Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Lower Decks References the Original Series AND the Animated Series

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 6, "Terminal Provocation," now streaming on CBS All Access.

In the latest episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks, "Terminal Provocation," the crew of the U.S.S. Cerritos find themselves in a standoff with a Drookmani salvage ship in space surrounded by floating debris. The aliens are scavengers, and their wish is to claim what they can for themselves. However, Captain Freeman insists that the only thing she can give the Drookmani is a reward, given that what they have found is actually the wreckage of an old Starfleet ship.

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For the remainder of the episode, the Cerritos and the Drookmani ship play an almost literal tug-of-war for the debris of what happens to be a ship that has ties to Star Trek: The Original Series, as well as The Animated Series.

At the start of "Terminal Provocation," when Captain Freeman and the Drookmani leader argue over the ownership of the debris, the latter informs the former that Starfleet doesn't have ownership of the wreckage because it's a hundred years old. Given the timeline of Star Trek: Lower Decks, which takes place shortly after the events of The Next Generation, a hundred years prior means that the ship that was destroyed initially flew around the time of The Original Series.

In fact, the destroyed ship had the registry number NCC-502. While this particular vessel did not appear in The Original Series, a ship of the same class called the Antares did appear in the Season 1 episode "Charlie X." The Antares bore the registry number NCC-501, which means that the one that was destroyed in Lower Decks was just the next in line. What's more, this type of ship, which is often used to transport cargo, also went on to appear in Star Trek: The Animated Series.

Therefore, Lower Decks actually marks the second animated Star Trek fare to feature the Antares class ship. Sure, when we find it here in "Terminal Provocation," it's already been destroyed, but it's still a noticeable inclusion and one more connection the animated series makes to the overall Star Trek universe.

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