Star Trek is expanding on TV in new and exciting ways. For one, the franchise is getting some new animated shows, for the first time since the original Trek animated series aired back in the 1960s. As well as a kid-friendly Nickelodeon venture, there’s Star Trek: Lower Decks, an adult-oriented show coming to CBS All Access from Rick & Morty writer Mike McMahan. A Trek animated workplace comedy is a unique twist for the brand, and we’re being promised big laughs from it.
While speaking to Collider, producer Akiva Goldsman stated that it’s a seriously funny show, describing McMahan himself as a “genius.”
“[Lower Decks] literally couldn’t seem funnier to me,” Goldsman said. “There was a test reel going around the office and I didn’t see it and that sucks. But I’ve seen the still frames, and the pitches for it are funny. Like literally the pitch for it is the funniest thing you’ve ever heard. ‘Second Contact’? I mean, it’s the greatest thing ever… I think Mike McMahan is actually a genius.”
McMahan recently opened up about the approach he’s taking to Trek continuity in Lower Decks. He’s confirmed that it will take place around the same time as The Next Generation, featuring connections and references that fans can pick up on that will firmly root it in established canon. At the same time, though, McMahan wanted to be careful to make the series accessible to newbies and those just looking for a fun animated sitcom.
Lower Decks is set on the lower levels of the U.S.S. Cerritos, a not-so-important ship in Starfleet’s armada. The quirky cast of Ensign protagonists includes the irreverent Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome), stickler for the rules Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) and Starfleet fangirl Tendi (Noel Wells).
Production has managed to avoid being delayed by the pandemic, with work continuing during lockdown, so we should be able to see Star Trek: Lower Decks on CBS All Access sometime later this year. The same goes for Discovery season 3. Picard season 2, meanwhile, which has been held up, is likely due sometime in 2021.