At San Diego Comic-Con In July, CBS announced they will begin releasing four monthly Star Trek: Short Treks mini-episodes tied into Star Trek: Discovery this fall, including one featuring the return of Rainn Wilson as Harry Mudd, which Wilson will also direct. Last month at STLV, Wilson revealed his Short Treks episode was written by an unnamed writer of Cartoon Network’s hit sci-fi animated show Rick and Morty. Now it appears that the writer has been revealed, and he should be familiar to some Trek fans.
Mike McMahan goes from TNG S8 to Rick and Morty to Short Treks
We had a hunch that the Rick and Morty writer Rainn Wilson was talking about was Mike McMahan, who’s known to be a big Star Trek fan. McMahan seems to have confirmed our hunch this weekend, posting some tweets that show he is in Toronto on the Star Trek: Discovery sets, which is where the Short Treks are also shot.
Dude I’m up and it’s 3am and we film tomorrow 😐
— Mike McMahan (@MikeMcMahanTM) September 14, 2018
Beaming up… pic.twitter.com/YvWLlBdpmu
— Mike McMahan (@MikeMcMahanTM) September 15, 2018
Not much is known about the Short Treks episode featuring Harry Mudd, but last month Rainn Wilson revealed:
It is very funny and weird. You see some alien situations you have never seen before in the Star Trek canon, and I am thrilled.
One thing we do know for sure is that McMahan is a serious Trekkie. Before becoming a writer and producer for Rick and Morty, he was the mind behind @TNG_S8, the popular Twitter parody account about a hypothetical eighth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The account became so popular that it landed him a book deal, and in 2015 he published the officially licensed Warped: An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season.
Showing even more of his Trek cred, way back in 2013 McMahan announced the launch of Rick and Morty via his @TNG_S8 account with a mash-up of TNG and Rick and Morty, created by Rick and Morty art department staffer Steven Chunn. McMahan started as writer’s assistant and story editor for Rick and Morty, eventually rising to writer and supervising producer. Just last weekend he won an Emmy for his work on the show, which won for Outstanding Animated Program.
RED ALERT: watch @danharmon & @JustinRoiland's new show RICK AND MORTY – starting 12/2 on #adultswim. I wrote on it! pic.twitter.com/TmCgIi7CYt
— TNG Season 8 (@TNG_S8) November 27, 2013
Is McMahan the man for the possible Star Trek animated series?
It’s possible that writing for Short Treks isn’t McMahan’s only connection to future work for Star Trek. It has been reported that one of the new shows in the expanded TV universe of Trek is an animated series. In their exclusive interview at San Diego Comic-Con with TrekMovie, Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin, who are overseeing the expansion of Trek on TV, confirmed there were “conversations” about an animated Trek series. It makes sense that someone like McMahan would be recruited to help oversee an animated Star Trek show. Remember, we first learned of Michael Chabon’s involvement with CBS Trek productions through his Short Treks episode, and then found out in Las Vegas that he was a writer/producer for the new Picard series.
In our SDCC interview with executive producer Heather Kadin, she touched on how they are open to different formats and styles, and that people from all kinds of creative avenues have been asking to get involved in Trek. She also specifically mentioned animation writers:
Well I also think it’s important to say that it’s not just one-hour drama. I mean, there’s so much opportunity to “bend not break” the franchise in formats we haven’t seen in a while, different tones. And what’s amazing about Star Trek is that it’s such a beloved franchise that we have writers calling – I mean, Michael Chabon, who wrote one of the shorts that Aldis Hodge is starring in – Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, is like “Hey, I want to write a short for you for $2.55”. So we get people from all different tones – comedy writers, animation writers, who just want so desperately to be a part of Trek.
McMahan would be a natural fit for an animated Trek show, but he’s already pretty busy. He’s currently the co-creator/executive producer and writer for the new Hulu animated sci-fi comedy Solar Opposites, which has already scored a two-season order.
More Short Treks
We do know a little bit about the other Star Trek: Short Treks mini-episodes that are coming sometime this fall. In addition to the one featuring Harry Mudd, another was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon starring actor Aldis Hodge as a character who finds himself as the only human on board a deserted ship. The third episode will feature Doug Jones and explore Saru’s backstory as the first Kelpien to join Starfleet. The last episode features Mary Wiseman and will focus on Tilly’s journey aboard the USS Discovery and her friendship with an unlikely partner.
Keep up with all upcoming Star Trek TV shows here at TrekMovie.com.
Bring these short eps on. When will they air?
“Fall” is all CBS will say for now :(
Kurtzman said December at Comic-Con, but he may have been wrong.
The official press release sent out the same day as the Comic-Con panel says “fall”. As far we know, Kurtzman misspoke.
Link to CBS press release:
I won’t be renewing my subscription for these, even if I do finally get another job. I will wait until the 2nd season of STD to start, and expect all four of these shorts to still be streaming.
If I did become a sucker and tune back in early to watch one of these, it would be the Mary Wiseman episode. But mostly I refuse to go along with the cynicism of putting these up just to make streamers renew their subscriptions early.
It’s not “cynicism” to make these episodes so people subscribe. It the business that pays for Trek to be made. Pretty simple. It’s like saying, “I’m not going to go see the new Star Trek film at the cinema because they cynically made it just to make money.” Or like saying, “I think they made TNG just to cynically make something advertisers would pay to air commercials on.” Star Trek is not a charity. It’s a business. It’s art. It’s expensive. If you can’t afford it right now, that’s ok. But no need to ascribe negative motives to the people who make it.
I can easily afford to pay. A few minutes of short clips? Lousy value proposition. Hope that word resonates more than “cynicism.”
Same here. Sure, I could pay to see them when they come out, but why? I’ll just binge them when I sign up (briefly) for Season 2.
Here too. I could pay the money for the month but $10 for just one hour of TV trek? Even without considering STD’s track record of being awful it’s a bad value. I’ll check them out when I subscribe for S2.
Robot: “What is my propose?”
Rick: “To make Star Trek shorts”
Robot: “Oh my God!”
Really stoked for the Mudd short. I was worried in the beginning when they were reintroducing Mudd but so far it looks like its been paying dividends.
Oh I would watch THE HELL out of a McMahan animated Star Trek series!
If Kurtzman can be a creator/executive producer on multiple series, why not McMahan too?
I’m literally too lazy to unsubscribe from CBSAA so I’ve been paying 6 bucks a month times this whole year for almost no reason lol not even these short treks. At this point it’s like should I cancel or should I just stick it out
LOL we’re in the same boat! ;D
But last month or so I have finally been rewatching a few DIS episodes at least. But yes at this point its not a real need to cancel unless Discovery doesn’t show up until March or April.
I canceled right after the season one finale. If I’d kept it (I chose the commercial-free $10 version), that would have me spending about $120 for no reason until Season 2 starts, since I have no desire to see Season 1 again and have no problem waiting to see the ‘shorts’ until later. And they’re going to wind up on YouTube anyway. In my financial world, $120 is nothing to sneeze at. No way I pay for channels I’m not consistently watching.
Seriously same here. I’m not missing the $5.99 and I don’t have to go through the hassle of re-subscribing when season 2 drops. I really just don’t get all the hand-wringing over money most people spend at lunch and never think of again.
That said, I think many of the hand-wringers will be more apt to keep their subscriptions when CBSAA has 3 or 4 shows filling a year-round schedule on the service. Disco, the Picard show, the animated series, the Starfleet Academy series, and whatever else they come up with can easily fill 52 weeks.