Star Trek’s first foray into animated comedy, Star Trek: Lower Decks, is set to arrive this year on CBS All Access, and the creator of the show is offering an update on how it fits into Star Trek—and when it will arrive.
Lower Decks and canon
Star Trek: Lower Decks is an upcoming animated comedy set shortly after Star Trek: Nemesis. Last year, Lower Decks creator Mike McMahan confirmed the series will be considered part of Star Trek’s canon. Now in a new interview with Inverse, he offers more details:
Within Lower Decks, there is a proper in-canon Star Trek show. It takes place during the TNG era. It’s on a ship that feels like it’s always existed there and the bridge crew is dealing with big, never-before-seen Starfleet Star Trek-type stories. So every episode has a thing like that happening in it. And then, on top of that, we’ve got A stories and B stories that are emotionally driven from the point of view of the lower deckers on the ships. So it was an area of storytelling that people had covered every once in a while on Star Trek, but never built a show around.
It was important to me that if you know everything about Star Trek and you watch this show then it fits into canon and doesn’t break Star Trek. In fact, it grows it. And if you know nothing about Star Trek, then all of the canon in Lower Decks feels like mythological, broad understandable sci-fi stuff. So you can still enjoy Lower Decks even if it’s your first Star Trek show.
Set on board the USS Cerritos—described as a “not very important ship in Starfleet”—the half-hour series focuses on four “misfit” ensigns, or the “lower deckers,” as described by McMahan above. The show will also feature the senior officers of the USS Cerritos, who have their own quirks. Details on the characters were revealed at a SDCC panel last year.
Still set for 2020 release
Perhaps the biggest question right now regarding Lower Decks is: When it is coming? At SDCC 2019, producers said the 10-episode first season was targeting a 2020 release. In March, McMahan stated that work on the show was continuing remotely during the pandemic lockdown. In his new interview, Mike McMahan gave another update on how work is progressing:
I can’t give you a specific answer on when that’s coming out, but we’re still working on it and we’re on track for when we have planned, which is this year. Animation is kind of uniquely suited for this moment. We didn’t shut down production. Safely recording the cast was really our biggest challenge because we don’t want them leaving their houses. So getting remote setups and stuff was something we had to solve, but it seems like we have.
McMahan’s Solar Opposites out now
Mike McMahan’s other new animated sci-fi comedy premiered on Hulu on May 8. Co-created with his former Rick and Morty compatriot Justin Roiland, Solar Opposites centers around a team of four aliens who escape their exploding homeworld only to crash-land into a move-in ready home in suburban America.
Keep up on all the Star Trek: Lower Decks news here at TrekMovie.com.