Star Trek: Lower Decks S1E03 – Temporal Edict Review

Temporal Edict

TEMPORAL EDICT sees LOWER DECKS confront one of the franchise’s most absurd tendencies – its refusal to acknowledge music from any time after the early 20th century. Tendi and Mariner bring heavy metal to light entertainment as they rock out during Boimler’s staid violin recital and inadvertently cause some tensions on the bridge.

Star Trek Lower Decks Temporal Edict

The real story begins when Captain Freeman is abruptly dropped from an important treaty signing ceremony, she believes it’s because the USS Cerritos is perceived as a ship of slackers and resolves to run a tighter ship. Meanwhile, Mariner joins first officer Commander Ransom on an away mission where their similarities rub each other up the wrong way.

This is the first episode which really demonstrates the strength of the series’ format because its only through the revelation of how the crew cope with the duties using. It’s an episode which would chill Scotty the bone as Captain Freeman discovers that the crew have been passing out their work with something called ‘buffer time’ and issues the TEMPORAL EDICT of the title that will be familiar to any of the audience who have ever had to endure a time and motion study at work.

Star Trek Lower Decks Temporal Edict

Commander Ransom’s away mission goes awry in the most quintessentially STAR TREK way possible (something Mariner herself comments on) when a mistake with a ceremonial gift provokes the Gelrakians – a recent entrant to the Federation to take the away team prisoner and attack the Cerritos in response to a perceived diplomatic slight. Alongside the tongue-in-cheek sci-fi adventure, there are some really nice moments between Ransom and Mariner as the two butt heads and, in a gentle JAWS homage, compare scars.

TEMPORAL EDICT’s an action-packed episode which knowingly ticks off the classic beats of the Original Series, including the mandatory shirtless trial by combat, but it’s also the first episode of STAR TREK in an age which manages to weave a topical allegory into its storytelling, this time a satire of corporate management and timebound workflow systems. There’s some kind of irony or a self-own in this episode airing on an Amazon service, surely?

trek score 8

8/10

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