WARNING: Contains SPOILERS for Star Trek: Lower Decks, season 4, episode 6, “Parth Ferengi’s Heart Place.”


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Summary

  • In Star Trek: Lower Decks, watching television has fallen out of fashion in the United Federation of Planets, with characters preferring holodecks and holo-novels for entertainment.
  • The absence of television in the future of Star Trek is ironic considering the franchise’s origins and its production of TV content. It seems odd that they would abandon television entirely.
  • Boimler’s obsession with Ferengi television in the series shows that television can be just as addicting in the future as it is today, serving as a relatable aspect for viewers.

While movies still have their place in the far future, Star Trek: Lower Decks implies watching television has apparently fallen out of fashion in the United Federation of Planets. When Lieutenants Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid), Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome), D’Vana Tendi (Noël Wells), and Sam Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) are tasked with touring the planet Ferenginar, Boimler discovers how addictive a television can be. As Tendi and Rutherford struggle to pose as a married couple and Mariner reconnects with an old friend, Boimler spends his entire trip in a hotel room watching Ferengi television.

In Star Trek: Lower Decks season 4, episode 6, “Parth Ferengi’s Heart Place,” Grand Nagus Rom (Max Grodénchik) and his wife Leeta (Chase Masterson) meet with Starfleet’s Captain Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) and Admiral Vassily (Fred Tatasciore) to discuss Ferenginar’s application to join the Federation. As the two sides negotiate the terms of the agreement, the Lower Deckers spend time exploring the various amenities that Ferenginar has to offer. Not only does Lower Decks season 4, episode 6 introduce Boimler to an addictive new pastime, but it also offers a look into the ways Ferengi culture has changed since Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Related: Star Trek: Lower Decks Cast Guide – Who Voices Each Character In All 4 Seasons


Why Star Trek’s Future Still Has Movies But No TV

Star Trek Lower Decks Boimler TV Ferengi 1

With the invention of the holodeck and the creation of holo-novels, it seems that television as a medium has become obsolete in Star Trek: Lower Decks’ late 24th century. When Boimler first arrives at his hotel room on Ferenginar, the television comes on and plays a commercial followed by an episode of “Pog & Dar: Cop Landlords”. Boimler understands the concept of television but seems unfamiliar and unaccustomed to consuming media in this way. Movies seem to have stuck around longer as a form of entertainment, but even they appear to be generally consumed on the holodeck.

At various times throughout other Star Trek shows, characters have shown an interest in old-school media like television and physical books. On Star Trek: Enterprise, the crew of the Enterprise NX-01 had weekly movie nights, as do the USS Enterprise crew in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Lt. Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) on Star Trek: Voyager had a particular fascination with vintage television shows and movies. Many characters, including Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), continue to read physical books, even though every book that exists can be found on a ship’s computer. Although the people of the future have much more interesting ways to consume media, they still sometimes look back fondly on archaic forms of technology and entertainment.

The Irony Of Star Trek’s Future Not Having TV

Star Trek Lower Decks Boimler TV Ferengi

Considering the Star Trek franchise not only began as a television show but also produces most of its best content for television, it’s ironic that they present a future without TV. Star Trek would not exist without television and most Trek fans likely spend a lot of their time consuming television shows. Although television used to be considered a lower form of media (and still is by some), some of the best stories of the modern era are told on television. It seems a bit odd, then, that the future of Star Trek would have abandoned television entirely. Although, when someone can visit their favorite fictional world via the holodeck, it does make watching it on a small screen seem less fun.

Boimler doesn’t do things halfway, and he becomes quickly obsessed with the Ferengi’s absurd TV shows. Bradward’s newfound obsession with Ferengi television fits with his character for a number of reasons and proves that television would be just as addicting for the people of the future as it is today. Throughout Star Trek: Lower Decks, Boimler has acted as a fan-insert character in many ways and his binge-watching addiction is another shout-out to Trekkies everywhere. I mean, who among us hasn’t spent eight hours in front of the TV consuming our favorite show?

Star Trek: Lower Decks season 4 streams Thursdays on Paramount+.

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