Mike McMahan And The ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Cast Reveal What We Will (And Won’t ) See In Season 2

In addition to the big news about and the Star Trek: Discovery sneak peek and Kate Mulgrew in Star Trek: Prodigy news the Star Trek Universe virtual NYCC event included a panel discussion with the cast of Star Trek: Lower Decks along with creator Mike McMahan talking about the season finale, which debuted today, along with providing some hints about what is to come. This panel was hosted by Wil Wheaton and has been released as a new version of The Ready Room, along with a bonus message from McMahan. We have broken down all the hints and confirmations, and you can also watch the full Ready Room video below.

Warning: This article covers major spoilers for the season finale of Lower Decks.

Season two: bigger, funnier… still Trek

During the panel McMahan also talked about what it’s like for the team to move into a new season:

It’s even bigger and it’s even funnier, and it’s still very Star Trek… We’re very proud and we are very careful. It is amazing to be part of Star Trek. And it is mind-blowing… We know that it is bigger than us and we have to be very careful with it. And we want it to be very funny good and very surprising. So we are working very hard to make something special for everybody.

And in a post-panel message, Mike said:

There is more Lower Decks on the way. We have way more adventures and way more stories to tell.

Boimler starts season two on the Titan

The end of the season finale saw Brad Boimler promoted to lieutenant and transferred to his dream assignment on the USS Titan, under the command of Captain Riker (voiced by Jonathan Frakes). Mike McMahan revealed that is where season two will pick up:

Boimler’s on the Titan. We don’t undo that. We start the season and Boimler’s on the Titan. You’ll be seeing Riker again at the beginning of next season for sure.

In a post-panel message, McMahan also brought this up when talking about season two, saying:

I think the craziest thing is: what is Boimler’s life like on the Titan.

Frakes will be back, was encouraged to “go wild” as Riker

Jonathan Frakes was the teased “surprise guest” for the Lower Decks panel and both he and Jack Quaid indicated they would be working together again for season two. The Riker that showed up in the season finale was a bit looser than the Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series and films, and this was by design. Frakes revealed the direction he got from show creator Mike McMahan:

When I go to go into the studio [Mike] encouraged me to do what I always wanted to do for thirty-five years, which was let Riker be a wild, insane character. You know who I am… Riker is a lot more serious. So, this has been a blast.

McMahan also weighed in on what it was like for him — a man who has a cat named Riker — to actually write for the real thing:

It was a joy. Riker on Lower Decks is… Lower Decks is an enhancement of things that already existed in Star Trek. It was something that was always there, but we just kind of exaggerated it a little bit. Our Riker is the Riker that is expressing joy all the time. He loves jazz, all the time. He is having a great time. He is truly in love Deanna and they have a great relationship and they are on a ship together and we justed to imply this whole era of post-[Star Trek:] Nemesis joy that they have being on the Titan, their own ship.

And Jonathan came in and it was a party. It was as much fun as you can have recoding for an animated show. And he was so game. He just got it! He has played this character for so long, to then shift into a comedic version of it that still remained true blew us away.

Season two will have some different character matchups

The first season of Lower Decks often paired up Boimler and Mariner, and Rutherford with Tendi. When discussing the approach for season two, McMahan talked about shaking that up:

The second season is what we knew is we love their characters. Right off the bat we were like, let’s get Mariner and Tendi in a story. What does that look like?

The Cerritos is getting a new security officer, Shaxs really is gone

One of the big surprises of the season finale was Lt. Shaxs sacrificing himself in a blaze of glory to save Rutherford. And in a post-panel message on The Ready Room, Mike McMahan made it sound pretty definitive:

We have a new head of security I am excited for you to see because we lost poor Shaxs.

And when actor Fred Tatasciore was asked if Shaxs’ was permanent or just a “Star Trek death,” Tatasciore also indicated his time with the show was over:

I can’t tell you how many times my characters die in things. I have died so many times. That is my job, is to die. So this was one of those, and when you get that in a character – what a great character to have played and what a great scene for it to have happened. From a theatrical point of view, it’s awesome. From a viewpoint where I want to stay in, yeah, it’s sad. You don’t want to, you don’t want to leave. But it was such a thrill to play out this guy to his inevitable end.

Watch The Ready Room


Keep up with all the Star Trek: Lower Decks news and analysis at TrekMovie.com.

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Good show guys, keep at it!

My head canon is that Riker always purposefully toned it down because that’s what Picard was. The Titan is his, so the reins are off.

hmmmm. I like that thinking. Makes sense.

The problem is that this has not caught on outside of hardcore Trek fans.

I would not be too shocked if CBS pulled the plug on this after season 2, if not earlier.

Last edited 19 days ago by Methuselah

I would not be shocked if you’re wrong.

I wonder if the fact that it’s a show that can be made without having to put actors and creatives in the same place may gain it a reprieve in the COVID era.

As they do not release ratings, how do you know that?

He doesn’t know it. He made it up.

Check on almost any non-Star Trek fan site and almost any media user and reviewer score site. This show is not well liked outside of hardcore Star Trek fans…fact

We’ll see in a year. We’ll see.

Not fact at all.

Well certainly it’s not showing as super popular and well thought of outside of Star Trek fan sites — look for yourself on the internet — the show is simply not that well thought of. Anyone can verify this — I am not making this up.

BTW, your “trust me I know some people” schtick is not very compelling.

Last edited 19 days ago by Methuselah

I don’t know if that matters all that much. All CBS/Paramount cares about is getting subscriptions to their streaming service (plus payment from Netflix etc for the shows overseas), and as long as enough Trekkies are happy and subscribing, that is probably enough. Plus, each new show has to attract some new viewers.

It doesn’t have to be a GoT, or Big Bang Theory level hit to be successful. Besides, in the current TV landscape GoT (#1 show, in 2018-2019) only saw on average about 8 million households viewing it, and BBT (#7) only saw around 4.5 million. If only 2.5 million Trekkies are viewing LDS, that puts it in the top 25. Now I don’t know if 2.5 million is really reasonable for LDS on AllAccess because the overall subscription numbers are not known, but I think i have seen estimates of at at least 4 million subscriptions. Trek is seen as the biggest draw for AllAccess so far, so if only the hard core Trekkies are tuning in, it seems like there could be 2.5 million. Doesn’t seem terrible to me.

Plus, each new show has to attract some new viewers.”

Yes, exactly, and that is my point. I don’t think show will add new audiences. It’s way too derivative and dependent on knowing “inside baseball” Trek facts.

Animated shows are going to be much more prevalent in the near future, since they can be done safely during this pandemic. So, I imagine Lower Decks will be on for a while.

The problem is the time it takes to spool up a new animated show (what with the animation), there might be an increase, but it will be very delayed if at all.

The show is extremely popular. I know for a fact that season three is already being planned, and that the powers that be are very pleased with how the show is performing. A couple people here know me off the group, and they know that I’m telling the truth when I say this. As for everyone else, it’s OK with me if you don’t believe me–I won’t lose any sleep over it since you’re strangers. :) But don’t worry–this show will be around for a long time.

Nope, not outside of hardcore Star Trek fans. Thanks for the resume though. We will see in time here. We will see.

You’re right. We will see… more seasons.

I didn’t post a resume, by the way, or even mention what I do for a living. Your attempt at sarcasm kind of failed.

Last edited 19 days ago by His Name Is Rios

I predict it ends after season 2.

Methuselah you have no real evidence other than the limited scope of your personal circle.

Parrot Analytics has demand stats that continue on a steep upward curve, outperforming 97% of the animated comedy market.

And as others not animated series are a growing market, and Lower Decks is one of the flagships of the new CBS Eye Animation.

I have no reason to doubt Rios about a 3rd season being planned given the long lead times in animation. I’m also wondering if season two will have more episodes, say 12 or 14.

So funny seeing someone claim “only hardcore Trek fans” watch Lower Decks. My best friend can’t stand Star Trek, he once watched Trekkies with me just so he could make fun of me the whole way through (I got him back).

I sat down and watched the first episode of Lower Decks with him. He loved it, hasn’t missed an episode since. I have shown episode trailers and clips to numerous co-workers who are absolutely not Trek fans (like don’t know who Kirk is, or Picard, only know Burton from Reading Rainbow, couldn’t name a single Trek character to save their life, etc) several have started watching Lower Decks.

So my admittedly limited experience has been precisely the opposite. That combined with the absolute fact of independently collected viewership data, like that mentioned by TG47, indicates my experience is far from unique.

OK, let me rephrase that:

“Only hardcore Trek fans plus their friends that they convince to sit down to watch it with them”

There we go.

Never heard of Parrot Analytics, sorry. I have heard of IMDB, where LDS had a dismal 6.2 rating, whereas Discovery has an OK 7.2 and TNG has a great 8.6 rating — these feel about right to me and my Trek convention fan group buddies.

There is no getting around the fact that this series just isn’t well thought of outside of some hardcore Trek fan websites. Go ahead and do a random web search on reviews of this series — most general reviewers say it stinks. I am not making this up — search for yourself. It’s simply not growing the audience.

It is what it is. Sorry!

Last edited 19 days ago by Methuselah

people using the word fact in a strange way….

methusalem. it might be a fact that you have read a lot of comments that paint lds in a negative Light. thats the fact here. but you making a rule out of it and thats not how this works.

there is a lot of very negative reception for discovery in the Internet.. that’s a fact. but its also a fact that there are already 3 seasons of it. and a 4. is on prep and we have 4 active trek Shows.

this leads me to speculate that diacovery actually is watched by someone and generates enough money to keep trek alive.

Methuselah, I suggest you research Parrot Analytics rather than relying on iMDB which can be flooded with negative ratings and posts of disgruntled fans.

(Witness Prodigy has a 3.7 rating and it won’t air for another year. Or how there is a group of negative posters that go on every rating site and post the same word for word negative comments within minutes every time a new episode drops of any Trek show.)

Nielsen type boxes and surveys don’t exist for streaming and rating sites can be flooded positively or negatively so Parrot Analytics compiles statistics based on total internet demand for shows.

Lower Decks is doing “outstandingly” well in Parrot Analytics compared to other animated comedies (not targeted at children) in both the United States and Canada where it has been shown.

Methusela, IMDB is less accurate than wikipedia, always has been. Even the cast lists are frequently wildly wrong.

As for Parrot, I’d post a link to their site but the filters here block it, but it took me 10 seconds to find, no reason you can’t.

Last edited 18 days ago by Who cares

Methusela, IMDB is less accurate than wikipedia, always has been. Even the cast lists are frequently wildly wrong.

As for Parrot, I’d post a link to their site but the filters here block it, but it took me 10 seconds to find, no reason you can’t.

Are your “facts” based on the same “facts” that Discovery was going to be cancelled after season 1, or definitely would be cancelled after season 2, and surely won’t survive season 3 (despite season 4 being in the works). Or are they based on the fact that Alex Kurtzman would be fired any day now?

The fact of the matter is (pun absolutely intended) that you’re supposed facts are simply based on cherry picked opinions to fit your narrative.

Last edited 18 days ago by noraa

This bit of derailment is pointless.

CLOSED

YES, Riker and Deanna will be back next season!!!!! Great news! This show is so fantastic!

And I love wild Riker, keep it coming please. He is basically closer to Frakes in real life just like the Picard we have on the new show is closer to Stewart in real life.

And Riker and Deanna had to be on this show to keep up with their record of spin off show appearances. I’m still hoping we get some DS9 and VOY appearances next season as well.

I have not loved a Trek show this much in a long long time, probably since Voyager. This is EASILY the best Trek first season for a spin off show.

Last edited 19 days ago by Tiger2

I love Sirtis and Frakes, but it’s turned into a bit of a joke that one or both of them turns up in every series now.

Well it is funny Riker showed up twice this year saving the day in the finale on two shows! Probably a bit much but I’m good with it. I do wonder if that was planned in any way?

I think it has very much to do with the fact that these two (Frakes and Sirtis) are the Trek alumni most willing to return, ever since Voyager and (unfortunately) TATV! For everyone else, including Ryan and Stewart, as we learnt, there is alot of “but” involved that makes the former two the go-to couple whenever TPTB need a no-frills but high-profile guest spot for Trek alumni.

(Isn’t it curious that even Jeffrey Combs hasn’t returned though? He used to be in every show as yet another memorable alien!)

Last edited 19 days ago by Vulcan Soul

Well they both love the franchise obviously and to be fair most Trek actors do come back over and over again. Like as you mentioned with Combs, think of alllll those character actors who played different characters on multiple shows for years. And the other TNG cast overall has appeared on the spin offs like Stewart in the pilot of DS9, Levar Burton (VOY), Brent Spiner (ENT) and obviously Michael Dorn having a main role as Worf on DS9. The only actor from that show who never appeared on the others is Gates McFadden. So most have done it, just not at level of Frakes and Sirtis has.

And of course you seen the other cast from DS9 and VOY show up in other shows from time to time but it was a lot more limited since DS9 and VOY couldn’t crossover in general and ENT was a century prior to TOS. Main actors from DS9 and VOY showed up on ENT, but of course had to play different characters. And many people like Combs showed up on many shows since he always played a different actor.

As for Combs, I know fans want him to play Boyce on SNW and he said he would be interested if they asked him so fingers crossed!

I’d I’m still hoping that Goldsman & co will be a bit more courageous casting Boyce.

Roddenberry was struggling to get a diverse cast when The Cage was made: wouldn’t it make sense to bring a bit of diverse representation in Boyce.

I’ve previously mentioned Graham Greene as my ideal for the role. I think that he could really balance Anson Mount well.

Season 2 should come soon.

And season’s 3,4 and 5 after it! ;)

They’re already being mapped out.

YAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best show in decades! McMahan totally gets Star Trek!

Last edited 19 days ago by Tiger2

I really got to start watching it, especially to sweeten what looks like another Discovery-sized lemon coming up ;)

Don’t know if you will like it but DEFINITELY better than Discovery, but that’s not too hard lol.

I’m glad Boimler’s promotion to the USS Titan will not be undone. He stays there and I can see Tendi and Rutherford being the next ones to be promoted to other ships thus leaving Mariner the only one stuck in the lower decks.

Then Mariner meets Harry Kim on a warp 10 shuttle and the two Eternal Ensigns make lizard babies!

Last edited 19 days ago by Vulcan Soul

It might not be immediately undone, bit it could still be undone.

Are they going to ever release this globally or should I just download?

The Faustian pact all of us unworthy individuals face! ;)

hear, hear. a friend sneakernetted me episodes, I didn’t ask where he got them ;)

Download it, brother.

Still waiting for the show to be funny…and not a bunch of Trek tropes thrown together…and the season finale turned out to be wall-to-wall Tropes. TITAN spin-off anyone :)

Well said.

Forget It. This IS the show. Don’t find It funny? Move on.

Why’s Jerry O’Connell’s always in the woods when he does these things? Is their a story behind that?

Is it possible they recorded all of these panels together?
Or maybe that’s close to where he lives.

Since CBS hasn’t been blasting PR at us about subscription numbers or secured an international deal for the show yet, should we concerned it’s ratings may not have been great?

No, not really. They haven’t released ratings for any of the streaming shows, and they have all been pretty successful based on the fact they keep getting more shows made, like, if they were failing you;d not be tossing millions of dollars at the guy making failing products.

Not getting this in the UK at all then? Reason please.

Says who? It’s still coming to other markets.
https://twitter.com/MikeMcMahanTM/status/1314284009782874112

So… Why did they have old-style uniforms on the Titan?

I hate that the Ready Room show isn’t available in the UK :( I was the type to always immediately re-watch a movie with the commentary turned on after it had finished, so I love that shit.

I’m in Europe and I watched the Ready Room on Facebook about an hour ago. You don’t need a Facebook account.

Last edited 18 days ago by DIGINON

Have you tried going directly to the viewer provided on the StarTrek.com official site.

The videos on that site are supposed to be the global region-free versions.