‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Season 5 Voice Work Resumes; Tawny Newsome Tells Us About Recording Return

The SAG-AFTRA strike is over, so another Star Trek show is getting back to production—in this case, the adult animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks. TrekMovie spoke to Tawny Newsome about starting up again, and her co-star Jack Quaid has shared an image on social now that he’s back in the recording booth.

Season 5 recording for Lower Decks

In mid-July, the SAG-AFTRA actors union went on a strike that lasted until November 9th. Voice work for the fifth season of Star Trek: Lower Decks had just started, but was put on hold when the strike began, but now it’s been resumed.

In an interview with TrekMovie’s All Access Star Trek podcast, Tawny Newsome confirmed that they’re back in action:

“We were recording a tiny bit before the strike and then we just got started again. We’re like somewhere in the middle. I’ve done like four or five episodes so far… yeah, I love it. I’m so happy to be back doing these roles.”

Newsome also confirmed that even though she hasn’t recorded with co-star Jack Quaid (Boimler), both have overlapped at the recording studio:

“No we didn’t [record together]. Actually for our first session back, our producer Brad Winters didn’t tell us, but he scheduled me and Jack not only back-to-back but he scheduled us to overlap. So I showed up to record at 1:00 and really I wasn’t recording till 2:00 and Jack was in there finishing and we were like, “My friend! Ah!” I mean we see each other all the time but to see each other at work, it was such a joy. Don’t tell the studio, but I think we did  waste about 90 minutes in there just like catching up and gossiping and eating salads. But maybe they scheduled in some intentional buffer time.”

Newsome’s comment evokes lower deckers’ “buffer time” from the first season episode “Temporal Edict.”

Noël Wells as Ensign Tendi, Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler, Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, and Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford in “Temporal Edict” (Paramouunt+)

Star Trek getting back to work

Writing for the fifth season of Lower Decks wrapped up in October; showrunner Mike McMahan told the crowd at NYCC: “I’m writing the finale of season 5 right now. And next year is going to be awesome.”

Each of the first four seasons of Lower Decks was released in late summer about a year apart. In her TrekMovie interview, Newsome wasn’t 100% certain, but thought the show could probably still stick to its schedule:

“I think our production timeline is okay. I don’t know. I don’t know how that got affected but we’re back.”

Earlier in the week, we reported that the third season of Strange New Worlds is back in pre-production. The Star Trek: Section 31 movie is reportedly starting prep as well. After the WGA strike ended in October, the writers room for the new Star Trek: Starfleet Academy show got back to work, and the show is expected to go into production in 2024. Post-production on the animated Star Trek: Prodigy series was not impacted by the strikes, so all 20 episodes are expected to be completed by January and be released sometime in 2024 on Netflix. Work on the fifth and final season of Star Trek: Discovery is complete and arrives on Paramount+ in early 2024, but a specific release date hasn’t been announced.

L-R Gabrielle Ruiz as T’Lyn, Noël Wells as D’Vana Tendi, Tawny Newsome as Beckett Mariner, Eugene Cordero as Rutherford and Jack Quaid as Brad Boimler in the season 4 finale (Paramount+)

Dueling Quaids

Speaking of Jack Quaid,  today the actor shared a couple of videos comparing his voice work as Superman from My Adventures with Superman to Boimler from Lower Decks.

More to come from Tawny Newsome

We will have more highlights from our brand-new interview with Tawny Newsome about Lower Decks season 4, season 5, and her work as a writer on Starfleet Academy, so stay tuned to the site and catch the full audio interview in the next episode of the All Access Star Trek podcast.

Keep up with news for the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.

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Busy woman, she’s also in the ST:A writers room. It’s good to let the kids run with the franchise, lets see what they do with it

with newsome being an uber-fan, I’d trust the direction of the franchise in her hands more than anyone else.

With canon deep dives she’s mentioned I 100% agree.

Tawney Newsome is the sole reason I have any interest in this show. Having a true Trekkie in that room gives me hope we’re at least getting a show that will fit within canon and follow the true spirit of Star Trek.

If it doesn’t I’ll put all the blame on Kurtzman of course. 😉👎

We’ve seen what happens more often when not when people flat out say they love Star Wars but go with Trek because that’s what they can get at the time.

They need to hire good writers, not good fans.

That’s my issue with her too. I do enjoy her work on LDS, however, I don’t think she should be writing Star Trek. Then again, they are turning Trek into a zany comedy, a parody of itself, and she’s qualified to do just that.

I’m curious. What makes her unqualified to be in the writers room? Is she not a big enough fan? Of course we all know True Trek should be super dark and gritty with absolutely no room for levity or humour.

If you read our posts, you’d see our point is that the first priority is to be a good WRITER. not a good fan.

How do you know that she is not a good writer? She has written before.

You are ALL WRONG here.

Truth is, we don’t have enough information yet to conclude that she is a good, bad or average writer yet. We just don’t know yet.

They need to be both, unless you think they should hire writers who have no grasp of what Star Trek is? We don’t need another Discovery.

Tony Gilroy wasn’t the biggest Star Wars fan and look how Andor turned out. You don’t need to fill a show with easter eggs and references to make it good. Just hire good writers, and then have showrunners and producers who know what Star Trek is. Otherwise all you get is bad fan fiction, like Picard S3.

Terry Matalas knows what Star Trek is. Besides, that’s always been a ridiculous thing to try to gatekeep, even when applying it to Discovery or JJ Trek at their extremes.

There were plenty of episodes, such as “No Win Scenario,” which leaned into the sort of Trek so many of us know and love. Star Trek is versatile and malleable. It can be a comedy, it can be TV-MA, it can be like Star Wars (but less fantastical), it can be a rom-com, it can be animated, it can be for multiple generations, and it can evolve. There’s no rule it can’t have a nostalgia factor, certainly, 57 years into its existence. Mileage may vary about how much is too much, and your position on that is very clear. But to be so reductive of the writers’ work on Picard and LDS because of that is just crass.

nicholas meyer also a non ‘trek’ fan and made the best of the OS movies

It doesn’t have to be about Easter eggs like PIC S3 but it should be about sticking to the heart of the franchise. I’m not saying a non-fan can’t do it but what I am saying is we already have BAD examples of what happens when certain ones try and you have a better chance if someone is a fan vs if they are not.

Nicholas Meyer had almost no knowledge of the franchise and was a relative novice at writing. And TUC hasn’t aged well.

What hasn’t aged well about TUC’s writing? And TWOK and TVH’s?

I’m…actually curious what hasn’t aged well about VI too.

Nicholas Meyer … was a relative novice at writing.

WTF? Dude had written and published two novels, once of which was a best seller, and then wrote an adapted screenplay from one of his novels that got an Oscar nomination.

And TUC hasn’t aged well.

100% agree with you there. The Cold War thing with the Nixon quote, and then the Klingon constantly quoting Shakespeare, and the lame Soviet-like prison planet — it really looks dated now.

Because there are no longer prisons in Siberia? You could make a movie today with an allegory about the the end of the Cold War, and no one would bat an eye. The idea of two huge superpowers on the brink of war with a catalyst forcing them to find a solution for peace is evergreen and relevant today. The only real weight to the argument that TUC is too of its time would be Praxis/Chernobyl being so on the nose.

But quoting Shakespeare of all people does not make something dated. If Chang had quoted MC Hammer, that would be dated.

To each his own, it makes it feel dated to me, Phil and other fans obviously. I’ve see this topic brought up numerous times about TUC not aging well. And Chang quoting Shakespeare seems charming to me back then, but now I laugh and I’ve had others with me laugh when they see it. And the “Only Nixon can go to China” line would be so obscure in the 23rd Century — that’s just a bit embarrassing now to watch.

Setting aside a few isolated people’s validation as that’s not relevant.

Still not sure how referencing the most influential writer in the English language or a famously important historical event rises to the level of laughable or “embarrassing.”

Chang studies his enemies and found inspiration and insight in the works of Shakespeare. Adds an interesting quirk to me, and it was good enough that they did it again with Garak in “The Die is Cast.” As for Nixon going to China, one could argue that’s now an even more relevant historical turning point as China is now a superpower vying for dominance with the US, and Nixon hasn’t much faded as a famously twisted political figure. Makes sense to me Spock and Kirk would remember this, and I’m a little skeptical that a modern audience today would find that to be a dated reference.

Do we not still quote Lincoln? So why would Nixon’s quote be obsolete? It also was the first step in establishing formal relations with China, so certainly worth remembering.

That’s quite a stretch. The Nixon quote is fading, Lincolns quotes, no.

We still talk about so many historical figures from just as long ago today. Some may have only faded into a couple anecdotes like Hannibal crossing the alps with elephants. But it’s not at all implausible to think people 200 years from now, students of history, would know this reference – relations opening up between what would become the dominant superpowers of the 21st century, all started by the first US president to resign in disgrace.

TUC hasn’t aged well? In what way? I mean if you are saying the set designs or something ok that’s one thing. But TUC remains one of the best sci-fi if not the best sci-fi examples of the end of the Cold War between the US and USSR there has ever been. Maybe even one of the best outside of the barriers of sci-fi. It’s a true classic.

It’s still my second favorite movie to this day. Don’t mind Phil, he’s hopped up on candied yams a day early and lost his mind!

Who says she isn’t a good writer?

Emily, apparently.

One can be both.

One doesn’t necessarily negate the other, Besides, she’s not the only writer in the room so IMHO even if she was just a fan I would rather have her in there than not.

Agreed. Ron Moore and everyone were “kids” when they did the TNG era

Jack Quaid is one busy dude.

I’m a fan! Loved his parents growing up too

I was annoyed Meg Ryan’s new romcom came and went in a flash while I was out of the country. Really wanted to support her – it ain’t easy to do what she did so well in her heyday!

I really hope they don’t cut it at 7 Seasons.

I hope that they MAKE IT To 7 seasons

Yeah, I’m hoping we get 7 seasons….

(whispers) and a movie!

Oh I hope so but in ther days of streaming I am not sure that is viable. 7 seasons seems like it is relegated to the TNG era.

Very true. I think if it gets another season then it has a shot at least but I am prepared for season 5 to be its last (sad face).

But the fact they haven’t announced fifth season will be its last yet like they did with DIS gives me hope its possible to go more seasons.

I’m very worried that it’ll be 5 seasons and done. Hope I’m wrong.




I think with PRO going to Netflix that ironically gives LD a better chance!

I always forget the cast usually doesn’t record together. It’s edited and directed so well one could easily never know!

I know right?? It’s kind of crazy how well edited/acted animated shows or movies can be. It really does sound like they are all in the same room together and reacting to each other. Amazing group of actors (and technology ;)).

I’m not an actor but even I know so much of acting is playing off of your acting partner’s performance and mannerisms. It really gives credit to not just the actors but the animators to be able to give the actors something to feed off of more than just the written page.

That’s on the directors most likely being their scene partners.

Oh, interesting!

I’m so confused? When I commented a few months ago about the lower decks people appearing at conventions during the strike, I was roundly lambasted here and told that none of the animation work and voiceover work on lower decks was subject to work stoppage and paid appearance limitations from the WGA and SAG strikes, because it’s a different union and different contract???

You’re always confused dude.

See “Who Cares” response, Mensa.

This was true, they show’s cast are members of 2 guilds (3 for Tawny) and while SAG & the writers guild were striking (both of which Tawny is a member of) their other guild could continue to work. However the show suspended production in solidarity and so that the cast could join the picket lines.

Appearances at conventions for Lower Decks were thus not under SAG control.

Ah, Thanks for the explanation!

IMO it’s a gray area. Yes technically they ARE different. But lots of voice people, like Kate Mulgrew obv, are both so they may choose to say they will not work in animation even if they technically could. I may be wrong on this but I think its a personal choice in those cases. Even with the SAG strike there were certain exceptions made for live live action projects that could still move forward.

Yes!!! So great to hear. Our Lower Deckers should be back in 2024th century after all! ;D

I think season 5 will be as good if not better than season 4! Star Trek is in good hands with this team. :)

I know it probably won’t happen, but *if* ST Legacy does become a thing, I would love to see Mariner as a lt cmdr as part of the crew. I mean she has been live action already, right?

So would I! McMahan has said he knows where each of them would be by Picard’s era so you never know? And once the crossover episode became a roaring success, anything is possible now.

Kurtzman… “It is really funny!” So that’s it then, huh? Star Trek is now a friggin’ sitcom. Unbelievable

No, ONE Star Trek series out of ELEVEN is a comedy. Deal with it.

This is either satire or sent from about five years in the past.

Are you under the impression there has never been a “funny” Star Trek episode before? So much of TOS was based in humor. FFS it is a show that was saved by Lucille Ball!

Wow for Jack Quaid. DC and Star Trek. My two favorite franchises!