Mike McMahan And Tawny Newsome Talk ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Season 3 (And 4)

The third season of Star Trek: Lower Decks is coming this summer, with a fourth season already ordered by Paramount+. We are now getting more clues about what’s next for the adult animated Star Trek comedy.

Lower Decks to visit major Star Trek planets

Speaking to SlashFilm, Lower Decks creator and showrunner Mike McMahan said he likes having the opportunity to expand on what is known about different Star Trek alien cultures, like what was done for the Klingons during the TNG-era to make them less monolithic. He indicated more Star Trek aliens will be getting fleshed out in upcoming seasons of Lower Decks:

And so as they build out those monocultures into something that’s more textured, that’s what I like to do about it. I like to be like, “Okay. Let’s take Exocomp. We saw them in one episode. What if we started to build them out? Like, where could they have gone? What are more textures of them?” And actually, you’ll see some of that in season 3. And even if we’re writing season 4, there are some major “Star Trek” planets where I’m like, “Let’s go there. We’ve never been there. Let’s check this out. Let’s see what it’s like.” Getting to do that but still telling stories about likable, fun, respectful, science-driven Starfleet officers, kind of like you get to write real “Star Trek” while having fun and telling a story while you’re doing it. It’s just a blast.”

Regarding Exocomps, it has already been confirmed that Peanut Hamper will be returning in season 3, and you can spot her on the teaser poster released in April.

Season 3 teaser poster revealed during Mission Chicago

More legacy characters coming

Lower Decks star Tawny Newsome also talked to SlashFilm, giving an update on production:

We’re in this mental soup now where they’re writing season 4, I started recording season 4. I’m doing ADR, like audio pickups to season 3.

She also teased what to expect in season 3

We are going to see what’s going on with Carol Freeman. We’re going to see how our lower deckers deal with that. We had a little teaser that we released [at Mission: Star Trek Chicago]  that showed a really fun role-playing type game that [we get to] tackle. So yeah, fun little bits like that, fun little nod to things that are out in the universe a little bit and maybe some legacy characters.

The first two seasons of Lower Decks featured a number of legacy actor cameos including Jonathan Frakes (Will Riker), Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi), John de Lancie (Q), Lycia Naff (Sonya Gomez), and Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris).

Robert Duncan McNeill in “We’ll Always Have Tom Paris”

ICYMI: Lower Decks season 3 teaser

We still don’t have a specific release date for season 3 beyond Summer 2022, but a good guess would be August, which is the same month previous seasons debuted. A teaser trailer was released in April. [International version HERE]

Reminder: Lower Decks Season 2 arrives soon

The 2-disc collection of Lower Decks season 2 arrives on July 12 on Blu-ray and DVD and features over an hour of bonus content including exclusive featurettes and commentaries. You can pre-order the Blu-ray at Amazon priced at $24.99. And the DVD pre-order is priced at $19.99.


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When was Season 4 ordered? I don’t recall CBS Studios announcing season 4 when they announced season 3?

It was announced in January, our coverage of the renewal is linked in the intro of this article.

And finally, Star Trek: Lower Decks has been renewed for a fourth 10-episode season.

Give us a friggin’ date, CBS!

Yeah. Summer 2022 is pretty useless information now that it is already summer 2022. Will we be getting it tomorrow or in September?

Hello, I predict that season three may begin on or before the 14th of July–Bastille Day across France.

It’s great that they want to add to the Star Trek mythos by fleshing out like they did with the Pakleds.

You know what I hope? That they don’t go overboard with the humor and how it’s designed since they can do lots of things in animation. Because I hope that sticks and we see more of those things in live action. And I trust McMahan a lot more than I do Akiva Goldsman with respecting the canon while adding to it. So if he adds new fun things, maybe we can have a baseline that respects what came before that also works for the other shows.

Just to be clear, I am not really attached to canon. I am more of a casual viewer than a hardcore fan, so I do enjoy the Gorn in SNW and things like that. But I am also a fan of continuity in any fictional universes, so if it exists, use it, don’t change it needlessly.

You know what I hope? That they don’t go overboard with the humor…

Sorry, dude, that ship has sailed.

It’s a million times better than all the weeping, hugging and high-fives of Discovery that’s for sure.

If an overindulgence of emotion is your primary criteria for comparison, then I can point out many, many more instances of that in Lower Decks versus DSC. It’s not even close.

Yet again, somebody’s desire to go out of their way to criticise a show that has not nothing to do with the article comes off as creepy and disturbing.

You know you can simply talk about a Star Trek show without needlessly dragging another one?

It’s how message boards have worked forever now. We’re discussing Star Trek! And there are just as many people who go out of their way to praise other shows as well that has nothing to do with an article. It works both ways. You have to stop taking stuff like this personally or you’re drive yourself crazy.

I wasn’t talking about the show in general. Lower Decks is my favorite Trek show right now and I LOVE the humor.

I meant that I hope they keep it grounded enough so it would be possible to transfer these things into live action and not look silly like a planet made of bubblegum or something or being restricted by budget.

While I don’t see it happening anytime soon I also don’t see it being an issue of having them in live action. They may have to tone down their quirks a bit but no different than Riker and how bombastic he is in LDS versus his more laid back character on TNG and the other live action shows.

It may not ever happen, but would be 100% for it. I just really love those guys.

Yep LDS is my favorite show right now too! Would kill to see these characters in live action!

I don’t think that the teenagerish humor would translate well to live action. For instance, the constant trouble-making stuff Mariner does and her loud, annoying schtick, would come across poorly in live action. Plus, stuff like the band playing way down in the crew lounge shaking the entire structure of the ship with the sound transmitted to the bridge so that the Klingons could even hear it — that’s going to look very lame in live action. And then their messing with Armus, who murdered Tasha Yar, that’s not going to come across well in live action either. And Peanut Hamper in live action…yea, right…lol

It’s a sophomoric, cartoon version of Star Trek and it’s fine that many fans like and want that, but it needs to stay as a cartoon…that is it’s first, best destiny.

Have you ever watched the JJ verse movies? Those characters act like teenagers too but in charge of the damn flagship. Fratboy Kirk should be running a night club not a starship.Embarrassing. 🙄

And they don’t have to do any of that in live action. That’s the difference between the two. Characters can just be more like regular people.

And I loved when they messed with Armus! That guy is a jerk!! 😁

But no worries man we can agree to disagree!👍

And that is why so many fans didn’t like the JJ movies — for that very reason. You just kind of proved my point — when you get the gravitas of live action, canon Star Trek, it doesn’t work so well, but if you made those JJ characters into a sophomoric Trek cartoon, all of a sudden fans are smiling and eating it up.

Exactly! :-)

No worries though. IDIC on opinions.

The JJ verse took highly serious characters from the show and turned them into caricatures. That’s different. If that’s how they started then people would be more cool with it. And you are supposed to believe they are the best of the best running the flagship as they have couple fights on away missions and emo-Spock crying like Burnham all the time. What part of Vulcan were these two raised on?

The Cerritos crew are NOT the best of the best lol. They are proud they once helped the Enterprise D out of spacedock. 😁

And if they ever make another movie they can make them be more serious again (not holding my breath though).

But most people want to see LDS into live characters including here. And I trust McMahan over Kurtzman. But SNW doesn’t suck total ass so he gets credit on that.

Also just read here SMG says she would like to see Burnham on Lower Decks. And then maybe Mariner can show up on Discovery and bug the living hell out of her! I would watch Discovery for that. 😄😄

Yeah as I said I don’t have a problem with a live action version of them at all either. I think it would be fine. They been doing a great job with it on Star Wars (granted those characters are less fun ;)) so I think they can pull off LDS just fine.

And I will defend the Kelvin movies a liiittle bit and say while I agree that the characters do act a bit immature, we are watching them in their ‘younger’ years. The problem is that Kirk should NOT be Captain (and I like Chris Pine Kirk…now). Spock is actually mature when he’s NOT beating up people lol. But Kirk is really the odd one out. The others are NOT supposed to be as experienced but yeah a Captain should at least have a year of space duty before they hand him the damn keys to the most advanced ship in the fleet. No wonder it got trashed 3 years in his journey and let Khan manipulate him sooo easily.

That should just be in the job description: Have one year minimum of Space experience!!! I still think that was the dumbest idea they did. Didn’t like it then, still don’t like it now. But I will say by the time we reach Beyond he at least comes off more mature and experienced. But no, nothing like all the other Captains.

But the next movie should be interesting. They are all very mature in age now lol. And Kirk will have been Captain at least a decade now if they follow real time. So it should be a more serious crew. Not that they can’t joke and have fun, but less teen agey (is that a word?) acting too.

Actually I can’t disagree too much about that. So maybe the next one will surprise me.

But I don’t give two shits about the JJ verse movies. I’m surprised they are still trying to make another one? Like who cares at this point? No one cared about the last one and that was already six years ago lol. Jesus it’s been 6 years bro! But every six months for 5 years now someone keeps saying ‘We’re making another one… but really really this time!” Okey dokey!!

I think they are just trying to make another one to have more content on Paramount+. That’s probably where I’ll be watching it after it finishes its four week run in theaters. 😜😜

I actually do want them to make another one. I don’t care if it’s a Kelvin movie or something different though. I would prefer the latter because I think they squandered their chances with those movies and I like to see something NEW at this point. It’s been 13 years and only 3 movies to show for it lol. And only one of those I can say I truly like. That tells you just how much of a problem they have making these movies!

So while I’m not surprised they are making another movie, but like you I am a little surprised they are making a Kelvin one because there seems to be SOOO many headaches to even make one lol. Right now, supposedly they are waiting for all the actors schedules to line up, which is good, but I just wonder will all the wait and back and forth will be worth it once it actually becomes a film?

Seems easier to start with a new cast at a much lower price tag where you can put it in the prime universe again (because that’s the universe most fans care about…but that’s partly due to the lack of real content in the KU up to now) and get one out sooner than later. But I guess they fear doing something brand new will keep casual viewers away. And people do LIKE the Kelvin cast..I just don’t know if they care enough to see them on the big screen anymore and I’m guessing Paramount has the same question. They have to at this point.

But I also agree with you, it’s also probably more about Paramount+ and adding content there like the 13 shows they have planned. I know they want to make more, but they also know it’s not going to be another Top Gun or Mission Impossible either. It’s more about giving the hardcore fans to see a movie on the big screen again but probably expect most people to just wait to see it on Paramount+ like you. And I just think with all the new shows now, it just has more competition. I’m more excited about LDS, SNW and Picard season 3 with the TNG cast coming back than I am about the next movie. At least until we see something of it. But unless it just sucks, I’ll definitely watch it in theaters.

Agree with all of that. And I’ll see it in theaters if other Trekkies like it. If not will wait it out on Paramount+ if the movie gets made before 2030. I just don’t have any pull to these movies.

When there was no new Star Trek around I just went because it’s new stuff again. But now that we have great shows like Lower Decks and Prodigy it’s just less of a need now like you said.

So I’ll stay open minded but I think it’s going to bomb like Beyond did because Trekkies stop caring about JJ verse long ago. If they make it super cheap it’ll probably do OK though. And Beyond was the one I liked because it at least felt like Star Trek again even though the story was just as stupid as the first two. But the spirit was there!

They could have a very meta LDS episode where characters encounter a phenomenon that suddenly adds “an additional dimension” so they go from 2D to 3D :D…

LOL I could go for that! Hell it’s Star Trek, kind of shocked they haven’t tried that with the live action characters yet but the opposite way! ;)

I’m not following you since both shows are presented in 2D? The difference is one is animated, while the other is not, but both are 2D presentations.

Reference to production going from 2D animation to 3D acting :-) by in-universe technobabble about some mysterious phenomenon happening that “adds on another spacial dimension”, and results in the crew slipping into a weird live action experience for a couple of minutes :-)

Got it – thanks.

Actually, that sounds perfect for Lower Decks…and CBS can then reinforce that that ep is canon. LOL

I hope you are right if they do actually try to bring say Mariner into a live action Trek series as a guest or whatever.

However, I think what we would most likely get if they went live action would be a cluster-F mix of trying to force first standard Trek with comedy Trek…think of how bad Superman III was where they brought in Richard Pryor, or Jim Carrey with Batman Forever. That hardly ever works.

I just think you’re overthinking it. I’ve said this a dozen times now, they will change the tone of the characters and it will just depend on the story they are telling. They are all Starfleet officers. If you can put Riker in Lower Decks, I don’t see the issue with putting Tendi or Rutherford in Picard.

Riker doesn’t go around bear hugging people or throwing out jazz references in any of the shows other than LDS. They just up the personality on that show because THAT is the show. But he’s still all business Riker in TNG and other places. So it doesn’t have to be a screwball comedy just because they are in another show. They can simply make the characters fit into whatever story they are telling. At least if you have a good writer doing it. And it would be interesting to see a more serious side to them too.

Nah, I think it’s a good analogy and it reinforces my point.

But anyway, I do think they are going to try to bring some of the LDS characters to live action Trek, so we’ll see how that goes. I’m predicting it’s not going to work out well for the reasons I mentioned.

We’ll see

Honestly if this show were to be made into a live action feature, or even an animated feature, it would become the first Star Trek film ever I would skip. That’s saying a lot because I still watch The Final Frontier from time to time.

I’d still watch it just so I could see my prediction validated that the translation to live action would be an epic fail.

And should the show surprise me and the live action works because they take out all of the moronic stuff from the characters and it becomes a good story, then that’s a good outcome, as incredibly unlikely as that would be.

I think what we would most likely get if they went live action would be a cluster-F mix of trying to force first standard Trek with comedy Trek…think of how bad Superman III was where they brought in Richard Pryor, or Jim Carrey for Batman Forever. That hardly ever works.

You know what I hope? That they don’t go overboard with the humor 

You got your wish. Apart from one season 2 episode the show has been devoid of humor.

My wish is that the show actually starts to become funny.

You know, you have a point there. I get that a lot of the stuff is suppose to be funny, and obviously some fans think so. But to me, I am typically either annoyed, or insulted as a lifetime Trek fan, or both, with the “supposed humor” in the series.

Can’t can’t WAIT until this show is back! I am truly loving SNW, but I am missing the fun hijinks of the Cerritos crew. Still even SNW manage to top these guys with Vulcan swapping Katras! ;)

And it sounds like we are getting more legacy characters! YAAAY!!! We know Riker will be back but I hope we get some from DS9 (finally) and can’t wait to see what old planets we will be visiting. I don’t think season 2 visited a single old planet minus dropping off the evil computer on Earth. Same for SNW in its first season! So it’s cool to see these shows actually doing real exploration again. But yeah I still want old planets too lol.

Oh yeah baby!! I enjoyed SNW except the last two crappy episodes but can’t wait for LDS back!!! That’s my favorite new show man! Just has me smiling from beginning to end!😄

I’m so exited for Season 3! Out of all the forthcoming seasons ahead, this is the one I’m most excited for. Season 2 was absolutely stellar. I really enjoyed the pivot from “comedy” to “dramedy” last go around. I love it!