STAR TREK LOWER DECKS Season 2 Review

It’s time to re-watch Star Trek: Lower Decks’ second season with the just-released Blu-ray collection, which was beamed down to collectors in mid-July, before the show’s much-awaited third season premieres on August 25. (and arrives in September for German fans).

The second season of Lower Decks is a terrific and funny installment of the animated Star Trek comedy, and it has fan favorites like “Kayshon, His Eyes Open,” “First First Contact,” and the highly regarded “we due.” This collection is pricey, but the episodic content alone makes it worthwhile if you don’t subscribe to Paramount+ but enjoy checking out home media releases.

Season 2 of the show Lower Decks is much better than the first season, which was already fantastic. More action, more Riker, more witty and funny Star Trek references, more Fourth Wall bursting into Star Trek fandom most amazingly, more cameos from venerable Star Trek actors. Lower Decks is enjoyable, and the Season 2 Blu-ray release is another chance for you to become a fan if you aren’t already.

Lower Decks Season 2 offers the best viewing experience for Star Trek, much like all other home media releases. The audio quality is fantastic, the drawn lines are clean, and the colors burst off the screen in this case because there are 10 episodes separated across two Blu-ray discs. Although the Paramount+ streaming service keeps getting better, a lot of the Star Trek content is still best presented on high-definition physical media.

To the dismay of Blu-ray enthusiasts, there isn’t a unique Steelbook-packaged version of the Season 2 set available, and the bonus features on this set are a bit hit-and-miss in comparison to other releases.

Beyond that, the only additional video content is a set of Animatics (9:29 in total) and a rundown of ten Season 2 Easter Eggs (11:19 in total), each of which is repurposed from previously-released StarTrek.com content. Lower Dictionary: Season Two features interviews with the cast, creatives, and crew about each episode of the year, and A Sound Foundation explores the meticulous world of animated sound design.

Season Two of Lower Dictionary (32:36) – The more conventional featurette, spends a short while discussing each Season 2 episode through the cast and creative interviews. There could have been more to say about Season 2 episodes like “we Duj,” even though it’s perhaps the finest overall summary of a Star Trek season from the Paramount+ period.

The information in this short, A Sound Foundation (13:19), is superb. The Season 1 collection included a short on the animation process for “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” however this one delves into the sound design process and how it works and discusses extensively how “Star Trek’s” iconic soundscape is so crucial to establishing the ambiance of the 24th century.

The four welcome audio commentary tracks on the Lower Decks Season 2 collection, which include a variety of talent discussing the effort that goes into making the series, are where the set shines. These commentaries, which weren’t included in the Lower Decks Season 1 release, are entertaining and intriguing and share some important information regarding Season 2 and the upcoming Season 3 of Star Trek: Lower Decks.

COMMENTARY: “Kayshon, His Eyes Open,” starring Jonathan Frakes, Jack Quaid, and Mike McMahan

This entertaining chat features Jonathan Frakes, a Season 2 guest star, producer Mike McMahan, and actor Jack Quaid in the role of Boimler. The funniest part was when McMahan and Quaid were ecstatic when they had to censor out around ten seconds of Frakes speaking because it appeared like he had revealed a major Will Riker spoiler for the third season of “Star Trek: Picard.”

Commentary on “An Embarrassment of Dopplers,” starring Jack Quaid and Mike McMahan

The connection between Mike McMahan and Jack Quaid is fantastic since it is obvious that they enjoy each other a lot and that they were both in the same room when they recorded this commentary. According to Mike McMahan, Thadiun Okona’s appearance in this episode was purposefully designed to match his appearance on another “Star Trek” program; perhaps that alleged “Star Trek: Prodigy” appearance is still in the works.

COMMENTARY: Tawny Newsome, Paul Scheer, and Garrick Bernard discuss “Where Pleasant Fountains Lie”

It’s always wonderful to bring the performers and episode writers together, as is the case here with Tawny Newsome, the lead in “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” Billups voice actor Paul Scheer, and episode writer Garrick Bernard (Mariner). This episode features lots of entertaining conversation, and it’s great to hear Bernard’s viewpoint on many of the writing decisions he made for the show.

Wej Duj with Mike McMahan, Gabrielle Ruiz, and Kathryn Lyn commentary

The T’Lyn voice actress Gabrielle Ruiz and episode writer Kathryn Lyn, who cosplayed as T’Lyn at conventions, are joined by McMahan in my personal favorite of the four commentaries.
T’Lyn’s involvement in Lower Decks’ Seasons 2 and 4 is discussed unusually, and Mike McMahan offers some wonderful insights on the episode’s main plot device.

Overall, the Blu-ray release of Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 won’t let down-home media completists. However, if bonus features are what motivates you to purchase physical media, the audio commentaries are lovely glimpses behind the scenes, but the light video features aren’t that exciting beyond that.

Fortunately, the two-disc set is reasonably priced (and region-free, for those of you outside North America), so purchasing it to view the animation work in the best presentation possible isn’t a difficult choice to make if you’re just looking for a new way to revisit this excellent season of Star Trek comedy.

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