Two episodes in and I already appreciate the thought and effort that went into making this series. It is very clear that the writers of Lower Decks love Star Trek and, even though they have made a comedy using the Trek universe, they somehow managed to remain reverent to the source material. That continues on into episode three, this time explaining exactly how it is the crew on the various shows seem to have so much time on their hands for things like Holo-programs, darts, poker and more.
Ensign’s log Stardate sometime before dinner: Temporal Edict
The Captain of the Cerritos discovers that much of the crew take buffer time on a regular basis in order to keep themselves free from overworking. Determined to become the number one ship in the fleet, Captain Freeman cancels Buffer Time and nearly destroys the ship in the process.
Is it a ‘Good’ Episode?
You know how upper management in most companies seem to not really understand how long actual tasks take? Think about your work day and all the tasks you get wondering when and if you will ever get them done? It is no surprise that this ‘tradition’ continues well into the twenty fourth century but, how would that work for a civilization that no longer pursue financial or material gain? In a nut shell, it doesn’t. So, what have the officers aboard the ships come up with? Buffer Time. You know how the crews on the various ships seem to have a LOT of personal time? Buffer-Time. You know how certain Engineers are able to get things done in record time? Buffer-Time. Yep, it’s the unspoken thing that has existed since the original series and, until now, didn’t even have a name.
Now, what happens when you take away buffer time? Simple. Absolute chaos. A ship in the Federation was never meant to run 24/7 non-stop, humans in this century are used to having time to explore their own lives and hobbies and such. It’s not that they are lazy, it’s just no longer necessary for people to kill themselves with mundane tasks…unless you are Miles O’Brien that is but he is remembered for his awesomeness.
In addition to the Buffer Time explanation, we also get to finally see the first officer, Commander Jack Ransom in action when he and Ensign Mariner get themselves captured by aliens due to a misunderstanding. In true ‘Red Shirt’s’ fashion, this results in a revelation as to why the senior officers are where they are and why Mariner is not….or rather doesn’t want to be.
I am still amazed with how much story this series is able to pack so much story into the brief thirty minutes it is limited to but each episode still feels like it is as full and complete as any other Trek series. With a plethora of fun references to the rest of the series, this episode is a blast, even giving props to one of Starfleet’s greatest in the final moments.
Gleanings, Questions and cool bits: (slight spoilers here)
- I have to wonder now if Captain Jericho knew about Buffer Time…I mean, he was a hardass.
- The double fisted punch is featured in this one, because, of course it is.
- There is an interesting callout in the end with a history teacher telling students about the past. If you look carefully you will notice Borg, Ferengi, Andorian, human and Caitian children in the group. Showing us that in the ‘far future’ the Federation is far from forgotten.
- There is also a cool reference to the “Great Bird of the Galaxy’ which was mentioned a few times in the series yet never actually seen…
Thanks for reading the SciFi TV Review I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you!
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Late To The Game 2/3/2019
and as usual, a few shots of next weeks show