Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

“Those Old Scientists”

3 stars.

Air date: 7/22/2023
Written by Kathryn Lyn & Bill Wolkoff
Directed by Jonathan Frakes

Review Text

The crossover episode, or the stunt episode, or the Very Special Episode is represented fairly rarely across the Star Trek canon, but they're there. "Those Old Scientists" is all three for the price of one. (Strangely, Strange New Worlds will have another Very Special Episode when it does a full-on musical two episodes from now with "Subspace Rhapsody.") The gold standard for this type of episode is DS9's "Trials and Tribble-ations," because it literally went back into one of the most celebrated of all Trek comedies and bolted its time-travel nostalgia on top of it for double the fun.

"Those Old Scientists" begins and ends as an animated episode of Lower Decks, with Boimler (Jack Quaid) being pulled 120 years into the past through a time portal to the 23rd century, where he (in live-action form) comes face-to-face with the crew of Pike's Enterprise. The show is basically a 48-minute rumination on the idea of meeting your heroes. It's a fun but extremely slight episode that uses an off-format premise as a novelty for endless throwaway one-liners in the style of Lower Decks, brought onto live-action sets. The result is a featherweight pleasantry, but also one in no way threatening to dethrone "Trials and Tribble-ations" for this type of episode. Like a good episode of Lower Decks, it's mostly about isolated witticisms and clever moments, but it lacks a cohesion that might make it transcend the sum of its parts.

The main ongoing joke is that Boimler is supposed to avoid divulging any knowledge about the future (because, of course, that could irrevocably change it), but keeps failing because he can't help himself. The plot is a lark: How do we get Boimler home? Reactivating the portal requires a substance called horonium that's in exceptionally short supply, and the problem is complicated by the fact that the captain of an Orion ship (Greg Bryk) has stolen the portal from the planet's surface. (Tendi's great-grandmother is on this ship, so Boimler knows this ship must not be adversely impacted, and besides, the Orions just want to be recognized for their contributions to science rather than the stereotype of piracy.) The Enterprise must make negotiations to get the portal back, which they do successfully. But the problem is doubled when their one and only attempt to send Boimler back to the future results instead in Mariner (Tawny Newsome) being pulled into the past.

This is the sort of episode that lives or dies on the repartee and cleverness. On that front, I'd give it a solid B. I appreciated Newsome and Quaid as solid live-action versions of their cartoon characters. I liked the animated title sequence; the juxtaposition of flip communicators versus combadges; the aside about the five-digit stardates; Boimler doing "the Riker"; Boimler taking note of Pike's "really great hair"; Una mentioning, "Do you notice that their references are weirdly specific?" in a jab at the whole idea of Lower Decks; and especially Boimler freaking out over Spock's really creepy attempts to smile and laugh — which Boimler thinks he caused (and thus may have dangerously altered the timeline) but which are actually an experiment Spock is doing to better mesh with Chapel in his (apparently doomed) attempt at a relationship.

That last item has a certain mild poignancy, especially once Chapel learns from Boimler that it's not destined to last. And Spock's truly awful smiles are hilarious. Meanwhile, Spock's role as straight man naturally pays dividends throughout the comic moments (Spock's deadpan observation on Mariner's surprised remark that she was actually paying attention: "It is surprising because she normally does not pay attention"), and pairing Spock up with Boimler when they attempt to synthesize the horonium needed to power the time portal is good for a "wacky science gone explosively awry" sequence. Good, not great.

Pike mostly plays the fairly easygoing but heavily sighing skeptic, going through the episode with annoyed resignation over these time travelers and their antics. The show sidesteps the obvious with regard to his dark fate by instead making his reluctance to celebrate his upcoming birthday to be about his broken relationship with his late father, who died at the age Pike has now reached.

Meanwhile, Mariner's Uhura worship is juxtaposed with the fact that she meets Uhura here at a much earlier stage in her young life than who she will ultimately become. It frankly freaks Uhura out and makes her question her ability to tackle the future, as young people do.

Then there's the whole business with Una and the poster that's affixed to Boimler's bunk. (Una: "You mean, like, a pin-up poster?" Mariner: "It's a poster ... that's pinned up. Are we saying the same thing?") This pays off in a way that's kind of touching (the poster is a recruitment poster that has "Ad Astra Per Aspera" printed on it), and speaks to the idea of meeting your heroes ... and, for that matter, your admirers.

The key to solving the plot comes by finding the horonium buried in the engine room of the Enterprise. It turns out all starships in this era have components from their previous namesakes (in this case, the NX-01) built into them as a matter of tradition, and the NX-01 had horonium built into its hull. The idea of the key to returning to the future being unlocked by mining the past is a cool idea, and the perfect note for a story that's all about stopping to smell the roses in a trip through the past. (There's even a Travis Mayweather reference, for crying out loud.)

Boimler refers to this era as the enviable "golden age of exploration." It's an interesting perspective, given SNW's (and TOS's) place in the timeline as the "wild west" final-frontier period vis-à-vis the other shows later in the timeline where space has been more traveled. Granted, it feels like not as much was made of this whole concept than could've been, but even something is nice.

And it seems that maybe more could've been done with the idea of live action juxtaposed with animation. The final scene, where the SNW characters are shown as animated after having been drinking Orion cocktails is a grin-worthy touch. But this episode is content to be mostly Lower Decks-style one-liners and offer up a general self-aware breeziness. For my money, the best exchange was the meta acknowledgement comparing live-action SNW to animated Lower Decks: Mariner observes, "Have you noticed how slow everyone talks?" Boimler replies, "Yeah, and quietly."

Previous episode: Lost in Translation
Next episode: Under the Cloak of War

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Comment Section

248 comments on this post

    Some people are gonna hate that episode, surely. But I thought it was a pretty good blend of the two shows' styles. Interactions between Boimler and Spock were the highlight of the episode for me.

    I feel like this will either be a 10 or 9 for Fans of Lower Decks and a 2 to 4 for people who don't like Lower Decks style humor. A lot of people really don't like the fast paced hilarious, "These guys are terrible at their jobs" fiction being canonized as part of the "main" Trek timeline. Hell, there's plenty of people that absolutely hate Strange New Worlds and wish it was the Kelvin timeline (even though Pike would be crippled or dead). However, for someone who DOES love Lower Decks, I loved it.

    9.5/10

    * Boimler being terrible at not breaking the rules despite being a stuck up rules boy being lampshaded by Pike? Awesome.
    * I like La'an lampshading that you shouldn't get attached.
    * Ransom complimenting No. 1 makes perfect sense since he married her in RL.
    * I hate that Tendi and Rutherford didn't get to be in the past.
    * I already want a sequel to this stunt. Send Christopher Pike to the Cerritos!
    * I HATED Nurse Chapel being devastated that Spock and she don't go the distance. BAD BOIMLER.
    * Boimler telling Pike that he might erase Tendi and cause a paradox was actually a good moment to share information.
    * I kind of wish it had been a sexy poster for Boimler (and am not sure it isn't).
    * Simultaneously, I wanted Boimler to be Una's grandson or something? I'm a sick man.
    * This episode does thread the needle of Spock's more emotional portrayal in THE CAGE versus the later TOS era.

    This is one of those episodes (Much like Trials and Tribble-ations) where the quality of it almost doesn't matter to me because I'm just so happy it exists, and critically analyzing it almost feels like missing the point.

    That being said I can't wait to see what Jammer thinks in his critical analysis of this episode :)

    10/10.
    4 STARS

    INSTANT FOREVER CLASSIC.

    Was done brilliantly. So much to say about this one but currently buzzing from euphoria of this episode.

    4/4. Only because 5/4 isn’t allowed.

    Caught an early screening at Comic Con. Packed crowd in Hall H, capacity of 6500. Such an amazing shared screening experience! Everybody laughed and cheered all the way through. Funniest episode of SNW yet. The way they blended the two very different styles was fantastic. Nothing but positive reviews from everyone around on our way out.

    That was just brilliantly creative. Loved it - 10/10.

    I’m not a fan of Lower Decks much at all but I LOVED this. I laughed out loud multiple times and was glad they didn’t try to hang the whole episode on a gimmick- I thought the story was great as well. The SNW crew learning to embrace their inner fanboy to solve the crisis worked beautifully for me. Likely the best SNW ep so far in my opinion. I’m watching some of the hate on the TrekBBS and while I can be critical of “NuTrek” at a certain point, certainly with an episode as purely enjoyable for me as this, it’s like, come on, let yourself just enjoy something.

    I liked that more than I expected to. It would have been interesting to get back to the Cerritos and find that their mishap was already part of history, thus rendering the interference sort of moot.

    I mean, the episode did violate canon.

    NON-PIRATE ORION!?

    How ridiculous. That's like a Klingon who isn't a warrior!

    Kind of an update on Trials & Tribble-ations. Fun ride--altho I wish more of the LD cast could have crossed over into live action.

    I expected to like this because I've generally liked Lower Decks. I was worried though, that it might just have been a gimmick. In the end, though, it very much exceeded my expectations.

    I was pretty surprised by the decision to have Boimler the only time traveler for the first half of the episode, but it was surprisingly effective because when Jack Quaid was playing him quite differently here than Lower Decks. Yes, he was fanboying at the start, and the comedic element was strong. But ultimately, the setbacks and the slower pace/different tone of SNW brought out a different side of the character. We saw a level of pathos that LD hasn't allowed to come out, as Boimler's embarrassment and frustration grew over the course of the episode. Something that contrasted pretty strongly, because Mariner more or less stayed in LDS mode the entire time, having had less time in the 23rd century to suffer setbacks.

    As for the actual cast of SNW, they were all good here, as I knew they'd be, given they've done plenty of comedic bits already. Much of it was mere befuddlement at Boimler and Mariner's antics, but they did manage to wrap in some sweet character moments, from Pike's unresolved feelings around his father and his birthday, to Una's "pinup" picture, to some more Spock/Chapel drama inadvertently caused by Boims (I felt so bad for Chapel in that scene in the turbolift), to Mariner trying to teach Uhura to relax. Really everyone other than M'Benga and Ortegas got something meaningful to do here (and Ortegas almost never gets anything meaningful to do), so I can't complain.

    The last-minute inclusion of a callback to Enterprise was a nifty way to technobabble themselves into a solution and also allowed the SNW crew to fanboy themselves for like 30 seconds. It would have been a much sweeter scene if someone didn't explicitly call it out though.

    It was interesting they chose to include Pelia here, but I feel like they missed a beat not having Mariner meet her and drop that she knew Pelia from the future.

    If I had any quibble here, it's that I thought the downtime Orions were played a bit too straight for my taste. Yes, I know that it was important to show they weren't pirates - or at least, didn't want to be pirates - but I think a bit more could have been done here to add some levity to the scenes including them.

    While I know what they were going for with that final animated scene of the SNW crew, my only thought watching it was damn, Melissa Navia sounds a lot like Kira when I don't have her actual face to look at.

    On the whole, a lovely romp and a near-perfect Trek comedy.

    That was way better than I expected. A few good meta jokes about how everyone in the past speaks slowly and softly. Pike, Spock, and La’an’s expressions when Mariner came through the portal - also great.

    SNW always brings some emotional beats when doing comedic episodes. Chapel learning about Spock from Boimler was gut wrenching. I don’t know how you recover from that bombshell. Another good moment was the Orion captain finally getting recognition as a scientist at the end. The SNW writers just get it.

    3.5*.

    I mean, we all agree that it may be a recruitment poster, but Boimler is using it for other purposes--right?

    I always rate these myself in my own personal log, taking notes along the way. Except this one was SO MUCH FUN that I could barely force myself to stop for notes. Even the opening sequence (the one that goes with "Space - the final frontier. . . ") was brilliantly done as animation of SNW's regular graphics. I wasn't at all surprised that it started with animation, but somehow I didn't expect an actual mini-LD story. It was very effective at joining the two series.

    I was pleasantly surprised at Jack Quaid's excellent acting. And Jonathan Frakes positively outdid himself in the direction. I'm not a super fan of Lower Decks and was afraid that the worst aspects of it would spoil SNW, but Frakes didn't let that happen (and kudos goes to the writers, too). Everything was kept light, but respectful of the SNW characters like Chapel and Spock. The transition from Boimler's fanboying of Chapel to her dismay when he said the wrong thing was handled very well.

    Anson Mount and Rebecca Romijn gave a master class in nonverbal/straight man performance all the way through. I especially loved Pike's disgust/despair when Marriner wrecked Boimler's return through the portal.

    Other people will go into detail about their favorite scenes, and some will complain that obviously Pike should have put Boimler behind a locked door immediately, and I still don't like Marriner, but for me this is a standout episode that will pass the test of time. It may be better than "Trials and Tribble-ations."

    I wasn't sure if we were supposed to be convinced that the Orions actually were scientists at the end. "That's all I ever wanted" sounded phony to me. Also, can you actually steal a time portal? For some reason I assumed it had to be in a certain place to work.

    In the Ready Room interview, Tawny Newsome said she's been given a writing job on Starfleet Academy. So I guess that project is a definite Go.

    An incredible amount of fun! I'm absolutely curious as to how Jammer's going to seriously critique this incredibly hilarious episode. I loved every bit of it. I think I laughed louder on this episode than any LD episode.

    You know what, I have no desire to make any serious observations of this episode at the moment; I'm just going to re-watch it and laugh some more. 😆

    Very fun episode, including the animated intro section and the Orion drink sequence at the end. Another good directing job by Frakes; each time the show was in danger of getting a bit too glib and jokey, it was reeled back in.

    That being said, not sure if having Boimler be the one to tell Chapel about Spock drifting away from his emotional period was a good call. That’s a long story arc with a lot at stake for both characters. Something of this gravity would have been better served in a less comedic episode, imo. But perhaps there are other chapters about this relationship coming before Dr. Korby enters the picture.

    Tough to pull off comedy successfully in Star Trek. But this mostly succeeds. 3.5* for me.

    [[I wasn't sure if we were supposed to be convinced that the Orions actually were scientists at the end. "That's all I ever wanted" sounded phony to me. Also, can you actually steal a time portal? For some reason I assumed it had to be in a certain place to work.]]

    My impression was they'd been treated as pirates many times and were just sick of it. However, I also had the reaction to "Mistress of Winter Constellations" that they'd heard Tendi was their Princess or something other space opera-y.

    Met and exceeded expectations.

    That said, there were moments when Mariner and Boimler felt like a bit MUCH (even if it's both recognized by and lampshaded in the narrative).

    But the rest of it works so well that I can't complain. As for things like the Orion captain's parting words, just imagine it being said by an animated version of himself on Lower Decks: it's a farcical line read in live action. Just imagine him animated and saying that. It's fine.

    Easily an all-time favorite. Spock out, bitches.

    Am a black trek fan and I have no sympathy for chapel. This show has tried to destroy uhura legacy just to prop up the spock and chapel romance and rewrite chapel to something she never was and they stole a lot of uhura trait and gave it to chapel.
    Snw made uhura fat ugly masculine and butch just so people don't see uhura as a threat to chapel when in tos uhura was a knock out and a great beauty and spock was way more into her than chapel. So let the spock and chapel romance crash and burn. That is their reward for trying to destroy uhura legacy

    My only complaint is that this was very much an episode of Lower Decks, NOT and episode of SNW. The SNW character were supporting players to the main characters, who were the LD crew.

    And also I feel the show missed an opportunity to make comments about what happens to certain characters later. I understand that the show doesn't want to be locked in on the fates of characters like La'an, Una, and Ortegas. But we don't know anything about Uhura after Star Trek VI, for example. Boimler could have slipped and said something like "Professor Uhura" or "President Uhura" or something, right? For that matter, same for Travis Mayweather and Hoshi Sato when they were mentioned. The nerd in me would have liked that.

    We know the ultimate fate of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Sulu. We know the fate of Scotty up until the Next Generation era (even though that isn't the end of his life story). We don't know the ultimate fates of Uhura and Chekov, but of course Chekov is too young for SNW. But Uhura's on the show. It would have been nice to get a peek like that into her fate.

    . . .

    My favorite gag was Uhura going to great lengths to translate the text on the time portal only to find out it reads "This is a time portal."

    Also, "We can't just not look. Wait. Can we?" Hahahaha.

    . . .

    I hope this isn't the only time Jack Quaid and Tawny Newsome will play Boimler and Mariner in live action. I hope Noel Wells and Eugene Cordero can play next time, too. Noel looks very much like Tendy in real life, and while Cordero is probably quite a bit older than Rutherford is supposed to be, so what.

    . . .

    Oh, also I liked that Boimler and Mariner had a scene in a shuttlecraft in this episode. They're always hiding out amongst the shuttlecraft when they have conversations like that on LD. Heh.

    Masterpiece.

    Best episode of S2 so far.
    Best episode of SNW.
    Top 5 episodes of Trek’s streaming era.

    FOUR STARS! 4/4! Best Trek EVER. I'm sold. I'm here for it. Something about acting chops and emotional beats, disagreement with Jammer and a dig at hate watchers never being satisfied.

    Only kidding. I haven't even seen the episode yet. Why is it out so early? It's even available here, which is usually one day behind the US.

    See you all in an hour!

    Well, certainly the most meta episode of Star Trek ever.

    I enjoyed it a lot as a comic hour, and the writers and producers did an outstanding job of marrying LDS to SNW (two extremely different shows in style and tone) and creating a surprisingly successful crossover.

    The breathless scattergun approach to both humour and references worked very well, and I won't even attempt to list the moments that made me laugh or guffaw or smile or roll my eyes here, because there were so many of them (highlight: the reference to everyone speaking slower in the past was hilarious).

    I liked time travel and time travellers being treated as a kind of occupational hazard, and the past being seen through the perspective of the future. (The fact that the audience is intimately knowledgeable of LDS and SNW and all the other Trek eras was balanced exquisitely.)

    I was utterly delighted to see Una persistently front and centre in this episode at long last - wonderful. Her private discussion with Pike about the situation reminded me of the dynamic I want to see on SNW. On a personal level, Una was great as well - conducting herself like a professional command officer but also curious about her future. That final wink to Boimler was just so well played by Romijn and so unexpected. I was so relieved by the bait and switch of Boimler's admiration of her being entirely innocent.

    Jack Quaid and Tawny Newsome were even better live action than they are in LDS, and there were excellent performances from all the SNW cast as well, showing real versatility in comic timing.

    The reference to Setlik II's population having to relocate to Setlik III (and so, implicitly, creating the conflict with the Cardassians that O'Brien had to fight in) was very slyly done. The tying in of the Orions was well-thought out.

    Overall I thought this was a fantastic lightweight episode and I am pleased that they dared to do it - and didn't drop the ball when they did.

    PS: Of course Pike had to be portrayed preparing food again - but that scene was tremendously moving regardless, with exactly the right tone.

    @Jeffrey's Tube
    'My only complaint is that this was very much an episode of Lower Decks, NOT and episode of SNW. The SNW character were supporting players to the main characters, who were the LD crew.'

    Hate watcher! You're ruining it for everyone else!

    (Just kidding.)

    @black trek fan

    Come on, you aren’t fooling anyone with this garbage. You posted as “boy” a few episodes ago spouting the same nonsense. Everyone in here basically agreed last week was a good Uhura episode, you’re spouting a narrative that is completely unfounded, and you have personal issues you need to get over for yourself that aren’t based in any objective reality about the show.

    Wait a minute, is the reason everyone acts so cartoony in lower decks because of that orion drink?

    How come there's a new episode only a couple of days after the last one? (haven't watched it yet).

    Fun episode. I lost track of all the references but I'm particularly delighted that they brought up the NX-01 and her crew, and that the NCC-1701 crew (what even comes after the dash?) is gushing over them, like we all are gushing over all the different Trek crews.

    Haven't read anyone else's comments yet, but here's my take:

    "Flipping it open is the best part!"

    I have only seen this actor on "The Boys". Does he voice the cartoon character?

    This episode will really test people's tolerance for an episode that is mostly a goof, because if you take it at all seriously it will enrage you beyond limit with the level of carelessness regarding the timeline. Personally, I laughed a lot (far more than when I tried watching LD), so I am okay with the shenanigans.

    What were they getting at when describing their references as "weirdly specific"?

    Spock's smile is so creepy.

    Loved the wink from Number One.

    3.5 stars, my second favorite episode of the season after "Lotus Eaters".

    Lynos - After seeing the episode, and also seeing the actors & director talk about it on the Ready Room, I want to say that they just couldn't wait to share all the fun with us. lol

    I am eagerly awaiting someone else's pick of a favorite scene. For me, some of the best were the nonverbal bits. All the bridge crew lined up with their backs turned to Boimler as he does something they can't know about.

    The trite but so well done scene of Boimler and Spock on either side of a - pillar of some kind? - rising up slowly after the BOOM and looking at each other. Not to mention the Buddy Holly shades.

    Spock's long snaky arm in the closing animation.

    "Why do I feel so two-dimensional?"

    I'll stop now so other people can chime in.

    Nice to see the spock and chapel romance start to go down in flames. its like it is ending before it ever took off. the whole spock/chapel/tpring stuff has been tiriing.

    I have never been a fan of this pairing. At least not when they were other pairings like kirk/spock and spock/uhura and i say this based on tos characters.

    also the fact that they had to change chapel so much on this show that jess bush is chapel in name only was a no no.

    so spock will never be canon gay and be with kirk, so if you want to pair spock with any female, it should be Uhura or just create a new darn female character.

    it was nice to see the show sort of confirm chapel may just be a phase in spock's life

    I missed the writer in the opening credits so I was over the moon after watching to find out Kathryn 'wej Duj' Lyn had written the episode. It definitely explains why it's so good.

    Okay, a Youtube reviewer named "Gannon" says the episode was early "to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the animated series."

    @SlackerInc
    'What were they getting at when describing their references as "weirdly specific"?'

    It was a meta reference to all the meta references in LDS.

    And yes, Quaid voices Boimler and Newsome voices Mariner.

    @The Queen
    'I am eagerly awaiting someone else's pick of a favorite scene.'

    Too many to say one scene was my favourite of the lot, but the wink from Una to Boimler was pitch perfect. Real heart in that moment.

    I knew this episode was going to be something special when I saw they had gone to effort of redoing the entire opening credits in LDS style.

    They clearly want to use SNW to market LDS what with a new season of LDS coming up and that tells me a) SNW is doing well enough that it can be used to promote other series and b) they're still supporting LDS. I'm happy with this.

    @TheQueen
    “ I am eagerly awaiting someone else's pick of a favorite scene.”

    For me it was Boimler swinging his leg up from behind Pike’s saddle to mount it and saying “Riker!”

    Okay, a Youtube reviewer named "Gannon" says the episode was early "to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the animated series."

    Carl, that "Riker" bit was an improv by Quaid, and he said Frakes was standing right there when he did it. In the Ready Room they talked specifically about deciding to take big chances.

    Moved from the last episode thread because it's not really about that episode (it's about my hatred for the S1 episode "The Elysian Kingdom") and JT has said he doesn't go back to look at the previous episode thread once a new one comes out:

    @Jeffrey's Tube: "You keep beating this drum, but you'll have to accept at some point that you're pretty much beating it alone, heh."

    Being alone or close to alone would just spur me to beat it all the more. Wouldn't be the first time. But I'm still gratified to see that I'm far from alone. If you look at the IMDb ratings, with each episode having several thousand individual ratings averaged together, you'll see that "Elysian Kingdom" is by FAR the lowest rated of the series. None of the others are even within sniffing distance (nor should they be):

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12327578/episodes?season=1

    @Carl: "I’m not a fan of Lower Decks much at all but I LOVED this."

    Same! Someone upthread speculated that it would be beloved by LD fans and not appreciated by others. But there are at least two of us who can testify otherwise.

    @The Queen: "Also, can you actually steal a time portal? For some reason I assumed it had to be in a certain place to work."

    I did too.

    For those wondering why they dropped this early: they showed it at SanDiego Comic Con & announced it would be released for a general audience later that same day. I’m sure they knew once folks at the con saw it, it would’ve been spoiled all over social media, so they just got ahead of it.

    They also dropped the teaser for the upcoming musical episode “ Subspace Rhapsody” which on the one hand, looks well produced, but also looks to be more of a throwaway high concept ep than this one. Have they truly run out of solid sci-fi ideas?

    You can watch it here:
    https://youtu.be/bg3-CgRitwc?si=tc7gN--fjHjE-uik

    @The Queen

    "I am eagerly awaiting someone else's pick of a favorite scene."

    Not really a scene, but on a second viewing, when Boimler gets sucked into the portal, when he is just out of sight before the live action kicks in he yells "Remember Me!" ...Just golden. P

    Also, what a great friend Mariner is, she follows him God knows where into a space Portal with know clue what is on the other side.

    Also I really wish, given the look of the portal, that they could've gotten RDA, Amanda Tapping, or Micheal Shanks, to voice an animated character in this one. Would have been hilarious.

    Great episode!

    @Black Trek Fan

    Nobody cares about your misogynist bs. If you long for the days of female characters in sci-fi being relegated to sex-objects and galactic secretaries, that is a YOU problem. Celia Rose Gooding is one of my favorite actors in any current Trek series, she's gorgeous, talented. And she cares about presenting the role of Uhura with intelligence class and capability. You know who else loved her? Nichelle Nichols. So stfu and go away troll. BTW, don't bother watching episode 9. It's a Musical, and CRG has BY FAR the best voice in the cast, and judging by the trailer they really allow to cut loose. Might hurt your petty, entitled, toxic little dudebro feelings to confront that kind of talent.

    Well, I didn’t expect to be watching this show, but I flipped through the comments and had to see it for the Lower Decks crossover. So, my review comes from the perspective of someone who does not watch Strange New Worlds.

    So, I couldn’t shake this bizarre feeling as I watched the episode. It’s strange to see an animated character brought to the “real world” and act cartoony. Indeed the actual Lower Decks characters aren’t this zany most of the time. Then there’s the exposition dumps. The characters explain every single detail of every little aspect of Star Trek canon. So much so that the viewer has no time to recognize the reference for themselves. In fact, there’s even a line Number One about the Lower Deckers making “weirdly specific references” which just smashes the fourth wall to pieces.

    And yet, there’s so much to love here, too. It’s fun seeing the SNW characters put up with the Lower Deckers. I don’t know what’s going on in the SNW universe right now, but it feels like each member of the crew was given something to do here and they were all helpful in fixing both the Time Travel problem and the Orion problem.

    Also, the underlying story about how Orions should be remembered in history was a great dilemma to tie in the strengths of both series. Sure, SNW insists that Orions will always be Orions but there’s a feeling here that they can be other things too.

    The animated ending with the SNW crew was a nice way to end it. Perhaps my favorite part.

    3 stars for me. Live long and prosper, Strange New Worlds fans!

    Well, what can I say? People who like Lower Decks will like this one. People who like sitcommy Star Trek will adore this one. People who dislike it probably won't.

    My own reaction: it’s so bad, it’s good. Yes, it’s predictably cringeworthy as serious Star Trek; more on that below. But it actually works miraculously well as a parody of the more quirky, obsessive corners of Star Trek fandom, even if it wasn’t *quite* as mordant as GALAXY QUEST, or the USS Callister of Black Mirror fame. This is undoubtedly why they released it at Comic-Con. It feels most like a cotton-candy, hour-long update of William Shatner’s infamous “get a life” SNL skit – this in a way that LOWER DECKS itself does not.

    “Those Old Scientists” is what you get when incompetent, socially inept misfits like Boimler and Mariner meet normies. The best line came when Pike muses that dealing with Boimler is like dealing with a toddler. (The dynamic differs from that of LOWER DECKS itself, because on that show, there *are* no normies.) It’s almost a high school sex comedy:

    - Boimler and his pinup poster is to Una as what a pimply 16-year-old boy (by which I mean Donald Trump) are to Stormy Daniels.

    - Uhura is Hermione Granger, the Studious One Who Wants to Go to Yale But Just Needs to Get Laid, and Mariner is Stiffler. (I nominate Tawny Awesome to play Sitffler’s mom in the remake 20 years from now.)

    - Spock ambling around with a dopey grin plastered across his face is what happens when a nerd like George McFly falls for the head cheerleader and gets drunk. It’s almost an unwitting homage to DAZED AND CONFUSED: all that’s missing is Peck depanning “alright, alright, alright.”

    Now, before all you LOWER DECKS fans start chomping at the bit to celebrate that you’ve converted a certified LOWER DECKS hater: as Data once said, there's a difference between laughing *with* someone and laughing *at* them. If you think that this was up there with “City on the Edge of Forever” as quality Star Trek, you’re the butt of the joke (we even saw a poor man’s Guardian of Forever, sans Carl, to drive the point home). This episode was rubbernecking at its finest.

    As is par with the course for LOWER DECKS, and increasingly with SNW itself, believability collapses if you think about any of this for, like, five seconds. (The point – as Uhura learned when quaffing those Orion libations at the Enterprise bar – is that you’re not meant to think about it too hard, rather like MOONRAKER for Bond fans.) As usual, the easter eggs are the real star (someone forgot that it was Picard who owned a saddle, not Riker – but details, shmetails). Unlike in much of PICARD, they’re wholly unearned here. To wit:

    - The level of detail these people know about Pike and his crew is absurd. Now, back when I was in college, I went to one of the big Star Trek conventions they used to do over Thanksgiving weekend in New York City. Rick Berman (IIRC) was among the panelists, and someone in the audience asked him why TNG didn't deify the TOS characters more. His response: it would be unrealistic. No one would really care that much about Kirk's crew 100 years later. He asked the audience to name John Paul Jones' first officer. To his credit, one guy, who said he was active-duty navy and a history buff, knew the answer. Everyone else was silent. Geordi's reaction to Scotty in "Relics" (“who dat?”) was much more realistic.

    Some hero worship of Spock I can buy: he does become an important figure in Federation history through his work as a diplomat. Pike has enough of a legacy that potentially I can buy that, too, since we know Starfleet named a medal in his honor. But seriously, they know they names of the *nursing* staff? Even Picard didn't really buy it when Berlinghoff Rasmussen, supposedly a professional historian, claimed to know the 1701-D crew like the back of his hand.

    On the positive side, I enjoyed the callouts to Archer’s crew; those were Pike’s near-immediate predecessors, so it felt more organic.

    - They're using 120 year old historical figures as recruiting incentives? Maybe the US Army should resurrect “Tippacanoe and (José) Tyler, too!” as a recruiting slogan. (Still, Ransom’s ogling of Una is worth it just to imagine the Kyle’s mother-like groans coming from the uber-woke DISCOVERY writers’ room.)

    - The Neelixifcation of Spock continues. 'Nuff said. The Neelixifcation of Pike is well underway, too. Pike seems to excel at standing around chopping shallots with an even dopier grin plastered on his face. (“Chapel and the Seven Hairstyles,” anyone?) He’s inexplicably passive and lackidaisacal. For reasons unknown didn’t isolate Boimler and Mariner the moment they stepped on board. For the second time in two weeks, he’s taken a major command decision on the say-so of an ensign, allowing Boimler to rewire the Big E’s sensors. (At least in “Lost in Translation,” he’s had a working relationship with Uhura for a year and respects her judgment.) I mean, for all Pike knows, Boimler is a Time Lord. Kirk at least knew enough to agonize over giving Gary Seven control of his computer.

    Pike was a serious, competent, Picard-like captain in DISCOVERY. That was the whole attracting of a Pike spinoff. Does anyone remember that in TNG’s heyday, the US military and commercial airlines showed clips of Captain Picard to trainees as an example of outstanding leadership? Then again, judging by this week’s viral video of a Spirit Airlines flight attendant forcing a woman to pee *in the galley*, perhaps Spirit has been showing Pike clips to its trainees, so there’s that.

    - Honorium is the new Unobtainium. (Maybe this is how Archimedes cracked the secret to time travel?)

    - I loved the backstory of Pike's father back in "New Eden," when it was revealed his was a professor of comparative religion. It implied they actually had a close relationship, somewhat like Ben and Joseph Sisko. Now we learn that he, like Spock and Riker and Picard (two generations of Picards, actually) have daddy issues. Did we really need that cliché yet again?

    - Ro can’t wear an earring, but Boimler’s got purple hair. Gotcha. But he’s got another dopey grin, so that’s that.

    - Were the Orions pirates or (shiver me timbers) actual scientists?

    I think all of this is clear enough; I won’t belabor the point further.

    So, in sum: as an in-universe episode of Star Trek, this is probably something like a 2/10: the Roger Moore era of Star Trek at its OCTOPUSSY finest, but at least it didn’t feature devolved salamanders.

    But it doesn’t even pretend to be a serious episode of Star Trek, unlike the season opener. As a cheap night in Vegas, a parody of gullible Trekkies who can’t tell their Krug Grande Cuveé from their Cap’n Morgan Spiced Rum and will happily fork over $250 for the latter, it’s hilarious, probably an 9/10. It’s as AIRPLANE is to Arthur Hailey. (Unlike SST: DEATH FLIGHT, it lacks a Ginger Rogers topless scene as icing on the cake, so no 10/10.)

    Paramount would do well to declare that "Those Old Scientists" and "Subspace Parody" take place outside of canon, rather like THE WEST WING did with the (soberingly serious) “Isaac and Ishmael” after 9/11. Personally, I don’t consider LOWER DECKS canon. It’s also usually profoundly unfunny, mostly easter eggs and warmed-over inside baseball. “Those Old Scientists” transcended that. Sometimes, a (non-canon) cheap weekend in Vegas with Tawny Awesome, a yellow galley, and Cap’n Morgan is all you need.

    18 hours later, the scene really standing out to me is between Pike, Mariner and Boims in the captain’s quarters.

    They’ve really messed up now and should be in the brig and the dressing down turns into a cathartic release for Pike when he realizes everyone in the room knows what’s going to happen to him.

    The scene is haunting. So incredible.

    @The River Temarc
    'The Neelixifcation of Pike is well underway, too. Pike seems to excel at standing around chopping shallots with an even dopier grin plastered on his face.'

    I don't disagree, and I am actually quite envious that you coined the description 'Neelixif[i]action' for what the writers and producers have been doing to Pike, but I can't resist pointing out that you were comparing morale officer Pike's culinary consultation command style to Maggie Thatcher and a G7 working lunch as examples of utmost statesmanlike behaviour last season.

    What a difference a year of cliché makes.

    Yeah, this episode should really be treated as outside of canon. The whole series to some extent, but especially this episode or it will drive you crazy.

    And here I was thinking this was going to be fun, but ultimately pointless fan service, the kind of filler we didn't need in a 10 episode season.

    Turns out it actually felt like a proper SNW episode that acknowledged ongoing storylines and used the presence of Boimler and Mariner to advance them. And along the way we got a ton of fun winks and easter eggs you expect from a crossover like this. It's like Trials & Tribble-ations with actual consequences, just grand.

    It actually puts my mind at ease for next week's musical episode. 10 songs in one hour... *sigh... I'm sure it'll be fine.

    Crybaby entitled dudebros sure love their blessed "canon". Here's an idea, keep your pointless fundamentalist dithering in Church where it belongs.

    I read in an interview that Mike McMahan is not contractually required to write "Lower Decks" as if it's canon but he tries his best to follow canon anyway out of his respect for the Star Trek franchise.

    Thus Lower Decks can be canon, non-canon, or a midsummer night's dream. Whatever floats your warp nacelles.

    [[- Boimler and his pinup poster is to Una as what a pimply 16-year-old boy (by which I mean Donald Trump) are to Stormy Daniels.]]

    I mean, it's more like he has a vintage poster of Rosie the Riveter given the time frame.

    I'm gonna lay off this episode, for the sheer novelty aspect of it. It's clearly meant to be a sort of "special occasion" ep, and in any case, it doesn't encroach on the general plotline of SNW in any meaningful way, so its presence is harmless at worst and actually kind of silly and fun at best.

    ?/4 stars, Idk, I feel like it's sort of "just for fun," the way Lower Decks is meant to be. And it is fun, I'll give it that. Its plot is total chewing gum, but throwing Mariner and Boimler into the TOS era to meet Pike+Co. was always gonna be light on the stortelling aspect of it.

    It does what it sets out to do, it's a fun ep. But that's all it is.

    I don’t watch The Lower Decks and never really had any interest in doing so, and nothing in this frankly mostly horrible episode made me change my mind. It’s a couple of grating characters who speak and act like modern teenagers. Is this considered canon now? God help us.
    There is a kernel of an interesting theme here about getting to meet your heroes, but I didn’t think the episode did anything really interesting with it. Everything was kept at a very surface level. I understand they were going for a lighthearted, comedic episode, but that was a bit too much. It was tonal clashing of the first degree. I really can’t believe they wasted an episode on this claptrap.

    OK, I must live under a rock because I had no idea this thing was streaming until I was on YouTube and saw reviews popping up.

    What's not to like?

    I really felt for Chapel in the elevator... but as a trekkie - it kind of made me happy... now we know the SNW writers aren't going to screw this up? (Spock)

    Quaid and Newsome were so AWESOME!

    The entire SNW crew was awesome as well!!

    NX-01 saves the day!!

    There is nothing to complain about... I've already watched this thing twice.

    I was smiling, laughing, and eagerly anticipating the next laugh the entire episode. Instant classic IMO.

    The only nitpick I have is that we didn't get Tendi and Rutherford too.

    Ending this episode with the SNW cast in animation capped it all off so well.

    As with all LD's episodes, I need to watch it a couple more times to catch everything!

    4 of 4 stars!

    @Lynos

    "It’s a couple of grating characters who speak and act like modern teenagers. Is this considered canon now? God help us."

    You know teenagers who get sucked through time portals and have to techobabble their way back without corrupting their timeline?

    Also, instead of dropping in to shit on something you admit don't like, shouldn't you be out chasing someone off your lawn?

    I enjoy how low stakes SNW is compared to Discovery or Picard, where every season there is a galaxy ending threat. However, this episode basically had no stakes at all.

    Two time travelers show up and they minorly inconvenience everyone when they have to deal with some not very threatening Orions to send them back.

    And there wasn't really any thematic depth either. Something about the Enterprise crew fanboying over the NX-01 the same way that the Lower Decks crew fanboy over the Enterprise?

    I'm conflicted over this one. I loved all the character moments and Jack Quaid and Tawney Newsome were great as their live action counterparts...but there was no real substance to the episode. Lower Decks characters show up, fanboy over the crew and then get sent back. Feels like a missed opportunity.

    Really enjoyed that. Been looking forward to this since it was announced and it didn't disappoint.

    4/4 for me.

    @AP: "Also, instead of dropping in to shit on something you admit don't like, shouldn't you be out chasing someone off your lawn?"

    Who the eff are you to gatekeep what kind of critical reactions someone has to a TV show?

    @Midshipman Norris
    "I'm gonna lay off this episode, for the sheer novelty aspect of it. It's clearly meant to be a sort of "special occasion" ep, and in any case, it doesn't encroach on the general plotline of SNW in any meaningful way, so its presence is harmless at worst and actually kind of silly and fun at best."

    Yes, that's basically it in a nutshell.

    Pretty good! As others have noted, the plot is almost non-existent, but that's not really the point of a crossover, is it? The point is getting to see characters interact who otherwise never would. And as usual, SNW manages to spin out some top-tier characterisation in the absence of plot. The scene with Boimler and Chapel stands out in particular.

    It's tempting to think of a lollipop episode like this one as being a waste of space in a show with such short seasons. But life is short, and the era of streaming services throwing unlimited money out the door to attract audiences appears to be coming to a close. Who knows the next time we'll have three Star Trek shows in production simultaneously? The opportunity to mix and match characters from different shows is too rare to pass up, I think.

    That said: Paramount *really* should commission longer seasons of this show. Twenty-six a year like the Berman years might be a bit much, but surely they could stretch a bit further than ten!

    @BokRMore: "I can't resist pointing out that you were comparing morale officer Pike's culinary consultation command style to Maggie Thatcher and a G7 working lunch as examples of utmost statesmanlike behaviour last season."

    I don't specifically remember the post in question, but I imagine I was comparing PIke's cooking hobby to Thatcher's practice of cooking dinner personally at No. 10 for her cabinet -- something shown in THE CROWN, but from what I understand, had a basis in real life. (A Guardian article also suggests her piece de resistance was, shall we say, unpalatable.)

    Lookit, the difference between then and now is that Thatcher actually accomplished something (set aside whether you think the accomplishment was beneficial or not). In season 1, and especially before that in DISCO, PIke did too. His role in season 2 episodes has mostly either been (1) close to de minimis, or (2) acting like a blabbering idiot, although he's not alone in that and Spock is doing it even more. In other words, he's more Liz Truss than Thatcher now!

    @TimC: "Who knows the next time we'll have three Star Trek shows in production simultaneously? The opportunity to mix and match characters from different shows is too rare to pass up, I think."

    I actually think that the quality of Star Trek more-or-less varies inversely with the number of series on the air at any one time.

    Do one series, and do it well.

    @The River Temarc

    I don't think I agree - DS9 certainly didn't seem to suffer in quality despite never having the spotlight to itself (the middling first season aside), and those first two seasons of ENT were certainly not Trek at its best, most creative self.

    I think the real key to a good Trek show is having showrunners who are invested in their own characters and premises. Mike McMahan's enthusiasm for Lower Decks and Star Trek in general shines through in every interview he gives. Same for Henry Alonso Myers with SNW, and Ira Behr for DS9. Manny Coto's run on ENT is probably over-praised, but having someone who was enthusiastic - as opposed to Berman and Braga who were obviously running on creative fumes - was immediately apparent in what started showing up onscreen.

    A key takeaway from this is that Mariner and Boimler need to time travel back to the founding of the federation and see how much they can screw up. 🤣

    @The River Temarc

    "Who the eff are you to gatekeep."

    Quis custodiat ipsos custodes.

    Not "gatekeeping" ...just a guy with a little time and a bone to pick with entitled reactionary toxic dudebro trolls who think that art made by other people owes them something. It doesn't. And NY the, hilarious that you throw "gatekeeping" at me, when it is the dudebros who act like self appointed guardians of the Canon and shit all over things that weren't even made for them.

    @AP, I personally really liked this episode but I still agree with @The River Temarc about the gatekeeping. As much as I enjoyed this, I can understand why it would ruffle the feathers of those for whom preserving canon is really important, and I don't think there's anything wrong with being that kind of fan--especially about Trek, where obsessing about all the details has been part of the fandom for the past half century.

    I felt really bad for Chapel. We as the audience already know her relationship with Spock won’t last. But for her to learn it as well just weeks after it started is rather cruel. I just hope the writers don’t decide to have Chapel break up with Spock because of what she learned from Boimler. Even if the relationship is doomed, the writers can still use it to develop both characters.

    Not gonna repeat all the favorite moments which have almost entirely been covered by other posts. But gotta point out the perfect subtlety of Mariner's gestures when she asks Pike if he knows about his future. The super subtle and quick trapezoid shape and then flashing light gesture she makes with her hands are perfection. So minimal and yet fans will know exactly what she is "miming" and others will have no clue.

    10/10 on this episode. Had to keep pausing to laugh and scream "genius" over and over. Even though I was watching by myself.

    This was fun 1 and probably the first SNW episode where I haven’t wanted to fast forward through lulls and awkward bits.

    Quaid and Peck were hilarious together.

    Also, anyone else find the animated title sequence cooler than the isual CGI one?

    Anyway, this shoild become a classic.

    @The River Temarc
    'I don't specifically remember the post in question, but I imagine I was comparing PIke's cooking hobby to Thatcher's practice of cooking dinner personally at No. 10 for her cabinet.'

    You're right, you were. Here:
    https://www.jammersreviews.com/comments/?id=97699
    https://www.jammersreviews.com/comments/?id=97694

    My reply wasn't meant as a dig, btw. When I see someone whose posts I find particularly eloquent and entertaining I sometimes go back through their posts to see what other interesting points they've made.

    Like you, I found it particularly noteworthy that the Neelixification of Pike (™️ you) had become such a glaring shift over a relatively short period of time (from last season to this).

    It definitely undermines Pike's credibility, as you say.

    Oh my, "entitled reactionary toxic dudebro troll" is certainly the longest title I was ever bequithed with. What an honor! (I had to look up "dudebro", lol).

    Actually, AP's post was funnier than this entire episode. Look, I get it, people love The Lower Decks so I'm in the minority here (seriously, I didn't find a single post here from a person who don't watch the show. where is the other perspective?) but for me, someone who doesn't watch The Lower Decks, the episode is a fail. It's not funny and it's not much of anything. You could acheive the same story by transporting two Trekkies from 21st century Earth to Pike's Enterprise. That would be much cooler. But then that wouldn't be able to promote Lower Decks

    And why am I required to watch show A in order to enjoy show B? I'm watching show A and show A is the only one I care about. But here SNW feels like it's playing second feedle to Lower decks, so as a SNW fan, I was extremley bored.
    People always complain about excessive fan service and "memberberries", but in an episode that is nothing but, nobody seems to care. It's fine. I'm happy people like the episode and enjoying it and again, obviously I'm in the minority. But is it permitted to voice another opinion without being called names? I'm not a troll, I'm a Star Trek fan who just doesn't care about Lower Decks because I'm not interested in an animated comedy from my Star Trek.

    I always try and post articulated opinions even if I don't like something (and I actually like most of SNW). I'm not "shitting" on anything and I don't even care about canon that much (see some of my previous posts), but it needs to be ignored for a good reason and done well. Not as a promotional tool for Viacom. This was made for fans of Lower Decks, which I'm not, so for me it's a non-episode, sorry.

    Actually, now I'm dreading the musical episode. these guys have 10 episodes per season, unlike the 20+ the Berman era had, and still they fill the season with gimicky premises - crossovers, musicals - have they really run out of ideas? Apparently...

    Have to say I feel sorry for the dude who thinks Uhura is fat and ugly. If you see a woman who looks like her and those are your words, you live a pretty shitty life mate.

    I was surprised they didn't have Una feel a bit crappy knowing that she doesn't make it past first officer. If they are using her a recruiting poster and her claim to fame is being "number one", she isn't getting promoted.

    @Dave
    The same way "Captain" Kirk never got promoted to admiral? :-)

    Or the real-live example of Thomas Hardy who is remembered as Nelson's Flag Captain on HMS Victory and not as Sir Thomas Hardy, Vice-Admiral and First Naval Lord?

    ^^^ This. Hoshi Sato probably was best known for her time on the Enterprise, probably not so much what came after that. Admiral Picard rose to a high rank in Starfleet, but he's arguably best known from his time as Captain of two flaghships of the fleet.

    Squeeee! Crossover episode! 11/10 stars because my favourite characters from not one but TWO series interact!

    Hah, just kidding. You can count me among the very few that have yet to watch LD, and therefore this episode was a big nothing sandwich for me. I'm not saying it was the worst episode of Star Trek ever made, only that it has certain prerequisites in order to enjoy it properly, and attempting to appreciate it in isolation is probably a fool's errand. But I'll get to that in a bit. In the name of clemency and to extend an olive branch to those who are quick to label anyone a "troll" who hasn't drunk the same Kool-Aid, I will first point out the stuff I actually liked:

    - The animated opening sequence actually looks pretty good
    - I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to follow what anyone was saying, but when the LD ensigns came through the portal their dialogue slowed down to normal human velocity
    - It's soo Capt. Pike to be chopping vegetables while giving a formal reprimand. I dunno if this was intentionally dipping into self-parody but I found it pretty funny.
    - I much prefer cartoon M'Benga to live action M'Benga, especially his voice which can be heard loud and clear at last.
    - The words "immature teenagers" often gets bandied about when the SNW characters are discussed, but when juxtaposed to the ensigns of LD (who btw, seem to be around 30 year old if their live action counterparts are anything to go by) Pike and company look like refreshingly ordinary adults doing adult things.


    Okay, back to my original point. I can't fault people for enjoying this but this was clearly meant for a very particular audience that, through happenstance, have favoured two separate and fairly unrelated series just because they happened to be produced around the same time. It's kinda giving up on the hope that this could ever be a timeless classic, though it doesn't feel like such ambitious were ever in the cards for such a disposable entry that trades on light humor at the expense of there being any stakes whatsoever. And most of this "humor" is conditional upon having an investment in these LD ensigns to begin with. Because otherwise we are in the same position as the SNW crew, seeing them for the first time and share the same dreary deadpan reactions as our eyes glaze over at the sophomoric quips (followed by a look of chagrin and self-admonishment as the ensigns are self-aware enough to realize their faux pas and general ineptitude, which we, the audience are meant to find oh so cute and endearing...which might have worked when they looked 18 on LD and not 30 in RL).

    As Spock aptly observes, "Indeed, it is exhausting."

    The way I've conceptualized the various eras of Trek productions and the probable conflicts in approach is to think of the various shows as different series of documentaries or dramas based on a "true history". Paintings, even photographs are incomplete and sometimes inaccurate depictions of reality; very much dependent on the artist(s) and the medium.

    For instance, over the years there have been many different movies and shows produced to depict the battles of WWII, but they've all been different, even when focusing on the same events. Heck, even the same Shakespeare plays put on by the Royal Shakespeare Company are different over the years despite being word-for-word identical to the original folio, dependent on the ideas of the directors and actors.

    This perspective allows me to watch TOS and TOS movies and not get too hung up on hokey cardboard sets and costumes or try to rationalize why they still use tapes for portable data storage. It's simply what tools that the storytellers of the 60's had available to understand and tell a story that takes place in the 22nd century. (It also allows me to get annoyed when they have fire cannons going off on the bridge of Discovery but at the same time rationalize that in the 31st Century, they probably actually do have the flammable gases problem on the bridge solved, since it was seemingly solved in the 24th century) I look at the neat new sets of the Enterprise in SNW and think that it'll probably look even cooler and futuristic when the story gets told again in a few hundred years. They are all interpretations.

    Even Lower Decks could be considered a way to tell a story that could have happened in the real-life future. Japanese manga and anime is a popular medium to retell historical events, (even the turnaround of Nissan by the now-disgraced Carlos Ghosn) and I guarantee you that actual events did not happen the way they were depicted in ink and paint.

    I'm not saying that people don't have a right to be annoyed or upset with the way a particular storyteller tells the story or that he or she chose to focus on one particular aspect at the sacrifice of others. If that's the case, take a break, and maybe when you come back, you'll find something that you'll like in some future iteration. Otherwise, there's hundreds of hours in the back catalog that you can go back to that won't ever go away.

    I don't care much for Lower Decks and, surprise, didn't care much for this episode. I'm glad other people could enjoy this, but for me this was an mostly unwatchable and waisted hour, and the first time I fast forwarded through an episode of Trek. Why the people behind this monstrosity think that blending two entire different types of show is a good idea baffles me... Sure, SNW already leans a bit more against lightweight drama and comedy, but this was ridiculous. If I wanted to watch this kind of show, I'd watch Lower Decks... (and no, being a ST fan doesn't mean you have to like and watch everything labelled ST)

    @XanderW

    You like what you like, of course. But I'm not sure (dis)liking Lower Decks should matter when it comes to this crossover episode. Did Boimler and Mariner act any weirder or more quirky than, say, Berlinghoff Rassmussen in TNG's A Matter Of Time? Their presence felt like it fit fine with Trek's tradition of light hearted time travel stories. You're also free to hate those too, but then it really isn't a Lower Decks problem.

    We should have known that the hate watchers would come out in full force. Of course here they come to whine, moan, complain, and generally belly-ache about a true gem of an episode.

    The episode didn’t need to be heavy on plot because they wasn’t the point. The point was a light hearted episode that people would enjoy. And enjoy they did.

    Except for the scrooges.

    I forgot to mention there was even a reference in this episode to Pike having great hair. I think it was Boimler who said it.

    @ThatERguy
    'We should have known that the hate watchers would come out in full force. Of course here they come to whine, moan, complain, and generally belly-ache about a true gem of an episode.'

    Except 'they' didn't 'come out in full force', though, did 'they'?

    The vast, vast majority of comments have been detailed praise and acclaim. There has been some very minor, well explained criticism (and yes, the apparent return of @boy in a single post).

    There's been far, far more 'belly-aching' about so-called 'hate watchers' 'toxic entitled dudebros' etc than there has any form of actual 'hate watching' or actual 'toxicity'.

    People utterly love this episode and are saying so and yet it's still not enough for you. Isn't all this praise and acclaim for the episode what you want?

    This was a very pleasant surprise. I've been ready to walk away from this series for a while, but this episode was a pure joy. A lot of creativity from the writers on this script. I have to confess I've only watched two episodes of LD, and didn't find it memorable. Not having knowledge of the other show didn't seem to hamper my enjoyment, and from the comments I've read, it sounds like it was very well integrated.

    I just loved everyone on the episode. I even loved Ortegas, like seriously I thought she was just wonderful. Awesome just awesome. I even fucking cried a bit.

    Sounds like it's time to give a Lower Decks another shot. I woke up in such a good mood today; what wonderful thing happened yesterday? I asked myself. I watched great Star Trek.

    @Dirk
    'I woke up in such a good mood today; what wonderful thing happened yesterday? I asked myself. I watched great Star Trek.'

    That's brilliant. I had the same feeling after watching LDS' 'wej Duj'.

    It's amazing how much the actors of all the LD characters looks like their characters. I wonder if that was on purpose?

    Quaid and Newsome tower of the SNW actors (less Spock and Una) ... lol

    What a treat this was...

    @Norvo
    "[...] I'm not sure (dis)liking Lower Decks should matter [...]"

    The reason it matters is that, as someone said before, this episode is more a real life LD episode with SNW characters and sets as backdrop than a SNW episode. As someone to whom the LD style of comedy and writing doesn't appeal, watching this episode feels like someone accidentally swapped the discs of two very different movies when returning them to the video rental store, leaving you with nothing but a disappointing evening.

    Note that there is no ulterior motive that I don't like LD; I just don't care for it, just as I don't care for Futurama, SpongeBob, and similar shows. Just because LD has the ST title on it, doesn't mean that I suddenly like the style.

    @Norvo

    I think what sets this episode apart from something like a Matter of Time is the fact that you are expected and required to have previous knowledge of Lower Decks, and expected and required to have affection for it. I possess neither, and the episode makes no effort to initiate anyone who is not familiar with LD into the story here. So it's not that it was a lighthearted episode. I'm absolutley fine with those. It's that about 10-15 minutes in I started to realize the that the episode was not made for me because I had no idea who these people were, where they come from or what they're about.

    If you strip the LD characters and references from the episode you are left with a mediocore outing about some City at the Edge of Forever portal and a bunch of Orions (I'm still not sure what their role was in the episode). Like I said before, this would've worked fine as a story about two trekkies from a parallel dimension of Earth who find themselves on the Enterprise. Then the story could really be about meeting your heroes and it would be much more accessible to all viewers. Trekkies would know about Pike's fate and Spock's behaviourjust as the LD characters know.
    (Galaxy Quest did a very good take on this concept where the aliens are the ones meeting their heroes).

    But the powers-that-be decided that the fanbase for LD is big enough to justify devoting one of 10 meager episodes of the season to a crossover, and that's fine, it's their perogrative, but I don't have to like it.

    Seems like Paramount tests the waters. Let's see how far they will go with the Star Trek cinematic universe. They are probably dreaming of lots of crossover stuff to keep fans engaged. It seems to have worked this time, so there is probably going to be more on the assembly line.

    I finally have to come say it. Spock’s painted on sideburns are so cringey. All the prosthetics and props they have to use and they make a main character have sharpie drawn sideburns.

    @Lynos: "Look, I get it, people love The Lower Decks so I'm in the minority here (seriously, I didn't find a single post here from a person who don't watch the show. where is the other perspective?)"

    You didn't find it because you apparently didn't look hard enough. I mentioned that I really liked the episode despite having only watched one episode of LD and deciding it wasn't for me. There was at least one other person who said the same--and that's just the one I noticed because they matched me in defying the assumption (which you and @Bryan continue to erroneously make) that this episode would only be appreciated by LD fans; I feel like there may have been others who, like you, don't watch LD and didn't like this episode.

    (@Dirk also loved this despite not watching LD, but that comment came after yours.)

    @dave: "Have to say I feel sorry for the dude who thinks Uhura is fat and ugly. If you see a woman who looks like her and those are your words, you live a pretty shitty life mate."

    Cosigned.

    @Bryan: "It's kinda giving up on the hope that this could ever be a timeless classic, though it doesn't feel like such ambitious were ever in the cards for such a disposable entry"

    I believe it's currently rated higher on IMDb than any other episode of the nuTrek shows, at least the live action ones.

    @Daniel: "This perspective allows me to watch TOS and TOS movies and not get too hung up on hokey cardboard sets and costumes or try to rationalize why they still use tapes for portable data storage."

    This is my approach as well. But it applies more to the props, sets, and effects than to plot and character.

    @Yanks: "It's amazing how much the actors of all the LD characters looks like their characters. I wonder if that was on purpose?"

    I was wondering the same, if they were planning something like this all along. You certainly couldn't pull this move with "The Simpsons" or "Family Guy"!

    @SlackerInc

    Yeah, I guess I guess I missed the bit where you said you didn't watch the show. Sorry! Btw I never made the assumption this can't be enjoyed by people who don't watch Lower Decks. I don't know what people enjoy or don't enjoy and don't presume to know. I simply said this was obviously taylormade for fans of Lower Decks and those how aren't are going to have a much harder time appreciating it since the episode doesn't ease you in if you're a newcomer.

    This also reminds me of Assignment: Earth from TOS, so there's a precedent for this kind of thing. Only that was a backdoor pilot to a new proposed show and not crossover with an established show.

    Even Twilight Zone did this with the episode "Cavender Is Coming". In both cases the new shows never materilized and in both cases the episodes were very weak when diluted with characters and tone not of their own. There is significant difference though when you do a crossover with a show that has an established fanbase.

    Actually, I had no idea The Lower Decks was so beloved until I read some of the comments here. To me it was (and still) seems like some odd offshoot that doesn't jive with anything I know and love about Trek, even if the person creating it is going all meta and filling the show with easter eggs. I also never watched more than a couple of episodes of the original animated show.

    @SlackerInc

    "I believe it's currently rated higher on IMDb than any other episode of the nuTrek shows, at least the live action ones."

    There's a difference between enjoying a show during its moment in the sun and enjoying it on subsequent re-watches much later down the read. This was widely speculated to be the case about Picard: Season 3, even by some of the people who liked it. Some weren't even sure if they would want to come back to it at all...and it was also well-received by good number of people so I wouldn't be surprised if it had great IMDb numbers.

    So I still stand by what I said for the reasons I gave, mainly that SNW and LD have little in common save for their closeness in production schedule, hence the vast overlapping fans. The shows on which it is based, and on which much of the humor and inside jokes depend, are still fresh in those people's minds. In the future, however, the episode will no longer have this advantage of being so timely and topical, and it will be a far greater coincidence that people will watch those two starkly divergent series (in tone, in content) concurrently.

    @Lynos
    "you are expected and required to have previous knowledge of Lower Decks, and expected and required to have affection for it. I possess neither, and the episode makes no effort to initiate anyone who is not familiar with LD into the story here."

    Strongly disagree... I watched only LD's pilot once and never returned, I like more "serious Trek", and I still liked this episode a lot, and I'm even thinking of giving LD another chance...


    Now, SNW's best 2 episodes in my opinion are crossovers, eh? SNW-TOS "A quality of mercy" and now this SNW-LD one. Fascinating.

    Aside from this possibly being the worst Star Trek episode I've ever seen in my life, if the next episode, the musical?, is as bad or worse, I could conceivably consider canceling my Paramount Plus subscription and shocking this up to a complete jump the shark moment. S2E7 is cringe worthy.

    @F

    "... I watched only LD's pilot once and never returned, I like more "serious Trek", and I still liked this episode a lot, and I'm even thinking of giving LD another chance..."

    You should!! It took me about 3 episodes to get used to the speed and humor... once I did I was hooked!

    "Now, SNW's best 2 episodes in my opinion are crossovers, eh? SNW-TOS "A quality of mercy" and now this SNW-"

    I'd add 'Children of the Comet' and 'Memento Mori' to that list.

    For people that think Lower Decks characters talk too fast, you’re right. They do. Solution is easy! Just use subtitles!

    Lower Decks tells great stories that really show more depth of Starfleet and the greater galaxy as a whole. Don’t get caught up in being mad about hijinks!

    What’s also fantastic about having two different Trek shows set in different eras in production at the same time is they can do a follow up to this episode that doesn’t require time travel.

    Imagine Strange New Worlds starting a story and then they tee it off to Lower Decks?

    For anyone who isn't watching Lower Decks, or who gave it only one or two episodes and bailed:

    If you can make it through season one, the show does a lot better with its tone in season two on. It's a lot less cringey with its humor and has a lot more heart.

    I don't know if this will change anyone's mind or get them to give it a second chance, but know at least that it's true.

    Also the writing is sharper. The LD episode "wej Duj" is probably the single best episode of the entire "NuTrek" era. A classic in every way. Even if you don't think LD is for you, if you like Star Trek at all, give that episode a shot.

    @Jeffrey's Tube
    'The LD episode "wej Duj" is probably the single best episode of the entire "NuTrek" era. A classic in every way.'

    Second this. Completely agree.

    Just an okay episode. It was certainly lighthearted and fun, but also reinforced, for me, how the tenor of Lower Decks is dislocated from live action Trek (not in spirit, but rather in behaviour and speech). Credit to the show runners and writers for taking the leap to make the episode at all though.

    With that said, I think I would have better liked a version of this crossover that was more akin to 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit,' where two- and three-dimensional realities came up against one another and offered opportunity for exploration and hi jinks alike. I understand such a crossover would likely have thrust Lower Decks into a parallel universe, but I think it would have made for a cooler and more interesting outing.

    Finally, given the nature of this episode, and the previews for the musical to come, I just want to offer some kudos to the writers for continually striving to make a fun series. The final products might not always work for everyone, but I will not fault the writers for trying to offer some joy with their Trek (particularly given the dourness of Discovery, and, to a lesser extent, Picard).

    I am all for experimenting and trying something new and fresh . I can see from all the comments that this went over very well with the vast majority of the viewers.

    For me, when one only has 10 episodes in a season, I would prefer they stuck to their core material as best as they can. This isn't the good old 26 episode per season days when throw away episodes can happen without draining the season's resources.

    I haven;t watch LD (mostly because I found the two episodes I sampled to be unappealing to me with the relentless silliness), so this didn't ring the bells for me. In saying that, I did love them taking a chance at doing something like this and being willing to try a new concept.

    @Jeffrey's Tube @Bok R'Mor
    On your strong recommendation, I watched "wej Duj" just now. I did like it quite a bit. The only problem is that it was the Vulcan and Klingon storylines I grooved on. Whenever it shifted to the Cerritos (with the actual main characters of the show), I found my interest flagging. Not an auspicious sign.

    Slacker, Well don’t worry they’re bringing the renegade Vulcan on to the cast for season 4. T’Lyn was a huge hit and is now gonna be a regular. She’s being added to revitalize the series. She’s the season 4 addition like Worf and Seven were.

    Oh come on - if you didn’t like this one, there is something wrong with you. Go about your misery and leave the light hearted, good-vibes for the rest of us. Some people are so bitter.

    @SlackerInc
    Well done! Now you can see why Kathryn Lyn needs to be handed absolute dictatorial power over all NuTrek, and a wheat-chaff remit. She'd sort it all out in short order.

    Apparently she's involved with a new Starfleet Academy series. To what extent, I don't know.

    @Bok R'Mor

    "Apparently she's involved with a new Starfleet Academy series. To what extent, I don't know."

    Newsome has been announced as a writer as well.

    This episode apparently time-travelled and caught me in the wrong mo­ment. But I absolutely love it and think it is one of the best that Trek v3 has ever pro­duced. Ac­cord­ing to IMDB, it has a stand­out rating of 9.4, on a par with “In the Pale Moon­light”, which is of course ridiculous.

    I wonder nobody here men­tion­ed the spiri­tual pre­deces­sor “Trials and Trib­ble-ations”, which has a very simi­lar story (Sisko & Co time-travel to the NCC-1701), is also a co­me­dy epis­ode (and per­haps the most fun­ny in the en­tire­ty of Trek v2) and also has the meta ele­ment of Star­fleet per­son­nel be­hav­ing as Trek­kies — with some vir­tual­ly iden­tical jokes, like Dax ad­miring old-style tri­corders or finding Spock hot.

    Virtually everyone sees to love “Trials and Tribble-ations” (Jam­mer gave it 3½ and com­men­ters want more; IMDB has it at 9.3). But “Those Old Sci­en­tists” has a small but non­trivi­al set of de­trac­tors here. Now I wonder: Do these de­trac­tors also abhor “Trials and Tribble-ations”, or is thee a dif­feren­ce be­tween the two that I didn’t notice?

    While this is clearly a fun episode, it does contain some more se­ri­ous ma­te­rial, and IMHO de­livers it quite well. One is the sink­ing of the Spock/​Chapel ship by Boim­ler. I never liked that ro­man­ce, be­cause it breaks the con­ti­nu­ity of my fa­vou­rite TOS epis­ode “Amok Time”, so I’m happy when it is over. The second is Pike’s birth­­day, and it was quite heavy; Mount played that scene per­fect­ly. I won­der whe­ther Mari­ner&​Boim­ler could pos­sib­ly know that Pike will get an es­cape from his pain on Talos IV, if only in the form of an il­lu­sion.

    Really great episode, undoubtedly one of the best in Trek v3.

    @Yanks

    "'Apparently she's involved with a new Starfleet Academy series. To what extent, I don't know.'

    Newsome has been announced as a writer as well."

    Wow, I didn't see that. I wonder if she's contributed to any LDS episodes as a writer. Newsome's got great comedic timing, that's for sure.

    I should have hated this. But I absolutely loved it. The humor, the lamp-shading, the touching moments… I was so happy with it, that I want to rewatch it again tomorrow.

    I did not expect to feel this way about this utterly insane idea.

    @Galadriel
    Mon, Jul 24, 2023, 4:20pm (UTC -5)
    "Virtually everyone sees to love “Trials and Tribble-ations” (Jam­mer gave it 3½ and com­men­ters want more; IMDB has it at 9.3). But “Those Old Sci­en­tists” has a small but non­trivi­al set of de­trac­tors here. Now I wonder: Do these de­trac­tors also abhor “Trials and Tribble-ations”, or is thee a dif­feren­ce be­tween the two that I didn’t notice?"



    Aside from it being just a better episode period, the difference is obvious. Nearly everyone who loved TOS loved the tribbles. It's similar to how many (not all) Star Wars fans love Ewoks or Wookiees. That was a fun, cute, well known episode. Those who loved DS9 and TOS welcomed the call back to such a personally endearing episode. These two have well established fanbases much of which overlaps.

    There's far less people interested in Lower Decks style of humor (this is literally lampshaded in the episode) compared with the older properties. TOS averaged over 8 million viewers in the 18-to-49 age group at one point during its run. DS9 reached #1 syndicated show for adults 18-54 in the US in 1999. Is either Lower Decks or SNW putting up those numbers? Maybe the very first episode, but whole seasons?

    There's also far less overlap between the two current fanbases. People are watching SNW aren't necessarily watching LD and vice versa. And therefore there's going to be a lot more dissatisfaction with the crossover as one franchise's contribution is completely loss on most of the other's fanbase.

    I mean numbers don't remotely compare with a streaming service versus air time but Lower Decks and Strange New Worlds ARE the most beloved of the Nu Trek and someone who can watch SNW can also watch Lower Decks because they're on the same service.

    It was literally my first comment, though, that this episode was going to be a base breaker, though.

    Why?

    You either like Star Trek as a totally serious take on a fictional universe or you can enjoy taking the piss at it. This is very much the latter.

    @SlackerInc

    I'm glad you enjoyed it. If you're up for one more, the episode that immediately precedes wej Duj, titled "I, Excretus" is my second favorite episode. Without saying too much, it drops the characters into holodeck scenarios as "drills" that are basically just the plots of other Star Trek episodes. While yes, the humor is very referential as you might expect, the character work for our main cast is actually extremely strong. Especially Boimler.

    @C.T. Phipps
    Mon, Jul 24, 2023, 5:37pm (UTC -5)

    "It was literally my first comment, though, that this episode was going to be a base breaker, though.

    Why?

    You either like Star Trek as a totally serious take on a fictional universe or you can enjoy taking the piss at it. This is very much the latter."



    If so, how would you explain the very large overlap between SNW fans and Orville fans?

    Maybe taking a piss is one thing, but taking a $#!% is an entirely different proposition.

    Love the episode...not perfect but very enjoyable. Many favorite moments but two come to mind: Mariner trying to activate what she thinks are touch-sensitive panels on the conference table, but it's just a tabletop; and when the "scientist" Orions steal the portal...

    [[If so, how would you explain the very large overlap between SNW fans and Orville fans?]]

    I was confused by this because it took me a second to realize you think this episode is unpopular. SOME people dislike it but the vast-vast majority of Star Trek fans and review sites are giving it tens out of tens. The vast majority of fans are obviously going to love this.

    I HATE the Orville but love this and Lower Decks.

    Three stars, very amusing. I thought I’d seen everything Star Trek could show me, but a crossover episode between a live action series and an animated series during their initial run is a new one to me. I liked it in spite of myself, and I really didn’t want to like it. Yes, I admit it, this episode is a “strange new world” to me.

    That said, it works better as a standalone story than within the context of this turgid and dull as ditchwater SNW series. Boimler’s sense of wonder worked for me because it conjured fond memories of the franchise as a whole, not so much because it reminded me of anything particular in this hell’s toilet of a prequel series. Maybe LD should have been live action and we can just cancel SNW and Discovery.

    Also, the fanboy vibes of Boimler and Marriner feel a bit weird and grating on the SNW Enterprise. In short, they sound really stupid at times and the clash of styles from the two series feels cringe at moments.

    I still found it very entertaining to experience the concept (if not the reality) of SNW through the eyes of the LD crew. Their shocked reaction to Spock smiling is pretty funny. The clash of show styles is consistently amusing in a playful way — this is by far the most fun and unforced episode of SNW, which is otherwise a bleakly humorless and overly serious show with a tedious self-awareness.

    Overall this episode feels a lot like DS9’s Trials and Tribbleations, except that it drops the 24th century into a live series rather than using computer trickery to insert them into a recorded show. That allows for some more dynamic meta commentary on Trek within a new Orion intrigue subplot that I found mostly entertaining. Even the attempt to explain Spock’s recent emotional expressions kind of amused me, despite the fact his relationship with Chapel still doesn’t fit TOS.

    Is this episode deep? Nah. Is it more of a remix of existing IP than true originality? Maybe. But it feels fresh, and I applaud that. It’s not something we see often anymore in a 60+ year old franchise that has become too ponderously self aware to innovate anymore.

    There’s only been two episodes of streaming Trek that I have watched more than once: No Small Parts and now this.

    I actually didn't love “The Trouble with Tribbles”. Probably my least favorite ep of TOS. But I did really enjoy “Trials and Tribbleations”. I'm generally a sucker for “meta” (the sitcom “Community” for example, particularly Abed storylines

    @Booming
    'Seems like Paramount tests the waters. Let's see how far they will go with the Star Trek cinematic universe. They are probably dreaming of lots of crossover stuff to keep fans engaged. It seems to have worked this time, so there is probably going to be more on the assembly line.'

    @Quincy
    'TOS averaged over 8 million viewers in the 18-to-49 age group at one point during its run. DS9 reached #1 syndicated show for adults 18-54 in the US in 1999. Is either Lower Decks or SNW putting up those numbers? Maybe the very first episode, but whole seasons?'

    @C.T. Phipps
    'I mean numbers don't remotely compare with a streaming service versus air time but Lower Decks and Strange New Worlds ARE the most beloved of the Nu Trek...'

    I am very curious as to what kind of viewership SNW and LDS (specifically) are having. I've always reluctantly presumed that Trek has had rather marginal viewing figures in the streaming era (with no evidence whatsoever for this, I hasten to add). And I've always presumed, again with no evidence, that LDS specifically has a niche viewership within a niche fanbase. As @Booming hints, I've always guessed that these NuTrek series were mainly about creating quantity to keep the IP afloat rather than a simple mathematical supply response to demand.

    People forget how mainstream popular TNG was. It wasn't just a popular sci-fi show - it was one of the most popular shows on television at the time full stop. People who had never seen Trek lapped it up.

    My admittedly unscientific feeling is that SNW and LDS are perhaps most popular with a very self-conscious slice of what is now called 'geek' subculture, hence the focus on Comic-Con. LDS seems to be aimed at that group of consumers at least. Maybe the money is in the merch?

    I'd also add that at least in the country in which I live there continues to be a huge mainstream advertising effort for SNW - which has actually increased while the latest season has been airing. SNW is the anchor show of Sky Showtime here.

    From what I was able to gather over the last few years, none of the new Star Trek shows are actually bona fide hits. They were made essentially as tentpoles to drive subscriptions to CBS All Access and now to Paramount Plus, and with that I'm guessing they are doing their job realtively well because they keep geting made. Star Trek is the biggest IP Paramount has, after they lost Indiana Jones to Disney. Their second biggest is Mission Impossible. And other than those two they got got nothin'.
    I
    live in Israel, and here NONE, and I say NONE, of the new Trek is being streamed. I have to get all my episodes through other means. In the Berman era, ALL of Star Trek was broadcast here on a regular basis and with reruns to boot. And TOS of course was broadcast first in the 70's, which was when I watched it as a kid, and many times since then.

    Discovery was initially on Netflix here but not anymore. If I was to simply depend on the local availability, I would not even know new Trek is being produced. There is nothing. No discovery, no Picard, no SNW, no Lower Decks and no Prodigy.
    So there is no local discourse here about Star Trek. No Hebrew reviews for the series. It's like they don't even exist. And there are a lot of trekkies here.

    That has to say something about the overall popularity of these shows.

    I am curious. Any other international markets where none of these shows are available legally?

    Basically, none of the streaming services have been actually advertising their data on streaming viewership. It's being hidden like nuclear codes and the SAG and WGA strike have actually been demanding it as part of their negotiations because it would allow proper re-compensation to be calculated for streaming residuals.

    I would suggest, however, that underestimating how many people are watching Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks would be a mistake, however. 8,000,000 viewers sounds impressive and is. However, there's SIXTY million subscribers of Paramount Plus. Given they're physically paying for the show, I don't see any reason why they wouldn't be watching the most popular (and they've made like 8 Star Trek shows so CLEARLY someone is watching the Nu Trek ones) that come out every night.

    It's possible that SNW and LD have higher views than the original series even if they don't have the Syndicated name recognition.

    @Lynos
    'I am curious. Any other international markets where none of these shows are available legally?'

    Really interesting response, thanks. I live in a Scandinavian country and DSC was initially available on Netflix. (TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT are all still available in full on Netflix here for the time being, which is great.) PIC was only ever available on Amazon Prime. Same with LDS. SNW was available on Paramount+ from launch but Paramount+ was suddenly shut down after a few months here and subscribers were told to enter into a new subscription with Sky Showtime. SNW and PROD are both available on Sky Showtime (SNW one day after release in the US, whereas PROD is as and when and the first half of the first season of PROD has now been removed). Later seasons of TNG are also available on Sky Showtime. The Short Treks were never made available here (so I've never seen them), and the TOS and TNG films are available in piecemeal fashion on various streaming services.

    As I said earlier, there's a heavy advertising drive for SNW at the moment and there's been the odd curiosity review but generally there is little to zero media interest in Trek here and Trek consequently has almost No footprint.

    @Lynos
    'I'm guessing they are doing their job realtively well because they keep geting made.'

    Thinking out loud here: I wonder if that means DSC and PROD were streaming failures? It's interesting that SNW was spun off from DSC 'due to fan demand' (that was the narrative at the time - I don't know how true it is) and yet seems to be doing much better than DSC ever did.

    (I'm not trying to get into a discussion about the merits or otherwise of DSC - I'm trying to understand what criteria are classed as 'success' in the streaming era.)

    My (guesswork) impression is that SNW has led to a higher number of people subscribing to its host service than DSC did, but didn't CBS All Access have all sorts of embarrassing technical glitches?

    SNW has been a huge success for Paramount+ by the metrics on which Paramount+ is judging it. It makes the Top 10 most streamed programs every week in the Nielsen ratings. Considering the vast disparity in Paramount+ subs to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ (and even Max is ahead in subscribers), they are absolutely quite pleased.

    The only other Paramount+ shows to have managed this so far are later episodes of Picard S3 and the Yellowstone spinoff "1923" (which is pretty good btw, if any of you want to use your Paramount+ subscriptions for something besides Trek).

    Paramount+ has picked up a lot of subscribers recently so it will be interesting to see if the new season of Lower Decks and, a bit later, Discovery, will also make the Top 10. Personally, I don't think either will. There is a reason they're pulling the plug on Discovery after season 5. I also expect to see an even further reduced budget for the show this season which will probably result in fewer cast appearances per episode as well as trimmed special effects in the midseason episodes. We shall see, but I doubt I'm wrong.

    Lower Decks as an animated show just isn't going to be as popular as a drama like SNW or S3 of Picard so I don't think it will crack the Top 10. Anecdotally, just from internet chatter, it seems to be more popular than Discovery, and is certainly a hell of a lot cheaper, so I imagine Paramount+ is pretty pleased with it as well.

    Prodigy was clearly the worst performer of the bunch and that's why they cancelled it. Too bad, it was a failure of marketing rather than quality. Its animation style almost certainly made it more expensive than Lower Decks as well, although it wasn't carrying as large a voice cast.

    @Jeffrey's Tube

    Thanks. Makes sense. Do you have any information on how much each show was costing, since you mentioned how expensive PROD was to produce?

    See, having a Paramount+ insider here *is* helpful from time to time!

    (Just kidding. Or am I...)

    Review still pending...

    I'm really curious if this will be Jammer's first four-star review for Strange New Worlds.

    One should keep in mind that Paramount+ lost more than 0.5 billion in the first quarter of 2023 with 1.5 billion in revenue. That is bad! I guess that is why there are so many cancellations. Considering the strike Paramount+ is heading for more than 2 billions in losses.
    https://www.marketingbrew.com/stories/2023/05/04/paramount-clears-60-million-subscribers-but-streaming-losses-are-growing

    The general problem with Sci Fi shows has always been that from the start they are very expensive and the longer the run, the higher the costs.

    One could compare current Trek shows with other shows to maybe get some understanding of it's popularity but IMdb/Amazon in it's relentless quest to squeeze the last penny out of us, has made their viewing stats far less informative for non paying users. The only comparison with the limited information would be first episode to get an inkling for general interest.

    SNW: 2999 ratings vs 108.148 for "the last of us" (which seems to be the most rated show)
    If we look at other most recent first episodes number of ratings
    Star Trek Picard: 5553
    Lower Decks: 822
    Prodigy: 749
    Discovery: 3470

    Those numbers are not great for all shows but really low for Prodigy and Lower Decks. No wonder Prodigy disappeared into the streaming void.
    I would ignore the score unless it comes with a significant ratings number. Doesn't matter if a show gets a 9.4 if only 20 people rate it.

    Could barely get through the episode. Boimler was just an AWFUL actor, the Lower Decks parts were like having literal immature barely teenage morons with serious responsibilities flying through space on starships, Mariner was written like some ghetto chick from 2014 as opposed to a "real" starfleet junior officer and the entire way they were dealt with by the Enterprise crew was ridiculous. I really did not appreciate the over-the-top tongue in cheek acting styles from everyone. This was about the most immaturely written Star trek episode I ever saw. They should be ashamed to have called that Star Trek. Gene R would be rolling in his grave watching that. I really am concerned for this next musical episode as well. Jumping the shark feels imminent.

    @Lynos: "I live in Israel"

    My sympathies. You guys are really going through some stuff right now.

    @C.T. Phipps: "However, there's SIXTY million subscribers of Paramount Plus. Given they're physically paying for the show, I don't see any reason why they wouldn't be watching the most popular (and they've made like 8 Star Trek shows so CLEARLY someone is watching the Nu Trek ones) that come out every night."

    Anecdotally, my wife is the one in our household who pushed for us to subscribe to Paramount Plus, but she doesn't watch any of the nuTrek shows (we do occasionally watch VOY together with our daughters, but that's on Hulu). If she hadn't done that, I would probably just buy a month of P+ once a year to catch up.

    @Bok R'Mor: "PIC was only ever available on Amazon Prime. Same with LDS."

    That's so weird, as they are a direct competitor to Paramount+.

    @Jeffrey's Tube: "Considering the vast disparity in Paramount+ subs to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ (and even Max is ahead in subscribers)"

    Why do you say "even" Max? I've long thought of them as the #2 streaming service after Netflix, with Paramount+ WAYYY behind, a couple tiers down.

    I'm cooking up some interesting stats related to the discussion here, but I'll save them for a fresh episode thread.

    - Boimler -- guardian of the canon.

    - "Their references are surprisingly specific" - a LD reference inside SNW? Nice.

    - Spock's disconcerting attempts at humor were perfectly played, as was Boimler's reaction to it.

    ----------

    Overall, joyous and surprisingly touching (Pike on his late father, Ad Astra per Aspera - even the Orions). It was a beautiful idea to connect past, present and future together via the NX-01.

    Haven't watched all of LD but may well check out S3 after enjoying this so much. Jack Quaid knocked it out of the park as live-action Boimler.

    The ending was wonderfully goofy.

    Son of a bitch, it's another 5 /5. That's 2 within 3 episodes. What the hell? I suspect I would've given a different grading a few months ago.

    My point is, there is a choice. You can keep to the framework you've constructed of what Trek is or "ought" to be and judge SNW against it, or you can reset and attempt to watch the show with fresh eyes. Judge it for what it is and what it means to be, not for what it clearly has no interest in being.

    It's fine if SNW is not your cup of tea, but it isn't doing anything wrong. I think the show has the strongest sense of identity and direction of any Trek show since TOS (at least this early in its run).

    Drop the baggage and you might surprise yourself.

    In any event this is the happiest I've been watching Trek in 20 years. Amazing what happens when you drop your shields.

    @SlackerInc

    "My sympathies. You guys are really going through some stuff right now."

    When are we not, lol. We're the drama capital of the world. But thanks.

    I am very curious to see Jammer's review for this as this is such a strange and unique episode. Obviously for some it's borderline orgasmic while for others like myself it's an unmitigated bore. I certainly don't think it deserves four stars, but I can't tell you how I would rate it, because my own rating will be completley biased. But then, any rating for this would be enormously biased. It's like the juidicial reform currently being hotley debated in Israel. One issue, two utterly different ways of looking at it.

    It's as if this episode needs two separate ratings: one for Lower decks fans and one for people who don't watch the show.

    But seeing as Jammer has a whole section on this website devoted to Lower Decks reviews, I am guessing he will moderatley like this, at the minimum, if judging by the other responses here.
    But I really don't envy him here. This one's a tough episode to review.

    @Lynos: "We're the drama capital of the world."

    Haha, that's fair.

    "It's as if this episode needs two separate ratings: one for Lower decks fans and one for people who don't watch the show."

    But there are at least three of us in this comments section who are not "Lower decks fans" and still loved this episode (I give it 3.5 stars out of 4).

    I expect Jammer to give it a 2 star rating to be honest. Jammer is fantastic but this sort of "it doesn't take itself too seriously but breaks immersion" is the kind of thing that hurts reviews with him.

    @C.T. Phipps

    "Jammer is fantastic but this sort of "it doesn't take itself too seriously but breaks immersion" is the kind of thing that hurts reviews with him."

    Do you think it could have been better if they treated the episode more scientifically? The portal literally takes people from a 2D world and makes them 3D. That must be breaking numerous laws of physics.

    Or do we consider animation to simply be a stylized choice, and the Lower Decks characters are all inherently 3D but only portrayed as 2D for comedic visuals?

    Was pretty good!

    I like LD a lot so was looking forward to this one. I do feel like it kind of dragged in places and for those who think it’s better than Trials and Tribbleations yeah I don’t know about that!

    @Chrome: "The portal literally takes people from a 2D world and makes them 3D. That must be breaking numerous laws of physics.
    Or do we consider animation to simply be a stylized choice, and the Lower Decks characters are all inherently 3D but only portrayed as 2D for comedic visuals?"

    I don't really agree that they come from a 2D world. I've actually never really agreed with the way people talk about "2D vs. 3D" animation (leaving aside the rare actual 3D, as with the first "Spider-Verse" movie). So-called 2D animation is still portraying a three dimensional world, in much the same way a non-3D live-action film does. Characters don't have to work their way around each other like pieces in a slide puzzle. They move behind and in front of each other, and shift in perspective as to appear to be coming closer or further from the screen (from an imaginary "camera" in a sense).

    So, yeah, in a certain way we're seeing a series of drawings which are presenting their own version of "what happened" (in a universe that is fictional, scripted--whether it's filmed on a set with actors or drawn and acted via voiceover).

    @Chrome
    ‘The portal literally takes people from a 2D world and makes them 3D. That must be breaking numerous laws of physics.’

    My interpretation is that the portal is just a time portal, and that the cartoon issue is simply a stylistic choice as you suggest. People are not ‘literally’ taken from a 2D world and made 3D; the LDS crew exist in one of SNW’s possible futures, and in the LDS world they experience themselves as normal and live action (for want of a better description), just as the SNW crew do in theirs.

    I’ll grant that this is deliberately left ambiguous by the writers and producers, with numerous references to things implicitly being either animated or live action, and then the SNW crew becoming cartoons at the end.

    It’s all meta on a level that I don’t think Star Trek has ever done before. Even ‘Trials and Tribble-ations’, to which this episode has been compared, or ‘Far Beyond the Stars’, or when Q says in ‘All Good Things…’ ‘Time may be eternal, Captain, but our patience is not. It's time to put an end to your trek through the stars, make room for other more worthy species,’ all pale in comparison to what has been done here.

    @Chrome

    "Wow, I didn't see that. I wonder if she's contributed to any LDS episodes as a writer. Newsome's got great comedic timing, that's for sure."

    I only see one writing credit on iMDb... and it's not star trek. I don't doubt she has talent though.

    @ Bok

    According to google, Discovery costs between $7 to $8.5 million an episode. Picard cost about $8 to $9 million an episode in season 3. SNW likely costs between $7 and $8.5 million an episode as well, then.

    Lower Decks costs between $1 to $2 mil an episode. Probably on the lower end as it isn't using "name" voice actors.

    Prodigy, no idea other than that it must be more because that CGI style is more expensive than "drawn" animation to produce.

    @ Mark B

    "Mariner was written like some ghetto chick from 2014"

    Racist much?

    @SlackerInc

    "Why do you say "even" Max? I've long thought of them as the #2 streaming service after Netflix, with Paramount+ WAYYY behind, a couple tiers down."

    Nope. Max has one third more subscribers than Paramount+ and roughly half the subs of Disney+, which is third behind Netflix and Amazon Prime.

    @ Chrome

    "Or do we consider animation to simply be a stylized choice, and the Lower Decks characters are all inherently 3D but only portrayed as 2D for comedic visuals?"

    In-universe, the characters are not animated, no. Not anymore than Kirk and Spock were in TAS.

    @Jeffrey's Tube
    You have to keep in mind that there is quite a bit of advertisement for SNW which comes on top of episode cost. For movies rule of thumb is to double the costs of production.

    @C.T. Phipps
    Mon, Jul 24, 2023, 8:44pm (UTC -5)
    "[[If so, how would you explain the very large overlap between SNW fans and Orville fans?]]

    I was confused by this because it took me a second to realize you think this episode is unpopular. SOME people dislike it but the vast-vast majority of Star Trek fans and review sites are giving it tens out of tens. The vast majority of fans are obviously going to love this.

    I HATE the Orville but love this and Lower Decks.
    🔗
    Trek fan"




    I never said how popular I think this episode is or isn't. I wasn't even talking about that. It's clearly popular among people who watch LD. The only claim I made in the post prior to the one you quoted was that there would be dissatisfaction among SNW fans who don't watch LD. How would you conflate that with claiming the episode was overall unpopular?

    Hence your bias. What's to be confused about?

    Lets reiterate. YOU made a claim. This was that claim:

    "It was literally my first comment, though, that this episode was going to be a base breaker, though. Why? You either like Star Trek as a totally serious take on a fictional universe or you can enjoy taking the piss at it. This is very much the latter."

    This is actually an entirely different claim than your initial more reasonable claim that you referenced:


    @C.T. Phipps
    Sat, Jul 22, 2023, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
    "I feel like this will either be a 10 or 9 for Fans of Lower Decks and a 2 to 4 for people who don't like Lower Decks style humor. A lot of people really don't like the fast paced hilarious, "These guys are terrible at their jobs" fiction being canonized as part of the "main" Trek timeline. Hell, there's plenty of people that absolutely hate Strange New Worlds and wish it was the Kelvin timeline (even though Pike would be crippled or dead). However, for someone who DOES love Lower Decks, I loved it."



    Initially you seemed to understand that LD offers a particular style of comedy that some people don't like.

    In your second claim you seem to have overgeneralized the fanbase's dislike of a particular style of humor and fictionalized it into a dislike of nonserious trek? The proof is in the putting that this is simply NOT the case by the large overlap fanbase of Trek and The Orville, many of whom had taken to calling The Orville the real Star Trek. And since Star Trek has always contained episodes made purely for humor's sake going back to TOS, we don't even have to refer to the Orville to prove your statement incorrect.

    It boggles the mind how you come up with they ONLY like totally serious Trek when in fact what we don't like is frenetic hopped up on crystal meth in writer's room "humor" that's not even funny. I'm sorry, but no, I don't want my science fiction written within a dust cloud of cocaine.

    How do people feel about streaming trek telling characters their future before it happened?

    Boiler tells chapel that things dont work out between her and spock

    in discovery, pike takes the time crystal and learns of his faith in a wheel chair.

    Like why?

    @SlackerInc

    "But there are at least three of us in this comments section who are not "Lower decks fans" and still loved this episode (I give it 3.5 stars out of 4)."

    Yeah, I realize that, but I still think, given a larger sample pool of viewers, you would eventually have two very disticntly different takes on the same episode. I'm sure outside of forums such as these there are many much more casual viewers who don't watch everythign. They don't post in messege boards and I can only wonder what they would think about something like this.

    The Orville was mentioned in this discussion here a few times. Not only is The Orville an obvious influence on the tone and feel of SNW (Pike and Ed can be brothers in the "chill-out captains club"), it's a show that started as light hearted, silly comedy and developed into a mostly straight sci-fi space series, and that's when it also became really good.
    Based on the last couple of episodes It seems like SNW is going through an almost reversed process... which is quite fascinating. Even Orville, with the tune-loving Seth MacFarlane at the helm, never had a totally musical episode...

    @Jeffrey's Tube

    Thanks for the figures.

    By comparison, a quick Google search shows an episode of TNG S1 cost $1.5m in 1987 ($4.02m in 2023 dollars) and was still only clocking in at $1.7m per episode at the end of TNG S7 ($3.5m in 2023 dollars).

    Why is an episode of live action NuTrek costing more than double what an episode of TNG S7 cost when adjusted for inflation?

    And @Booming is right to mention the marketing costs that push the cost up even further. As I've mentioned numerous times before, SNW is very heavily advertised here. That's some marketing spend.

    @bored

    Why are they giving a couple of characters their fate?

    I find it a fascinating concept. The struggles of knowing when you will perish and having to decide what to do and not to do is pretty deep. I know SNW is more on the lighter side but I find this a great concept. As for telling Chapel it bombs with Spock; I don't think they needed to do that, but it does help give them a path to the two of them breaking up and Spock giving up his human emotion experiments and going full on Spock. I think it works out just fine.

    @Booming
    'I would assume CGI'

    Spectacle over substance, then. Not a wise investment if it's pushing the cost up so severely to what real gain?

    @C.T. Phipps:

    "I mean, the episode did violate canon.
    NON-PIRATE ORION!?
    How ridiculous. That's like a Klingon who isn't a warrior!"

    I dunno. There are Ferengi who don't seek profit (Rom and Nog, at least).

    The show is directly grappling with one of the major criticisms that there’s no stakes because we know the end. They’re saying well maybe even if you know the end what does that mean for you and your decisions.

    That’s a very interesting position to take and it heads of the criticism of the show. I think it’s a very wise angle to take and gives gravitas to what they’re doing.

    I am continually amazed at people who must call out anyone expressing even a slight criticism of an episode. Someone above was yapping about "dudebros" and church, simply because someone said, without judgment I might add, that a cartoon crossover strains canon by definition? The idea that people require social proof and exert ingroup pressure in a digital forum is baffling to me.

    Booming, seeing your username on my screen in this saccharine desert of uniformity is a profound joy, like finding a creased and well-read collection of great works hidden in a stack of half-completed coloring books. Nostalgia for more pensive times, I suppose. I hope you are well.

    @Bok R' Mor
    One could certainly argue that more limited financial resources forced TNG to focus more in characters and small scale stories.

    @ Narissa's bed breakfast and beyond
    "well-read collection of great works hidden in a stack of half-completed coloring books."
    I have not created anything great or noteworthy so far and don't intent to in the future.

    "Nostalgia for more pensive times, I suppose. I hope you are well."
    As well an somebody could be during these times. It seems that because of the absence of god, humanity decided to create Armageddon itself.

    I don't watch the show but like to pop in occasionally if a topic tickles my interest.

    @Booming @Jeffrey's Tube

    The same quick Google search earlier suggested that DS9 cost an average of $2m per episode* ($4.2m-$3.7m 1993-1999 in 2023 dollars) and VOY cost an average of $3.3m ($6.6m-$5.7m 1995-2001 in 2023 dollars). 'Caretaker' apparently cost $23m due to extensive re-shoots ($46m in 2023 dollars), the most expensive Trek episode ever at that point (bear in mind VOY was the very centrepiece of the UPN launch).

    So by the time of DS9 and VOY average per episode cost is already well above that of TNG, with VOY much closer to the cost of a SNW episode today, and that was thirty years ago.

    *I've often wondered how much DS9 spent on extras in the Promenade scenes. 20-30 background extras didn't seem unusual; perhaps they were a smaller number circulated in a very clever way.

    A word of warning: if you're interested in Lower Decks, the episode "Wej Duj" might not be the BEST episode to start with. I think that episode is a spoof on their normal format. I didn't initially know that and sat through a 45 minute cartoon with dozens of characters I didn't know. Not a complaint, just a warning. LDS isn't required viewing for "Those Old Scientists," but it probably is for "Wej Duj."

    And just remember what Kirk said about Spock taking too much LDS. Maybe this finally explains it.

    @Bok R'Mor - I still really appreciate your suggestions. I just wish the transporters worked so we could sit down with a bottle and discuss.

    My rewatch of "Those Old Scientists" wasn't benefited from watching "Wej Duj" and may have hampered it slightly. I still thought the episode was very fun, very cute. And at this point it might be appropriate to expect cuteness from nuT; I welcome it. It really beats the crying. I came to "Those Old Scientists" hoping to be entertained, and I was very entertained and also not insulted, which isn't a given any more.

    I have been hearing rumours about a musical episode, and I'm all for it; new frontiers, right? So they are exploring the strange new world of the science fiction musical comedy (or at least the first one I've heard of since Rocky Horror Picture Show). I hope the songs are good because I love to sing.

    I caught a few laugh out loud moments that I missed on my first viewing (probably because I was getting emotional), including referring to the original crew as "TOS," and Una's wink to Boimler. The biggest laugh (bordering on Monty Python for me) was when Uhura is locked in her room, trying to translate with Hoshi-like intensity, only to find out that the message on the time portal was "this is a time portal."


    *Overall, animation leaves me with an empty feeling, even more so than regular television (which I eschew and despise). I have had young people rage at me because I did not love Rick or Morty or other cartoons; I don't have any feelings about it, it just doesn't speak to me. I forget about it in 5 minutes. That's a big difference from my current study of the films of Stanley Kubrick, where I can't even get a film off of my mind for a week.

    @bored

    "Like why?"

    It's kind of a rare opportunity if you think about it. Locking new characters into a fate they know about would be more of a hinderance for writers in between. Legacy characters that know their fate is chance for some different reflection.

    One of the best episodes of the Franchise.
    I love Lower Decks and they delivered. SNW cast was also great.
    This was so much fun!
    5 stars!

    Underappreciated gag (not mentioned above unless I missed it) was in engineering after they collect the medium sized capsule containing the unobtainium they found under the floorboards. Spock sticks it into a machine because reasons while Uhura and Ortegas are geeking about the NX-01 crew. The machine dings like a damned toaster oven when done. Not a beep, not a buzz: a ding. LOL. I smiled at various places throughout this show but that got a legit laugh. Then Spock retrieves a tiny test tube of the stuff from the machine. WTF, whatever was being done to the material there was never explained and awesomely so.

    @XanderW: "(and no, being a ST fan doesn't mean you have to like and watch everything labelled ST)"

    Gasp. Blasphemy. You will account to the Great Koala for your heresy.

    @Norvo: "Did Boimler and Mariner act any weirder or more quirky than, say, Berlinghoff Rassmussen in TNG's A Matter Of Time?"

    1. Yes, they did.

    2. When Picard was sizing up Rasmussen, he was immediately skeptical of the latter.

    3. Rasmussen was a civilian, a fraudster at that, and shouldn't be expected to comport himself like an officer (or at least a semi-sufficient adult).

    @BryanT: "There's a difference between enjoying a show during its moment in the sun and enjoying it on subsequent re-watches much later down the read. This was widely speculated to be the case about Picard: Season 3, even by some of the people who liked it. "

    Yes, there's a huge recency bias into that list of top IMDB episodes. If they're to be believed, about three of the top Star Trek episodes ever aired within the past year.

    @ThatERGuy: "Lower Decks tells great stories that really show more depth of Starfleet"

    Yeah, that random Cerritos officer spouting 9/11 Truther stuff was really, really deep.

    As in "off the deep end."

    @JeffreysTube: "If you can make it through season one, the show does a lot better with its tone in season two on. It's a lot less cringey with its humor and has a lot more heart."

    Sorry, I disagree. I stuck with Lower Decks roughly through the second season. "Wej Duj" and the finale weren't bad, although they're no BOBW. The rest of it was no better than the first season. I watched the season three opener to see whether those two might have sparked a trend; the idiocy returned. I've not watched the rest.

    @ Bok

    re: budgets discussion

    The answer in the disparity in cost is higher production values, which includes CGI and special effects, yes, but not just CGI and special effects. It also includes things like increased location shooting instead of utilizing soundstages and, when soundstages are utilized, much more high quality sets. Better costumes, better props, better everything.

    There has been a revolution in television since Enterprise went off the air in 2004. This is now the era known as "Peak TV" or the "Second Golden Age of Television" in which the medium has "grown up." The simple answer as to why the budgets are larger now even accounting for inflation is that it is necessary. Audiences expect it. And so all shows must do it.

    . . .

    There's a much larger discussion to be had here on the economics of it all and how lower episode counts fit into that (it isn't only because actors want to work on multiple projects these days), but I don't see the need to get off into all that, really.

    (And no, I'm not in the industry. It just interests me so I read a lot of the trade websites pertaining to it: Deadline, Variety, HR, etc.)

    @ The River Temarc

    You didn't like the whole Pakled story? I felt it was a marked step up from season one and smoothed the tone out a lot. I also felt they did a lot better at writing the characters to be appealing rather than irritating (which was surely their intent all along), although it is possible familiarity helps them be perceived as such by me once I've seen that many episodes.

    . . .

    What about the Billups backstory episode? Did nothing for you? I thought that one was both pretty fun and creative.

    @C.T. Phipps:
    "SOME people dislike it but the vast-vast majority of Star Trek fans and review sites are giving it tens out of tens. The vast majority of fans are obviously going to love this."

    This isn't Frank Luntz' polling operation; we really have little idea beyond anecdata.

    What I do find striking is that the early reviews were gushing, and the detractors showed up later. I suspect this is because the LDX fans rushed to watch the episode the minute word of its early release leaked. The people who prefer a more serious Star Trek were probably at OPPENHEIMER that night. (The only reason I wasn't is that even the late showings of OPPENHEIMER were booked solid, so I decided to wait until next weekend.) They either watched it later, or not at all.

    I also suspect that some of the old school fans who enjoyed TNG's introspection may have given up on NuTrek altogether. There were some comments back towards the end of PICARD to the effect that "now that TNG is truly ending, I have no further interest and won't be turning into P+ any longer."

    Certainly, of the great TNG-era celebrity reviewers, Jammer is the only one I can think of who's left. I actually e-mailed Tim Lynch back in 2017, just before DISCO premiered, and asked whether he had any intention of starting up his reviewing career again. His response suggested that he didn't even plan to watch.

    With regard to TV budgets and numbers of viewers and all that jazz, it's worth pointing out that the streaming era is so different than the previous cable and broadcast eras as to be virtually incomparable. One thing that's probably safe to say is that none of the streaming Trek shows have viewership anything like the TOS or TNG eras. The audience is much more fragmented and niche-oriented.

    As for the enormous budgets and endless project greenlights, that has been a bubble. For streaming, it has basically been a speculative gold rush for 10 years that is all now crashing down. Now studios are pulling (completed!) shows off their streaming services just for the (inexplicably loopholed) tax savings.

    Things are going to be very different after the strike. The bubble has burst and studios are already scaling back. You see this already with Star Trek (which peaked in 2022 with its "year-round Star Trek" which made it for one year). Now we are seeing the end of three of the five current series within a year of one another.

    If you're curious about the state of the completely screwed-up streaming era, here is a fascinating (and very long) inside-baseball story about it:

    https://www.vulture.com/2023/06/streaming-industry-netflix-max-disney-hulu-apple-tv-prime-video-peacock-paramount.html

    Jammer, love the service you do here. And love your reviews. But also starting to think you’re a little biased against SNW. I don’t think there’s anything they could do that would please you fully for a 4 star review. Surely at least one of the last 17 episodes has deserved 4 stars. I tend to think multiple episodes do.

    However I also realize on here I’m the Pollyanna where everything is sweetness and light. The hate watchers love Jammer reviews 🤣. But I think there have been multiple 4 Star episodes.

    I think the series won’t ever get 4 stars from Jammer unless and until it’s turned into a completely different show and probably with a different cast.

    Love it here though. Best Trek discussion on the internet. 🖖

    The lovers say Jammer is biased against SNW while those more critical think that he's too lenient. This tells me that he must be doing something right as an impartial reviewer since he doesn't fall in with either extreme, and it's probably for the best that no one is 100% satisfied, save for the handful of more moderate viewers. I may not concur entirely with his reviews, but he consistently covers his bases well and makes a solid case for his evaluation.

    And frankly, I would be a bit worried if he were liberally giving out four stars at this juncture since it would mean that he failed to notice where there is room for improvement. Even if you love the premise behind each episode, it shouldn't be that hard to admit that there are flaws in the execution and that these ideas have often been done better. And I don't believe that the essence of the show would need to be radically altered in order to shore up its storytelling capability.

    I really don't think SNW's had a 4-star worthy episode yet, and I'm not hate-watching. I like the show and waiting to for it to be great and not just good.

    Jammer's review for this particular episode was perfect.

    I think the so called second golden age of TV is over for quite some time now. This all feels more like the lead age of TV or maybe plastic age of TV. There were so many duds lately and this endless avalanche of mediocrity. There are still good shows out there but they are harder and harder to find in this endless stream.
    That giant companies can make more money by not releasing a finished show than releasing it, is a pretty fascinating lesson on the economic power relations in western societies. They would probably get a tax break for throwing kittens into a furnace.

    Really reminds of this
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCQuon4b8bk

    The NuTrek shows are probably so expensive, as Jeffrey's Tube mentioned, because they have to be. I don't think that all shows have to be this high quality. There are still quite a few trashy looking shows out there but NuTrek was to be the big draw for Paramount+. Now Paramount+ is in the fifth place with not much brand id. The question is really if the smaller ones will band together or be gobbled up be one of the big (english speaking) three.
    How long is Paramount Global willing to accept billions of losses every year only to be part of the streaming market? I can't imagine them doing too well outside of the US.

    TERRIFIC!!!
    I cringed at live action boimler at first but this episode ultimately delivers.
    Like you said at start of your review, this episode gets "very special episode," correct.
    I loved the mix of comedy, emotional moments and actual ....FUN!
    Live action Mariner was also a joy, I just kinda wish we got a live action Tendi :)
    The ending was also hilarious with the effects of the Orion beverage being made known.

    I'm reading Jammer's recommended reading and there are some wonderful nuggets.
    From the guy who made the night agent
    “In my case, it means that I got paid what I got paid. I’ll get a little bonus when season two gets picked up and a nominal royalty fee for each additional episode that gets made. But if you think I’m going out and buying a private jet, you’re way, way off.” and “The promise was that if you made the company billions, you were going to get a lot of millions,” he says. “That promise has gone away.”
    The nerve!

    Please continue capitalists. Keep sawing.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAf0QnLFS7Q

    @Dirk
    '@Bok R'Mor - I still really appreciate your suggestions. I just wish the transporters worked so we could sit down with a bottle and discuss.'

    Again, very kind of you to say. I agree.

    I know I harp on and on about 'wej Duj' on here (people would think Kathryn Lyn is paying me per-mention commission, and I wish she was) but it's because it's the *only* episode of NuTrek that made me feel like I was watching TNG-era Trek. It isn't a perfect episode (what is?), but it's the best Trek I've seen in the past 20 years.

    On the whole I quite enjoy LDS, primarily because it's essentially a self-aware on-screen version of Memory Alpha (I'm not an animation fan either). There are some aspects that persistently grate (namely the constant puerility), and I wouldn't say I'm heavily invested in it, but it's entertaining enough in a lightweight way. Don't expect much, never be disappointed.

    @The River Temarc
    'Yes, there's a huge recency bias into that list of top IMDB episodes. If they're to be believed, about three of the top Star Trek episodes ever aired within the past year.'

    NuTrek love-watchers claim every new episode is the best ever because they've based their current identity on belonging to a group that LOVES NuTrek and considers it the BEST EVER. Disagreement becomes 'hate'.

    @The River Temarc
    'the idiocy returned. I've not watched the rest.'

    You do have to have a high level of tolerance for idiocy (sorry, 'zany hijinks') to be able to enjoy LDS, it's undeniable. You won't get philosophy but you will get fart jokes and finger guns. That's just the way it is. It's a low bar.

    @Jeffrey's Tube, @Booming
    I thought the 'golden age of television' post 2000 related to the increased quality of scripts and performances, rather than to any golden age of competitively ballooning budgets? It's a colossal waste of money when you can do bottle scenes like Rust's police interviews in S1 of True Detective that cost next to nothing and received universal acclaim. You can have golden age quality without excessive costs, because it's the story that counts.

    What does NuTrek spend its CGI budget on? Things we've seen dozens of times before - even in NuTrek. In the last episode there was the trope of the person freezing to death in space again. CGI again. Was it necessary? No. Did it contribute to the story? No. Was it expensive? Maybe.

    '(And no, I'm not in the industry. It just interests me so I read a lot of the trade websites pertaining to it: Deadline, Variety, HR, etc.)'

    This is exactly what someone in the industry would say. Admit it!

    @Jeffrey's Tube
    'What about the Billups backstory episode?'

    Billups is an annoyance. For some reason the writing staff want a bigger role for him.

    @The River Temarc
    'I also suspect that some of the old school fans who enjoyed TNG's introspection may have given up on NuTrek altogether. There were some comments back towards the end of PICARD to the effect that "now that TNG is truly ending, I have no further interest and won't be turning into P+ any longer."'

    This is undoubtedly the case - there are several regulars here who have sworn off NuTrek.

    I wouldn't agree PIC was TNG though. It was NuTrek through and through. It had the TNG cast in it though.

    @ThatERguy
    'Jammer, love the service you do here. And love your reviews. But also starting to think you’re a little biased against SNW. I don’t think there’s anything they could do that would please you fully for a 4 star review.'

    Trying to emotionally blackmail the site owner into giving future SNW episodes four star reviews to prove he doesn't 'hate' something you 'love'. Classic.

    @ThatERguy "[...] But also starting to think you’re a little biased against SNW. I don’t think there’s anything they could do that would please you fully for a 4 star review. Surely at least one of the last 17 episodes has deserved 4 stars. I tend to think multiple episodes do."

    It does seem to be tracking that way. As a recent convert, it's amusing to read the criticism coming from corners I once shouted from. Since dropping my shields and giving it a fair go, the difference is night and day.

    This is a damn fun show and excels at what it means to be. It bypasses the asinine, convoluted nonsense of Disco / Picard and the vast pit of mediocre, pedestrian entries of the Berman era and taps back into the core of franchise.

    A lot of people struggle to accept the tone of the show, even if the idea of what Trek they do want is a vague, barely defined notion.

    @Bok

    I’m certainly not interested in blackmailing anyone. Jammer is of course entitled to his own views! He prefers the cerebral introspective Trek. I fully enjoy that side too. And also enjoy this show for what it has become.

    I don’t love all Trek. I find discovery brutally painful to get through most of the time. All the emotional baggage and ptsd gets exhausting. It’s nice to have a show return to the episodic, ensemble based formula that made the show a lasting success over 7 decades.

    The final episode of season 1 though, quality of mercy was so well done and jammer almost got to 4 but stopped at 3.5

    @Jeffrey's Tube: "Max has one third more subscribers than Paramount+ and roughly half the subs of Disney+, which is third behind Netflix and Amazon Prime."

    I would call it a cheat to include everyone who has Amazon Prime to get free two-day shipping a subscriber to the streaming service. It's unknown and perhaps unknowable how many subscribers they would have if they were just a streaming service.

    As for Disney+, it's significantly cheaper (as is Paramount+), so that also seems like apples to oranges. I think Netflix is the only one priced comparably to Max. Just the fact that Max costs so much feels to me like an ackowledgement that it is top tier.

    And according to this article, you can only get to a ratio like yours (Max having half the subs of Disney+) if you include Hulu, ESPN+, and Hotstar, whatever that is. Just the core Disney+ is only 102.9 million vs. 96.1 million for Max (which, again, charges significantly more per user so is bringing in more revenue):

    https://www.indiewire.com/features/general/whos-winning-the-streaming-wars-revenue-subscribers-netflix-disney-1234813738/

    "You didn't like the whole Pakled story? I felt it was a marked step up from season one and smoothed the tone out a lot. I also felt they did a lot better at writing the characters to be appealing rather than irritating (which was surely their intent all along), although it is possible familiarity helps them be perceived as such by me once I've seen that many episodes."

    I will say that I for one found the Pakled irritating, and found myself wondering how they attained that level of technology when they seem to be such a low-IQ species. (Perhaps that's explained on other episodes of LD?) Or maybe you meant the core LD characters, who still didn't do a whole lot for me in "wej Duj" as I said.

    @Quincy: "The only claim I made in the post prior to the one you quoted was that there would be dissatisfaction among SNW fans who don't watch LD."

    You're still ignoring that several of us have chimed in to say we don't watch LD but are hardly dissatisfied with this episode. Erasure much? :P

    @ThatERguy: "The show is directly grappling with one of the major criticisms that there’s no stakes because we know the end. They’re saying well maybe even if you know the end what does that mean for you and your decisions."

    Interesting take. Food for thought.

    @Jammer, good review: lines up with my thoughts pretty well once again, even if you were a half-star stingier than I was. I also enjoyed your thoughts about the streaming era, and plan to check out your Vulture link if I can get past the paywall.

    @Bryan: "The lovers say Jammer is biased against SNW while those more critical think that he's too lenient. This tells me that he must be doing something right as an impartial reviewer since he doesn't fall in with either extreme, and it's probably for the best that no one is 100% satisfied, save for the handful of more moderate viewers."

    This is my take as well (I'm among that handful, I think). Jammer's mixed reviews of the series are more compressed, meaning fall over a narrower range, than my own. But he has given ten of the seventeen episodes three stars or better; for me that number is twelve. Not too different. And I haven't handed out any four star ratings for SNW yet either, although I said 3.75 stars for "The Lotus Eaters". (The three I gave straight-up 3.5 star ratings to were the S1 premiere and finale, plus the latest episode we are discussing in this thread; by comparison Jammer gave 3.5 stars to only two episodes.) So I do like the show slightly more than he does; however, Jammer gave "Elysian Kingdom" a full two stars, which I would consider to be wildly overpraising it! :P

    @Booming: "I think the so called second golden age of TV is over for quite some time now. This all feels more like the lead age of TV or maybe plastic age of TV. There were so many duds lately and this endless avalanche of mediocrity."

    If you (or anyone else reading) hasn't seen "Andor" yet, I exhort you to do so posthaste.

    "That giant companies can make more money by not releasing a finished show than releasing it, is a pretty fascinating lesson on the economic power relations in western societies. They would probably get a tax break for throwing kittens into a furnace."

    Yeah, I really hate that--but the striking writers are actually not helping in that regard. They are really attached to the idea of getting residuals instead of taking a higher upfront payment. "Betting on themselves", which is actually a more entrepeneurial attitude, not really that progressive when you unpack it. It means they strike gold if a show they work on becomes a smash success; but it also means if the show does not really catch on, it incentivizes the streaming services to "throw the kittens into the furnace". If (as the AMPTP would prefer) they were just paid for their work when they turn it in and then their employer would keep the rights in perpetuity, they would be much less likely to make things entirely unavailable because why not keep it up in case it attracts the odd subscriber or catches on later? They already paid for it.

    @The River Temarc: "Yes, there's a huge recency bias into that list of top IMDB episodes. If they're to be believed, about three of the top Star Trek episodes ever aired within the past year."

    I'll again tease that I'm going to post something more about this in the next episode thread, but I would call the evidence for recency bias weak or at least mixed at best. Here are the average (mean) IMDb user ratings for the various seasons of live-action nuTrek:

    DSC S1: 7.5
    DSC S2: 7.5
    DSC S3: 6.7
    DSC S4: 5.7

    PIC S1: 7.6
    PIC S2: 6.6
    PIC S3: 8.8

    SNW S1: 7.9
    SNW S2: 8.1

    Not enough difference between S1 and S2 of SNW to see a trend (as of three or four days ago, S2 had an identical 7.9 average, with the strong positive reaction to this latest episode causing the entire uptick). And certainly there has been no recency bias with DSC! Your entire case really rests on PIC S3, especially considering how the user ratings dropped off sharply from S1 to S2. I would suggest the surge for that third season may have more to do with people's "memberberries" around TNG than anything, which doesn't really square with recency bias as I understand the term.

    @Bok R'Mor
    I didn't mean to imply that the golden age of TV was related to a lot of money being poured into it. Generally the Sopranos are seen as the start of that era. in the end it was mostly HBO and early Netflix that produced most that Golden Age. Sure, HBO's shows aren't cheap but they cost far less than NuTrek. Sopranos during it's first season cost 2 million per episode (not adjusted). For Breaking Bad it was 3 million, Orange is the new black cost 4 million. So they were all cheaper than the NuTrek shows but more popular and arguably much better overall.

    @Booming
    'I didn't mean to imply that the golden age of TV was related to a lot of money being poured into it. Generally the Sopranos are seen as the start of that era.'

    Indeed. I think there's a danger of confusing the '[second] golden age of television' (which began with the Sopranos as you correctly highlight and included series like The Wire) with the 'golden age of streaming' which began with House of Cards in 2013 and seems to be imploding now.

    It's probably best for Trek as an IP to simply focus on SNW and LDS (one marquee live action series and one cheap to produce but popular animation series) rather than producing five series just for the sake of it - three of which are extremely expensive and one of which no one even watches. It's certainly cheaper.

    @SlackerInc
    I saw that you tagged me. Please don't do that. I reread the megathread about you on that other forum and that reminded me why I chose to ignore you in the first place. For example, your whole support for late term abortion bans "women who need late term abortions are already traumatized, so what's the harm in traumatizing them even more if it let's us win against republicans" really gets my blood boiling. I know somebody who had to go through that ordeal. And there is so much more.

    For anybody who wants know what I mean.

    https://boards.straightdope.com

    and type in SlackerInc in the search bar and make your own judgement. The Megathread about him is called "Do we have a thread for SlackerInc yet. Maybe we should." Be aware, it starts somewhat mildly but then it quickly turns into a wild ride to Crazytown.

    And that is the last I will ever say about that.

    Is it too early to open a bottle of wine!

    @Booming: "in the end it was mostly HBO and early Netflix that produced most that Golden Age."

    Netflix didn't even make TV shows until 2013. I would FYP with "mostly HBO and AMC". You could make an argument for FX as well, but you definitely can't leave out AMC, home of Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Better Call Saul. In a 2021 poll BBC conducted of 206 TV experts from 43 countries, AMC landed two of the top three shows cited as among the 100 best of the 21st century:

    https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20211015-the-100-greatest-tv-series-of-the-21st-century

    Netflix didn't land a single series in the top ten, and only three in the top 50.

    I see just before posting that you didn't take to heart @Jammer's admonition not to drag complaints about entirely separate forums into this one. In any case, if you post something I'm interested in commenting on, I'm going to quote you and use the @ symbol when doing so to "tag" you. It's not your place to tell me not to.

    @ThatERguy
    'He prefers the cerebral introspective Trek. I fully enjoy that side too. And also enjoy this show for what it has become.'

    Of course. I just wish SNW could have a little more of that 'cerebral introspective Trek' than it has at present. It's getting better in that regard, of course, as the Una-Pike scene and the Boimler-Mariner-Pike cookery show scene in this episode demonstrated.

    'It’s nice to have a show return to the episodic, ensemble based formula that made the show a lasting success over 7 decades.'

    Agreed.

    Meh , I liked it, few questions though .The crew of the Enterprise must think Starfleet become gradually incompetent when ensigns like Boimler and Mariner are presented as officers from the future.

    Also, this human exploration of Spock thing with Chapelle is royally annoying me simply because , I guess the toxic fan in me, doesn't see how this connects to the Spock we know in TOS. I'm betting there will be an episode where Spock will lose part of his memory and regress, just to fix everything up for TOS.

    The reaction to this episode makes me wonder if I'm from another planet. There were a few decent bits (like Boimler telling M'Benga that his model of tricorder has a tendency to explode), but most of the humor boils down to characters saying their internal monologues out loud, without any actual jokes, for 48 minutes. That got tedious, especially since there's only a sliver of plot to support the story. Apparently grain is such a hot commodity in the future that the Orions were willing to trade a priceless artefact for it.

    @SlackerInc

    "...100 best of the 21st century:

    https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20211015-the-100-greatest-tv-series-of-the-21st-century"

    What a crap list... NO trek series?

    Anyone saying that "Those Old Scientists" is in the same league as "Trials and Tribble-ations": no, no, just a universe of no.

    "T&T" is one of the most amazing and genius hours in the history of the medium of television. "TOS" was a goofball trifle (and I like ST:LD).

    It's another one of the millions of examples why NuTrek doesn't come close to TOS-TNG-DS9.

    "I think the series won’t ever get 4 stars from Jammer unless and until it’s turned into a completely different show and probably with a different cast."

    This is definitely not the case. SNW has probably the best cast of the Trek v3 era, and they actually use them as a mostly-balanced ensemble. And the tone is absolutely fine. Very much Star Trek. I like that it doesn't take itself too seriously.

    The problem is that nothing has "gotten there" for 4 stars. What would it take to get there? I don't know. I'll know when I see it. But this was not nearly enough. It was fun, but hardly great. I grinned a lot, laughed a little. Would've liked to laugh more. This was simply a good episode of Lower Decks.

    Jammer's Reviews: Satisfying everybody zero percent of the time since 1995!

    @Jammer As it should be! To satisfy "everybody" (or, since that's impossible, to satisfy the greatest possible number of people the majority of the time), you'd have to be all bland and mealy-mouthed. The way a diplomat like Anthony Blinken talks.

    I've tended to agree with your takes the past couple weeks, but even when I disagreed with others pretty strongly (an example being your review of "Among the Lotus Eaters", which I thought might be the best episode of the series but you rated as below average), I appreciate the way you lay out your viewpoint and clearly articulate your reasoning. Stick to your guns!

    @SlackerInc
    Wed, Jul 26, 2023, 4:51am (UTC -5)

    "@Quincy: "The only claim I made in the post prior to the one you quoted was that there would be dissatisfaction among SNW fans who don't watch LD."

    You're still ignoring that several of us have chimed in to say we don't watch LD but are hardly dissatisfied with this episode. Erasure much? :P"




    Did you smoke something strange before you wrote this? Did I ever claim at any point that the entire audience of SNW would be dissatisfied with the episode? Or did I claim that the dissatisfaction with the episode would come from a certain portion of that sector? If it's the latter, what relevance does your statement have towards mine? Zero maybe? How magical were those mushrooms you smoked?

    "Jammer's Reviews: Satisfying everybody zero percent of the time since 1995!"

    Not satisfying everybody is better than not satisfying anybody!

    Maybe I should have thrown more negatives in there.

    Okay, @Quincy, seems to me you're backpedalling and blustering to avoid owning up to the clear implication of your own words. Such as:

    "People are watching SNW aren't necessarily watching LD and vice versa. And therefore there's going to be a lot more dissatisfaction with the crossover as one franchise's contribution is completely loss on most of the other's fanbase."

    "I never said how popular I think this episode is or isn't. I wasn't even talking about that. It's clearly popular among people who watch LD. The only claim I made in the post prior to the one you quoted was that there would be dissatisfaction among SNW fans who don't watch LD."

    Even if you didn't technically make categorical statements about EVERYONE in one camp or the other, nothing in either of those comments conveys any hint of recognition that there are several of us who don't watch LD and still really liked this episode. What I'm seeing in the comments (not to mention the very high user rating at IMDb) does not support your assertions that this will be "completely loss(sic) on most of the other's fanbase". Wishcasting doesn't make it so.

    On the topic of series lacking 4 star episodes, I'm a bit surprised LD hasn't gotten one either. I think Crisis Point from S1 was the best candidate, but it just missed from Jammer at a 3.5

    I guess "satisfying" could mean different things. If you disagree, but still find value in my perspective and the writing, then the review is still a success. It is impossible to have everyone "agree" with me, nor would I ever aim for that.

    I was told I was both too hard and too easy on Voyager back in the day. The only thing that has changed since then are the names of the shows. And my age.

    Feel free to agree, disagree, or punch your computer screen throw your mobile device.

    @Jammer - at the very least, the streaming services finally having to face reality and scale back on their current practice of throwing money into a hole means you won't have to maintain such a hectic review schedule into the future!

    Specifically in regards to Trek, it's my hope that this actually results in a little bit more of a back-to-basics approach. SNW has already gone some of the ways there by returning to an episodic formula, but I think it still suffers a bit from the expectation that unless a stupendous amount of money is spent making each episode look like a spectacular movie, nobody will watch. This means shorter seasons and a longer production time.

    Having less money sloshing around could turn out to be a very good thing. It could mean that rather than seeking to produce epic, prestige-drama "10-episode movies" constantly, the industry goes back to squeezing more out of existing sets and casts. It might even reduce subscriber churn if you can produce shows that last for longer in a sesaon and are more rewatchable, as episodic procedurals tend to be.

    It hasn't escaped my notice that in this era, the TV shows I rewatch are never the heavily serialised epics. It's the ones where I can pick a random one-shot episode and just enjoy it while I chill out with a drink after work, or have it on while I'm cleaning the house or whatever. SNW and LD are going to slide very easily into that rotation (already have, actually). Disco and PIC, not so much.

    "Jammer's Reviews: Satisfying everybody zero percent of the time since 1995!"

    It's like being an NFL referee. When they make a call favorable to your team, they're brilliant. When they make a call unfavorable to your team, they suck and should be replaced.

    Luckily I started to watch LD some moths ago otherwise this would have been a completely nonsence. It was silly but both true to LD and SNW.

    It was fun. It felt quite natural that there would be strong opinions.

    What I liked most was letting the jokes becomeing serious. Boimler and Chappel in the lift is a good example.

    Boimler character did work better. Mariner, which I thought had the best potential, was more tiresom.

    I also like the opposite approch where guest character people from future came back in time.

    Great fun.

    It was complained the Jammer have not yet given a 4* rating yet. I like SNW much and there has been som quite good episodes but no one extremely outstanding.

    On the topic of "only a fan of LD could enjoy this episode", I admit that it is not a logical impossibility that those who have never watched LD could enjoy it, and indeed there are at least two or three people here who bear that out. I want to suggest that, of that handful of people, they are likely LD fans in the making: people who would enjoy the show if they were to give it a chance (even if that meant turning on subtitles or slowing it down to parse the rapid-fire dialogue).

    I also believe that, for those people, even if it so happens that LD is not their cup of tea, it possible to enjoy this episode in a more piecemeal than holistic way, such as liking this or that throwaway joke, or appreciating how effectively the episode conveyed the humor in Spock's unexpected smiles, etc... But even then, it's not the EPISODE per se those people are rating so highly but the sum of its amusing moments, since the episode as a whole is fairly flimsy and serves as little more than an expedient receptacle for the random disconnected quips and gags it contains.

    I bet if a bunch of us folks put our heads together we could easily write a number of Trekkian one-liners and oddball situations that would evoke the same quantity of smiles or laughs that resulted in this episode's generally positive reception, if only in our mind's eye. Of course, saying that we could accomplish this in theory and watching it actually unfold on a screen populated by real actors effectively delivering those lines are two different things...but I think it goes to show how little we have come to expect or demand from Star Trek's writing these days if most people here on and iMBD are going absolutely nuts over it and cannot even imagine that a Star Trek episode could get any better than this. But I think writing and storytelling finesse is precisely where Nu-Trek has the most room for improvement, and why we haven't seen had any SNW episodes truly worthy of 4-stars.

    I wondered above if this would be Jammer's first 4-star review for SNWs. And then I thought about it more and realized some of my own issues with some of the script, and made another guess at 3.5. He came in at 3.

    Jammer has never taken a side on Nu Trek. He has always been fair.

    @SlackerInc
    Wed, Jul 26, 2023, 11:05am (UTC -5)
    "Okay, @Quincy, seems to me you're backpedalling and blustering to avoid owning up to the clear implication of your own words. Such as:

    "People are watching SNW aren't necessarily watching LD and vice versa. And therefore there's going to be a lot more dissatisfaction with the crossover as one franchise's contribution is completely loss on most of the other's fanbase."

    "I never said how popular I think this episode is or isn't. I wasn't even talking about that. It's clearly popular among people who watch LD. The only claim I made in the post prior to the one you quoted was that there would be dissatisfaction among SNW fans who don't watch LD."

    Even if you didn't technically make categorical statements about EVERYONE in one camp or the other, nothing in either of those comments conveys any hint of recognition that there are several of us who don't watch LD and still really liked this episode. What I'm seeing in the comments (not to mention the very high user rating at IMDb) does not support your assertions that this will be "completely loss(sic) on most of the other's fanbase". Wishcasting doesn't make it so."




    Thumbs up on ability to quote comments. Thumbs down on reading comprehension of those same comments.

    I never backpedaled on anything. I just never made the claim you seem to want to claim I'm making. Funny how that works.

    I very clearly say one section of the fanbase doesn't watch LD. Then I state that's where the dissatisfaction with this episode would come from. How that's controversial in your mind is a mystery to any rational person.

    There's no such thing as "technically" here. There's only what I did say and what I didn't say. I didn't say that the episode wouldn't be liked by most of the other fanbase that didn't watch LD, just that the contributions LD makes to this crossover episode will be lost on most of the fanbase who don't watch LD. Thus breeding more dissatisfaction with the episode. Notice how "more" doesn't mean infinite or total or whole.

    I wasn't talking about the people you're talking about. I was talking about DIFFERENT people because THOSE are the people was interested in talking about. I don't have to suddenly start talking about people whom I'm not talking about simply because you want me to for some odd reason.

    Let me clear it up for you with an analogy. It's as if I had a brief conversation SPECIFICALLY about people who like tea that don't like coffee. Here you come with an objection ripped right out of your anus like a Law & Order episode that YOU'RE NOT ACKNOWLEDGING US TEA DRINKERS THAT ABSOLUTELY LOVE COFFE! HOW DARE YOU NOT DO THAT!

    Well... that's... probably because I was already BUSY talking about the tea drinkers without coffee breath. You know, the subject that interested me. There was literally no REASON to even mention the stank breath tea lovers, because I was already talking about the fresh breath tea lovers, which were clearly stated to be a PORTION of the tea loving group in question. This AUTOMATICALLY means that there HAD to exist tea lovers outside of the fresh breath tea lovers. You know, those stank, rank, dank, skank breath tea lovers that you seemed to be obsessed with. I suggest you talk about them if you're so interested in them instead of making requests to me to do it for you.

    Please, show the fanbase breakdown, not just on the overall popularity of this episode. Please, show that this particular episode garnered an overall rating that cannot be explained by the current fanbase of just one or the other of this show. Do you have it? No? Didn't thinks so. Since you do not have the statistical information that you would absolutely have to have to make your case, you're the only one wish casting (whatever asspull that came from) from you anecdotal love experience with this episode.

    Put the mushrooms down and slowly back away.

    I rate the above comment 10 internets out of 10. You went full internet, buddy. Never go full internet. Ha.

    @Bryan: "I bet if a bunch of us folks put our heads together we could easily write a number of Trekkian one-liners and oddball situations that would evoke the same quantity of smiles or laughs that resulted in this episode's generally positive reception, if only in our mind's eye. Of course, saying that we could accomplish this in theory and watching it actually unfold on a screen populated by real actors effectively delivering those lines are two different things..."

    I don't really understand how this is a complaint. There are a bunch of smart people here, some of whom (especially if we are including @Jammer) are very good writers. And we are virtually all steeped in Trek lore. I think if we put our heads together we could also likely put together a decent "serious Trek" script.

    @Quincy, you've definitively demonstrated that no true Scotsman am I. Well done. ;-)

    @SlackerInc

    It's not a complaint in and of itself, but you seem to knowingly sidestep my point in where I was going with that thought since that's just where you cut off your quotation of me.

    And if you think a gang of us forum warriors could match or even exceed the writing prowess of Nu-Trek writers even when it comes to more serious Trek, all the more power to you-- well, all the more power to us. However, that would only bolster my contention that most of us fans could, and probably should raise our expectations of what's on offer and not be so quick to judge it as near-perfect in its present form.

    Fully expecting the next episode to be full again of the hate watchers coming for Ortegas. I might even be one of them, although she has been significantly better and less irritating in the last few episodes.

    @Bryan
    'However, that would only bolster my contention that most of us fans could, and probably should raise our expectations of what's on offer and not be so quick to judge it as near-perfect in its present form.'

    Excellent point. The bar is now so low with most NuTrek that even its very best episodes (' wej Duj', 'Those Old Scientists', 'Children of the Comet', 'Ghosts of Illyria', 'Among the Lotus Eaters', perhaps one or two more) barely match above-average TOS, TNG, DS9 and VOY (maybe even ENT).

    Praise is often really just sweet relief that the episode was (surprisingly) not as ham-fistedly bad as we had feared beforehand.

    @ThatERguy
    'Bok you’re being overly dramatic'

    Thank you! I do try.

    @ThatERguy
    'Fully expecting the next episode to be full again of the hate watchers coming for Ortegas. I might even be one of them...'

    It's very interesting that the 'hate' toward (i.e. criticism of) the Ortegas character virtually exclusively* concerns the one-dimensional quippy straitjacket the writers and producers have forced onto her. Everyone seems to agree that Melissa Navia is a skilled actress just waiting to be given the opportunity to get her teeth into something of substance.

    As far as I can recall the only real acting opportunity Navia has been given so far was 'The Elysian Kingdom'. I actually think she had one of the best performances in that very dire episode, but she wasn't playing Ortegas.

    There'll obviously be some focus plot that reveals a tears of a clown/tragic backstory to Ortegas in the near future. She'll likely be an orphan, because.

    *There was of course a whole diversion into her haircut a couple of episodes ago.

    HOW did you all see this episode ealry--dont new episodes drop Thursdays--why does it say July 22 for this episode??

    @Leif
    This episode was released in between at comic-con. The regular release-slot was then used by episode 8

    Only got this episode today in the UK so I ended up discombobulated (not unusual really) when I found all these reviews. LD isn't my cup of tea and neither was this. That doesn't mean I 'hate' it okay, it just means I had a different response to it. We can't all enjoy the same things.

    "Trials and Tribble-ations" it wasn't—that was a stone cold Trek *classic*—but as a fan of both series, MAN was that fun.

    When the episode started with Lower Decks, my watching partner, who was casting P+ onto the Smart TV, thought we had the wrong episode. Having heard about a crossover while having done my best not to learn anything more, I simply said "Shh...just wait."

    I had a gigantic smile on my face the whole damn time. What a ride. Quaid and Newsome are fantastic as the live-action versions of their characters—who in live-action are *supposed* to come off as overly boisterous and chatterboxy—yet still found a gear to shift down to to keep it from becoming pure camp.

    Our SNW crew, meanwhile, found the right balance of bemusement and irritation. It's always good to see "unlawful good" Orions. It even managed to progress the Spock/Christine plotline...albeit in a melancholy direction.

    While I wish Tendi and Rutherford could have made the trip to the 3D world, I feel that would have been too much (DS9 had the benefit of two settings—the Enterprise and K-7).

    Like the touch of Picard in "Emissary", TNG's "Birthright", the bit of DS9 in "Caretaker", or even VOY's "Live Fast and Prosper", I'm a sucker for these love letters to the franchise. I award 3 1/2 Stars to this ep for the raw, unbridled joy it gave me.

    SNW is tiptoeing on the edge of being a parody show. When I first encountered SNW, by browsing YouTube clips, I was sure it was. Between Anson Mount's ridiculous hair and his uber-droll line readings, the show was an ST version of Galaxy Quest. I mean, it had to be. Who could take that guy seriously?

    But of course when I started watching the actual show, the tone was often quite serious, and it wasn't really like Galaxy Quest. I wouldn't say that Season 1 was a parody season, by and large.

    But this year, without the ongoing and sobering reminder of Pike's fate, it kinda feels like that.

    I enjoyed this more than I expected when I first realized it was a lower decks crossover at the start of the episode. I don’t have much to say other than I just hope they don’t bringing boimler back in future SNW episodes. Paramount+ era seems to do things like that. It worked, please just let it be a moment. After hearing her full name this is the first time I realized La’an rhymes with Khan. So ‘La’an Noonien Singh’ would be the exact same as being Hitler’s grandson being named Layedoff Hitler. It’s really pretty crazy

    @Walding Thanks I didn't know and can you tell me is the PORTAL here the same as the Guardian of Forever in the City onthe Edge of Forever?? Or different? If it was different, WHY didnt this episode spend more time EXPLORING THE ALIEN PORTAL and thisUNIQUE ALIEN WORLD--what is the biology and ecology of the planet like--why does it have colorful wisps of energy around it? I wish the episode had focused more on that--exploration and dscovery in any case..

    I hate to complain but WHY did this episode WASTE SO MUCH TIME on figuring out how to send Boimler and the other back instead of exploring the alien planet and juxtaposing animation and live action in some unique , creative,and original way--didn't anyone else want or expect this? Like one small example/suggestion, have the portal be some kind of transformation device turning 2d ppl aka animated characters into 3d or something..somehting more creative and original or innovative and somewhat novel..andalso make Trek historical references sure..

    I'll allow for this bit of cuteness, particularly the reverse cross-over style ending where we see the SNW crew in animated form.

    That said, these SNW seasons are really short... Too short for the ratio of "Gene L. Coon would have loved this" descents into silliness, already including Spock Amok, The Serene Squall and Charades.

    Counting this outing that's four out of just 17 episodes, nearly a quarter of them, leaving just three more this year for some more impactful, consequential and Trek-ful adventures.

    I've never been a fan of "Lower Decks" (to put it mildly) as I find its characters obnoxious, but at least seeing real-life versions of Boimler and Mariner was cool, as was seeing animated versions of the SNW cast -- the gimmick aspect of this episode. But the idea of doing a crossover with LD at this point in time for SNW is a bad idea. The show should be focusing more on Pike since he's been neglected this season (and he's supposed to be the star of the show) and also tying in more to the geopolitics of the era (which we get in the next episode, thankfully).

    This is obviously a very simplistic episode and it is mostly about gags of not trying to reveal the future for Boimler, the adulation he and Mariner have for the SNW cast etc. It's a lot like DS9's "Trials and Tribble-ations" except that episode is vastly superior due to better characters and justifiable adulation for the TOS cast instead of a cast that hasn't proven anything yet (and may never will).

    There were some half-decent reflections from Boimler (like with the Carol Kane character, and about Pike being remembered) but when Mariner came along, things degenerated between the 2 in LD style -- just got to be tiresome with their banter.

    Plenty of moments that I wanted to fast-forward through like Chapel and Ortegas pulling Boimler's leg, Mariner making drinks for Uhura and Ortegas etc.

    Did we have to see Pike cooking again? What is with this captain? Easily the worst captain on Trek -- he really prefers to be in a role of servitude instead of one of authority and decisiveness. Why can't they show him, when he's not on the bridge, doing something professional?

    Boimler had an interesting comment about the "golden age of exploration" -- yes I think Trek in this era was a bit like the wild west.

    2 stars for "Those Old Scientists" -- another gimmick episode for SNW S2 and not one I welcomed nor one that I think SNW S2 should be spending its limited bullets on. The gags of not revealing the future (or altering it) got old quickly, as did Boimler's schtick. But the episode isn't totally without some charm.

    "A lot of people really don't like the fast paced hilarious, "These guys are terrible at their jobs" fiction being canonized as part of the "main" Trek timeline."

    Um, no. We think that a terrible joke is a terrible joke even if someone says it in a frantic shouty voice, and we think you are a bit dim for apparently finding ti hilarious just because of that.

    I love Strange New Worlds and The Orville, but the idea Lower Decks is hilarious is just juvenile.

    I tried watching Lower Decks but I couldn't get past the high school doodles animation and apparently I'm immune to the attempts at humor. Ironically the "humor" isn't any better with rl actors. Can we give negative stars? -5

    Interesting last act for the episode, but boy did it take a long time to get there. Overall another uneven outing, in which it feels like they stretched the plot extremely thin and relied on cartoon comedy to keep the episode afloat.

    Boimler running away from Una in the Corridor. My god, I haven't laughed so much in years.

    All right, I've watched this a second time now, and I have an actual plot-related question. What happened with the grain? Did the Orion captain give it back? Did the Setlik II colony starve and/or have to be resettled? Or did everything fix itself when the LD* people went back through the portal? At the end, both crews seemed to remember everything that happened. What does that mean for the timeline?

    *LD, please, not LDS. LDS means Latter Day Saints, i.e., Mormons, and I can't unthink that. (Plus, what would the S stand for in Lower Decks S?)**

    ** Please take the above with a grain of salt. If you keep using LDS even though I say it drives me crazy, then . . . okay, I'm nonviolent.

    @The Queen
    >*LD, please, not LDS

    I prefer LDS for just one reason. In future decades we'll be able joke that are friend did "Too much LDS in the '20s".

    I didn’t find this particularly creative. Let’s have a crossover, sure, that’ll be neat. Great, but beyond that idea they don’t really do much with it.

    Better than any episode of that absolute shitshow Picard which I can only assume Jammer is being paid to give higher scores to.

    A few thoughts:
    1. Tawny is awesome
    2. I loved the idea of the crew being annoyed by fanboys, and then fanboying themselves about Archer.
    3. The last minute alone made the episode worth it for me, particularly with M’Benga screaming “What the hell is in these things?!”

    3 stars from me

    3.5/4 stars

    A nifty gimmick episode for sure. Better than most SNW and LD episodes, interestingly. Perhaps they need to combine the writing rooms and just commit to one 26 episode per year mega Trek show?

    Giving Spock a foil in Boimler was a nice touch. Maybe SNW should do that more with... Ortegas? It would make him seem more Vulcan, and less human.

    Although the ongoing arcs of the season (Spock/Chapel, La’an/Kirk, Uhura being overworked, etc.) get passing references, this was definitely more an episode of Lower Decks than it was an episode of Strange New Worlds. The crossover reinforces the fact that the Lower Decks characters are “adulescents” compared to the Starfleet characters from all other Trek series.

    Once I accepted that (and therefore gave up taking it seriously), I enjoyed it very much, even though the best jokes for me were the ones that made fun of Lower Decks itself. 3 stars (barely) seems about right.

    Holy Q - laughing out loud at this episode! Those close-ups on Spock smiling from Boimler's perspective were hilarious haha. Another slam dunk episode, very fun. Riker!

    Never watched Lower Decks, I find that style of fast-talking, silly, American comedy extremely irritating. Unfortunately I therefore found this episode extremely irritating. Very little story, all fan service - terrible.

    Fun.

    Ds9 tribble episode fun? No. But I guess that's a too high standard. A show in it's prime, in the middle of a golden trek era, going straight to our hearts since we were all 25 years younger (oh man) and thus a lot more impressionable than our current day, streaming service spoofed, slightly cynical seen-it-all selves.

    I truly believe that if one factors in those parameters, this episode rises above Jammers evaluation, so I want to give credit where it's due and give this one four stars even if to me personally it also felt more like three.

    Whether it's trek or anything across all genres, will any new show ever "catch me" as my favorite shows of the past did? I don't know. I sure hope so, but damn, its certainly gotten more difficult.

    Fun episode - meant to lighten the moods? after heavy going with Una on trial in episode Ad Astra Per Aspera (Una translated that as To the stars ....)?
    Episode ending with cartoon Spock waving his snakelike arm - what a hoot!
    Laugh out loud episode from J Frakes - well done Riker.

    Hoo boy. This is by far the worst episode of SNW. I was irritated and bracing to waste an hour of my life by the end of the opening 5 minutes, and I was not disapointed.

    I have not watched Lower Decks. I am absolutely 0% closer to being interested in it after seeing this episode. I think many people here enjoy Lower Decks. Well that's great I guess, it's harmless enough I guess. I don't see the appeal. The show reminds me of how Star Trek Generations went astray by focussing so much on Star Trek heritage / in jokes so much it was forgetting to tell a good story, and pushing away anyone without the knowledge. It also reminds me of being teased as a kid for being a Star Trek nerd, with it's lasers, and aliens. Shouldn't I go out and do something useful rather than watch something so nerdy? Well what the teasers didn't understand and we did, is that Trek told good stories, attached to science fiction. That's why it's stuck around so long. Not because of some weird technobabble alien, but because the stories taught us about ourselves, and also developed characters we found fascinating. Yet now here we are with "Those old scientists", a show so "zany" with literal cartoon characters and characterization. I can't imagine why someone would find the endless banter about arcane facts in a ficitional universe funny. What's the point? I'd rather clean the bathroom than waste my time with this.

    So I wasn't exactly thrilled with the opening concept, neither was my partner. We both saw the opening cookie cutter animation sequence and collectively groaned. We had sat down to watch SNW, hoping for something interesting like "Children of the Comet" or amiable enough like "Spock Amok". We couldn't figure out what we had turned on. Perhaps we could have a Family Guy crossover next? Maybe BoJack Horseman? We might as well have turned on those shows on if we had wanted something at least a bit more funny, and mercifully 30 minutes shorter. Speaking of which, this episode is much shorter than the previous ones, quite a tell on the level of material.

    To add even more insult to our evening, we had watched The Wrath of Khan the weekend before. That movie had genuine humour that was based on what we know of the characters, a consistent universe, where rank is taken seriously, literary references, poignant themes of ageing, life, and death. Great quotations like "The needs of the many", "From Hell's heart, I stab at thee"...

    Next thing we know, we are watching and listening to lines like these:

    "That Uhura is the full package"
    "Look, I'm gonna keep this, like, 100 % profesh"
    "We have jetpacks now. I know, but, like, smaller jetpacks."

    I also would like to put forward three words of dialgoue that should be banned from the writers room "Weird", "Cool" and "Awesome". Actually four : "Profesh". I lost track of how many characters said "weird". Who are these supposed future explorers? Sounds like they came from my local middle school.

    Now as for the "story", these two kids are on the Enterprise from the future, supposedly afraid of messing up the timeline. And yes, our fantastically temporally aware crew knows that the future should not be revealed because of the butterfly effect. So what do they do? They proceed to put one or both of them on the bridge / near all the Sr.officers in nearly every critical situation, because of course it's not like it wouldn't make more sense to confine them to their quarters with such high stakes.

    Meanwhile Spock continues to be supposed comic relief with his smiling and awkward emotions. I was looking more for cringe relief. He is not Data. Spock smiled just fine in TOS. Probably smiled just fine as a kid. Yet here he's channeling a robot. Wrong characterization. Pike as usual this season, is inept in dealing with any situation: He seems to have forgotten his job is not to cook but captain.

    Oh yes and the "clever" opening in an animated style. This would be original in say, 1993 when the Simpsons was playing around with its opening sequences. It's 2024. It's hardly original, and honestly, diminishing. The animation style is the carbon copy style of so many animated shows in the vein of Family Guy. Makes me think a student could have pulled this off, or even an AI protocol. I would have rather seen the shlock animation from the original 70's Animated series. At least it has a flavour of individuality.

    I'm quite harsh on this episode because I care. To me, this episode is even worse than a Ferengi episode from TNG and DS9. Those episodes were trash as well, but the framework of the show was still intact. Picard still gave the orders. So would Sisko. On this show, I don't know what kind of ship this is any more. There's no sense that this is a ship anymore with rules, and codes of conduct. Anyone can do anything at anytime. If this show jumps the shark, I'm pinning this episode as the moment it happened.

    The best quote of the whole Episode came from Spock in referral to being around the two ensigns for "It is quite exhausting." Agreed Spock. 100% agreed. May we never see them on SNW again.

    1/2 Star - for Spock's brief acknowledgement of the truth.

    I'd also like to remind Jammer of one of his (and my own) favourite writers: Roger Ebert, who once said of Trek: "It has become a much of a muchness." That's what this episode is to me.

    @Mr. Picard

    "I have not watched Lower Decks. I am absolutely 0% closer to being interested in it after seeing this episode."

    Don't you think you might give it a try before blasting an episode clearly written to appease those who have watched it? .... rather than write an essay on how bad the episode was?

    Esssh...

    @Yanks

    Not really, because I sat down to watch Strange New Worlds, not Lower Decks. If I wanted to watch Lower Decks, I would have watched that instead. It's easy to do. We get 10 episodes a season of SNW a season. I would prefer 10% of the season not be dedicated to appeasing fans of another show. There's still plenty to work on / develop on this show. If this were Season one of TOS, we would barely be 2/3 through the first season (There were 29 episodes in season 1.) Why is this show already doing being infiltrated by another?

    This episode was not a crossover / homage more so than it was product placement. It was as original / clever as adding Poochie to Itchy and Scratchy. Sorry, but this was like watching season 1 Wesley Crusher run around and be a boy wonder. Not interested.

    I think Trek comedies and experimental episodes are risky and usually don't work. But this one nailed it from the SNW angle and the LD angle. It's in my all-time Trek favorites list.

    It only took them two minutes to convince me to never watch Lower Decks. I did like the scene featuring animated versions of the SNW crew at the end though.

    At least they dont talk like neurotics vhile acting real people, not animated characters. Thats a plus.

    But agreed, that litle snippet of them at the start was enogh to convince me never to give Lower Decks a chance.

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