanding officers.

Mariner hints that she was removed and transferred from her last ship due to breaking too many rules and being a general pain. She goes out of her way to tease Boimler about his obsession with climbing the ranks of Starfleet. Mariner shares no such ambitions. She is clearly happier working in the lower decks.

Mariner does not think too highly of anyone in command, especially on the Cerritos. She believes that most go into Starfleet for personal glory and recognition rather than the altruistic reasons set out by the United Federation of Planets. 

The captain of the Cerritos, Carol Freeman, warns Boimler to monitor Mariner's insubordination. She clearly wants Mariner off of her ship. She complains to an admiral just before the ultimate twist ending to this premiere episode.

Callbacks and Easter Eggs

There are plenty of nods and Easter Eggs referencing prior shows for veteran fans of Star Trek. McMahan includes a clever callback in the form of a female supporting character from Orion. The women of Orion have been part of the Star Trek universe from the start. Orion women were only depicted as slave girls in Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS). They were considered the property of the Orion Crime Syndicate.

Ensign D'Vana Tendi (Noel Wells) is an Orion woman that is not depicted as a slave girl. Instead, Ensign Tendi is a medical officer-in-training. She is a brilliant and capable scientist. Tendi becomes friends with Mariner and Boimler. She has also bonded with Engineering Ensign Sam Rutherford (Eugene Cordero). Thoughtful modern updates, such as the ones McMahan has already made, are yet another reason audiences will definitely be enticed to watch more Star Trek: Lower Decks.

Source(s): screenrant.com