Star Trek: Lower Decks will be a departure from usual Trek fare. Not because it’s animated (the franchise boldly went 2D way back in 1973), but because it’s an explicitly comedic adult show run by Rick & Morty writer Mike McMahan that doesn’t focus on the heroic captains and officers of the Federation, but on the normal guys who are a couple of rungs down the ladder.
Yesterday, CBS announced that the ten-episode first season would premiere on CBS All Access in just over a month’s time on August 6th, with a new episode being released weekly. Alongside this we got a poster showing off the show’s tagline – “Rarely going where no-one has gone before” – and a look at the U.S.S. Cerritos (apparently one of the Federation’s least famous ships). In addition, we got confirmation that the series takes place just after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, meaning we could see some cameos from TNG characters.
The Trek fan community mostly reacted to the announcement with positivity and down below, you can see some of their thoughts.
lower decks is gonna be so cute
— ? ??? (@hotboyspock) July 2, 2020
— Craig S. Tomastik (@CraigSTomastik) July 2, 2020
So Star Trek: Lower Decks revealed the design of the California-class starship and…
…and it's like the Oberth and Miranda classes had a bastard child and it's wearing a Galaxy class Halloween costume and I swear I am already in love with this thing
I *MISSED* kitbashes! pic.twitter.com/1m7FxiV5P8
— Bobby (#JurassicJune Mode) (@Dilophosaur13) July 1, 2020
We got our release date!!! I’m so pumped! Star Trek: Lower Decks Animated Series Release Date and New Images Revealed https://t.co/eHUjF39IPL
— Jessie Earl | Black Lives Matter (@jessiegender) July 1, 2020
in other news I'M SO READY FOR LOWER DECKS
— Sonja ➰?? (@maggymcbee) July 1, 2020
Getting a premiere date for Lower Decks is the best birthday gift, I could have hoped for!!!! (I turned 42 today!)
— Joshua Zeller (@madcapofscience) July 2, 2020
However, quite understandably, there’s also some grumbling from more traditionalist Trek fans that this goofy-looking comedy doesn’t fit well with the serious tone of the rest of the franchise.
The more I see of Star Trek: Lower Decks the more it feels like it's gonna be a train wreck that isn't gonna fit in. It just feels so, so wrong to me and I can't explain why.
And that ship design makes absolutely no sense to me at all.
— Noa Olivia (@noaaltwynn) July 2, 2020
I’ll try LOWER DECKS but how do you try to make a comedy canon with a drama?
— James Parr (@jamesmparr) July 2, 2020
"Lower Decks" was a fantastic episode and it doesn't deserve this. https://t.co/JKjOvolOfK
— Devi Lacroix (@DeviLacroix) July 2, 2020
I love the original Lower Decks episode (and the similar thing they did with some incidental crew on Voyager) but this seems way too out-there and western “adult” animation a la every Comedy Central show etc to feel congruous with that vibe from what I’ve seen.
— della – anachronistic labor organizer (@della_morte_) July 2, 2020
Lower Decks looks just as bad as Discovery and Picard. You truly can't make a good Star Trek show. So far Seth MacFarlane's show #TheOrville has put all of your shows to shame.
— Truth v. Treason ? (@OccupyTruth) July 1, 2020
Wow… that looks horrible. Really dragging Star Trek through the mud now.
Roddenberry didn't like Star Trek being animated even when it was a serious depiction(that I liked).
I feel certain he would have despised and been disgusted by Lower Decks.
— Zardoz (@TheTabernakle) July 1, 2020
I’m on the hopeful side myself. Every single Star Trek show has had its comedic episodes, and most of them are considered among the greatest episodes of all time (“The Trouble with Tribbles,” anyone?) Plus, the series has a promising comedy pedigree and seems to land on just the right level of humor. If Lower Decks was the only Star Trek show on air, then those critical of it might have a point, but the franchise is currently going through a new golden age and there’s a lot of Trek in the pipeline.
So, I think there’s definitely space for Star Trek: Lower Decks and I have a sneaking suspicion that fans will quickly come to adore its new cast. See you on August 6th!