The expansion of the Star Trek brand via the CBS All Access streaming service has been pretty successful for me so far in that I love Discovery, especially the Short Treks and the second season with Pike, and I quite enjoyed the Picard series. We learned back in 2018 that they’ve given a two-season order for Star Trek: Lower Decks, an animated series that’s coming from Mike McMahan. A long-time fan of the overall property, he’s got a lot of clout to work with as he’s the head writer of Rick & Morty as well as the executive producer.
The first season saw an August 6th, 2020 debut and the whole thing just absolutely delighted me. It took a couple of episodes to get into its groove, but once it did, it was firing on all cylinders. The second season has now been given an August 12th, 2021 debut with the next batch of ten episodes and it was also given a third season renewal.
The main cast includes:
- Tawny Newsome as Beckett Mariner
- Jack Quaid as Brad Boimler
- Noël Wells as Tendi
- Eugene Cordero as Rutherford
- Dawnn Lewis as Carol Freeman
- Jerry O’Connell as Jack Ransom
- Fred Tatasciore as Shaxs
- Gillian Vigman as T’ Ana
The first season is slotted at ten episodes with a 2020 premiere planned. It takes place in 2380, a year after Star Trek: Nemesis and episodes will be 30-minutes in length.
It’ll be the first animated project for the service and is the first project under the new CBS Eye Animation Productions that’s looking to get in on this market. Naturally, Roddenberry Entertainment will be involved as well as Alex Kurtzman’s shop Secret Hideout that is working the overall expansion of the franchise for Paramount.
“Mike won our hearts with his first sentence: ‘I want to do a show about the people who put the yellow cartridge in the food replicator so a banana can come out the other end.’ His cat’s name is Riker. His son’s name is Sagan. The man is committed,” Kurtzman said when the show was announced in 2018. “He’s brilliantly funny and knows every inch of every Trek episode, and that’s his secret sauce: he writes with the pure, joyful heart of a true fan. As we broaden the world of ‘Trek’ to fans of all ages, we’re so excited to include Mike’s extraordinary voice.”
Deadline also has this wonderful nugget that has me really interested with, “In 2011 McMahan started a Twitter account where he posted episode plots to a fake season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. They were such a hit that Simon & Schuster hired him to write a readers’ guide to a fictitious eighth season of TNG titled Star Trek: The Next Generation: Warped: An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season. ”
“As a life-long Trekkie, it’s a surreal and wonderful dream come true to be a part of this new era of Star Trek,” said McMahan. “While Star Trek: Lower Decks is a half-hour, animated show at its core, it’s undeniably Trek – and I promise not to add an episode at the very end that reveals the whole thing took place in a training program.”
Plot Concept: The series focuses on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships, the U.S.S. Cerritos, in 2380. Ensigns Mariner, Boimler, Rutherford, and Tendi have to keep up with their duties and their social lives, often while the ship is being rocked by a multitude of sci-fi anomalies.