Interview: Mike McMahan Talks “Caves,” Season 5, And Trying To Bring ‘Enterprise’ To ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’

TrekMovie spoke with Mike McMahan in a roundtable interview at New York Comic Con, where the wide-ranging discussion covered the latest Lower Decks episode (“Caves”), as well as what’s coming in at the end of season 4, how the writing’s going on season 5, and how Mike’s journey to creating a show for the new era of Star Trek began with rejecting an offer to join the staff of Discovery.

Honoring TAS and a last-minute change to “Caves”

McMahan talked about how important it was for episode 8 (“Caves”) to be a standalone episode. He described a last-minute change he made to remove a subtle connection to the season 4 plot arc about the missing ships. The showrunner told the press roundtable about preserving the tone and intention of the story:

“There’s one line I cut at the end of this episode when the Vendorians show up and they’re like, ‘Give them a little minute.’ Originally, they said ‘… after this, it gets a lot harder for them.”’ The Vendorians kind of know where it goes and I cut it in the edit because it was such a beautiful friendship moment at the end of the episode. I didn’t want to fly in the ointment at the end, it just felt wrong. It felt right on the page, but people are only going to have to wait a week to find out for themselves to see it… It’s better to end on a happy note.”

McMahan confirmed the season plot will come into focus in the next two episodes:

“The finale does. Episode 9 does to a lesser extent. But 10 is like a movie. It’s wonderful.”

He also mentioned that “for heart, I think this upcoming episode 9 is my favorite,” meaning his favorite episode of the series.

Thursday’s episode “Caves” featured a storyline involving Vendorians, shape-shifting tentacled aliens first featured in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode “The Survivor.” After “Caves” was shown to the NYCC crowd, Mike joined the Star Trek Universe panel discussion and talked about how he used to watch VHS tapes of Star Trek: The Animated Series and loved being able to bring in elements of that show into Lower Decks “with equal respect” to all the other Star Trek shows:

“So obviously seeing the Vendorian design, that was straight from The Animated Series. Getting to translate that and put it in there not only makes a fun Lower Decks episode but now you can go and watch that Vendorian episode of TAS and now you get to enjoy that again through new eyes for the first time. That’s a really special fun thing that I like about getting to make one of the current Star Trek shows… which [is to] recontextualize things you know and love. When you go back and watch Star Trek shows like before, now you get a whole other part of your brain activated while you’re watching. That’s what I love about TAS stuff.”

Vendorians in “Caves” (Paramount+)

Season 5 is not being written as series finale

At the NYCC panel, McMahan revealed he was working on the final script for the show’s fifth season. At the roundtable, he talked about how he approaches writing season finales, both past and future:

“They always want me to make sure that I’m writing something that feels like a new viewer can understand it and that the finales feel finale-y, so if it doesn’t continue or if there’s going to be a gap it doesn’t feel like when ALF originally ended and he got surrounded by FBI agents pulling their gun on him, and that was the last episode and you’re like, ‘No!’ But as much as they want me to feel like I’m writing [season] finales that are series finales, I just don’t think I’m ever going do it, because you want to feel like these characters are going to keep going. Lower Decks isn’t The Iliad. It’s not a place to go. You are dipping in on these character arcs that are going to resolve and grow, and people will change, but Ross and Rachel aren’t going to get married. We are not drilling to this thing. For me, I want you to be satisfied at the end of the season and I want you to want more.”

Earlier this week, we posted part of our interview in which McMahan clarified his thoughts on the possible future of the series in response to a widely circulated article where he expressed concern about getting a pickup after season 5. He told the roundtable group that even if it doesn’t happen, he will still hold out hope for more Lower Decks in one form or another:

“Let’s say we did get canceled—knock on wood, I hope we don’t—but I love comic books, I love novels, I love video games. I would love them to hire me to write a movie. There’s always ways for this to grow. A part of why I got into animation was because of Futurama, watching that in high school. Then they cancelled it when I was working at Fox, because I love Futurama, and then they brought it back and then they just brought it back again. One of the powers of animation is it’s deciduous.”

The showrunner wrapped up the topic by saying he’s “not worried about Lower Decks because I know how good it is,” with the caveat that pickups are based on people subscribing to Paramount+ and watching the show while it’s current. He said his one worry is that people will wait to watch the show later, making it become a cult hit “ten years after we made it.”

Star Trek: Lower Decks - chanting "Lower Decks"

Lower Decks! Lower Decks!

McMahan was asked if he gets pressure from above to balance the show’s comedy with drama (or vice versa), and said he has free rein:

“I never got pressure. The only pressure is coming from me … I am just always trying to surprise everybody and to do a show that is something you’re going to want to go back and watch over and over… It’s funny because the longer you work on a show, the more you learn about it while you’re making it. Like season 1 was almost a ‘How long will they let me get away with this?’ I better do the greatest hits of Star Trek. We’re doing a trial episode, we’re doing a holodeck episode. As I have been making Lower Decks more and as I’ve been learning about the characters and finding out you feel for them as much as I do, that’s when I’m like, ‘How much can this comedy show take on before it starts to feel maudlin?’ … I find the rule of thumb is, if TNG was a lot of drama with a little comedy, then I’m a lot of comedy with a little drama.”

Boimler and Levy in “Caves” (Paramount+)

Enterprise might get some love in season 5

Lower Decks is known for making connections to Trek canon from all different eras of the TV shows and movies, which often results in guest spots from legacy stars. When asked if there is part of Star Trek he still wants to tackle, he singled out one particular series:

“It’s hard to get Enterprise. Because Enterprise is so proto, it’s so before TOS. It’s so tempting because it feels like TNG and that’s the world I play in and I love Enterprise. And that’s been the hardest, but I think in season 5 I figured out—if the deals work out, there is some Enterprise love in season 5. We are early enough so I could be wrong about that so tune in next year.”

Based on what McMahan said, it sounds like they have a clear plan that would involve actors from Star Trek: Enterprise but can’t lock it in until these “deals” are finalized.

Enterprise could get some love in season 5 (Paramount)

Journey to Lower Decks began with Discovery

Lower Decks was first announced five years ago, but it turns out that wasn’t McMahan’s first offer to work on a new Star Trek series. Back when McMahan was an assistant at Fox (and writing his TNG season 8 Twitter account), he was friends with another assistant, Aaron Baiers, who would go on to run Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout production company. Aaron remembered Mike was a big Trek fan when work started up on Kurtzman’s first Star Trek series, so he gave him a call:

“He called me and said, ‘We’re making Discovery, did you want to come in and meet to be a staff writer?’ And I said no. And he was like, ‘I’m sorry, what the f–k did you just say?’ And I was like, ‘I’m on this show Rick and Morty, it hasn’t aired yet, but I think it’s going to be really special. I really love working on it… Call me in season 3 when you figure out who’s friends and who likes to work for the most.’ I don’t want to be figuring it out in the first place. I want to come in in the middle of it, you know? Then Rick and Morty aired and after Discovery did well enough they started building out and other shows. And he called me in he was like, ‘You’re right. I love Rick and Morty, Alex [Kurtzman] loves Rick and Morty. Will you just come in and have a conversation with him?'”

McMahan had that conversation, and the rest is animated Star Trek comedy history. He told the group that even before he was working on Star Trek, he was working on Star Trek.

“Star Trek has always been a comfort show. My manager used to yell at me, ‘Why are you writing spec scripts to take place in spaceships? Those are expensive.’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know. It’s just where I love to be.’ Those are the stories and the characters that feel like home to me. Then I ended up working on a couple jobs that were that were fine, but then Rick and Morty felt like home to me. I was the Star Trek guy. I was the sci-fi guy at Rick and Morty. So people would look at me and I’d be like, ‘All right, in season 3 of Stargate SG-1 they did this and we could do this…’ My wife and I used to watch all these different serialized sci-fi shows when we were we were falling in love. Like finding Farscape blew my mind, now it’s one of my all-time favorite shows. Weirdly, you find the things that that speak to you and you just want to tell stories that both honor that but push them in a new direction.”

Mike McMahan at the “Thank You Cam” in 2018, winning the first of his two Emmys for Rick and Morty (Television Academy)

He has a lot of merch ideas

When asked about the Lower Decks merch he hoped to see, McMahan was simmering with ideas.

“So here’s the merch I’ve actually pitched that’s never been made. Number one: I want an action figure line that is in the style of Lower Decks but is every other Star Trek show ever. So you can have Kirk or Spock or Jadzia or Archer or anybody in the Lower Decks style so that you can have this new thing that’s fun to collect and watch grow. And I just love action figures. And then nobody’s ever made the planets of Star Trek. I want them to make inflatable beach ball planets and have a tiny little micromachines ship attached to the side in orbit..”

“And the other dream thing is, I love tie-in novels… I remember I got into Star Wars when I was a kid because I read The Courtship of Princess Leia because I had been left in a car while my mom went shopping at Sears too long. Then I was like, ‘I guess I love Star Wars now.’ I would love softcover Lower Decks novels. I even said, ‘Guys, I’ll work with them. Let’s find great young never-been-published fan fiction writers and give them stories and make the covers all match and do a box set.’ And make them f—k up canon and all sorts of stuff that really good novels [do] when you read back, and you’re like, ‘This is wrong,’ but that’s what’s fun about it.”

Badgey ornaments from Hallmark, seen at NYCC

Badgey ornament from Hallmark, seen at NYCC

More from NYCC

Check out our coverage of Alex Kurtzman’s comments during the panel and the IDW comics discussion.

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Argh, no. Archer should return in Strange New Worlds, not in a parody cartoon.

He should be seen next to Robert April and Christopher Pike.

If they can find a way to get Mariner and Boimler on SNW there is definitely an opportunity for Archer!

But I will happily take him in LDS too! 😎👍

On LDS, it’ll just be a joke. On SNW, it would have considerably far more significance.

Archer on the USS Enterprise 1701 > Archer on the USS Cerritos.

I definitely agree it would be better to have Archer on SNW since he has a stronger connection to that period and would carry more weight now that we know Pike idolized him, I would just love it if he appeared in both. I’m just greedy! 😁

I’d like to see Shran on SNW. They could reveal that he is Hemmer’s father or grandfather.

No, Hemmer was an Aenar…

Hemmer was Aenar. Shran was Androian.

Grandson or great-grandson would be appropriate. Shran married the Aenar Jhamel and had a daughter named Talla. (From the ENT Finale These Are The Voyages). Hemmer could be Talla’s future son or grandson. 🖖☺️

Ah, yes, Jeffrey Combs. He would make or would have made an excellent Dr. Phil Boyce in SNW.

He’d be about 150. I know Star Trek has gone there before, but I’m not sure how well that sits in the time period. Maybe they could include him via flashbacks or ‘archive’ footage. Maybe we see Pike meet him as a child.

People were saying the same thing about SNW and LDS crossover and it would have to be a holodeck story or something.

Nah it will just probably be more time travel lol. It works and it’s easy. Maybe the Cerritos or Enterprise just travel back to the 22nd century after the Romulan War ended and Archer is the Federation President. They can use the Temporal Wars as an excuse why they go back to the 22nd century and needs to meet Archer or T’Pol.

It’s not that hard. The only two times there was a crossover but wasn’t a true meet up was Flashback with Sulu and the infamous TATV. Actually I guess Crisis Point 2 when Boimler met Sulu in a dream. But the rest they always found ways for all the heroes to meet centuries apart.

Just time travel that bitch and in no time Mariner will be cracking jokes with the real Archer about Decomposition Chambers and teasing T’Pol that the Vulcan Science Directorate are idiots for thinking time travel is not a thing. 😎🖖

Just think about it — treating it as a joke makes more sense for that failed series

See, this comment is exactly why I want crossovers to happen in Lower Decks and not SNW. A joke appearance where the character is integrated into the story without taking it over and without the overly sentimental reverence that plagues the live action Trek shows right now would not only be good, but the best possible outcome.

That being said, I don’t think it’s going to be Archer.


It’s gonna be a holodeck thing if it even happens. Chill.

One of the most common sources of absurd and pointless humor in LDS. zZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

I’m not the one out here having a tantrum over something that might not even happen anyway. And if you assumed Archer because of the merchandise comment, that means nothing, none of the rest of those have appeared on LD and never will.

Which is why enterprise is a perfect fit. Can you imagine them doing the decontamination chamber stuff on lower decks? That would be freaking awesome and I don’t even like the show usually.

Making fun of enterprise might get me more on board with the lower decks. This is very exciting

Crisis Point is still one of the best Trek episodes since 2005 though.

I don’t feel like one precludes the other!

Lower Decks is not parody, it’s cannon

Howitzer or Mortar or Traditional?

Canon with twice the “n.”

No, actually it’s brilliantly perfect!

Archer was an idiot who would have gotten them all killed their first month out if the scripts didn’t cheat outrageously in his favor.

I’d prefer to see no one from Enterprise … well, except maybe Phlox.

I know fans will hate this idea, because it would preclude them actually meeting, but…

…I’ve always loved the idea of parallel stories to form a crossover. An episode that shows how a threat affects two different time periods. Thinks AGT but instead of a younger Picard/older Picard, it’s Pike and Archer. But no time shenanigans at all.

It could open on Archer, confronting a menace in his own time. Then you move to Pike, who is dealing with the same threat more than 150 years later, and we see how the threat has evolved over time.

Then, the conclusion of archer’s story brings some kind of revelation for the audience about Pike’s handling of the same threat, perhaps explaining why it re-emerged years late.

I’ve always thought something like that could work well as a way of bringing shows together without them directly meeting.

But I know, people just really want to see pike and archer shaking hands and playing water polo.

They’ve certainly done it in Trek books and other media like the Star Trek: Legacy game.

I would worry about the difficulty in crafting a foe who is compelling and powerful enough to justify such a story. TNG’s top 2 are pretty tapped out after Picard. You don’t want to get in a situation like Marvel is in now where their main villain is not gaining traction (though that’s partly down to being in a mediocre first movie and the actor having legal issues), or have some super weapon or quest that’s less interesting when you get into the details.

But honestly I think it’s a solid idea to base different TV movies on at least!

Nah you’re just thinking too narrowly. It doesn’t have to be a villain. This is Star Trek, the best stories problem solving episodes. It’s a major reason why S3 of Picard sucked so badly: they went back down the big bad villain road.

Imagine something like the episode “Booby Trap.” Pike finds himself in a tough spot and flashbacks show how Archer dealt with the exact same situation, realizing later that the former NX captain actually left him the means to get out of it, tying them together.

It just takes a little creativity. That might be tough for fans, though. Fans lack creativity and imagination.

🤨 I’ll try not to take that personally.

It would have to be way more interesting than that to make for a good crossover event though. What you’re describing is just parallel structure in a movie, i.e. Generations but the 23rd century storyline isn’t over after 15 minutes and keeps getting cut back to.

And a shared event/character/plot would need to take into account how the TV shows don’t air at the same time, so it’s either handled in the season finale of one and picked up in the premiere or another, or it has less weight by being addressed randomly whenever the next show gets to it. Either way it serves the idea of an interconnected universe, but if these shows’ different writers are going to have to collaborate and not step on each others’ toes on top of what they are doing day to day, it has to be special and worth the extra effort.

You are not imaginative that’s why it wouldn’t work for you.

I know what you want. You want Pike and archer to team up to defeat the Borg. You want borg nano bots to resurrect trip.

You want to see Spock and TPol falling in love in a starcrossed romance. You want a climatic action sequence where both enterprises fight side-by-side.


Better that than being a pompous d*ck.

LOL, just awesome man. Yeah, as I recently learned, sometimes you just got to say something like that when an asinine weirdo does that to you. :-)

You don’t know the meaning of asinine, clearly. I’m a pompous d***, there’s a difference.

Disagree. But that’s not the point: the point is most people lack imagination. And then resort to childish name calling.

Your third grade teacher will scold you in the morning.

The point is you’re a rude and arrogant a**hole. I’ll happily never reply to your posts again. Make sure you do likewise.


This has always been the ideal way to do crossover between Star Trek series set in different time periods. Otherwise you get contrived setups like Generations, the LDX appearance on SNW, etc.

You’ll notice the best crossovers didn’t use time travel: Unification, Relics, Flashback.

They’ve done it twice and it’s worked, with Those Old Scientists and Trials and Tribbleations, but both of those notably were played for laughs.

Anson Mount actually talked about wanting to do that during discussion of Those Old Scientists. I think that would be great, an artifact from an older episode shows up in a newer one to link the two.

That’s good to know that someone’s thinking about it!

As much as I love Enterprise it’s that love for it that I’d rather not see any of them anywhere near nu-Trek. Not crossing over to any of their shows and certainly not as a wrap movie or series. At least not until Kurtzman has zero say over Star Trek in any way shape or form.

McMahan just oozes Star Trek. I love every time he talks. LDS has been one of the best Trek since Voyager ended and hope it goes several more years.

Yes 100%. Of all the new Trek shows, including SNW, LDS feels the most like Star Trek to me. Second is Prodigy…

You said it brother! LDS is oddly the most Trek show currently and I love both PRO and SNW as well, they are all great shows. But LDS just does it in a way that honos everything that came before and deeply connected to the spirit of the franchise while having a lot of fun with it.

Before this show came on I was deeply disappointed with a lot of the newer stuff from 2009 on and I wanted to like it all. With LDS I actually expected to hate it but instead has become one of my truly favorite shows. 😀

On a side note I truly love reading your posts man. Besides agreeing with most of them I also like you keep some of the crazies here in check. 😉

Haha thanks, much appreciated! I just can’t stand bullies or rude people who think they can intimidate people into backing down. Bullies need to be confronted and called out. Also it’s fun and cathartic to push back… But I never forget that when it comes to matters subject to interpretation, disagreeing with someone doesn’t make me right and them wrong. People think how they do for their own reasons and this must be respected. This is when you need to agree to disagree… But rude posters… I mean who do they think they’re talking to? Nobody knows who anyone is here…

Anyway TG I have to say I really like your posts too. You’re always so enthusiastic, friendly and polite and I don’t remember ever disagreeing either, imagine that!

Well said, Silvereyes! I agree 100%. I’ve always tried to stand up to bullys both when it’s directed at me and when it’s directed at others.

And I also appreciate your frank and direct responses to me when you think I’m getting out of hand.

Great post — thanks!

No I don’t think we’ve ever disagreed on anything either.😀

But even if we did it’s cool. My best friends here from another site, Corylea and Amirami don’t agree with me on everything either but love listening to their thoughts. And we agree on most lol. They were partly why I started posting here.

Oddly I’m much more positive on things today. Other than Discovery which I think is still awful, everything else has been good lately. I was one of the biggest Kurtzman haters for a long, long, loooong time. But I always give credit where it’s due and we’ve had some of the best Star Trek in the last two years because he’s hired great people who gets and loves Star Trek.

Love the animated shows of course, Picard finally became the show I wanted back in first season and SNW has been a lot of fun with the crossover episode probably my favorite episode in all of NuTrek.

It’s finally finding its groove although shows like LDS had it in the first episode IMO. I’m not thrilled with Section 31 or the Academy show, but I said the exact same things about LDS and PRO before those started too. If those could change my mind maybe these will too?

So I’m generally happy where it’s going. But if you met me 5 years ago it would’ve been a very different story. 😂😥

But I love reading your posts. They are usually hilarious and how well you put the bullies and weirdos in their place. I don’t have the patience for it lol. Keep it up!

Well reading your post I don’t think we disagree here either. I still dislike Kurtzman, but I don’t know really how much of the responsibility goes to him for the bad (and even less the good) shows. I’ll wait and see for Academy and S31, but if they’re set in the ridiculous and depressing Discovery Universe, my hopes are low. I like SNW but disappointed with Pike. Doesn’t seem to show the fortitude earlier captains had, especially in last season’s finale. There better be an explanation for his wimping out at the worst possible moment. I like Spock when he’s Spock, not when he acts like a dumb bro. The writers think it’s funny to have him behave diametrically opposite to his character. I think they’re incompetent in that case at least.

As far as replying to those bullies and weirdos, well I could have replied here a few places :) but my patience has limits.

I think we’re going to get an explanation in the first episode of season 3 for that weird wimpy behavior of Pike’s. I think they want the fans to be disappointed is intended as part of the cliffhanger and then we’re going to get an awesome surprise with season 3 ep 1.

At least if the writers are doing their job that better happen because otherwise there’s no excuse for that behavior of his and it disappoints me as well.

I’m hoping Academy shows these kids that have, for all intents and purposes, grown up in a post-apocalyptic society getting their first real experience with sustained optimism. The most interesting part of the post-apocalypse genre, imo, has always been the world-building involved in showing how societies get back on their feet, and that’s what I’ve got my fingers crossed for here.

I’m hoping Academy shows these kids that have, for all intents and purposes, grown up in a post-apocalyptic society getting their first real experience with sustained optimism. The most interesting part of the post-apocalypse genre, imo, has always been the world-building involved in showing how societies get back on their feet, and that’s what I’ve got my fingers crossed for here.

Exactly! I am really looking forward to the Academy series, and I hope that it’s context is what you are suggesting here.


Don’t get me wrong about Kurtzman, I still think he’s a complete and utter hack like JJ Abrams and left to his own devices Trek would be more dire today. But he does seem listen to his critics and why the Orc Klingons went away and they threw Discovery 1000 years into the future to try and fix all the problems it had in season one.

I do like the show better overall today but it’s still horrible and the only show I haven’t loved or at least like by the time it got to its fourth season like I do TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT and now LDS. Just waiting for it to end basically.

That’s also why SNW is so much better. It’s like they took everything they did with Discovery in season one and just did the complete opposite of that. And look at that, they now have a watchable show most people can at least tolerate! 😂

I do agree about Pike and actually call him Softie Pike on another site. I read this is how Anson Mount want to play the character. Sometimes it’s fine, other times I want him to hang up his apron for an episode and get a little bolder. And a few less dad jokes too.

As for Spock, I do like him but they act like he’s still a teenager at times and the butt of too many jokes. But I really liked Charades though. That was a fun episode but probably over did the temper tantrums too much. At least he didn’t go into rage mode and tried to beat anyone up like Spock in JJ verse.

And not looking to seeing genocidal Georgiou with her cartoonish swagger again but maybe that Oscar will push Yeoh play her better this time.

We’ll see I guess.

Lower Decks “feels like Star Trek” because it literally is. Episodes are crammed full of references, cameos and easter eggs. Easy way to win fans over and “feel like Star Trek”.

Do you like have anything to do besides copy and paste comments about the same thing over and over again

I think Emily’s comment is OK, but I know what your mean given I ran into this very recently here. I need to learn to ingore those weirdos I guess…lol

The answer you are looking for is yes! 🙄

I would also add that McMahan “oozing Star Trek” is by no means an unqualified Good Thing.

When Nick Meyer helmed TWOK, he was unafraid to put his own imprimatur on Star Trek and certainly did not feel compelled to ape everything that came before him. (To some extent, this was true or Robert Wise in TMP, too.) Did every one of Nick Meyer’s takes on Trek work? No, but a lot of them did. In TWOK, we certainly didn’t get a cupboard full of TOS easter eggs raining down on the bridge like tribbles infesting quadritriricale. But what we did get was one of the better Trek movies.

Counterpoint: Stuart Baird didn’t know jack shit about TNG and clearly had no investment in anything beyond the action scenes in Nemesis. Movie suffered as a result.

There has never been a Star Trek show like Lower Decks and it has a totally unique tone and voice. Its admiration and occasional irreverence towards Trek tropes and history is like nothing we’ve seen before, all while it forges plenty of its own mythology and develops characters who can stand on their own. Lumping it in with complaints about Hollywood’s fixation with nostalgia ring hollow to me as the show is fiercely original on its own, and that’s down to McMahan’s talent as much as it is his love of Star Trek.

And remember, the main characters in LDX are Star Trek fans. The show is over the top self aware. I’m guessing some fans like it because those characters are them going ga-ga over all the Trek references they dish out.

I am sadly forced to agree. What many fans seem to love is ‘member berries. Which LDX is filled to the brim with. I love ‘member berries as much as the next guy but when your entire show is reliant on them there’s a problem. Also, the show seems to think being self aware and all the meta references are funny. They aren’t. I was actually looking forward to this show years ago. But after seeing it, it was obvious the writers and so much reverence for the source material they never ever wanted to have even the slightest amount of fun with it. It was obvious the writers feel handcuffed to not do anything that might be deemed “making fun” of Trek. That is possibly the shows biggest problem right there. And it seems to be a problem with a lot of comedy today. No one willing to take chances anymore. That’s where comedy dies. Much of it is reliant on crossing lines.

McMahan just oozes Star Trek”

Yeah I think he should see a doctor about that.

Merchandise suggestion:
Plush Moopsy. You’d be essentially printing money. 😉

Can I preorder?


I still really think they need to do a rand mcnally style globe of the Borgified Earth. It’d probably be the only FC-related item I’d ever choose to buy besides the movie (though if somebody gave me the actual Phoenix model, I’d be over the moon … that’s the only piece of shot-on-film Trek I’ve ever held in my hand, during an ILM visit, and I have to say, it was a jewel, an absolute jewel, looked even better in person than on film, as did the -E which I was able to get close to but not touch as it was still set up for a shot. By comparison, the Nebula class ship more closely resembled — owing to a paint job I found distinctly unimpressive — the kind of cardboard E-D cutout they used to have hanging in TOWER Video stores during the 90s. )

So you’re saying the E was an actual model and not CGI?

10 ft model. Only cg used for timetravel shots, warp shots and extreme wide shots. Was later scanned for the folks who did the all CG stuff in INS.

I didn’t realize that. That explains why FIRST CONTACT looks so much better than INSURRECTION.

I don’t think the credibility gap on space miniatures vs cg really closed until GRAVITY came along, but even so, not many films have delivered on the GRAVITY level since, though I saw bits of some Russian movies that were just unbelievably good in this regard.

ILM built a 10 foot Enterprise E model for First Contact. I believe that was scanned for the CGI model (most obviously used when showing the ship going to warp). I don’t know if Santa Barbara Studios or Digital Domain used and modified ILM’s computer model, but First Contact was the last time a physical model of the Enterprise would be used in a Star Trek production.

There was a huge delay on the E-E ship approval process on FC, owing entirely to delays on Paramount’s end, even though they bought off on Eaves’ take right away. That meant ILM had to wait for Rick Sternbach to package the design (that was Eaves’ phrase as I recall) before ILM could start. As a result, I think the CG model at ILM was worked up concurrent with the physical model, so i don’t believe they had time to scan it — or maybe they didn’t even have that facility back then. I do know that SBS had Viewpoint DataLabs scan the 10 ft for INS, but I don’t believe DD used that info for NEM … won’t swear to that as I didn’t write about NEM, tho I did cover TUC thru INS.

Ah interesting!

Okay but I love the sound of that action figure line.

I want it to be of characters that haven’t gotten figures before or very rarely does in true LD fashion. Like Weyoun! I’m trying to imagine him in the LD style but I think it’d be so cute!

The Cetacians (spelling?) would be nice. And they would be fun to have in the bathtub too… And no, I’m not joking

Let’s be honest: You would probably find Weyoun cute in any style ;-)

Very true!

Funny story… A couple of years ago I had to have heart surgery, but I was trying to downplay my symptoms and just take medicine, but a Doctor at the hospital convinced me my life was in danger, and he resembled Mr. McMahon. I decided to trust him, my heart valve was replaced, and my life was saved. Thanks Mike, indirectly, for making me reconsider surgery. LLAP

Interesting story, but certainly not Funny! Glad you recovered and are feeling well. LLAP!

Someone get Playmates Toys working on some Lower Decks action figures already!!! I honestly don’t understand why Star Trek Toys especially Lower Decks can’t be at least a third of the way as successful as TMNT: Mutant Mayhem has been. I seriously think Paramount and Playmates just don’t have anyone that knows how to generate a buzz behind the property and keep the momentum going.

Right. I’ll get right on it!

What a great story! Glad you recovered, dude!

Omg I would love Lower Desk style Star Trek figures. And I totally use to use an inflatable Earth to fly my starships around when I was a kid so inflatable Star Trek worlds is a really good idea.


OMG, actually that’s an a great combination. Star Trek’s funniest series with a crossover to Star Trek’s most unintentionally funny series. It makes perfect sense actually!


What was funny about Enterprise? I really liked that show. Not during its initial run, I didn’t even see most of the episodes then but during lockdown I rewatched all seasons and I came to love that show. It has greater re-watch value than TNG and even TOS.

I liked it a lot as well.

Please please please — I want an animated decontamination chamber orgy scene!

Well, the decon scenes is one of the reasons I didn’t watch the show originally. Still find it idiotic…

So you just partially answered your first question to me with this comment.

Throw in racist Vulcans, Klingon augment viruses, the worst looking Enterprise design in all Trek, the worst opening theme song in All Star Trek, the worst acting in all Star Trek, and the worst series ending episode in All Star Trek — and there’s tons of stuff to laugh about in this failed series that deserved every bit of the cancellation it got.

Jeffrey Combs did his best with what he got to work with

Combs was great and I never actually felt the writing was bad on the contrary. I really like how he portrayed Shran. The character had courage and integrity. Completely opposite to Weyoun though I loved that character too!

Agreed on Combs. He was never the issue

The writing on Enterprise make Secret Hideout writing (every show) look like it was written by 6 year olds.

Vulcans were already portrayed as racist since that was one of the reasons Spock joined Starfleet.

Spock was treated like crap by other Vulcans for just being half human. That’s exactly what racism is!

To me Vulcans have always been racist pricks, they just hide it better just like how they learn to hide their emotions.


Another great thing about ENT was that it didn’t present Earth as the center of the galaxy. On the contrary, it was something of a galactic Switzerland; the *Vulcans* were the galactic pole, and how others saw them is akin to the way the Global South sees the West today.

While that’s true in terms of the way Spock was treated a couple of time, there’s also a much larger cultural shift for Vulcans that happens in Enterprise where the Vulcans were more “antagonistic” against other races than the ones we know from TOS and beyond. Additionally, Enterprise’s Vulcans behaved differently from how Star Trek fans expected, and there was an undercurrent of racism present from both Vulcan and Human culture towards the other. This is something T’Pol, Archer, and the Enterprise crew overcame over their years serving together.

Yes, I hated the Vulcans, how the Enterprise looked, the ridiculous song that I have to skip over every time, but acting was good and yes the ending was terrible. But somehow when I rematched it years later I could look over those things and appreciate the characters and storylines… but if indeed there is a crossover with LDS, you know they’re going to put in a decontamination scene.

I appreciated the attempt to right the Vulcans in season 4. And some the acting was great, at least. Can’t praise Combs enough as Shran, and Trinneer naturalized Tucker’s dialogue so well.

I keep meaning to give the whole thing another rewatch but it’s quite an investment and I just didn’t like it all that much the first two times. But it has been like 10 years

Throw in racist Vulcans, Klingon augment viruses, the worst looking Enterprise design in all Trek, the worst opening theme song in All Star Trek, the worst acting in all Star Trek, and the worst series ending episode in All Star Trek 

1. Star Trek has always depicted Vulcans as arrogant, starting with “Amok Time” and “Journey to Babel,” and even some of Spock’s condescension about “your Earth emotions.” Why is the racist Vulcan in “Take Me Out to the Holosuite,” which predated ENT by about three years, acceptable, but Soval is not? What ENT did well was to show us just *why* Vulcans have this reputation, and indeed to suggest that it was not entirely unjustified (cf. Archer’s speech to T’Pol about how “I’m finally beginning to understand why your people held us back…”)

2. Ship design is obviously a matter of taste; I personally like NX-01 much more than Voyager or Reliant or Discovery or even Excelsior. But what they undeniably did well was the bridge design, which married modern technology with a few TOS nods, making NX-01 believable as a predecessor to NCC-1701 and yet look contemporary. That really was pulling a rabbit out of the hat.

3. I agree that there was no need to explain the change in Klingon makeup beyond “makeup technology and budgets changed since the 1960s.” But equally, you can blame DS9 for going there in the first place with “Trials and Tribble-lations.” And if they *had* to tell a backstory for the change in Klingon makeup, at least they pulled it off relatively well.

4. The worst acting in Trek, when we’ve suffered through Neelix, Kes, Harry Kim, Chakotay, and early B’Elanna Torres? At least the NX-01 officers felt like a crew. (I’ll also point out the absence of any annoying kids on ENT.)

5. I view “Terra Prime” — not “These Are the Voyages” — as the true finale to ENT. And “Terra Prime” works extremely well, drawing on all the themes of ENT’s run. Unlike VOY’s finale, it was not a poor echo of “All Good Things,” and unlike DS9’s, it wasn’t yet another war story that we’d seen umpteen times before with 15 minutes of a Vegas lounge lizard thrown in for good measure.

IIRC DS9 got a decent amount of flak for how it portrayed Vulcans in season 7. Take Me Out to the Holosuite and Field of Fire raised a number of eyebrows, Nimoy-style.

As for the acting on Voyager, I maintain that show had a very strong cast, underutilized or improperly deployed. I thought McNeil and Wang were sometimes out of their depths, but Lien was a highlight of season 1 to me – wonderful calming chemistry with Picardo. And Dawson is fantastic in Faces.

A number of agreements here from me.

2, I, too liked the NX-01. They were able to pull off making it look both modern and a predecessor to what we saw on TOS. Showing how bad a job they did on Star Trek Discovery & SNW and there was no excuse to screw it up because it was done well before.

3, I agree about there being no need to do the Klingon make up change episodes. The bulk of fandom knows the deal with the change. I don’t even blame DS9’s trip to K-7 for it. They acknowledged it in an amusing way and there was truly no need to expand on it. That said, I do agree the story was handled about as decently as it could. I just felt those 2 episode would have been better served on a different subject.

4, I would say apart from Patrick Steward the entire cast of TNG were probably the worst actors in all of Trek. That may be controversial but I stand by it. Also Stewart I would say remains the best actor to ever be a Trek regular as well. And as much as I loved Enterprise I think Bakula was miscast. I had a very hard time buying him in the role. He just looked like he was forcing everything.

5, Another agreement. I consider TERRA PRIME the series finale of Enterprise. But I do very much think DS9’s finale was the best of the bunch. Not only did it totally feel like the end (Which TNG’s didn’t) for it was a very satisfying wrap up of all the things going on with the show (which Voyager didn’t)..

PS. Should have said I’m on board with your #1 as well.

PPS… Should have replied to River Temarc instead of me. Oops.

While I certainly agree that the decon chambers weren’t ENT’s finest moment, you’re applying a double standard if that’a showstopper for ENT, but at the same time you can overlook TOS’ miniskirts and other scantily-clad women, Jadzia Dax in a swimsuit in “Let He Who Is Without Sin,” the Troi-Crusher exercise scene in TNG, Dabo girls/holosuites, and — saving the best for last — Jeri Ryan’s catsuit.

It’s Hollywood. Things get sexed up.

“And then nobody’s ever made the planets of Star Trek. I want them to make inflatable beach ball planets and have a tiny little micromachines ship attached to the side in orbit..””

Please give Mike McMahan as much control over the Trek IP as possible

I can’t wait for the “Who Mourns For Adonais” planet with a Micro-Machine Enterprise stuck in a Translucent Green Glow in the Dark hand!

Actually kind of want to buy that Hallmark Christmas Ornament that came out this year of that exact thing. The hand of Adonais holding the Enterprise.

NICE, added to my xmas shopping list

Or the Catspaw encased-in-lucite one.

Bajor! With Deep Space Nine attached to it!

I got a Deep Space Nine Micro Machine, I should just go to a craft store and buy some paint and Styrofoam balls

Action figures…. first thing that comes to mind is getting the Stretch Armstrong creators working on a Goovok!

Called it, even with the line deleted.