UPDATED: Legacy Actor Cameos Confirmed For ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks,’ Plus New Clips And Promos

We are just hours away from the Thursday premiere of Star Trek: Lower Decks, which arrives just after midnight on Wednesday night (PT), or 3 AM ET. Our latest update has some more details on the show, a couple of new promos, more hope for international fans, our report from the virtual premiere, and a tie-in to Star Trek Online.

Legacy actors coming to Lower Decks

It has been hinted before, but in a new interview with Inverse, creator Mike McMahan confirmed we will be seeing some familiar faces (and actor voices) on Star Trek: Lower Decks:

“… we do have legacy actors who show up in the first season of Lower Decks and we have gotten to have a little bit of where are they now sort of vibe through a Lower Decks lens. “

UPDATE: New Clip

Designing the show to look “legit” and even make Klingons “cooler”

McMahan spoke to Animation Magazine about the design of the show, including making it fit both as Star Trek and TV animated series:

“We wanted the show to look like it would fit in a prime time animated comedy block, but it’s not scatological — it’s Star Trek. As an added nerdy element, all the sci-fi for the show needed to look legit and imbue the show with this sense of wonder. The humans needed to look relaxed and comforting, kind of like Matt Groening’s Life in Hell comics. So, the look of the show had to be a mixture of honest Star Trek fleet designs and broad, comedic, adult prime time animated visuals.”

The executive producer also discussed the process for the artists on the show:

“One of the great things about having our writers and art team work in the same office is that we were able to collaborate on many of the details of the show. For example, we all know what Klingons look like in the live-action show. But we tried to push that look beyond that guy-in-the-costume look, because we are animated. We can make Klingons look even cooler!”

A Klingon can be spotted if you look closely at this preview image from “Temporal Edict”

UPDATED: New clips and more promos and promos

CBS has given their Entertainment Tonight show an exclusive clip of Lower Decks episode one.


There is also a new clip on Twitter with some more new footage to promote the Thursday premiere.

They also put out these fun posters on Instagram.

Over the last few days CBS All Access has been releasing character animations for the ensigns of Lower Decks, with the final one coming yesterday, featuring Beckett Mariner.

More hope for international fans

There is still no official announcement regarding when and where fans outside the USA and Canada will be able to watch Lower Decks. In a recent update, we reported that Mike McMahan offered some hope that international fans shouldn’t worry. Now in an interview with the UK podcast How to Kill an Hour, McMahan offered even more hope, saying:

“I want everybody in the world to be able to see this show… And CBS wants all you to see it too… There are in the works, a way for you guys to be able to watch it… I don’t know the timeline.”

McMahan also explained why the announcement for international distribution has not been made, saying it was due to the release of Lower Decks unexpectedly moving forward two months. This makes sense as it was originally expected that Lower Decks would premiere after (and not before) the third season of Discovery. McMahan said the “juggling around of schedules” was because of the COVID pandemic.  As we have been reporting, post-production on the third season of Star Trek: Discovery has been taking longer than expected due to the work being done remotely. Season three of Discovery will debut October 15, one week after the season one finale of Lower Decks.

Tuesday’s virtual premiere

Because of the world we live in, CBS All Access couldn’t do a traditional in-person premiere event in Hollywood as they have done for their other Star Trek series. So on Tuesday they held an online premiere for the press and invited attendees. They sent out a special box to the invited guests ahead of the premiere, which included popcorn, candy, and everything needed to make some cocktails for the after-party. There was even a mini red carpet to use on your desk.

The online premiere included a chat room, attended by the creatives and stars of the show, along with other Star Trek luminaries.

There was also a photo booth function.

To make the best of having a premiere by remote, Lower Decks voice actor Tawny Newsome simulated the red carpet event from her kitchen, along with interviews using the materials provided by CBS.

Add Lower Decks ensigns to your Star Trek Online crew

On Tuesday Star Trek Online brought the Lower Decks crew forward in time to 2411, the year the MMORPG is set. Players can now add the four ensigns from the show (Mariner, Boimler, Tendi, and Rutherford) to the duty roster of their ships. Each ensign has a different profession, traits, and “Active Roster Power,” which can add a little humor to your gaming.

Add some Lower Decks to your gaming

TrekMovie review coming Thursday morning, with more coverage to follow

Look for the TrekMovie.com review of the premiere episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks on Thursday in the early morning hours. It will also be the focus for Friday’s episode of our new podcast: All Access Star Trek, The new podcast will continue every Friday with reviews of every episode of the first season of Lower Decks followed by reviews the third season of Discovery. The next episode of our long-running Shuttle Pod will also focus on the debut of Lower Decks, giving you full team coverage.

We will also be offering some more analysis of the new series and premiere episode here on the site and via social media. And we should have an interview or two coming up soon as well. So stay tuned to TrekMovie to keep up on everything you need for Lower Decks.

All Access free month promo

CBS All Access also announced a one-month free promotion. For a limited time, try 1 month FREE!

And keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek Universe on TV at TrekMovie.com.

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I’m looking forward to this! Thanks Trekmovie for always keeping us updated.

I just finished the first episode, Second Contact! Awesome show! Can’t wait to see more!

Thanks for the news, still sad that us International viewers don’t get it from day 1 or 2, and will either not listen to all those podcasts, tweets etc. about the first episodes or be OK with getting spoilers weks in advance of us being able to legally watch it.

Yes, it’s sad that when we hopefully get to see these episodes the discussion will have moved on long ago. I don’t expect Lower Decks to be a show with season-defining twists so I’m not worried so much about big spoilers ruining the show but I expect that most of the fan discussion is going to be about Lower Decks over the next months and we’re shut out of it to a point.

I would love to see Picard on Lower Decks. Hopefully the legacy actor cameos don’t contradict canon or anything. I’m looking forward to this!

The animation is beautiful. Klingons deserve an extreme makeover.

Looks like I will be watching Star Trek every week from now on. While the world is a hellscape full of chaos and misery, Star Trek is the only thing on this Earth that keeps me from going insane.

Eeeeeeeeee!! Can’t wait!!

So they’re going to change the Klingons, again? I’m getting tired of these people wanting to put their own take on things under the guise of making it “cooler”. Are they going to have a tail now? Maybe 28 fingers, 3 eyes or a propeller on top of their heads maybe? Just leave well enough alone…

Not just that, but apparently the Coronavirus also has a cameo in the lower right of that same picture ;)

The one in the picture on Mariner’s board looked very close to the 90s Trek version. I wouldn’t fret ’till we’ve seen them.

So what’s all this about “cooler” Klingons then? You only see a torso in that pic. The tail isn’t showing.

You can see a Klingon on the evidence wall in the last screenshot. She looks perfectly fine and consistent with TNG.

They never said they’re changing the Klingons. Pay attention, Double-Oh Seven. Plus, we’ve already seen what the Klingons look like on this show, and they’re consistent with TNG.

Agreed. Very consistent.

They never said they were changing the Klingons? Well Sherlock perhaps you can grace me with your infallible interpretation of ambiguous statements and explain this quote then “…we all know what Klingons look like in the live-action show. But we tried to push that look beyond that guy-in-the-costume look, because we are animated. We can make Klingons look even cooler!”

I actually took it to mean that because it’s animation they wouldn’t be limited to showing us aliens like the Klingons just from the neck up like live action Trek mostly did due to costume/makeup/budget constraints. They can actually change up their looks now.

Totally understandable why that had to be in live action but it did always kind of bug me when I was a kid. Those constraints break the immersion. Like can you imagine a Cardassian in a t-shirt or something? No right, seeing their arms seems weird but it shouldn’t be.

One of the things that excited me most about the prospect of an animated series is that we’d be be able to see all these alien characters really live you know? Actually inhabit their environments in a natural uninhibited way.

How DARE creators think they can create!

Klingons don’t need to be created. They already exist.

Taking someone else’s toys, perverting them and passing them off as your own is not creating.

It’s plagiarizing :P

All this over tiny little picture within a picture…. smh.

I wonder which characters will be coming back. TNG characters seem the most likely, but DS9, VOY, and PIC characters are all very possible as well. The character who I most want to see return is Worf. Q would also be a fun character to see in a comedy show.

I’m still stanning for Captain Ezri Dax of the Relaunch novels. Or even just a Commander on a significant ship by this point.

I didn’t see the DS9 documentary, but the little drama on Alexander Siddig’s podcast had her killed off and replaced by a male Trill.

I’d hate that.

Jadzia Dax was such a strong female character, unconstrained by gender stereotypes. Ezri Dax was uncertain and unprepared, but the novels did something very cool by having Ezri reframe her personal goals and identity as she integrated Dax. Shifting to command track from a helping profession makes a lot of sense, and allows Dax to experience a full Starfleet career.

I’ve read those novels, and I never really understood why they felt the need to move Ezri to a command track. She is a counselor, and being a counselor doesn’t mean that you don’t have a “full Starfleet career.” Being a counselor also doesn’t mean that you can’t be a strong female character. It seemed like Ezri just threw away a career that she had spent years training for just to do more or less the same thing that Jadzia did.

I didn’t see it that way at all.

Jadzia was a science officer, not command track – although she was edging that way in the end.

Ezri may have had an ambition to be a counselor, but “lifelong” is pushing it. What was lifelong was an ambition to get out of her family mining operation.

I saw the joining as an extremely random, unlikely but profound life event that cannot but change a person and lead to a rethink of their goals. Just carrying on with her previous career seems the path of least resistance, and ultimately exhausting given how much of her counselor skill and energy had to go into managing her symbiont’s previous life memories.

While I see a counselor as a very important role within Starfleet, Dax wasn’t likely to be permitted another host within Starfleet. Given that, there would be a drive to experience the fullness of Starfleet’s exploratory mission rather than to serve by caring for the wellbeing of its members.

Since it is happening, I’m rooting for Worf. Q did only work as comedy relief on TNG but I’m not so sure he would work in a complete comedic setting. I’d honestly rather we never see Q again.

If they do a flashback to their recent Academy days, we could see Miles O’Brien as one of their instructors.

I would be happy they ALL returned. ;)

But if we narrow it down to a realistic few, would love to see Q, Janeway, Bashir or Worf. We know Riker will be there because A. it’s Riker (and has to continue the streak of being on every show, yes I still think he has a shot on Discovery ;)) B. Frakes probably begged to be on the show for months and C. McMahan’s dog is named after the character. That’s all a shoo in as far as I’m concerned.

I have nothing against their own spin on Klingons, I guess, but I wish they would have a group scene with all the different Klingon designs/races we’ve seen. Hey, why not, it’s a big empire.

That would be very cool.

Good to know the story on the international distribution, and the rescheduling due to Covid.

It’s unfortunate, but ViacomCBS is under a lot of investor pressure to get a major Trek release in every quarter.

I seriously wonder what they can and will do to pivot and get more new live-action content produced and ready to stream in the first half of 2021.

Perhaps with that pressure, and the Emmy nod, senior ViacomCBS will put some resources into getting a set of Short Treks made quickly in Toronto to make it under the wire for consideration for 2020-2021.

It would be cool to see some Short Treks featuring the Discovery and/or Enterprise bridge crew. TPTB have an opportunity to give us more backstory as they did with Spock’s first day in Q&A. There’s also the stories of those left behind by Discovery: Amanda and Sarek, Tyler, L’Rell. Or they could give us a bit more in the 33rd century.

The Short Treks have generally used small casts. They would be a good opportunity to test out and shake down production protocols and adaptations for Covid.

If LDS is successful it might open the door for other animated series. Obviously McMahon’s show has got the adult comedy market cornered but maybe it could help fill the void with the lack of production for the live action shows. Obviously we know that modern animated shows can take a long time to produce so it would hardly be a quick fix but we have no idea how long the current situation will last so CBS Do need a plan B. Personally I would love a DS9 season 8 or Enterprise Romulan War show. Maybe one idea would be to have an anthology series with different creative teams brought in to individually work on their own episode or feature.

I loved the cut out puppet show a little bit too much LOL

Well, Picard does turn up on American Dad pretty regularly…

Well, there are a few key differences between Bullock and Picard.

But Avery Bullock is much closer to CBS Picard than “Legacy Picard.” Sometimes it’s uncanny.

I will say this for McMahan he knows exactly what to say to appeal to Trek fans. The only thing I’m not hearing is when and where we can watch it internationally but I guess that one is above his pay grade. Not really a surprise that we’re getting cameos from legacy characters but having it confirmed does add an extra layer of excitement, at least it does for me!

The opposite is the case for me. I don’t play Legacy and consider it non canon. Characters from an uncanon source make LD seem less canon to me. And a little cheap also.

Apologies if you were making a joke and it went over my head but Im going to take your comment at face value as the article references Star Trek online so there’s some room for confusion there. To clarify ‘legacy characters’ aren’t from a video game, you’re right they’re not canon, it refers to classic characters from Trek’s history. It’s set in the post Nemesis period so the likelihood is that the majority of these will be pulled from the vast array of TNG, DS9 and Voyager principle and recurring characters.

Ok, thank you for clearing that up. I see LD characters show up in ST online not the other way around, thank god. Headline was confusing, sorry for that.

You’re welcome and there’s no need to apologise, we’re a multinational community on here so there’s always going to be misunderstandings around various phrases. Throw in the fact as you say that the article does feature a section highlighting that the LDS characters are now available in Star Trek Online and it’s easy to understand your confusion.

I hope you and all the other US and Canadian fans will enjoy the premiere tomorrow.

That’s very kind but I’m British so unfortunately I won’t get to see it either!,

That is one huge Bat’leth in Mariner’s hands.

She just has small hands, like all good leaders.

Hand size is not what I was noticing. That blade is taller than she is!

Not scatological but I am glad we will be learning more about how holodeck waste removal works.

As for cameos, there better be some Bakula or I worry about a serious fan revolt. The Children of Bakula will no longer be marginalized…

I’d love to see Bakula return, but Archer would be long dead by the time Lower Decks is set. Unless they do time travel, or watch another damn Enterprise holo-novel, I don’t think that this is the right show for him to show up in.

LDS is set literally 200 years after Enterprise. Short of time travel or his body being frozen not sure how Archer could show up. Actually now thinking about it, maybe LDS will just go with option B. ;)

Archer would be a good fit for whenever Jonathon Frakes cameos in the show. Just have Riker visit the holodeck whilst he’s onboard while he works through some issues. Who wouldn’t want to see that? It would be literally a love letter to the fans ;)

Maybe if Riker offhandedly mentions that his Archer holo-novel is a complete work of fiction loosely based off of the lives of the original Enterprise crew.

They couldn’t possibly do that Damar, all of a sudden everybody would be happy to accept LDS as canon, there’d be no more controversy ;)

On a more serious note an animated format that clearly isn’t taking itself too seriously could be used for retcon’s (like Trip’s death) or to address questions like why do Klingons look different. The differences in appearances for Klingons between TOS and TMP were non issues for me easily explained by real world production considerations, I took the line in Trials and Tribblations as a wink to the fans but then Enterprise took it a step further by making it an actual canon point and the waters are even murkier post Discovery.

I personally think the live action shows should stay clear of trying to answer questions Like this particularly if they are wanting to appeal to a mainstream audience Who might find it a little off putting. However, they can tackle questions like this in an animated comedy In a more casual way. To the hardcore fan that needs such minutiae addressed it’s dealt with and to the more casual viewer it just comes across as Deadpool style meta humour.

I agree that the Klingon difference was something that should have never gotten touched in-universe. The DS9 thing was indeed a cute wink to the audience. But that is about as far as it ever should have gotten. I had no problem with the change from the show to TMP. I understand the production reasons and that’s good enough for me.

Show looks fun, but I won’t consider it canon….

At the end of the day it’s a subjective choice as to whatever you want to consider your own personal canon but wouldn’t it make far more sense to watch at least one full episode before making any dramatic proclamations?

I’m sure they’ll be very disappointed to hear about that.

Maybe it’s just me but term legacy actors rubs me the wrong way.

Unfortunately it looks like I’ll be sailing the high seas until they get an international distributor.

Or until their international distributor is willing to put it in their release schedule. Sounds as though the platform wasn’t willing or able to move the release forward a couple of months.

This makes me think it’s not going to a streaming platform. If that turns out to be the case then in the UK my guess would be that either Sky or Channel 4 have got it. Alternatively it might be a brand new distribution model that they’re looking at, something linked to there plans to expand CBS AA more globally.

I keep thinking something happening on ViacomCBS’s broadcast side too.

CEO Baklish used to be the VP in charge of CBS’ international arm, including Channel 5 in the UK, Comedy Central globally and MTV globally.

Do you think that Channel 5 or Channel 5US could carry it? I’m not as clear on how U.K. television is rolling out now.

Regarding Comedy Central and MTV, I’m more and more convinced that it’s not an exception that BellMedia is quietly showing Lower Decks on CTV’s Comedy and Music (Much) channels in addition to the CTV Sci-fi channel. There has been no public promotion of this in the news releases, but it’s there in my television schedule.

Both of these BellMedia premium cable channels carry other licensed Comedy Central and MTV content in Canada. So, I’m deducing that BellMedia’s deal for Lower Decks included showing them on the other channels, but with the global distribution via ViacomCBS’s channels unable to move up for some reason, BellMedia is going ahead with multichannel broadcast with a low profile.

Channel 5 would be a possibility in the UK but if they were to get it I think it would more than likely mean they didn’t face a great deal of competition to acquire it. That wouldn’t be ideal but just to put a positive spin on it having LDS air on terrestrial TV might give it more reach. I’m speaking anecdotally here but of the Star Trek fans I know in the UK not many have watched the newer shows. Not everybody has Amazon which is where Picard aired and although more people have Netflix most of my Trek friends couldn’t get past the first few episodes of Discovery and it’s glaring differences to traditional Trek.

In the ET clip, the characters are talking in the loud, forced, over-the-top style of young Youtube personalities. I guess this is what the kids crave? Make sure you hit subscribe and leave a comment to win a Secret Hideout mystery box.

The new clip made me laugh so much!

OMG, just watched Lower Desks. This show is basically my Star Trek brain animated!

Who knows if the rest of the season will hit me the same way, but I loved this episode. Five seconds in, I was totally onboard for it. Maybe a couple of mild false notes here and there, but overall I thought it was excellent.

Good to know.

I’ll duck out now to avoid spoilers, but will push for a family watch party at 8:00 pm tonight when it premieres in Canada on the CTV Comedy Channel.

I would argue that it really doesn’t belong on a Comedy Channel. Space it the better place for it. Be prepared to not really laugh. It does have some cute in-jokes for fans and a couple of small chuckles. But no good laughs. It’s very soft and if my kid was 8 I would have had no problem whatsoever having him look at it. It is hardly an “adult” comedy at all.

Yeah it was surprisingly funny. The jokes make sense and it feels like a Star Trek show.

I’m watching the first episode right now and no spoilers! So far so good.

Second Contact is really good for a inaugural episode of a new show. Lower Decks is as much Star Trek as it gets.

Great to hear and thanks for holding back on the spoilers.

As I said, comedy is in the eye of the beholder. No spoliers but if you are looking to laugh, skip it. It is better Star Trek than Discovery and Picard. But as far as being a comedy? First season The Orville was a lot funnier.

First and foremost I’m looking for it to be Star Trek so that you consider it better than Picard and Discovery in that regard. Obviously you feel it’s failed (so far) on the comedy front but did you enjoy it. I know you’re a Trek fan ML31 so I know you’ll at least watch it but I guess what I’m asking is will you look forward to each episode? Thanks also for the lack of spoilers!

I will watch it. I plan to even watch Prodigy. I’ll check all of them out because I’m such a Trek nerd. LDKS is not completely devoid of cleverness. There are some clever lines in that first episode. But were they funny? Not really. The most I got was a little chuckle. I will, however, freely admit that I was really looking forward to this. More so than most here. Perhaps I was looking forward to this a little too much or expected a little too much from it. But the comedy in it is awfully soft. It’s on par with what you would see in a family or workplace comedy show on ABC, NBC or CBS. And even then it’s not up to the level of something like Modern Family.

The show is Star Trek for me. Even bad Star Trek is Star Trek to me. So good or bad, it’s Trek. For me, if the goal is to be a comedy, then first and foremost it needs to be funny. That is where it failed for me. But again, I may have had higher expectations than most.

For me at least when it’s an it’s an IP that I’m really invested in like Trek no matter how much my rational brain tries to lower expectations my lizard brain still holds out high hopes. So given the track record of most of recent Trek I expect to be a little underwhelmed on first viewing but I’ll hopefully enjoy it more on repeat. That’s certainly how I’ve found Discovery and I imagine that when I watch Picard for a second time I’ll enjoy it more now that I’ve accepted what I’m getting. The only examples I can think of from recent Trek that haven’t disappointed on first viewing were Star Trek Beyond and Discovery’s interpretations of Pike and Spock. I expected the latter to be well cast and written and they didn’t disappoint. The former on the other hand, well let’s just say that the marketing for Beyond was so bad that no part of my brain held on to any hope that it might be half decent.

Watched the premiere this morning.

They lost me with “Romulan Whiskey”, but got me back with cha’DIch and Mariner’s name-drop fusillade at the end. Totally optimistic about the show.

While I understand it’s meant to be canon and I’m very serious about canon, I’m hoping my internal curmudgeon will give this show a break because it’s a cartoon. And I did have fun, and most importantly, was not left HANGING AT THE END like in other recent Trek shows. Hoping to set my brain-helm to “three quarters take-it-seriously power” and enjoy the ride.

Also, I’m forced to wonder why every male on the ship isn’t drooling over Tendi on account of the Orion pheromones. Maybe she takes a pill. Maybe she’ll miss a dose. Feels like potential comedic gold. Every male on the ship (and several females and neutrals, because diversity) will pile into sickbay for a “check up”. And the Catian doctor will blow a gasket because there’s a Pirates of the Caribbean-level line out the door, and none of them are even glancing at the CMO. And the ship is listing to port because of the mass differential and the bridge crew can’t figure out why. Writers… call me. ;)

That’s actually a good point about the Orion. Perhaps it might get addressed. But I found her enthusiasm adorable. In fact, she was the best character we were introduced to. The two main ones, Mariner and Boimler…. Ugh. Both were just unlikable in every way. I think the plan is to allow them to grow to become better people but as they are… The less of them the better. I know, they are the leads. But after one episode it’s a problem.

The LDS freebies for Star Trek Online are pretty cool; all the character traits are represented well.
In STO I usually thought the duty officer task “Confiscate Contraband from Crew” seemed out-of-place, but now Lower Decks shows it to be a necessity!
I suppose I should’ve taken an earlier hint in Star Trek Beyond when McCoy took Chekov’s bottle of liquor.

Too bad they couldn’t do a more realistic character style for Lower Decks. Something like what was used in Ben 10 Alien Force.