Why The Men Of Star Trek Are Now Dressed Like Counselor Troi

By Michileen Martin | Updated

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Gates McFadden and Marina Sirtis stretching for no particular reason in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Price”

Without hilarious franchise references, Paramount+‘s Star Trek: Lower Decks would have no reason to exist. That’s no less true today as the two episode Season 4 premiere delivered, among other things, a gender-swapped repeat of the infamous stretching scene in Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s “The Price.”

Instead of Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) and Counselor Troi (Marina Sirtis), the Lower Decks episode “I Have No Bones Yet I Must Flee” gives us Jack Ransom (Jerry O’Connell) and Shaxs (Fred Tatasciore) stretching in front of a mirror, in outfits almost identical to Crusher’s and Troi’s.

Enterprise-D Stretching Vs. Cerritos Stretching

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Star Trek: The Next Generation
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Star Trek: Lower Decks
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Lower Decks

The Next Generation scene is remembered as one of the best examples of Star Trek trying to turn fans on while just barely pretending it wasn’t trying to turn fans on. The only more blatant example that springs to mind is T’Pol (Jolene Blalock) and Trip (Connor Trinneer) in their underwear and rubbing goo all over each other in a purely “platonic” fashion in the Enterprise premiere.

The scenes from both shows touch a little bit on romance. While in “The Price” the conversation between Troi and Crusher is almost exclusively about the former’s fling with the part-Betazoid Devioni Ral (Matt McCoy), in the Lower Decks episode Ransom and Shaxs just barely touch on the latter’s relationship woes with the Caitian Doctor T’Ana (Gillian Vigman).

The stretching is clearly played for laughs, however in Lower Decks the scene is actually fairly crucial to the overall plot. As Shaxs and Ransom stretch, the freshly promoted Mariner (Tawny Newsome) overhears Ransom saying that soon she won’t be his “problem.” This triggers Mariner into believing that once more she’s been promoted just so she can be humiliated and demoted.

The Next Generation scene is remembered as one of the best examples of Star Trek trying to turn fans on while just barely pretending it wasn’t trying to turn fans on.

Because of what she heard, Mariner purposely acts out while under Ransom’s command, though eventually she learns that while she heard her superior officer correctly, she didn’t understand what he meant.

Jack Ransom: Not A Jerk

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Kayshon and Jack Ransom in Star Trek: Lower Decks

Ransom usually proves to be one of the more refreshing characters on Star Trek: Lower Decks, in that he bucks expectations. Ransom comes off like the kind of villain that pops up in every 1980s comedy: an obnoxious, muscular jock waiting to pick on the nerds. You get the impression that he’s what would be left if you took Jonathan Frakes‘ Will Riker and surgically removed every positive quality.

But when push comes to shove, Ransom proves himself to be a good guy. He’s loud, he’s in love with himself, but he also genuinely cares about his colleagues, his crew, and serving Starfleet.

Not to mention, he doesn’t look half bad in Counselor Troi’s workout outfit. So, win/win.

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