In Star Trek: Lower Decks, the crew of the USS Titan think life on Enterprise-D was boring, which shows that they misunderstood how awesome TNG was.
Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Lower Bridges Season 2, Episode 2, “Kayshon, Eyes Open”.
In Star Trek: Lower BridgesAt the end of the 24th century, some Starfleet officers had a surprisingly low opinion of the USS Company-D and consider the ship boring. However, Ensign Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) championed the flagship of the United Federation of Planets and the episodic storytelling style of Star Trek: The Next Generation against the action-driven and serialized ‘New Trek’ series as Star Trek: Discovery.
One of the big changes Star Trek: The Next Generation fact was within the reach and mission of the USS Enterprise-D. While Captain James T. Kirk’s (William Shatner) original Enterprise was just one of Starfleet’s many ships, despite having a historical legacy, Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s Enterprise-D ( Patrick Stewart) was a huge, Galaxy-class ship built for the long-term exploration of deep space. Destined to spend several years in space, the crew of the Enterprise-D numbered more than 1,000 souls, including the families of the crew members. In some ways, the Enterprise-D was a combination of a luxury hotel / small village in space, a school, the Ten-Forward salon, and even a barber shop. Before being destroyed, the The Enterprise-D was spacious, comfortable, and designed for everything from diplomatic ceremonies and complex science experiments to first encounters with all manner of new life forms.
Star Trek: Lower Bridges Season 2, Episode 2, “Kayshon, His Eyes Open,” drew a fascinating distinction between the classic Trek and the new series on Pararmount + by establishing that the USS Titan is a spacecraft engaged in the serialized, action-packed style of New Star Trek. Boimler was quick to defend Enterprise-D (and TNG in general), aptly reminding his team that Picard and Riker’s flagship “went to different dimensions … they fought the Borg … they rose up!” since his action hero teammates on the Titan believed that their leader, Captain William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes), “I must have been bored” on the Enterprise-D after seven years of exploration on a ship with “five daycares” and “regular string quartets.”
Enterprise-D and Star Trek: The Next Generation could, indeed, do everything. Picard’s flagship fought battles where the fate of the Federation was at stake, broke through dimensional barriers, and rebelled against Starfleet command when needed, but they also had wacky adventures in disguise. in Sherlock Holmes and Robin Hood on the holodeck, hosted classical concerts at Ten Forward, and there was one time, Picard and some of his crew were turned into children. It was the magic of Star Trek: TNGthe episodic style of – anything can happen every week – and Star Trek: Lower Bridges emulate it. For example, USS Cerritos also has its own bar and hosts string quartet concerts.
Riker himself confessed to Boimler that although he is now the action hero Captain of the Titan, he wishes he could be back on the Enterprise-D, a ship that was “explore instead of fighting nonstop.“Riker (and Jonathan Frakes, who directs Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard, as well as Riker in the Patrick Stewart series), is comfortable in both sets but his heart is also back on the Enterprise-D and those glorious seven years of TNG. To their credit, Boimler’s teammates on the Titan also remembered that they had joined Starfleet to pursue science and exploration, not to constantly fight enemy aliens. They would also be at home aboard the USS Enterprise-D, an anything but boring spacecraft.
Interestingly, both styles of Star Trek storytelling are canon across the universe, and there’s a Starfleet segment that leans toward fast-paced action instead of exploration and science. The fact that some Starfleet officers find the Enterprise-D (and TNG in general) being boring reflects how dated and campy classic Star Trek style can seem to new fans compared to the serialized style New Star Trek has embraced ever since JJ Abrams rebooted the universe with his films starting in 2009. But Enterprise-D champion Boimler also reflects where Star Trek: Lower Decks‘heart is; there is plenty of room in Star Trek for both styles of storytelling, but the Cerritos fortunately exists in the lore of Enterprise-D and TNG, just turned into a half hour comedy that celebrates all that is weird and wonderful Star Trek.
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Star Trek: Lower Bridges airs Thursdays on Paramount +.
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