Review of Strange New Worlds Season Two Episode 7 "Those Old Scientists"

23 July 2023
Following on from "Charades" "Those Old Scientists" is a highly anticipated crossover episode that masterfully blends the worlds of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Star Trek: Lower Decks.

It picks up on the 'absurdity' that Star Trek sometimes leans into and is ably directed by veteran Star Trek director, Johnathan Frakes

Ensigns Beckett Mariner and Brad Boimler, beloved characters from the animated series Lower Decks, find themselves embarking on an unexpected adventure through time aboard the iconic USS Enterprise, captained by the revered Captain Pike, with his trusted officers Number One and Spock. The episode not only captures the essence of both series but also successfully reimagines the classic Enterprise in a fresh and exciting animation style, bringing it to life in the second dimension for the first time in decades.

The opening credits, animated in Lower Decks' style, set the tone for the episode's joyful celebration of Star Trek's history and legacy. As the crew of the USS Cerritos embarks on a routine mission to scan a portal with historical significance, Boimler's childlike excitement and Mariner's characteristic snark create a perfect dynamic that resonates with fans of Lower Decks.

When Boimler accidentally activates the portal and is transported back in time to the USS Enterprise, the episode ingeniously transitions to live-action, brilliantly portrayed by Jack Quaid (The Boys), and effectively blurs the boundaries between animated and live-action storytelling.

strange new worlds lower decks crossover review

Upon arriving on the Enterprise, Boimler's wide-eyed wonder and infectious enthusiasm for meeting his childhood heroes add a touch of humor and nostalgia. However, as he spends time with the legendary crew, he realizes that his romanticized visions of them don't match reality. This revelation adds a layer of depth to the narrative as Boimler grapples with the responsibility of not revealing future events that could alter the course of history.

Tawny Newsome's portrayal of live-action Mariner perfectly captures the character's rebellious spirit and zest for life. Her interactions with Uhura, portrayed by the talented and iconic Nichelle Nichols in the original series, are heartwarming and showcase Mariner's desire to make a positive impact on her role model's life. The episode explores themes of influence, friendship, and finding joy in the present while staying true to oneself.

As the episode progresses, Boimler's encounters with Spock and Christine Chapel evoke heartfelt moments that beautifully reflect the character development seen in Lower Decks. Boimler's initial surprise at witnessing Spock's display of emotion and Chapel's emotional reaction to the realization of their future together tug at the heartstrings and exemplify the emotional depth of this crossover event.

Throughout the episode, the crew of the Enterprise remains endearing and true to their iconic personalities, thanks to the excellent performances of Anson Mount as Captain Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Number One, and Ethan Peck as Spock. Their interactions with Boimler and Mariner provide both comedic relief and emotional resonance, making for a well-balanced and engaging narrative.

"Those Old Scientists" also cleverly explores the complexities of time travel and the ethical implications of altering the future. Boimler's internal struggle to decide how much he should reveal about the future serves as a thought-provoking dilemma that showcases the episode's thoughtful storytelling.

The episode's climax, involving the retrieval of a crucial element needed to send Boimler and Mariner back to their time, is action-packed and filled with surprises, emphasizing the show's commitment to delivering thrilling adventures.

In the end, "Those Old Scientists" is a love letter to Star Trek fans of all generations, as it seamlessly weaves together the past and present of the franchise. The episode's emotional impact, humor, and nostalgic references create a compelling and unforgettable experience for both Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks fans.

As a joint effort from the Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks teams, "Those Old Scientists" not only offers a delightful crossover for existing fans but also serves as a gateway for viewers to explore both series further. With its heartwarming and joyous storytelling, the episode cements itself as a standout installment and exemplifies the creative potential of the Star Trek universe. Ultimately, "Those Old Scientists" will leave audiences grinning from ear to ear and eagerly anticipating the next exciting adventures of their favorite Starfleet crews.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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