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Star Trek: Lower Decks – Season 2 (Blu-ray Review)

Paramount+ has been overloading us with Star Trek shows since back when it was called CBS All Access. Year round there is some Star Trek show currently putting out new episodes and sometimes they’ve even had themselves some overlap. However, the one with the least amount of stakes and one with loads of light-hearted and deep Trek enjoyability has been the Adult Swim-ish Lower Decks. The animated sensation’s second season will be coming to Blu-ray on July 12th and will include multiple featurettes that go over specific episode details, as well as full on season overview. You can pre-order yourself a copy now to have when it arrives next week by using the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review.

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Season

The second season of the American animated television series Star Trek: Lower Decks follows the various missions and adventures of the “lower deckers” (low-ranking officers with menial jobs) on the USS Cerritos, one of Starfleet’s least important starships. The season was produced by CBS Eye Animation Productions in association with Secret Hideout, Important Science, Roddenberry Entertainment, and animation studio Titmouse, with Mike McMahan serving as showrunner and Barry J. Kelly as supervising director.

Lower Decks picks up where it left off in the previous season and continues to run with the ball, poking fun at some low hanging Star Trek fruit for humor as well as finding some deep cuts to get the most hardcore nerd to exert a belly laugh. From any and all aspects of the show, this one really knows its history and is a wealth of knowledge that it both flaunts and embraces at the same time. There are interesting takes on old story beats, ponderous questioning of things we’ve taken for granted and just some good hearted ribbing that isn’t mean spirited and is totally meant in a “we all love this, don’t we?” kind of fashion.

One of the areas that seems to be most impressive with the show is that it doesn’t just sit and cash checks for the gags it comes up with. The comedy program has legitimate character arcs, growth and relationships that it also has fun exploring. And from the score to the sound design, it has a massively impressive and immersive audio for just a light hearted animated show. Joining in on that are some well designed and some times breath taking action beats you would expect to be employed from this and rival and even top its live action counterparts. I know I’ve compared this show to Rick and Morty before, but I mean it in the best ways. The animators here have appeared to have learned or taken the right lessons from that show and put them into practice here. Lower Decks is more than just a couple easy laughs. Its pretty engaged as well.

Episodes

Star Trek: Lower Decks – Season 2 contains all episodes in the show’s second season.

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/DetailStar Trek: Lower Decks – Season 2 arrives on Blu-ray with pretty much the same image quality that came with the first season’s disc release. Its sharp, crisp and features as much detail as the animation style allows. Colors are pretty strong and the image is one that is plenty bright and vivid. I’m not sure how much better it could get than this at this time.

Depth:  While this is a bit of a 2D style of animation, there is a freeness to it and the ship sequences provide a more three dimensional look to things. Movements are smooth and have no blurring or jitter issues.

Black Levels: Blacks are dark, deep and do a good job of outlining, providing contrast and working well with shadows or darkly lit scenes. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors have a nice vibrant palette. They are deep or thick and come with a breezy look. Though, primary colors do have a nice pop and there are many a space or action sequence with plenty of glow.

Flesh Tones:  N/A

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, German 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish

Dynamics: Star Trek: Lower Decks – Season 2 continues to have a sturdy 5.1 mix that delivers all the goods you’d expect from a live action Star Trek show and very much on par with its first season’s Blu-ray. Its plenty loud and boisterous, with good range and dynamics to deliver a balanced and well thought out mix that has terrific depth and layering.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Explosions, crashes, punches, roars, engines, blasts and more feel a nice rumble from the subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: Good ambient sounds are produced in this well rounded arena. Little hums and such in different rooms bring a lifelike experience to viewing. Sound travel and an aware 360 degree engagement work with the speaker interplay on this mix.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.

Extras

Star Trek: Lower Decks – Season 2 is a 2-Disc set.

Disc 1

Strange Energies

  • Animatics (HD, :58)
  • Easter Eggs (HD, 1:01)

Kayshon, His Eyes Open

  • Audio Commentary by Mike McMahan, Jack Quaid and Jonathan Frakes
  • Animatics (HD, 1:00)
  • Easter Eggs (HD, 1:31)

We’ll Always Have Tom Paris

  • Animatics (HD, 1:03)
  • Easter Eggs (HD, 1:26)

Mugato, Gumato

  • Animatics (HD, 1:01)
  • Easter Eggs (HD, 1:03)

An Embarrassment of Dooplers

  • Audio Commentary by Mike McMahan and Jack Quaid
  • Animatics (HD, 1:00)
  • Easter Eggs (HD, 1:04) 

Disc 2

The Spy Humongous

  • Animatics (HD, :43)
  • Easter Eggs (HD, 1:03)

Where Pleasant Fountains Lie

  • Audio Commentary by Tawny Newsome, Paul Scheer and Garrick Bernard
  • Animatics (HD, :50)
  • Easter Eggs (HD, 1:01)

I, Excretus

  • Animatics (HD, 1:03)
  • Easter Eggs (HD, 1:07)

WEJ DUJ

  • Audio Commentary by Mike McMahan, Gabrielle Ruiz and Kathryn Lyn
  • Animatics (HD, :51)
  • Easter Eggs (HD, 1:02)

First First Contact

  • Animatics (HD, 1:03)
  • Easter Eggs (HD, 1:03) 

A Sound Foundation (HD, 13:19) – This is a really detailed piece on the sound design for the show. It takes a look at the history of sound effects on the show, doing their homework so they get it right and then the way they plan, map and execute it for the show.

Lower Decktionary: Season 2 (HD, 32:37) – This is a pretty insightful and detailed retrospective documentary with the cast and crew about the season.

Summary

Star Trek: Lower Decks may just be my personal favorite of all the new Star Trek outburst from Paramount Plus (Not having seen Strange New Worlds which admittedly sounds right up my alley). This second season’s Blu-ray release continues to provide a quality offering in video, audio and extras as is come to be expected from the Star Trek brand. An easy pick up for Trekkies.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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