Chief Engineer For ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Revealed, Voiced By Paul Scheer

Just days ahead of the Star Trek Universe panels at Comic-Con@Home, comes another bit of news about the upcoming animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks.

Scheer boards the USS Cerritos

First reported by Deadline, CBS has confirmed comedian and actor Paul Scheer (Black Monday, The League) has a recurring role in the first season of Star Trek: Lower Decks, set to premiere on CBS All Access on August 6th. Scheer is voicing Lt. Commander Andy Billups, the chief engineer on the USS Cerritos. Billups will be the commanding officer of Ensign Rutherford (Eugene Cordero), one of the four focal “lower decks” ensigns of the series.

CBS has also released a new image from Lower Decks featuring Lt. Commander Andy Billups and Ensign Rutherford.

Paul Scheer as Lt. Commander Andy Billups

Sheer’s Billups is the first major role for the show revealed since SDCC 2019. In addition to Cordero, the regular cast of Lower Decks includes Tawney Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler, and Noël Wells as Ensign Tendi. The senior officers include Captain Carol Freeman, voiced by Dawnn Lewis, Commander Jack Ransom, voiced by Jerry O’Connell, Lieutenant Shaxs, voiced by Fred Tatasciore and Doctor T’Ana, voiced by Gillian Vigman.

Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford, Noel Wells as Ensign Tendi , Tawny Newsome as Ensign Mariner and Jack Quaid as Ensign Boimler

This will not be Scheer’s first brush with Star Trek. In 2011 Scheer cast Voyager star Kate Mulgrew in his Adult Swim police procedural spoof NTSF:SD:SUV::. The cast also included future Star Trek: Strange New Worlds star Rebecca Romijn and Voyager’s Robert Picardo as a guest star.

Kate Mulgrew and Paul Scheer with the cast of NTSF: SD:SUV::

Lower Decks coming on August 6th

The new half-hour animated comedy series Star Trek: Lower Decks will premiere on Thursday, August 6 on CBS All Access. Following the premiere, new episodes of the series’ 10-episode first season will be available to stream weekly on Thursdays, exclusively for CBS All Access subscribers in the U.S.

Lower Decks will also air on August 6th in Canada on CTV Sci-Fi Channel and be available to stream in Canada on Crave. It has not yet been announced where and when Lower Decks will be available outside of the USA and Canada.


Keep up on all the Star Trek: Lower Decks news here at TrekMovie.com.

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He’s pretty funny, at least if the handful of How Did This Get Made episodes I’ve heard are any indication.

What network is that on? Sounds interesting…

It’s a podcast about movies so bad that you wonder how they got made in the first place.

I listen to so many Podcasts on Spotify anyway.

Some people don’t like this show and that’s fine. Animation is not for everyone.

I put a lot of faith in Star Trek: Lower Decks because I want it to be a good show. Lower Decks will be worthy enough edition to the Star Trek universe.

Star Trek: Lower Decks is a breath of fresh air Star Trek desperately needs. Live action is not the only way to tell inspiring stories.

Last edited 19 days ago by Faze Ninja

Oops

Last edited 18 days ago by ReginaFalange

Yeah when it was first announced, I didn’t pay it much attention simply because it is animated. Basically like I don’t bother watching any of the TAS episodes and that was more or less an animated sequel to TOS. That said, there has been a fair amount of coverage here and out there on social media RE LD, so I am sure I will check out the premiere next month. Personally I am waiting for Discovery S3. Since I am not expecting much from LD, maybe it will be better than I expect. No matter what, the show will tide us over while we wait to see what it happening in the 32nd century.

Good! That will help to correct the lopsided representation in this series so far, though the absence of any Asian characters and non-American character names keeps surprising.

Where’s Lt. Amy Wong?

Last edited 19 days ago by Vulcan Soul

Yeah what a weird comment. This series is well represented enough. You have a point about the show being too American focused.

Could use some characters from diverse backgrounds like a Latino or Hispanic character or something.

Last edited 19 days ago by Faze Ninja

There are peoples living beyond your shores, you know ;)

I think the weirdness Faze Ninja was referring to was your suggestion that adding a white American cast member is correcting the lopsided representation when historically fiction has far too many of them vs other types of people.

You are right, and my comment regarding the names was meant to adress that (and it goes beyond naming certainly, the entire cultural background) . Its not just globally dominant ethnicities that are completely missing from this series, but fellow Europeans, Australians or Russians as well! TOS was already further than this 50 years ago…

Last edited 18 days ago by Vulcan Soul

I agree. This seems to be a thing in trek in general… Everyone is American or British at best. And if you have your occasional non-white character, they almost always seem to be Minority-American.

This is a bit disappointing, when TOS already had characters with such a diverse Background and made that a point.
Where’s the Indian characters? Where are Arabs, where are Chinese? There aren’t even any German or Italian characters in the main cast of any show that I recall. :(

According to beta canon Detmer, the pilot of Discovery is German.

Yet no one would know that who only watched the show and never investigated the ancillary characters. Also if the character is German there is no reason the actor playing the part HAD to be German. These people are actors. They get paid to pretend they are what the aren’t.

But if they ever want to cast a real German for a part in Star Trek I would vote for Zazie Beetz. She is my favourite german born actress right now.

Star Trek has never had the commitment to global hiring of its cast that would give authenticity to the Federation.

It has found diversity through actors already working or looking In the LA market. Reaching out to the UK is about it. More, when it came to guest roles, Paramount tended to hire from its own “stable” of character actors. That’s meant that some amazing actors like Jeffrey Coombes have played multiple characters over the years, but there might have been great European, Asian or Bollywood actors who might have been given a shot and would have enriched the series.

Discovery has hired local actors in Toronto for minor parts, likely due to requirements for the tax credits in Ontario, but it’s clear they have been doing the minimum compared to other productions that have Canadians in main ensemble roles.

There was an article on how The Expanse didn’t allow its casting team off the hook. There is a lot of systemic bias to hire not only white males but also American actors.

Apparently, when LA-based casting agents are used, even when there are parts that specifically call for representative or international casting, they usually push the showrunners to “widen the scope” to find the best fit. This is effectively code for “allowing white actors already in the pool with agents we know in LA” to try for the parts. That’s right, widening the scope means making less effort and hiring more of the same rather than reaching for a wider international pool of talent that would enrich sci-fi series originating from United States entertainment companies.

Star Trek has never had the commitment to global hiring of its cast that would give authenticity to the Federation.

It has found diversity through actors already working or looking In the LA market. Reaching out to the UK is about it. More, when it came to guest roles, Paramount tended to hire from its own “stable” of character actors. That’s meant that some amazing actors like Jeffrey Coombes have played multiple characters over the years, but there might have been great European, Asian or Bollywood actors who might have been given a shot and would have enriched the series.

Discovery has hired local actors in Toronto for minor parts, likely due to requirements for the tax credits in Ontario, but it’s clear they have been doing the minimum compared to other productions that have Canadians in main ensemble roles. I don’t know the Toronto acting pool, but according to some of the folks posting here, even in Canada, CBS is just going to one or two agencies for the most part and hiring from there rather than pushing to try out a broader pool in Toronto.

There was an article on how The Expanse didn’t allow its casting team off the hook. There is a lot of systemic bias to hire not only white males but also American actors.

Apparently, when LA-based casting agents are used, even when there are parts that specifically call for representative or international casting, they usually push the showrunners to “widen the scope” to find the best fit. This is effectively code for “allowing white actors already in the pool with agents we know in LA” to try for the parts. That’s right, widening the scope means making less effort and hiring more of the same rather than reaching for a wider international pool of talent that would enrich sci-fi series originating from United States entertainment companies.

What made the Expanse different was when the casting directors said they couldn’t find any/many actors to try out for a part, the showrunners insisted that they look harder and more globally rather than try less representative actors in the LA pool.

As far as we’ve heard, for Secret Hideout Trek series, the only cases where this kind of thing has happened has been for Evan Evagora and Oyin Olajedo’s roles. Both were asked to send video test reads from a distance.

That was an amazingly informative comment, TG47, and it goes to show that a serious discussion can be had about this topic without resorting to name-calling.

However, given that Lower Decks as an ANIMATED series showcases the same ‘systemic bias’ shows this is not just a casting problem. Ironically, this show which really is not limited in any way by casting has the most American-centric cast of all, and as has been pointed out it was TOS (as well as TNG, and Picard of the new series) that tried to create an international appeal through its characters at least (while potentially creating backslash, as when Chinese play Japanese characters and vice versa, the fictional character background need not be the same as the actors’ real background as available through casting).

Does Zazie Beetz speak with a German accent? I’d have no problem with her being cast in Trek, she’s been good whenever I’ve seen her but she was raised in Manhattan. If you didn’t know any better you’d just assume she was American which to to be fair she is, her mother is from the USA. Now realistically for small roles TV shows are going to recruit from within the local actor population and inevitably that’s going to mean a lot of North American and British performers. These shoes don’t have unlimited budgets at the end of the day but if were talking about trying to give the Federation’s human population a genuine global authenticity then when casting some of the key roles it wouldn’t hurt to look at talent from countries outside of North America and Great Britain.

@Corinthian7

I agree that she is American, like you said her mother is, she lived most of her life in the US and she identifies herself as an American. But the interesting thing is: as soon as she speaks German there is a kind of shift in her personality and you will connect to her as a German.

I can’t recall hearing her speak German so thanks for clarifying that for me.

Or Captains Som Ting Wong; Wi Tu Lo; Ho Li Fuk; and Bang Ding Ow

Those Next Gen-style uniforms almost look better animated than live!

They are turning Star Trek into a joke. Comedy cartoons? This is what Star Trek has become?

Last edited 19 days ago by Steve

Clearly you never saw any of the original animated series episodes.

Americans seem to have deep contempt for animation Ultimatewolf.

Don’t entirely get it, but acknowledge that it’s a thing.

Some of it is because of the low quality animation of Saturday morning shows for kids in the 60s and 70s, but it seems to run very deep. It’s like in growing up, a lot of Americans decide what thrilled and compelled them as kids must be an embarrassment.

In fact, it’s so deep that there are a lot of fans that just refuse to even give TAS a try, despite voicing by the original cast and many of the scripts having been written by some of the best TOS writers. Yes, the animation was the stiff 2D cheap Saturday morning product of its day, but the show won the only series Emmy of the franchise.

Not to downplay the award, but TAS won an Emmy for “Outstanding Entertainment – Children’s Series.”

The animation was very stiff is putting it mildly. Some of the mattes were interesting, but many felt dull. Details across the board were incredibly poor. I wasn’t too shocked when I read that Hal Sutherland, the director of season one episodes, was colorblind. Pink tribbles, uniforms with mismatched colors, etc.

Voice work from the main cast was sometimes okay, but often was terribly flat. The music was fine, except it was always the same handful of themes used in each episode, in every episode.

The pacing in a lot of episodes is poor. You can get away with slow pacing in some older live-action programming, but lingering shots of boring space exteriors or expressionless closeups of animated faces does not make for entertaining programming.

I liked the show when I was a kid in the 80s and 90s. I have an incredibly high tolerance when watching old programming, but it was hard to get through the show when I tried rewatching a few years ago.

I think it is pretty obvious that CBSAA has decided to grow the market for Star Trek with each of their shows clearly appealing to different demographics and audiences. LD is not something I am personally that excited about, but if it grows the audience and makes Star Trek even more main stream, then IMO that is good for the franchise.
Also, please recall some of the most beloved episodes of TOS are comedies. Piece of the Action, Trouble with Tribbles are two examples that immediately come to mind and even episodes like Assignment Earth and Tomorrow is Yesterday (coincidently both time travel shows) had ridiculous elements of comedy that were quite implausible and could not to be taken too seriously.

Good to see a token white male on this show who isn’t the subject of ridicule or bullying

What

Steve you are one of the most divisive and controversial people here. One enigma wrapped around itself.

Don’t understand why you make these jarring statements.

Do you believe in white privilege?

Last edited 19 days ago by Faze Ninja

I ask you to consider the screen capture of the black female choke cholding the white male posted last week, and think about what would happen if their roles were reversed.

I believe in people being treated the same, regardless of their gender, skin colour or sexuality. Don’t overcompensate by empowering black characters at the expense of white ones. Just keen it natural and treat everyone the same.

Steve is the token white male in his household. That’s why he’s so edgy. Kudos on being such a warrior, Steve.

It sounds like Steve doesn’t feel represented unless more than 75% of the cast, including the leads and minor supporting characters, are like him and are presented in heroically positive ways.

(He says 50% is what he’s looking for, but is obsessing about the distribution of minor characters on Discovery when only 2 out of 8 are female and 3 out of 8 are POC.)

Good thing that the majority of people around the world who have watched Trek and made it profitable and who, taken together, are not male, nor white, nor straight, nor cis-gendered, nor even American, have been able to enjoy the various series without that level of representation of themselves.

Instead, many folks have been doing their best to see the positive in the limited roles women and POC had in TOS. Same for TNG where the only women in the main cast who weren’t originally intended to be love interests for the two male leads only stayed a season, and the two black men were special (person with a disability, Klingon).

Star Trek’s had a commitment to steady improvement in representation. As I’ve noted above, it’s still got a way to go to be more diverse in a global sense. But the value is central to the success of the franchise.

Why folks like Steve, who is egregious but far from a lone voice, feel the need to whinge is a bit beyond me. I do seriously wonder though whether they are so limited in their horizons and perceptions that they can’t recognize more balanced representation for what it is.

Last edited 18 days ago by TG47

You don’t have a clue what you’re talking and kindly don’t put words in my mouth. Thanks.

Also don’t pick and choose arguments. You know full well I was referring to the 2:12 ratio between male/female non main cast characters on Discovery.

As I said above, it seems quite clear to me that CBSAA has decided to grow the market for Star Trek with each of their current shows clearly appealing to different demographics and audiences. LD is not something I am personally that excited about, but if it grows the audience and makes Star Trek even more main stream, then IMO that is good for the franchise.
As for Discovery, it clearly has caught the attention of many because of its diversity with even the likes of fans like former Laker great Kareem Abdul Jabbar praising it for that very reason. I too personally like the show and one of the reasons is because of that diversity.
Fortunately for all of us fans, there’s Picard which allows us to see the future of Jean Luc AND for those who still pine for more TOS-type stories of NCC-1701, Strange New Worlds is now in preproduction.
Personally I hope Steve can find at least one series that he will enjoy (maybe SNW) and perhaps he can eventually find enjoyment in watching Discovery too. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations! LLAP.

His guest appearance with Jason Mantzoukas on The Chris Gethard Show where they have to guess the contents of a dumpster is literally one of the funniest and most engrossing hours of television I’ve ever seen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwi_kE0gy94