Star Trek Author David Mack Is Consulting On ‘Lower Decks’ And Something “Classified”

With CBS planning to share more details about the Star Trek Universe in San Diego at Comic-Con, well known Trek writer David Mack has taken to Twitter to share some exciting news: that he’s involved in the upcoming adult-oriented animated Trek show Lower Decks, which was created by and is being show-run by Rick and Morty writer/producer Mike McMahan.

Mack reiterated that he’s advising the teams, not creating new content for the CBS TV Trek Universe.

Mack also teased that he’s involved in another Trek animated show, but “details remain classified.” This might be the other announced full series, the as yet untitled Nickelodeon animated show, which is being developed by Emmy Award winners Kevin and Dan Hageman (Trollhunters, The Lego Movie, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark).

The Hageman brothers replied to Mack’s news with this little tease. Is it a real hint? or perhaps they’re just trolling Trekkies who are trying to guess the “classified” project.

Of course we don’t know for sure, so maybe we’ll learn more about this mysterious job in a couple of weeks in San Diego, or perhaps a few weeks later at Star Trek Las Vegas.

Keep up with all the upcoming Star Trek TV projects here at

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They should bring him on as a consultant to the other shows as well, but by the looks of it they ignore input from serious Trek writers like Kirsten Beyer, Nick Meyer, and Joe Menosky so that they can give us the hybrid Star Wars-Gilmore Girls vision of their preferred writers.

Kirsten Beyer is one of the staff writers on Discovery and Picard, and is the office Keeper of the Canon.

At the risk of getting banned or admonished or whatever, I just have to say this Mike Stivic…

You meathead!

There…. my inner Archie Bunker is satisfied :P

No mike, it’s just called moving forward

Given that both Star Wars and Gilmore Girls are classics, I fail to see how Trek being a hybrid of that is something bad.

Also, unless you are in the writers room, perhaps refrain from making presumptions and acting as if Trek only belongs to certain writers who somehow only they “know” what Trek is.

Also Kirsten Beyer is literally in all the writers rooms and things are checked through her and she consults on storylines.

Eh, shouldn’t Star Trek be its own classic instead?


I’ve heard nothing to indicate that Kristen Beyer is being “ignored” in the writer’s rooms for Discovery or Picard. Where are you getting this information? As for Meyer and Menosky, I would like to know why they moved on, but I suspect we never will.

Uhm Bob, I think that it might be fair to say that Beyer may not have had as strong an influence on the last half of Discovery season 2.

But that was because she was in the Picard writers room creating a new series.

With the firing of the showrunners pre-season, Discovery could have benefited with Beyer being closer at hand to help on continuity…there always being a problem of ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ when a lot of new writers join the room. Being available on consult or review isn’t the same as being in the room – especially when there is a time crunch.

Kurtzman has said she’s been back with Discovery as they write season 3.

I’m still not sure why so many fans are in love with the idea of bringing in novelists. I’d rather they bring in successful TV writers even if they’ve never touched Trek.

That said, nothing to say a novelist can’t make an excellent script writer or show runner– the Friedman’s (Michael and Jan) got their start doing books, and wrote many great episodes of Trek.

Just a headscratcher why so many beg for bringing in the novel authors when some of the best Trek episodes were written by tv writers.

I want more Bo Yeon Kim And Erika Lippoldt.

Uhm, Afterburn, you have the storyline backwards for both David Mack and Kirsten Beyer.

Mack wrote a co-wrote a couple of Trek DS9 story treatments and one script that made it to production. One of the stories was for the episode of DS9 where Nog withdraws from reality in the holosuite after losing his leg. (Ron Moore did the script.)

Mack is a grad of the prestigious New York film school. Writing novels was not his original career ambition.

Beyer is similar. She has a Masters in Theatre Arts, and did some acting at one point. She wrote spec scripts for Voyager that weren’t accepted, but she was referred to the managing editor of the tie-in novels.

So, Kurtzman has brought on board two novelists who started on the production side.

Regardless of what their original ambition was, they made their names writing novels. Fair to say their backgrounds make them more qualified than pure prose writers, but my befuddlement still stands as to why so many fans beg for Trek authors to transition to the shows, when i’d much rather accomplished TV writers tackle an episode.

Some of us older viewers remember when TOS used actual science fiction writers and not just TV writers. Robert Bloch, Theodore Sturgeon, Harlan Ellison, Richard Matheson, and others wrote classic TOS episodes. I’d love to see Trek episodes written by Robert J. Sawyer (who wrote the finale to the fan-based STAR TREK CONTINUES) or Lois McMaster Bujold or any number of other SF writers.

I’ll agree somewhat there– because there’s a difference between bringing in an acclaimed science fiction luminary and a journeyman author (no offense intended towards Mack, Beyer, and others).

It might be interesting to see someone like Andy Weir or Jeff VanderMeer write an episode given the kinds of material they are known for.

I like that idea too. But it’s a little problematic when talking about a short season continuing story arc. The writer would need to find a way to inject their creativity into an existing story. Not saying it can’t done. Only that it is more difficult. Now if said writers were on the staff coming up with the season long story to begin with….

There’s a big difference between Beyer working on another series (meaning perhaps she wasn’t as involved in Disco as before) and her being marginalized as OP contended. Again, I’ve seen nothing from any trustworthy source to indicate that Beyer’s role on the creative team has diminished. And if you think I’m harping on this, well, you’re right. I’m sick and tired of fans (not you, TG47) spinning “facts” to fit their narrative without any basis.

Please let the ‘classified’ thing be some sort of animated adaptation of the Destiny trilogy.

That would be insane (in a good way). I doubt it will ever happen though. They would definitely have to simplify the plot a lot to make it work. For one thing, most viewers have never read the Titan books, and barely remember Melora. They would just be confused by most of the subplots going on there. It would also seem completely out of the blue to have Ezri commanding a starship, since she was a counselor last time we saw her.

I think people could handle Ezri with her own ship 25 years later if they show that in Picard first.

I’d actually like to see Picard cross paths with the Aventine in his new series…

As for Destiny, I think that it could fly as a special miniseries event. Like many video versions of novels, it might need to cut back on the numerous background players on each ship, but it could still respect the trilogy.

Why shouldn’t there be room, in this new era of a diverse menu of Trek offerings, for the best of Trek-lit to be brought to life…?

As if GOT or The Expanse did poorly for working from books….(NOT)

The retweet by the creators of the Nickelodeon animated series might suggest he’s consulting for them too.

The only problem with that is that it closes the door on future appearances of the Borg.

I don’t see how that is a problem.

It’s time for some new antagonists. TNG, Voyager and the TNG movies relied on them, but overuse makes them less mysterious.

Destiny is an excellent resolution… a whole miniseries about the mysterious beginning and ending of the Borg would outdo TWOK.

Voyager may have overused them, but I would like them to continue coming back in moderation in future shows.

Also, I wonder how people would react to the Borg having a canon origin story. People were freaking out when it looked like Discovery might do it.

And why is that a problem?

My sense is that it would be a problem if the Borg origin story isn’t well earned.

It’s very well done in the Destiny trilogy.

I doubt that they could come up with better. It’s excellent classic science fiction and great Trek.

Really enjoyed a lot of his books and I would have loved to have seen a Vanguard-ish series. Hope more Trek novelists get a shot at the shows.

Agreed, vanguard was awesome.

Working through Vanguard now.

Totally see it as a miniseries too.

Awesome indeed.

This is long overdue.

Yup, overdue, but a great decision by TPTB.

As someone who’s been cheerleading for Mack to be on board, I’ll thrilled but hope they can convince him to do more down the line.

He dropped a very cryptic hint on Twitter a couple of months back, saying that he’d navigated the process so his NY state business could operate in California. I’d hoped it was Trek-related…and so it is.

If the animation for these 2 series isn’t state of the art – top notch then better stop all production

efforts NOW. Campy cheap animation would kill them both in a nano second. Sign of a 1/2 ass

IF that commitment to what could and should be = breathtaking visuals.

I have no insight but my guess it would be in the style of Clone Wars or Rebels. Which would be good enough for me.

I would dial back your expectations. Just sayin’.

He didn’t say it was an expectation, nor that anything less would disappoint him. It was just his guess. And a fair one.

Kurtzman has said that the animation for the Nickelodeon show will be very high value.

Lower Decks is still an open question, but nothing we’ve heard suggests cheap if they are allowing 12 months for animation post voice recording.

And Kurtzman’s also said that the two animated Short Treks will be in yet different animation styles.

It really reassured me that he said it was necessary to experiment with different animation approaches / styles to see what would ‘feel like Trek’…

It takes an average of eight to twelve months to bring an animated TV show from script to screen. That eight to twelve months isn’t spent solely on animation. It’s a safe bet Lower Decks is going to be more in the vein of traditional sitcom writer-driven animation a la Bob’s Burgers/Rick and Morty.

I haven’t read any of David Mack’s Trek novels, but they seem to be highly regarded. I wonder why he is just “consulting” (whatever that means in this context) instead of part of the writing staff of the shows? That seems like a wasted opportunity given the regard for him in the Trek community.

It may be a way to ease him on board.

He is in New York, although it sounds as though he was in the LA area in the past.

As well, his own non-franchise trilogy of fantasy / secret history novels has done well. His agent is likely encouraging him to stick with the non-tie-in work.

Might it be case number 1701?


Season 2 PICARD


Hopefully named Livingston.

I saw <3

fans need to be patient with Alex Kurtzman and his SarTrek teams . They are really limited with what they can do with in the StarTrek universe. It will be better when CBS and Paramont reunite.

Why? That have the full TV Universe and most of the movies to work with… this sounds like it’s trying to border on that stupid 25% conspiracy theory.

They aren’t limited at all, CBS owns all Trek lock stock and barrel. Paramount liscenses the film rights from CBS and does not retain ownership of franchise elements. This is clearly, unambiguously laid out in legal documents filed by both companies during the Axanar suit.

Personally I think this new Picard show is going to destroy the novel story line that has been going on ever since Nemesis. Don’t get me wrong I am so looking forward show! Just wanted to say to those of you that haven’t read the novels there has been some great amazing Trek written. Truly a soap opera in space! Most novels have been connected in a continuing and wonderfully written brilliant arc. David Mack is without a doubt one of the many Extremely talented writers connected to the most moving and beautiful Trek novels ever written. Like he said though for his role in these new shows “they create, I merely advise”.

I have the same feelings Allan.

As a whole, the Relaunch novels have been great, and several have risen above any expectations for tie-in fiction.

I really would wish that Picard the series would step around voiding those long-term story arcs….especially as these books played a large role in maintaining core fan interest since the aughts.

Given that Picard takes place about a decade after the most recent TNG novels, there was lots of room for writers to play without voiding it wholesale….

…but I fear that the writers room couldn’t resist.

They probably will and that’s not a bad thing. Any time a new movie or show comes out, it usually negates years worth of non-canon books. Par for the course, not worth concerning yourself with.

Frankly, i’d prefer the writers start from scratch rather than try to keep in line with a bunch of books few people read, and are created for an entirely different medium.


I’m going to say this and, if folks are still reading this thread, encourage you respond full tilt…

The Destiny trilogy and a number of other Trek Relaunch books are at least as good as The Expanse novels…and I’d bluntly say better.

So, why wouldn’t it make sense to turn great Trek novels into television?

If so few of us have read them, the spoiler risk is minimal…and it never seemed to be an issue for GOT or The Expanse.

So, if the IP would make great television, why destroy its value by having a new Picard series write it out of canon?

In basic finance terms, it’s always more valuable to have an option…even if writers feel empowered by destroying things for dramatic effect.

Mack confirmed on TrekBBS that he was talking about the Nickelodeon series.

Lower decks is the thing I’m most excited to see out of all the new trek shows. I haven’t been a big fan of any of the new stuff since 2009, but I hold out hope for a cool comedy series. Love rick and Morty and I dig the tng season8 stuff

I am most looking forward to Lower Decks as well.