Star Trek: Lower Decks will return to an episodic focus.
Are you a fan of a certain style of Star Trek? Do you like a more self-contained narrative that doesn’t require you to treat a series like it’s a 10-part movie? Well, you’re in for a treat. After experimenting with a season-long narrative for season four of Star Trek: Lower Decks, that appears to be an idea best left in the past.
Returning to the series in season five, Lower Decks will once again be an episodic focus. The show will once again focus more on the goings on in each episode before moving on and not requiring fans to have to watch a prior episode to watch a new episode.
Showrunner Mike McMahan revealed that the show will leave some serialized elements behind in season five, telling The Mary Sue;
"We know season four took some serialized elements we had done before and kind of ramped them up across the whole season more… But there is a little bit of serialization in season five, but not to the extent that you saw this season. This one’s was a special take on it."
Star Trek does its best storytelling in an episodic format
While there will be some elements of serialization from episode to episode, the idea that it’s going to be notably toned down is a good thing, as Trek thrives in a more episodic format. Being able to focus a story on the here and now without having to reference bits from an episode two seasons back is what fans want.
There was a time when shows were all episodic, and so the idea of a serialized format was appealing but now with all the streaming giants treating their shows as mini-movies, fans want less connection from episode to episode.
And that’s where Star Trek has done its best storytelling. Being less encumbered by the elements of past episodes, allows the writers to further explore the depths of how an episode can go. There’s more freedom to create, as opposed to a serialized format, where you have to find ways to link past moments and actions to one another, thus limiting the freedom in storytelling.