Space: the final frontier… Those famous four words have carried fans through many iterations of Star Trek, including the 1975 Emmy-winning first and only animated series in the Star Trek canon, Star Trek: The Animated Series. Its title of first and only is soon to go away as Star Trek: Lower Decks is coming from CBS All Access.
STAYING ON THE LOWER DECKS
Lower Decks? Yes, exactly what the title suggests is what the series will focus on. Star Trek: Lower Decks will focus on crew members on the lower decks. To be more precise, the stories will revolve around lower decks support crew who are based on the very unimportant Starfleet ship the U.S.S. Cerritos. So instead of following around the Captain Kirk’s, fans are going to get a humorous look at what goes on beneath.
Mike McMahan, the former Rick and Morty writer, is serving as showrunner for Star Trek: Lower Decks and explained to Comicbook.com what to expect, “It’s on a ship that feels like it’s always existed there and the bridge crew is dealing with big, never before seen Starfleet Star Trek type stories. So every episode has a thing like that happening in it. And then, on top of that, we’ve got A stories and B stories that are emotionally driven from the point of view of the lower deckers on the ships. So it was an area of storytelling that people had covered every once in a while on Star Trek, but never built a show around.”
WHEN STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS IS SET
Star Trek: Lower Decks is set in a specific Star Trek time period. McMahan has informed fans, “Within Lower Decks, there is a proper in-canon Star Trek show. It takes place during the TNG era.” So this series takes place during the early Picard years of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
NEW CHARACTERS AND OLD
With Lower Decks running parallel to TNG, does this mean TNG characters will be involved? The answer is probably not, but never say never.
What we do know is that a whole new cast will be featured. Those lending their voices to the series include
Tawny Newsome (upcoming Space Force) as Beckett Mariner, an ensign who seemingly has no care seeing as that she’s been demoted on more than one occasion.
Jack Quaid (The Boys) is Brad Boimier, a complete stickler for the rules.
Noël Wells is Tendi, an ensign in the medical bay who happens to be a huge fan of Starfleet.
Eugene Cordero voices a cybernetically enhanced Ensign Rutherford.
Also on board lending their voices are Jerry O’Connell,Dawnn Lewis, Fred Tatasciore, and Gillian Vigman.
THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE SCENES
The aforementioned Mike McMahan serves as the main driver on Lower Decks but in the bigger picture, this series is brought to you by none other than executive producer Alex Kurtzman. To the chagrin of many, Kurtzman has taken on the mantle of expanding the Star Trek universe and has been doing a job that CBS seems happy with.
FOR ADULTS ONLY
Every description of Lower Decks always begins with “the adult-oriented Star Trek: Lower Decks.” So the question begs, just how “adult-oriented” will Lower Decks be?
While no definitive answer has been given by Kurtzman, the simple fact that McMahan comes over from Rick and Morty is probably all you need to know. Rick and Morty is about as adult oriented an animated comedy as there is.
However, McMahan also said it is not a Rick and Morty-type show, “You’re not really getting the same type of Rick and Morty jokes because we’re really writing towards our characters and our characters are Starfleet. There aren’t any Starfleet characters in Rick and Morty. It’s kind of hard to describe. I think once people see it, the tone will immediately so clearly be a loving part of Starfleet, and not making fun of Star Trek, but being about characters who are funny, who happen to also be in Starfleet.”
Still, expect the laughs in Star Trek: Lower Decks to be aimed at adults, hence “adult-oriented” but not enough to turn off fans of Star Trek. McMahan also wanted fans to know that while the show will have its humor and takes its roots firmly in the Star Trek canon, new viewers will easily be able to get into the show.
McMahon says, “It was important to me that if you know everything about Star Trek and you watch this show then it fits into Canon and doesn’t break Star Trek. In fact, it grows it. And if you know nothing about Star Trek, then all of the canon in Lower Decks feels like mythological, broad understandable sci-fi stuff. So you can still enjoy Lower Decks even if it’s your first Star Trek show… It’s sort of like a love letter to people that love Star Trek, but it’s also a funny show for people who have never seen it.”
WHEN AND WHERE TO WATCH STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS
The when portion is still up in the air. The where, however, is locked in. Star Trek: Lower Decks will premiere on CBS All-Access as their very first animated show.Production on the series has been on-going throughout the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
THE EXPANDING STAR TREK UNIVERSE
It also seems Kurtzman is not done with Star Trek expansion nor animated Star Trek. When Star Trek: Lower Decks was announced to cover the adults in the room, it was also announced that Kurtzman will be bringing an animated Star Trek series for the younger group to Nickelodeon. This series also does not have a premiere date but it looks like we will definitely be boldly going where no man, woman, or child has gone before.