One of the highlights of Star Trek: Mission Chicago was a panel for Star Trek: Lower Decks. This was the first time the cast were together since the season 2 premiere. Perhaps more importantly, this was their first time at a Star Trek convention together, and they were greeted by a capacity crowd.
Cast cosplay as themselves
Creator and showrunner Mike McMahan took the stage with the energy of a rock star, exclaiming “you guys filled this room, this is crazy!” as he led the crowd in a chant of “Lower Decks! Lower Decks!” His tone then got serious, breaking some “bad news,” revealing that the cast “just couldn’t make it” to the event. But the good news was, “the crew of the USS Cerritos could make it”.
The crew was introduced one by one, starting with Jerry O’Connell as Jack Ransom, and when the audience saw he was in full Lower Decks uniform the crowd went wild. And they kept it going with the introductions of Noël Wells as Tendi, Jack Quaid as Boimler, and Tawny Newsome as Mariner. Jack even had Boimer’s purple hair and Geordi Bear. McMahan explained later that Eugene Cordero (Rutherford) sent his best but couldn’t be there due to a scheduling conflict.
Not only did they dress like they were on the USS Cerritos, but each actor said they saw parallels between themselves and their Lower Decks characters…
Tawny: At some point, Mike just started writing a shade of me that I didn’t think I let out that often. But now through Mariner, I realized there’s not much of a line.
Jerry: You know, I didn’t think [I was like Ransom] until I put this uniform on this morning. And I’ve just been ordering the heck out of these three all day… [having two more pips] it went right to my head.
Jack: Yes, definitely. I do scream, but not nearly as often Boimler does. But occasionally like if I’m very startled, like I went to like Universal Halloween and the Boimler scream came out several times… That’s just a thing I discovered was within me through this job.
Noel: I feel like Tendi is a shade of me that I’ve forgotten… I feel like I’m a very optimistic person, but sometimes I don’t know if people know how to handle it. So then I’m like, ‘Oh, just be quiet.’… She is definitely like me and my essence I’m also like probably crazy done.
Jack even had a very Boimler-like moment when he was given his very own Tom Paris commemorative plate.
Season 3: Peanut Hamper, Klingon D&D, cameos, and more
McMahan showed off the season three teaser trailer, promising it was “just a hint” of what is to come, with a full trailer coming later this year. He also revealed the teaser poster, confirming that the figure in the poster was indeed Peanut Hamper, adding “Peanut Hamper’s story will continue.”
The executive producer then delighted the crowd, telling them they get to see a clip that will not be shared with the general public. The clip featured the cold open and first scene from an episode that wasn’t the season premiere. It featured the lower deckers playing a Klingon version of Dungeons & Dragons called “Bat’leths & BIHnuchs.” The game featured a virtual Martok (voiced by J.G. Hertzler) as the dungeon master, but Boimler noted it wasn’t the real Chancellor Martok, but a “Ferengi knockoff.” He had lines like “Qapla! You rolled an 18, which means the petaQ is frozen in fear by your battle cry.” The game ended with Boimler being eliminated to “not live out your days as a warrior, but as a dentist.”
The moderator pressed for season three tidbits, and McMahan related but explained why he didn’t want to reveal too much…
Look, season three rules. I don’t want to tell you anything… There’s going to be some classic faces in season three. There’s going to be some interesting ships. I don’t know if you guys like starships? I don’t want to tease too much about season three because there’s gonna be a trailer. And part of what we love about Lower Decks is the surprise. You can never see what’s coming.
After being pressed by Tawny, he also revealed we will get some more backstory on Boimler:
You will very quickly, in the first episode, get a bit more to understand about Boimler’s heritage.
Singing and salamander babies
Tawny has made it clear there is something she wants to see happen, revealing, “I have pitched everything from a musical episode to a different kind of musical episode.” Noel Wells also said she has pitched the same and McMahan promised, “I will get you guys singing and playing on Lower Decks.”
During the Q&A a fan asked if will we see the salamander children from Janeway and Tom Paris [from Voyager’s “Threshold”]. And Mike appeared to confirm they are coming:
There was a little peek of a salamander in season one when Boimler got sent to the farm on the medical ship and there was Anthony the salamander, but not the same salamander. When will we see them? I cannot say. Will we see them? Yes, absolutely.
More to come from Chicago
There is still much more coverage from the convention, including reports from other Star Trek Universe panels. Stay tuned to TrekMovie in the coming days for more Star Trek: Mission Chicago.
Find more Lower Decks news and reviews.
You can tell how much fans have embraced this show! It’s just fun and gets the feel of the TNG era exactly right! And I laugh every episode. It’s still surprising out of all the new shows, this is the one that seem to win most fans over (or at least much less whining over it compared to PIC and DIS ;)). Can’t wait for season 3!
And we want SEVEN SEASONS AND A MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hell yeah we do! I can literally watch and rewatch this show like I do TNG. It makes me feel so good. I get something new out of it every time. They pack so much out into these 30 minutes episodes its crazy. This show is a Star Trek love fest fever dream. I hope someone releases video from this panel because we’ve been waiting the whole pandic to see these people in person together.
I found a video of the first opening minutes of the panel and posted it here. It’s not much but have a look! :)
And yes, out of all the new shows, I’ve rewatched Lower Decks the most easily. The show never drags and there is always something new to find in them. If it wasn’t for great sites like this and YouTube of course, I would probably miss most of the site gags and easter eggs watching episodes for the first time.
Thanks for the link… OMG what fun!
They need to do a live-action episode!!!
Now that I would watch – – like the Simpsons Halloween episode – start normal – enter world of 3D – and then have some Pinocchio gag that transitions to the voice actors. I don’t find the show funny or interesting, but I’d tune in for “this week on Lower Decks, a special episode…”
Concur. It is a sad joke trying to make fun of Trekkies imho.
its not, its it.
it finding humour in the ‘trek’ universe, something that fans should see in themselves.
the characters are ‘fanboys/girls’ themselves and so it seems are the cast.
The show doesn’t make fun of Trekkies at all, so it’s clear you haven’t watched it.
But that’s not the show. Finding humor and not taking yourself too seriously isn’t making fun of trekkies…heck, the people making it are like all huge trekkies! (I can’t get over hearing that Dawnn Lewis showed up to her audition NOT knowing it was for Trek and played a mix of Kirk and Sisko! Just b/c she is that big a fan…)
Where did you get the idea the show is making fun of Star Trek fans??
I used to be skeptical of the show but no, it isn’t making fun of “Trekkies”, rather the genre itself. But it’s a special kind of meta humor not everyone will be able to subscribe to. I’ve had my issues as well, so many that I got warned off by the crew here for being too negative.
I’ve since learned to live with the show but I can really see why some people have their issues while others haven’t. It really comes down to a matter of taste and personal attitude towards humor, animated comedy etc… If you struggle with the subgenre of animated comedy as I did, you’re having a hard time.
I had to mentally reverse engineer this show into something a little more traditional using Riker and Troi as reference points and then apply a healthy dosage of IDIC… It’s still my least favourite Trek show but I can live with it now…
I can’t take credit for this idea, I read it from someone else a long while back, but it was that in “real life” what we see are these characters acting as normal Starfleet characters, but all of the zany parts of it are what they are imagining as happening in order to make it more fun and interesting for themselves.
It would be like working a boring desk job but mentally embellishing everything about it to keep yourself sane.
I like that! This is how Boimler *imagines it went down
In that case, Boimler is Star Trek’s Walter Mitty.
Gotta see them appear in one of the live action shows! Even just a picture or something…
Can’t wait for the new season, either
Of all the new shows, this is the one I was most skeptical about. It’s now must-watch, appointment TV for me.
Thanks to everyone behind the show, for bringing some good laughs and Trek love to the world.
Agreed, in fact I still wasn’t into it in the first season but the second season really made me a big fan. The stories became a bit more polished, the characters became a little less chaotic and there were some excellent episodes in there like the one that shows all the lower decks from the other major alien species. The humor became much more natural in season 2 as well.
The Chicago con is definitely one of my favorites, good memories with my kiddo there… truly missed out this year. Glad to hear the LD cast made it all it can be :)
My daughter is 25 and loves Lower Decks. And she’s never seen more than a few minutes of any previous iteration of Star Trek. She knows she’s missing a lot of references due to that lack of knowledge, but she enjoys it because of the character and relationships, not the callbacks and such. Granted, after she watches an episode the first time, we watch again together, and I explain why certain things she missed were funny.to fans. Some of those deepen her enjoyment of the show and some of them just make her roll her eyes…
Goddess, please don’t tell me that the Pakled machinations in season 2 are the result of Peanut Hanper manipulating the Pakleds the way that Lore did back in TNG.
Before we found out that that Klingon was behind the Pakled’s machinations, I was convinced that Badgey was the one manipulating the Pakleds. We did last see him being uploaded onto a Pakled computer, after all.
That doesn’t mean that Peanut Hamper didn’t frame Captain Freeman for the destruction of Pakled Pakled.
TNG works as a parody of Trek, I actually like Lower Decks.
OK, this popped in my YouTube feed (gee, wonder why?) and thought I pass it along.
It’s the opening of the LDS panel in Chicago! They FILLED THE ROOM!!! Even Mike McMahan was surprised lol. Fans are embracing this show!
I agree with a lot of people too, I really want to see them in live action now! There will be another 15 Star Trek shows in the next decade. Make it happen Kurtzman!
These folks sure do look like seasoned career military officers.
But they aren’t. They are ensigns, that’s the opposite of seasoned. Well Mariner is probably more seasoned than her rank lets on. ;)
Since Mariner has been promoted at least twice, she is definitely more seasoned, but after having “seen stuff,” she’s also been demoted at least twice.
OMGoodness! It’s Noel Wells!