From Warp 10 Lizards To Space Jellyfish, ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Easter Eggs In “Much Ado About Boimler”

We have already recapped and reviewed “Much Ado About Boimler,” the seventh episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks, and discussed it on the All Access Star Trek podcast. Now we take a deeper dive into the fun details, references, Easter eggs, and more. In some cases the references are clear, with others it may just be our Trek interpretations; art is in the eye of the beholder.

Obviously… SPOILERS ahead.

Substitute Jellico

Much of “Much Ado About Boimler” was a riff on the sixth season two-part Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Chain of Command,” starting with the captain and two senior officers being recruited for a special Starfleet ops mission. Freeman, Ransom, and Shaxs wore the same stealth outfits as Picard, Crusher, and Worf in that episode. Mariner also made a reference to a “Jellico coming in here,” namedropping Captain Edward Jellico who took command of the Enterprise-D while Picard and his team were on their mission. Like Picard’s, Freeman’s mission was also related to Cardassia as the vital Rulot seeds are from a Cardassian planet mentioned on Deep Space Nine.

Phased out

Due to a failed experiment with the transporters, Brad Boimler spent most of the episode “out of phase.” Star Trek characters as phased specters have been a recurring theme across the franchise, starting with Captain Kirk in “The Tholian Web.” Ensign Ro and Geordi LaForge were also out of phase in the TNG Episode “The Next Phase.” And in Enterprise’s “Vanishing Point,” Hoshi Sato believed she was slowly fading away due to a transporter malfunction. That episode also told the transporter ghost story of a “Cyrus Ramsey” who may have inspired the name of the Captain Ramsey in Lower Decks, who came aboard to take command while Freeman was on her mission.

Bad ship for good bedside manner

Dr. T’Ana summoned Starfleet’s Divison 14 to take care of Brad’s special condition, and they arrived in a unique ship named The “Osler.” This ship was likely named for Canadian physician Dr. William Osler, who was one of the founders of Johns Hopkins Hospital and is described as the “Father of Modern Medicine.” Osler pioneered training students in bedside manner, so naming this dark and foreboding ship after him was a bit ironic.

Starfleet Freak Show

The Osler housed a number of victims of accidents that looked a bit familiar. Anthony the salamander-like creature was clearly inspired by the de-evolved creatures Tom Paris and Captain Janeway transformed into in the infamous Star Trek: Voyager episode “Threshold.”

Ensign Jenna and an unnamed officer were confined to motorized chairs and only able to talk via beeps due to Delta radiation, just like Captain Pike in the TOS episode “The Menagerie.” Both were later joined by a third chaired officer when they got to “The Farm.”

Two officers (Ellis and Sanderson) had been fused together due to a neutrino transporter accident, which was a twist on the eponymous character created from a transporter accident in the Voyager episode “Tuvix.”

The leader of the freaks was a half boy/old man who was suffering from both rapid aging and de-aging, like the dying Daniels from Enterprise’s “Storm Front.” Some of the other freaks could have been references to other franchises, including the floating head (Cromulons from Rick and Morty) and the spiked guy with his head removed (Zabrak, like Darth Maul from Star Wars).

Re-animated Specialist

This episode also had a couple of rare Federation aliens appear. The Division 14 Specialist was a tri-limbed Edosian, the same species as Arex from Star Trek: The Animated Series.

And Lt. Pratchett was Rigelian.

Encounter at Jellyfish

The episode ended with the USS Rubidoux being consumed from the inside by an alien creature, transforming into a “space jellyfish,” like the space vessel lifeforms seen in the TNG pilot “Encounter at Farpoint.”

Old Saul

“Much Ado About Boimler” didn’t include any of the famous Star Trek character name drops that have been common in the series, but there was one that was a bit of a deep cut. Mariner talked about stealing the “old special car” from a Professor Saul Rubichek of Starfleet Academy. This seems to be a nod to character actor Saul Rubinek, who played Kivas Fajo, the collector of unique old things in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Most Toys.” The USS Rubidoux’s Captain Dayton may also have been named in honor of veteran Trek novelist Dayton Ward.

BONUS VIDEO UPDATE: Mike talks TAS canon

In his Sunday video update, Mike McMahan talked about the Division 14 Specialist and the show’s goal to treat Star Trek: The Animated Series as canon.

What did we miss?

Did you catch anything else? Let us know in the comments below.


New episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks premiere on Thursdays on CBS All Access in the U.S. and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada, where it’s also available to stream on Crave. It has not yet been announced where and when Lower Decks will be available outside of the USA and Canada.

Keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek Universe on TV at TrekMovie.com.

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My favorite episode yet. The Easter Eggs [so many!] were fantastic, from the salamander to the lovely ethereal creature from “Encounter at Farpoint” to the Super Secret Mission outfits.

And FINALLY we got some idea of what’s up with Mariner :^)

And OMG the noise when Boimler et. al. were “in phase” LOL!!!

Can’t disagree, my favorite episode as well. Who knew the most goodwill Trek fandom has gotten in the last 7 years would come from a silly animated cartoon lol. But hey, it works. ;)

I enjoyed a lot of the easter eggs, but to nitpick a tiny bit… The Jellico reference makes no sense in universe, and these kind of fourth wall breaking jokes break the immersion for me personally.

Absolutely it makes sense. Jellico has a rep. It’s that simple.

I have a feeling Jellico takes on a lot of baby sitting assignments around the fleet and probably known as Captain ball buster. ;)

Makes sense.

Why else does he not stay with his own command?

In the Relaunch novels, Jellico is promoted through the flag ranks by the 2080s. Perhaps rotating through a variety of commands and ship types is a preparation for promotion to Commodore?

Yeah, I feel similarly. Fans will explain it away by saying that this establishes in canon that Jellico is a “substitute captain” by profession, but I very much doubt that’s what the writers were going for with that reference.

The one that bugged me most was Boimler saying in a previous episode someone was “like a hopped up Q on Captian Picard Day.” I’m don’t like the idea that anyone outside of certain command crews are even aware of the Q, forget a particular Q’s relationship with Picard, which would not be common knowledge. Of course, like Jellico, that could be explained away, too, it would just make the world less interesting. But… outside of that, how does Boimler even know what Captain Picard Day is? It was established by a schoolteacher for the children on the Enterprise, it’s not a Federation Holiday.

And even if each of those things were geeked out about by Starfleet nerds/fans, it would not be a good reference in that moment unless everyone could connect the dots the way watchers of Star Trek can.

But eh, the show is preposterously wacky for Star Trek even if everything fit 100% within canon, so I’m happy calling it “soft canon.” It’s so much fun and has a good heart, worthy of the Star Trek name, so I’ll shrug off fourth-wall stuff like that, even if I bump against it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mark

The explanation is that it’s a cartoon and they’re trying to make funny references. I swear some of y’all like being miserable and negative.

^^This!^^

The cartoon part. But I’m usually miserable and negative anyway!

Last edited 1 month ago by Tiger2

Tiger2: “Say what?!!”

You’re often the most optimistic and positive person here (after Ninja).

I was joking. ;)

Although that is definitely me in real life….joking again…sort of.

I’ve always thought that all of the Enterprise missions are “required reading at the Academy”. As well as non-classified or non-personal logs. Next best thing to being there. So Geordi whining about a 4-shift rotation would probably be on record for posterity.

For whatever, seeing Anthony the devolved salamander getting a massage both cracked me up and showed that the Farm was an authentically caring place.

LOL I haven’t seen the episode but boy it sounds funny hearing you describe it.

The stealing the ‘old special car,’ has to be a nod to Ferris Bueller and his pal Cameron Frye played by Alan Ruck who we all know as Captain Harriman of the Enterprise-B.

I love the easter eggs!

Was it just me, or my imagination? During the introduction of The Division 14 Specialist, the sound of the airlock hatch opening sounded like they were on a Star Destroyer and the Edosian’s silhouette was Darth Vader.

I remember the door sound but had to just rewatch it to be sure. It’s the same sound as the holodeck & shuttle bay 1701-D doors… Symbolic of a more significant seal since they were in an airlock? That said, the sound was a bit more drawn out (longer) which gave it a different effect.

Jon…thank you…I totally forgot about that!!!

I really really hope the finale is their version of Best of both Worlds.

The Borg were wiped out in Voyager’s finale.

Riiiiight. Glad you believe that.

You seem to think you posted a response.

You didn’t.

Aren’t the borg shown… in the opening credits? I’d say it’s safe to assume they’re still around in sone capacity.

Also, Rutherford trains in Shaxs’ simulation against some Borg, and Captain Ramsey mentions being cornered by 4 Borg. So they are definitely still around.

This episode was pitch perfect from beginning to end. Some of the most entertaining 25 minutes I’ve ever experienced. You feel now they have a good rhythm going. I hope they keep the momentum up. You know, if had asked me just a few months ago if I would have enjoyed a animated Trek series I would have told you were crazy, not MY Star Trek I would’ve said… but know I’m a total convert! Thanks Lower Decks!

So that was a Rigelion. I thought it might be one of those guys that made Archer chop wood that one time.

Interestingly enough, though they’ve been mentioned since TOS, we’ve only ever previously seen Rigelions on Enterprise, and they do look a lot like that one-off Porthos-intolorant species who made Archer get shirtless and chop wood that one time.

Turtle-like Rigellians appeared in ST:TMP and spinoff materials.

Perhaps the planet Rigel, or the solar system, has more than one sentient species.

This show is just SO damn fun! McMahan understands classic Trek in such fanboy way and really brings me back to the TNG era with a smile on my face; but really a tribute to the entire franchise. I don’t want this to be anti-Kurtzman post, but I kind of wish he was in charge of the franchise. He just seems to ‘get it’ more.

Anyway, another great episode and easily my favorite of the season so far. Next week looks like it’s going to be great. And I still can’t wait until freaking Q shows up!!!!!

Last edited 1 month ago by Tiger2

I love Lower Decks and I love that it’s produced by a TNG superfan, but I would absolutely not want him, or someone in his mold, to run the entire franchise.

Imagine a new Trek series that did nothing but remixes of previous Trek concepts. What would be the point of that? Even Gene Roddenberry knew that to move forward you have to toss out a lot of the old stuff and develop new things, even if it bumps up agaisnt the existing “canon.”

Star Trek is the rare franchise that must change (and in major ways) in order to stay true to itself.

Fair enough. But I would assume he would still want to do different things just like Roddenberry, Berman and Kurtzman all did. I don’t think every show would be like LDS or anything, I just mean he understands and gets Star Trek in general. But of course it doesn’t mean he should run the entire franchise or anything, but I would be curious to see what he did with it.

I loved what McMahan did with Harry Mudd in the Short Trek “The Escape Artist.”

It was however McMahan’s first live-action script credit.

For a short, it had numerous different settings and many characters.

He’s clearly used to the freedom of animation and not the constraints of live-action production.

Exactly! That short was so clever and done so well. It’s easily my favorite by far.

That’s what I mean, he understands Star Trek, all of it. He is a comedic writer though, so I don’t think he would feel comfortable writing an uber-dark serious episode of Discovery or anything but he doesn’t have to. I just think he could find a lot of the right people for Star Trek who understands it like he does no different than what Roddenberry and Berman later did on their shows.

But I’m not suggesting he replace Kurtzman or anything (although I have seen it other boards), I’m just speaking in general.

I think Kurtzman is the koala upon whose back the universe rests. Note his smug smile in all promotional materials. WHAT IS HE SMILING ABOUT????

When Boimler was trying out different hair styles, the last one was definitely Rick from Rick and Morty

Rutherford’s dash to the transporter room reminded me of the scene with Chekov in the 2009 movie.

The person & the dog crawling on the ceiling seemed to be a reference to the Suliban. Also, the dog being being named “The Dog” seemed to pay homage to “The Doctor” in Voyager.

Ah! Loved it

Wow, good I think you’re right! I hope we see The Dog again. It can’t be over that quickly. :(

You missed “Rascals” as a clear influence for the old/young guy, made all the more obvious when he lamented living out his days as “half a rascal.” 🤣

Poor guy

Red bikini blinking once for yes

Dayton said it wasn’t named after him as far as he knows.

Yah, I saw that on his Twitter.

However, David Mack is a consultant for Lower Decks and they’ve shared writing responsibilities on some of the big Trek-lit novel sequences.

It certain that Mack would have drawn that to the writers attention when the name was proposed.