“Lower Decks” has remained savvy about its obscure Trek references, making frequent jokes and visual puns about the franchise’s vast history. Trekkies may want to keep your eyes peeled for a cameo by the Most Important Device in the Universe, a recognizable prop used in “Star Trek” and throughout multiple sci-fi shows and movies. “Lower Decks” is the first show in history, I suspect, to actually explain the device’s function.
Additionally, there is a scene in the same episode wherein the four lead characters enter a warehouse, historically a handy place to find multiple callbacks and references. The warehouse contains … well, there’s an original series episode reference in a box right next to a notable first-season “Deep Space Nine” reference. Sharp-eyed Trekkies will be able to spot any number of other little nods to various piece of Trek tech and the second appearance of multiple one-time-use alien species from the franchise’s history; look for a member of the Chalnoth species, only previously seen in the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode “Allegiance.” Also look for a cameo by the a species featured in the “Star Trek: The Animated Series” episode “The Survivor.” It’s a true treat for die-hard fans.
Only occasionally do the references seem oblique and self-indulgent. “Twovix,” for instance, essentially only exists to poke fun at many elements of “Voyager”; its very title is a reference to “Tuvix,” the infamous amalgam of Tuvok (Tim Russ) and Neelix (Ethan Phillips) who was created by a transporter accident. Tuvix (Tim Wright) pleads to remain alive, but not to give away any plot details, but Tuvix’s origin will play an important part in the “Lower Decks” episode. There are also cameos from several “Voyager” villains that no one likely expected to see again.
But apart from “Twovix” and one other notable episode, the references have stayed graceful and incidental. One needn’t know Trek lore to appreciate the gags.