‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Season 2 Will Explore Mariner’s Sexuality; And (Probably) Feature More TNG Cameos

The first season is behind us, but work on the second season of Star Trek: Lower Decks has been underway for a while. Creator and showrunner Mike McMahan has conducted some post-season finale interviews, where he dropped some more hints about where the animated series is headed next. Be warned for SPOILERS.

Ramsey is Mariner’s ex

Speaking to Variety Mike McMahan referred to the character Captain Amina Ramsey (introduced in “Much Ado About Boimler”) as Mariner’s “close friend, confidant, and probably lover from the Academy days.” When asked to clarify, McMahan confirmed the character is intended to be Mariner’s former lover:

Yeah. We weren’t explicit about it, because most of the relationships in this show are familial or friendship love. It’s not physical love. That character showing up, the story we’re telling about them has nothing to do with any previous relationships they’ve had. For me and for the writers as we were making this, we didn’t intentionally mean for anybody to be strictly heteronormative or straight or cis. Every Starfleet officer is probably at the baseline bisexual, in a way. That being said, I am not the most amazing person at writing those kind of stories. I think we get a little bit better about it in the second season.

He then confirmed this area of sexuality will be something they will be addressing in season two:

It is. It’s something I think we need to be better about. If there’s anything I can say about inclusiveness — whether it’s about sex or gender or race or anything — is that I know that I can always learn more and be better about it, and I’m always trying to do that. This is one of those cases where we could have done a better job of explicitly stating the things that the writers always knew about Mariner. It seeps in there in little ways, which even irritates me even more, like you start off the season with Mariner saying, “Whoa, she’s like the hottest girl on the ship, are you nervous?” —  that’s one of her first lines. That doesn’t put a stake in the ground, which I wish we had done a little bit more explicitly. It’s always a learning experience. We’re going to be trying to be better about it. And we are more explicit about it in the second season.

Toks Olagundoye as Capt. Amina Ramsey and Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner in “Much Ado About Boimler”

Riker will be back, and probably more TNG cameos

Speaking to StarTrek.com McMahan talked about plans for Jonathan Frakes to return in season two as Riker:

Definitely we’ll be seeing Riker again. I mean, Boimler’s on the Titan. Next season when we come back, there [won’t be] a big time jump. Boimler is serving on the Titan. That’s something that he talked about all season one, and we’re going to see sort of what it’s like for him to work on that ship. And then we’re going to see what it’s like to work on the Cerritos without him.

However, he also indicated that Marina Sirtis may not be reprising her role as Troi:

The stories that are on Titan are really more revolving around Riker and Boimler. However, I loved Marina and we loved working with her first season. The stories didn’t go that way, but I definitely need to get her back, because she was a blast to work with.

But when asked by Variety if there will be more TNG cameos in season two, McMahan hinted there would be:

I would say, feels like a pretty good chance of it.

Jack Quaid as Boimler on the Titan at the end of “No Small Parts”

A new security officer

McMahan revealed some more details to StarTrek.com about Shaxs’ replacement for season two:

We have a very awesome new head of security. I love Shax and those are very big boots to fill, and the person that replaces Shax is completely unlike Shax, but they’re a member of Starfleet. It really pains me that we’ve lost Shax, but I think the person who will be heading security will be somebody that fans are really interested in.

Fred Tatasciore as Shaxs in his final moment in “No Small Parts”

Boimler may be trying out some new uniforms

McMahan talked to Inverse about the different uniforms seen in Lower Decks, and in Star Trek in general:

Even in TNG, the uniforms change, every year. The real-world answer [for the changes] is, the costumers got better and the uniforms got better-looking. But there are really great ways in-universe to discuss that. So, if I get a few more seasons on this, that will be something, because I really want to do an episode where they’re testing new uniforms on Boimler.

He also confirmed that we shouldn’t expect the Starfleet uniforms seen in Star Trek: Picard to show up any time soon on Lower Decks:

Those [Star Trek: Picard Starfleet] uniforms won’t trickle down to our level of guys for years. It’s a big fleet.

Troi (Marina Sirtis) and Ransom (Jerry O’Connell) with their different Starfleet uniforms in “No Small Parts”


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Every Starfleet officer is probably at the baseline bisexual, in a way”

That’ll tick off a good subset of the haters lol. Bring it on!

Lol. Can’t wait to see the fall out!

Yeah, because bisexuality is so widespread in the general population.

Newsflash: It isn’t. About 98%-99% of people are straight, period.

today, maybe…give it a couple of hundred years and aliens

Not to mention that we’re hardly born biologically neutral.

Another case of “Cause and The Liberal Hollywood Bubble effect”

Puuhh… At least she is “humansexual”. She even stays within her own race! Imagine her having a relationship with vulcan/klingon/Trill/Q/Orion/changeling/non-corporal entity. How many % of the people would that represent? People would be outraged!

Your numbers are WAAAAAAAY off, Nachum. Enter the 21st century.

Not me. I’m 2000% gay ;)

Of course, you tell us this every chance you get.

Please don’t encourage trolling.

CLOSED

McMahan also talked about how LDs is intended to be about the journey from lower decks to bridge officers.

However, he hasn’t yet talked about how that might be different in the recovery period after the Dominion War.

McMahan says he was given his choice of time period and seized on the early 2380s, but we haven’t heard or see anything overtly yet about how the war shapes the story.

Indirectly though…

1) there are some young captains and first officers that ranked up quickly, likely through as battle commanders or to fill depleted ranks;

2) the “some interference” policy and neglect of monitoring critiqued in the season finale is a strong indication that Federation resources have been stretched (i.e. due to the Dominion War), but that Starfleet is still trying to use its non-combat vessels to “put out fires” when things get out of hand (i.e. even Captain Freeman can’t see the biggest picture the Admirals can);

3) similar to the 1950s, people want to move on with their lives, don’t want to admit to needing therapy;

4) Mariner has seen “stuff”, including dark ops, that the younger, recently graduated ensigns haven’t because her Academy class graduated into wartime (like Ezri Dax’s) while Boimler, Rutherford and Tendi didn’t;

5) Tendi says that some Onions stopped slave-trading 5 years previously — suggesting that the Dominion War impacted norms even in her culture.

So, I’d like and hope to see the post-War context to get addressed more as the series progresses.

Onions? LOL Orions, I take it…

LOL I always look back for the damage done by predictive spelling, but I thought I’d stamped that down.

Orions it is.

Great insights, i had not thought of LDs as a post-war show but of course it is. It bothered me a little bit to see Ramsey as a captain, being so young, but your explanation fits completely and it would be great to see some of these post war effects more overtly

Mariner’s unwillingness to take on leadership and issues with authority make a lot more sense when you see her as a star Academy graduate, pushed by two ambitious parents, who suddenly finds herself graduating into a militarized Starfleet, at-war, rather than the mostly peaceful TNG-era Starfleet she grew up in.

We also don’t know where her parents were posted when Wolf 359 happened, but working back she would likely have been in her teens in 2366/2367.

Last edited 14 days ago by TG47

TG47, your deliberations about character motivations always seem much deeper than what we will probably end up seeing on screen ;)

Whatever happens, these are all great thoughts. I hope we do get to see explorations of these topics. Even if (due to the limitations of a 24-ish minute show) we only get their mention as parts of the A- (or B-) story, I would be really interested in this engendering discussion among fans. Who knows, depending on timing or the coordination between the teams, maybe these storylines could affect something in PIC or other future Trek series.

Thanks for joining in on my speculation.

It’s one of the most fun parts of being a fan.

I didn’t take Tendi’s comment of “5 years ago” to be 100% accurate take her word at it set in stone canon. I just took it to be a joke. Some things I think people hold on to far too tightly.

It doesn’t have to be precisely 5 years previously, but it does give the flavour of very recent and sociological changes.

Take a step back and think what it means to have an Orion accepted into the Academy. How would that have been possible? Especially when we know what it took for Nog to be accepted as a Ferengi.

It’s just…. A joke.

Nothing more.

I’ve never worried about any character’s sexual orientation because it’s never been important to the overall story line of the “wagon train to the stars” concept. Any more than I care what toothpaste the bridge crew uses. I’m not sure why there needs to be such a hyper focus on getting so deep into these characters at the expense of the rest of the universe and all that there is to explore. It’s becoming more soap opera than space exploration at this point. I think Star Trek needs to decide what kind of show it is. But trekking to the stars seems a lot less the mission these days despite the name.

Kind of a weird comparison to make. Toothpaste selection doesn’t affect whether a character is well rounded and well developed, but sexual orientation might.

Also, I know I’m far from the first person to observe this, but it’s always weird to me when Star Trek fans complain about any sort of diversity, considering IDIC has always been a central tenant of the show.

Star Trek fans are diverse. Some of them don’t like diversity.

To add to your thoughts, I think it’s a bit odd that those prone to complain about diversity tend to make it a bigger “issue” than it even is. The showrunners were pretty clear that they had only intended to make it more explicit that they were in a relationship–not that they were going to dedicate storylines to it (I personally would not mind either way). And, of course, explicit relationships are all over Trek stories; explicit sexual orientation has been present at least as far back as Kirk. There’s no reason to expect that Mariner’s more explicit sexual orientation is going to hamper storylines any more than Kirk’s did.

Although, to be fair, I guess I did feel that Kirk’s explicit sexuality did hamper a few storylines…

Some of them don’t like diversity.”

I think that is a very poor assumption to make based on the comment. I didn’t read it that way at all. There are plenty of reasons why someone would never worry about a character’s sexual orientation that have nothing to do with not being a fan of diversity. Not very “diverse” to rule out all those other, more likely, possibilities right off the bat.

If you are concerned about such an attitude how about instead of instant judging ask the person why it is. It’s probably not the reason you think.

It has always been about the human condition. It is exploring what is out there as a function of discovering what is in here.

Toothpaste? Oh boy….

Don’t care either about gender/sex/orientation either, but do not care for overly making it an issue- Disco. Star Trek was on hiatus when they could have “broken glass” on that, and it is just joining the bandwagon nowadays.

Funny how it’s an ” issue ” when it’s mariner or stamets orientation , but all those episodes where Kirk or Riker were boning ” Guest Star of the Week ” are no problem at all

Star Trek is about people, not space. That’s just the backdrop. It’s not as if they’re actually exploring real space, or discovering real things. The writers make up situations, and settings, but it’s all about exploring what humans could be in the future, their interpersonal relationships, how they react to the unknown, etc. Sexuality is included in all of this, and has been since 1966. I’m sorry if you’re just in it for the ships and technology and, well, the backdrop.

“I’m not sure why there needs to be such a hyper focus on getting so deep into these characters at the expense of the rest of the universe and all that there is to explore. It’s becoming more soap opera than space exploration at this point.”

It needs to be pushed through because denying sexual dimorphism is the far left version of climate change denial – denying a fundamental physical reality and trying to push through political ideology by turning normal and exceptional on its head (that 2-3% of overall population have a genetically divergent sexuality doesn’t prove anything). And it seems unfortunately every single one of these Hollywood types is infected with this virus (d’uh!), even McMahan. You probably don’t get an entrance ticket to that place anymore without passing the purity exam in those matters… And we all know what happens to the rare dissenters like J. K. Rowling. Give me a high archiever with a proven record rather than the mediocre lemmings following the call of the cult, any day!

Last edited 14 days ago by Vulcan Soul

Hey Vulcan Soul, what’s your peer-reviewed primary source on that 2-3% claim? Since you’re so enamored of data-driven science and reason, I’m sure you’ll have a well-researched source and certainly not a statistic you’ve pulled out of your ass to fit your own subjective perception of the world based on your own experience and small social circle…

Well VS… There is some truth to what you say. I’m not on board 100% but that does seem to be the case more often than not.

Wow, three is just so much wrong with your post.

First, let’s talk about raw numbers. From everything I can find, the actually % of the population that is LGBTQ is extremely hard to measure, mainly because of under reporting – I.e. people unwilling to or even unable to identify as non-cisgender, especially to a nationwide or worldwide survey. Even still, I did find a Gallop poll from 2017 that estimated approximately 4-5% of the US population identifies as non-cisgender. Of course the US is not the world, nor can it be seen as an accurate cross section of the world’s population, but it’s at least a start. With that el ding said, given the issue of under reporting, it’s fairly safe to assume that MORE than 4.5% of the US population is LGBTQ.

Second, and definitely more important, why does this bother you so much ? It is obvious you have an issue with non-cisgendered people (and please don’t respond with the stereotypical “I have no problem with gay people, but…”.BS; that “but” gives you away). You act as if Trek can only focus on one thing, so if it’s talking about gay people it must not be able to talk about other things – such an assertion is simply not true. Which leads me back to the previous point – why are you so bothered by non-cisgendered people? Typically said prejudice is based upon religion, but you don’t come across as a particularly religious person,, so what is it?

I highly suggest you take a step back and really explore this question, specifically with the understanding that your viewpoint is at best delegitimizing an entire population (regardless of the %) and at worst actively harming this population.

Finally, I propose a thought experiment: are you equally upset when a show or movie or what not makes a point of focusing (even briefly) on a persons religion – specifically a minority religion such as Judaism? I pick Judaism for three reasons – the US population of Jewish people is around 1.5%, and the world population is around 0.19%. In other swords, extremely small l, and thus by your definition “fringe.” Second, Jews have been and continue to be persecuted for their beliefs – similar to LGBTQ being persecuted for their beliefs and lifestyle choices. And finally, I am Jewish, so this will add a bit of “personal” flare to the mix.

If your answer to the above is it doesn’t bother you, then the obvious question is why LGBTQ but not religion. On the other hand, if the above also bother you, I suggest even further introspection to uncover where your prejudices come from and why.

Last edited 13 days ago by noraa

the rare dissenters like JK who say trans women are all potential bathroom predators? what a neutral statement, there’s no way anyone could be upset by that unless they were totally unreasonable! it’s not like trans women are overwhelmingly the victim of sexual violence as a group, no, you see; because a small handful of trans woman were predators, obviously we should treat every single one as predator until proven otherwise. after all, that’s what we did in the 90s when there was the scare about lesbian bathroom predators! we all know that lesbians are forbidden from going into the women’s restroom nowadays… oh, wait

So many of the people that work in the entertainment industry to create the media that you enjoy and critique are queer people. It has always been that way. Almost half the population of West Hollywood alone is LGBTQ. I think it’s pretty cool that we aren’t restricted to just being behind-the-scenes anymore, and get to tell our own stories now.

I think bisexuality goes very well with the flexibility that a good Starfleet officer needs, to adapt to all those new planets and new cultures that we hope they’ll find when they’re out there exploring…

I’m with you in that I couldn’t care less about who or what a character finds attractive. But I can understand why someone else might be interested. So it doesn’t bother me one way or the other.

But what I do think is more important is that before they decide to start delving into that aspect of the characters it would probably be a better idea to work harder on the comedy on this supposed comedy show. Once the show produces laughs then they can start dealing with those aspects.

Eveyone knows there’s sliding scale of sexuality and everyone changes over time. And in the future, it will be no big deal .

Sadly, everyone doesn’t know that. It’s true, yes, but many, many people don’t understand it or refuse to accept reality–and most of them will be voting for a demented orange shitgibbon in a few weeks.

I’ve been looking for an original identifier to follow “Orange”… Shitgibbon is quite extraordinarily genius. Feels good just to say it. Not fair to the gibbons though…

Even if that was true (it isn’t), it doesn’t mean every single one of the new shows need to indulge in this very unimportant topic. Not at this time of upheavals. This singular focus on fringe sexuality, confusing the normal and the exception, is really pathological at this point, as if that was or should be the defining feature of people’s identity (same as skin color). How lame! It just confirms to everyone else how tone-deaf and removed from reality the Western far left is, and yes, it means they will keep losing elections once the personality question is done and it’s about issues again!

Last edited 14 days ago by Vulcan Soul

Vulcan Soul, your comment is full of misunderstanding, especially this idea you have a lock on what is “fringe.” Everyone is on any useful scale. You can’t unthink the scale or reduce science to politics. Just because there is a scale doesn’t mean that you’re anything you don’t want to be – you’re right on the scale where you belong!

Coincidentally, I just started watching LDX (last night after this post) and knowing that there is a subtle comfortableness between the characters about the attraction aspect of their interactions makes the show so much funnier.

Everyone should know, but unfortunately, here in the Midwest, it’s still considered a radical notion. :-(

All Starfleet officers are bisexual. NOW IT IS CANON. Actually, I think the label he means is pansexual or omnisexual- which in a sci-fi setting means also having sex with robots and hortas and such.

Make it so.

Well, not really canon because he said it in an interview. But yes, I’m sure he meant pansexual/omnisexual.

I’m just hoping we have some “flashback” sequences to Mariner & Ramsey’s Academy days! :)

Well, we’ve seen two classes of uniforms at the same time before – the DS9/Voyager “Jumpsuits” and The Standard 2-piece Season 3-7 TNG (as well as modified season 1-2 TNG one-piece for extras and “day players” on TNG 3-7) uniforms were in used during the overlap of series and “Generations”.

So two classes of Uniforms used by starfleet at the same time isn’t unusual.

TNG-style uniforms seem to have been used on ships and planets right up until the FC design took over.

There’s also Discovery showcasing two uniform styles in use at the same time.

Not forget to mention the big mess with the (non-)uniforms in Star Trek Generations.That was very sloppy.

There’s a guy wearing a TNG (later seasons) uniform in the background of the war council scene near the beginning of “Tears of the Prophets”, too.

There is even a guy wearing a mini-skirt in the pilot of TNG! ;-)

The infamous ” skant “

Coool Beans

In a one in a century pandemic, in a historic economic crash, in a decades long disenfranchisement of the working class by globalization which already caused the ascendancy of the worst US president in history …. the makers of Star Trek continue with their tone-deaf, obsessive fetishization of fringe sexualities that only really matters in their Beltway Hollywood bubble. Do they really think this is THE major, globally relevant topic of our times, outside their echo chamber? As someone else said above, this is not the living experience and lived reality of 98-99% of people, and there’s really nothing to add to that.

This is how you make yourself irrelevant with “general audiences”, guys!

Last edited 14 days ago by Vulcan Soul

I’ve always wondered which living experience and lived reality relationships between humans and any random species or those of different species represented which we already saw in TOS when Kirk obviously disappeared with a non-human-character in his quarter. We already know that not all species have their genitals at the same place….

stop getting ‘trek’ wrong.

For a Vulcan you seem to be having a hard time with the concept of Infinite Diversity.

This is by no means a scientific assessment, but hasn’t it been put forward that 10% of the population is gay? Now if you add bisexual, trans, and all the other gender qualifiers, I’m thinking we’re in the 20+% range… So Vulcan I don’t know where you get your 98-99%…

it’s not like that samesuch president is actively threatening the rights that have won! maybe THAT’S why people seem to have started caring more about it again recently than they did a decade ago…. what a mystery 🤔

It’s something I think we need to be better about.”

Here is some advice from an end user… They really should work on trying to be funny before they decide to dive into character’s sexuality.

Oh, for… Look, we got that you hate the show ages ago. Lord knows you’ve told us way more than enough. We don’t need to be reminded that you don’t like it EVERY SINGLE TIME someone praises The Lower Decks. Or am I going to be forced to complain about the concept of pointless redundancy EVERY SINGLE TIME you post the same complaint? I’m not ragging on you personally, just, you know, offer something new once in a while, man. Jesus. Give it a freaking rest.

It was 100% appropriate that I respond to the comment that was made. It showed their priorities were misplaced and it was the right thing to say so.

The fact that it bothers you so very much suggests the possibility that you just don’t like hearing a certain take that counters your feelings about it. I get it but I don’t whine and moan every times someone speaks lovingly about STD. I just accept they like it and move on. Occasionally I’ll feel like responding. Most of the time not. Relax. Let some things go.

ML31, you once told me that I was getting irritating on one of my strong concerns (representation behind the scenes not just on camera) and however passionate about it I am, I’d get more engagement if I gave it a rest.

I’m telling you the same now. It would be hard for anyone here not to know that you are really, totally and utterly disappointed in Lower Decks and can’t imagine how anyone else likes it or find it funny.

But we do. Our reaction is 90 degrees to yours. In our household, everyone likes it and watches it. I can’t think of another show like that at present.

So, could you give it a rest please.

No.

I will not stop mentioning it when it is appropriate to do so.

Unlike your stated concern, it very much appeared like you were looking for excuses to bring it up. I am not. I took a quote from the article and said something that was a reasonable and appropriate reaction to it.

It’s great that your family enjoyed it. That doesn’t mean that I and others don’t have the right to mention something about it when it is an appropriate response to an article here.

And for the record, it is looking like the show is not being as well received overall as it is here. Not that such a thing validates either of our opinions….

The last few EPs have got raves from fans and this site

The show overall does not seem to be getting the same level of praise elsewhere as it does here. And like the other SH Trek offerings, it’s getting better rated by professional reviewers than it is by non-professional reviewers. That’s all I’m saying.

Comment sections are mostly for curmudgeons. I learn very little form most of the comments here about actual Star Trek other than unhappy people who miss the point of things have found something to be unhappy about.

So “every Starfleet officer is probably at the baseline bisexual, in a way”? According to the UCLA Williams Institute, only 1.8% of adults identify as bisexual. This is all about Hollywood liberals pushing the LGBT agenda down everyones throats, virtue signaling how “woke” they are. Every thing they produce these days is for the expressed purpose of pushing their liberal agenda, as opposed to producing good shows. People want to be entertained, not lectured to.

Wah ! Different people exist !

Please make Mariner Bisexual and actually say the word, it’s pretty insulting we don’t have a single out bi character.

God please no.
Lower Decks was the only watchable New Trek show around.
Because it still LOOKED the way it was supposed to. And because it was not overly preachy in order to be preachy.
While people might like or hate the general style… the stories were somewhat solid.

We had great story telling with Jadzia having a lesbian relationship in one episode. It was there, it was tied into the story, it wasn’t forced. But the mere fact that they HAVE to talk about it BEFOREHAND just shows that they have no idea what they are doing, and they just wanna shove it down our throats. There is absolutely NO reason to make Mariner a lesbian at this point.

If they had wanted a gay character they should have done it like with Bortus on the Orville. It was embedded in the story. It made sense.

If they just include any random minority group just to include them, we end up with what South Park modelled as the character “Token Black” because that is what it is then. Nothing more than to check a box.

Last edited 10 days ago by Lars Beduhn

Do you walk up to gay couples in the street and ask them WHY they are gay or black people why they are black?

There literally is no more reason to expect an extraordinary explanation for it, any more than we expect narrative explanations for why people are straight or whatever unmarked identity applies.

Last edited 10 days ago by alastair87

That is not what I am saying. The problem is that they force it. It doesn’t just happen that there is a gay character of any kind, or any other minority group. And that’s exactly what this interview said. They want to include a gay character, solely for the purpose of having a gay character. This entire “we have to include everything and everyone so everyone feels represented!”, at ALL costs THAT’S the problem. And that this is becoming their prime motivation and only focus.

Maybe I just have to side with some other, less vocal groups, and have THEM demand to also be included. Where is the German Nazi-style person? Where is the islamist terrorist? Where is the Captain with Down Syndrom? Where are some Wicca people? The list of whom to include, just so they ALSO feel represented is endless.

Roddenberry got this. He wanted to tell great stories first. Show diversity second. And he just did it effortlessly, without having to foreground it “look, look!!! we havbe a Russian on board, and a woman from Africa!!! Look… also a Japanese guy!!!”