Star Trek: Lower Decks: The Least Dangerous Game
September 1, 2022 9:18 AM - Season 3, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Straddle the line in discord and rhyme, K'Ranch's on the hunt he's after you...

You were excellent prey, but Memory Alpha does have notes:

- The title references "The Most Dangerous Game", a 1924 short story about a big-game hunter who is himself hunted on an island by a Russian aristocrat. The story has been adapted numerous times, and is often referenced in science fiction, including in numerous Star Trek episodes where Humans or other sentient species are hunted for sport including TOS: "The Squire of Gothos", DS9: "Captive Pursuit", VOY: "The Killing Game", and ENT: "Rogue Planet".

- K'Ranch also resembles one of the Yautja from the Predator franchise; the hunted becoming the hunter and vice versa is a common plot point in installments.

- The game, Bat'leths & BiHnuchs, is a take on the classic tabletop RPG Dungeons & Dragons. However, it also incorporates elements of the Star Trek board game, Star Trek: The Next Generation - A Klingon Challenge, which was an interactive VHS board game that took place on the USS Enterprise-D. The game included taped instructions and interactions with a Klingon named Kavok, who had commandeered the Enterprise and was taking it to Qo'noS. It was up to the players to stop him before he starts a new conflict with the Federation.

- We saw an orbital elevator in the VOY episode "Rise", and orbital skydiving in the VOY episode "Extreme Risk", the 2009 Kelvin timeline Star Trek, and a deleted scene from Star Trek: Generations.

- See also: the Edosians in TNG's "Justice." Also, volcano sacrifice in the movie Joe Vs the Volcano, co-starring Jack Quaid's mom.

Poster's Log:

It just occurred to me that Tag is basically catch-and-release. Also, Ransom isn't being a dick--well, sort of, but not entirely--so much as supporting cross-training for officers, which is a pretty good idea, outside of running into the sentient volcano/psychic baby/evil computer combo. If not showing the navel was the real problem all along, then the Mirror Universe counterparts would have been fine. Up to a point.
posted by Halloween Jack (19 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
it also incorporates elements of the Star Trek board game, Star Trek: The Next Generation - A Klingon Challenge, which was an interactive VHS board game that took place on the USS Enterprise-D. The game included taped instructions and interactions with a Klingon named Kavok

Kavok played, of course, by Robert "Gowron" O'Reilly. Is this where I register my disgust that Martok never once commanded the players to "experience bij"? C'mon, writers!! Where's the bij?!
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:18 AM on September 2 [6 favorites]

I felt like this episode was mostly filler. K'ranch was mildly amusing when he whipped out his selfie stick, but it felt like they had used up so many jokes in the season premiere and had nothing left in the tank for this week.
posted by briank at 7:43 AM on September 2

When Mariner and Ransom are approaching the volcano, there's a woman with a flower in her hair who inspired very "The Apple" vibes.
posted by hanov3r at 7:55 AM on September 2

That's another example of prior art. Vaal is great! Vaal takes care of us! Vaal wants us to kill the strangers, hey, seems reasonable.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:01 AM on September 2 [1 favorite]

I was wondering if Voyagers Delaney sisters were actually sisters from the planet Delaney rather than human sisters with the Surname Delaney.
Oh, actually come to think of it, it's more likely a reference to DS9. Didn't Quark have a Delanian Baths holosuite programme?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:10 AM on September 2

I too was waiting to experience bij. That video clip is so Internet-famous it seems like a deliberate omission, weird.

I wanted to learn more about the sexy planet of navel obssessed aliens. I loved the idea of the triumvirate of clichés running things. Although I couldn't quite place the psychic baby; where's that from?
posted by Nelson at 10:40 AM on September 2

In general this episode felt like filler to me too. The biggest laugh for me was when Mariner was climbing and the ladder became a climbing wall.
posted by potrzebie at 11:11 AM on September 2 [1 favorite]

Closest I can come for psychic baby is Kuato from Total Recall, although I think that there was one in Theodore Sturgeon's More than Human.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:19 PM on September 2 [1 favorite]

It’s funny (to me) that the away team use PADDs as video communicators, after Shaxs told Boimler he was only a combadge tap away. The absence of portable video/bodycams has long been evident, even in the TNG days—

[Planet surface]

DATA: It is possible.
(The oil slick ripples, and speaks)
ARMUS: Very good, tin man.


PICARD: What is it, Number One? What are you seeing?

[Planet surface]

(As a vaguely humanoid shape rises wet and glistening from the slick)
RIKER: Trouble.

—so it’s good to see a correction.
posted by channaher at 4:26 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]

The funny thing is, channaher, the 24th-century tricorders were capable both of recording video (this was also true of TOS-era tricorders) and transmitting the results to the ship, but it was rarely used for that, even though Geordi's VISOR was used for that purpose a couple of times.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:31 PM on September 2

The Cerritos—a secondary vessel at best—still has enough demand to require at least three separate choir chambers for practice.

I dunno why that joke is so funny to me, but it is.

Also good to see a return to Cetacean Ops!
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:37 PM on September 3 [5 favorites]

I loved this one. The premier was good but didn't actually make me laugh that much. This one was precisely what I've been missing. (Except, like, give us Tendi's Senior Science Officer training with Dr. T'Ana already! Like, I get that Mariner and Boimler are the main characters of this series, and I like them! But Tendi and Rutherford are the characters who reliably bring joy. More Tendi and Rutherford, please!)
posted by Navelgazer at 1:50 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]

One of the deeper cuts (not as obvious as most) answers the observation from more than half a century ago that, “Roddenberry had only one idea for a Star Trek story, which is that the crew meets God, who turns out to be either a child or a machine.” Here it’s both!
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:49 PM on September 4 [5 favorites]

IIRC it was Harlan Ellison who said that, and it's not enTIREly fair—Roddenberry had one other episode idea: "everybody loses their sexual inhibitions at the same time."
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:57 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]

Roddenberry had one other episode idea: "everybody loses their sexual inhibitions at the same time."

Roddenberry would've been proud.
posted by Servo5678 at 6:21 AM on September 6

I'd read the Ellison quote (in Stephen King's Danse Macabre) as the idea being that the Enterprise goes out into space, finds God, and God's insane, a child, or both.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:34 AM on September 8

Could well be. I am half-recalling something I read half a lifetime ago of uncertain origin, so caveat lector.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:19 PM on September 8

Or Ellison could have said it differently on different occasions, as well.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:57 AM on September 11

it provides a system of checks and balances
posted by brendano at 8:56 PM on October 24 [1 favorite]

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