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23 Weeks of NEW Trek -The Message of LOWER DECKS

I'm almost surprised at how much I'm enjoying STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS! It's pure comfort food, something like "Chicken Soup for the Trekkie Soul." Each episode brings with it another condensed dose of Star Trek love. "Envoys” for instance, gave us a little gift after little gift of Trek lore & references, but like any good Star Trek episode there was a message in there too.

Be true to who you are, and everyone on the ship will celebrate that truth with you.
Could there be ANYTHING more Star Trek than a message like that?!? WOW. This is the message of "Lower Decks." With each episode clocking in around twenty five minutes, it may just be the purest distillation of Star Trek ever offered to the fans. And sadly those minutes click by quickly. The wait between episodes is hard, but that wait affords time for rewatching & reflection. Something else I should have expected from a show bearing the name STAR TREK. 

STAR TREK Lower Decks on CBS All Access

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During the week between episodes I've found myself re-watching the first cartoon Star Trek ever produced, "The Animated Adventures of Gene Roddenberry's STAR TREK." Bit of a wordy title, yeah? We'll just call it STAR TREK: THE ANIMATED SERIES, or TAS for short. TAS was something I watched a lot in the '70s, and as a kid I didn't really separate it from "The Original Series", it was all just "Star Trek" to me. My friends and I would watch it alongside the syndicated reruns of TOS we got after school. Everyday there were episodes of our favorite show - "Real or cartoon", it didn't matter to us. We loved it all.

On Saturday mornings - right after The Animated Series aired we'd all "beam down" outside on the banks of the lake behind our houses. All of us (every one) wearing our "Star Trek Shirt." 

In those days we were all wearing different colors of the same short sleeved Starfleet Uniform "Tunic." Our engineer was in red, our "Spock" (my friend "Tack" had his black hair cut into shape not unlike Mr. Spock's with bangs and all) wore blue, and I was always wearing gold or green. We carried a collection of different devices for our "landing party equipment", but most everyone had a Remco utility belt with a miniature phaser, communicator, and a tricorder. We would play for hours running around on the surface of some strange new world wearing our uniforms, and "being" the characters we had just been watching on TV. It was too much fun.

"Fun", is what we had in mind when we recreated those original short sleeved Star Trek Shirts for Trekkies today.

 Growing up, I often thought about how much fun we had with Star Trek, in our uniforms, and I wanted to bring them back for the now grown kids who had worn them back when the franchise was new. 

I'm happy wearing mine whenever I can, and it reminds me of the first time STAR TREK was new & fun.

That's what "Lower Decks" is to me. It's Star Trek that's new & fun! It's also garnering a whole new audience of younger Trekkies & Trekkers (like my own kidlet) that are watching it and finding just as much there to love as I do. 

More than that, between its own stories and references to earlier adventures - it’s forming new connective tissue between itself, and all the stories we loved in the past. 

It’s proof positive that STAR TREK can tell new stories in new ways, and continues to seek out new audiences and new fandoms. Still boldly going where no show has gone before!


John Cooley 
John Cooley is a writer based in Las Vegas, and a product developer for ANOVOS.  

John Cooley August 27, 2020 0 tags (show)