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Star Trek: Lower Decks

"Lower Decks" redirects here. For the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, see Lower Decks (Star Trek: The Next Generation). For ship decks, see Deck (ship).

Star Trek: Lower Decks is an American adult animated television series created by Mike McMahan for the streaming service CBS All Access (later rebranded as Paramount+). It is the ninth Star Trek series and was launched in 2020 as part of executive producer Alex Kurtzman's expanded Star Trek Universe. Lower Decks is the franchise's first animated series since the 1970s series Star Trek: The Animated Series, and its first comedic series. It follows the low-ranking support crew of the starship U.S.S. Cerritos in the year 2380.

Star Trek: Lower Decks
Genre
Created byMike McMahan
Based onStar Trek
by Gene Roddenberry
Voices of
ComposerChris Westlake
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20
Production
Executive producers
Running time25 minutes
Production companies
Release
Original network
Original releaseAugust 6, 2020 (2020-08-06)
present (present)
Chronology
Preceded byStar Trek: Picard
Followed byStar Trek: Prodigy
Related showsStar Trek TV series

Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid, Noël Wells, and Eugene Cordero voice "lower decks" crew members of the Cerritos, with Dawnn Lewis, Jerry O'Connell, Fred Tatasciore, and Gillian Vigman also providing voices for the series. Work on an animated Star Trek series began in June 2018. McMahan joined as creator and showrunner by that October, when Lower Decks was ordered for two seasons by All Access. Animation studio Titmouse began work by the following February, with the main cast announced in July 2019. Production on the first two seasons shifted to taking place remotely by March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Star Trek: Lower Decks premiered on CBS All Access on August 6, 2020, and its first season ran for 10 episodes until October. A second season premiered on Paramount+ in August 2021. It has received generally positive reviews. A third season is in production.

Contents

Star Trek: Lower Decks is set in the Star Trek universe in the year 2380, in which Earth is part of the multi-species United Federation of Planets. The Federation's military and exploration division, Starfleet, operates a fleet of starships that travel the galaxy establishing contact with alien races. Lower Decks focuses on the support crew of one of Starfleet's least important starships. Unlike previous Star Trek series, whose principal characters are typically starship captains or other senior officers, Lower Decks focuses on "lower deckers", low-ranking officers with menial jobs; the captain and other senior staff appear as supporting characters.

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast releasedNetwork
110August 6, 2020 (2020-08-06)October 8, 2020 (2020-10-08)CBS All Access
210August 12, 2021 (2021-08-12)October 14, 2021 (2021-10-14)Paramount+
310TBATBA

Season 1 (2020)

Star Trek: Lower Decks season 1 episodes
No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Second Contact"Barry J. KellyMike McMahanAugust 6, 2020 (2020-08-06)
22"Envoys"Kim ArndtChris KulaAugust 13, 2020 (2020-08-13)
33"Temporal Edict"Bob SuarezDave Ihlenfeld & David WrightAugust 20, 2020 (2020-08-20)
44"Moist Vessel"Barry J. KellyAnn KimAugust 27, 2020 (2020-08-27)
55"Cupid's Errant Arrow"Kim ArndtBen JosephSeptember 3, 2020 (2020-09-03)
66"Terminal Provocations"Bob SuarezJohn CochranSeptember 10, 2020 (2020-09-10)
77"Much Ado About Boimler"Barry J. KellyM. WillisSeptember 17, 2020 (2020-09-17)
88"Veritas"Kim ArndtGarrick BernardSeptember 24, 2020 (2020-09-24)
99"Crisis Point"Bob SuarezBen RodgersOctober 1, 2020 (2020-10-01)
1010"No Small Parts"Barry J. KellyMike McMahanOctober 8, 2020 (2020-10-08)

Season 2 (2021)

Star Trek: Lower Decks season 2 episodes
No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
111"Strange Energies"Jason ZurekMike McMahanAugust 12, 2021 (2021-08-12)
122"Kayshon, His Eyes Open"Kim ArndtChris KulaAugust 19, 2021 (2021-08-19)
133"We'll Always Have Tom Paris"Bob SuarezM. WillisAugust 26, 2021 (2021-08-26)
144"Mugato, Gumato"Jason ZurekBen RodgersSeptember 2, 2021 (2021-09-02)
155"An Embarrassment of Dooplers"Kim ArndtDave Ihlenfeld & David WrightSeptember 9, 2021 (2021-09-09)
166"The Spy Humongous"Bob SuarezJohn CochranSeptember 16, 2021 (2021-09-16)
177"Where Pleasant Fountains Lie"Jason ZurekGarrick BernardSeptember 23, 2021 (2021-09-23)
188"I, Excretus"Kim ArndtAnn KimSeptember 30, 2021 (2021-09-30)
199"wej Duj"Bob SuarezKathryn LynOctober 7, 2021 (2021-10-07)
2010"First First Contact"Jason ZurekMike McMahanOctober 14, 2021 (2021-10-14)

Season 3

A third season was ordered in April 2021.

  • Tawny Newsome as Beckett Mariner:
    A human ensign aboard the U.S.S. Cerritos and the daughter of Captain Freeman. Newsome described Mariner as an irreverent rule-breaker who has been demoted several times, though she is actually "very good at all things Starfleet". The character is named after showrunner Mike McMahan's sister, Beckett Mariner McMahan.
  • Jack Quaid as Brad Boimler:
    A human ensign aboard the Cerritos, Boimler is a stickler for the rules and will need to learn how to improvise if he is to become a captain one day. Quaid said the character would "nail the written portion of the driving test with flying colors but once it actually got to him being in the car, it would be a complete and total disaster."
  • Noël Wells as D'Vana Tendi:
    An Orion ensign in the medical bay aboard the Cerritos, Tendi is a big fan of Starfleet, and is thrilled to be on a starship. She is new to the Cerritos at the start of the series, and helps introduce the audience to the setting and characters. McMahan said he would act like Tendi if he ever got to work on a starship.
  • Eugene Cordero as Sam Rutherford:
    A human ensign aboard the Cerritos, Rutherford is adjusting to a new cyborg implant. McMahan compared Rutherford to the Star Trek: The Next Generation character Geordi La Forge, saying they are both "amazing at engineering stuff" but Rutherford does not always solve the problem like Geordi because he is still learning.
  • Dawnn Lewis as Carol Freeman:
    The human captain of the Cerritos. McMahan described her as a capable Starfleet captain whose starship is not very important. Freeman does not want her daughter, Mariner, to be on the Cerritos and is looking for a reason to have her transferred to another ship.
  • Jerry O'Connell as Jack Ransom:
    Human first officer of the Cerritos, whom McMahan compared to Next Generation's William Riker, if he was on speed and had less shame.
  • Fred Tatasciore as Shaxs:
    A Bajoran tactical officer aboard the Cerritos. At the end of the first season, Shaxs dies sacrificing himself for Rutherford but returns in the second season in a storyline that plays on the numerous times and ways that characters have been resurrected in previous Star Trek series.
  • Gillian Vigman as T'Ana:
    A Caitian doctor and head of medical aboard the Cerritos. McMahan described her as "a good doctor, but she's an unpleasant cat." Including a Caitian in the series is a reference to Star Trek: The Animated Series which also features a member of that species, M'Ress.

Development

In June 2018, after becoming sole showrunner of the series Star Trek: Discovery, Alex Kurtzman signed a five-year overall deal with CBS Television Studios to expand the Star Trek franchise beyond Discovery to several new series, miniseries, and animated series. While developing one of the animated series, Aaron Baiers of Kurtzman's production company Secret Hideout brought Mike McMahan—the head writer of popular animated comedy Rick and Morty—to the production. Kurtzman was won over by McMahan's love of Star Trek and his pitch for a series following "the people who put the yellow cartridge in the food replicator so a banana can come out the other end." The series was marketed to different platforms and networks, before being picked up by CBS All Access, the streaming service that releases Discovery. It is the service's first original animated series.

All Access officially ordered two seasons of the animated series, titled Star Trek: Lower Decks, on October 25, 2018. McMahan was set to create, write, and executive produce the series alongside Kurtzman, Secret Hideout's Heather Kadin, Rod Roddenberry (the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry) and Trevor Roth of Roddenberry Entertainment, and veteran animation executive turned producer Katie Krentz of the newly formed CBS Eye Animation Productions. It is the first animated Star Trek series since the 1973–74 series Star Trek: The Animated Series. In January 2019, Kurtzman said the series would not be "Rick and Morty in the world of Star Trek" and would have its own tone, but would "skew slightly more adult". That July, McMahan announced that the first season of Lower Decks would consist of 10 episodes and be released in 2020.

By late March 2020, work on the series was taking place remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing staff to work from home. In May, McMahan said animation was "uniquely suited for this moment" since the series' animators could continue work on the series from home. In July, All Access scheduled the series to premiere in August 2020. A third season was ordered in April 2021 for the rebranded Paramount+, ahead of the second-season premiere in August 2021.

Writing

The series was announced as focusing on the support crew of a starship, rather than the main bridge crew usually focused on in previous series in the franchise. It is set in 2380, one year after the film Star Trek: Nemesis (2002), aboard the California-class starship U.S.S. Cerritos. Discussing the direction of the series in June 2019, Kurtzman called it a "love letter" to Star Trek that would be appropriate for audience members aged "11 to 70". He explained that things that would typically be the "A story" of a Star Trek episode would be taking place in the background of each Lower Decks episode, so "huge, crazy, crazy shit is going on in the background and that's super peripheral to the story that you're actually focusing on", which he felt would make the series a unique addition to the franchise. When putting together the series' writers room, McMahan wanted to hire writers from different comedic backgrounds and with different levels of interest in Star Trek due to the different elements the series would need to balance. The series' writers include M. Willis, Chris Kula, Ben Rodgers, Ann Kim, and David Wright. Star Trek author David Mack served as a consultant on the series to ensure the series would fit within the franchise's canon. McMahan hoped that references to The Animated Series specifically would honor it as the franchise's first animated series, and make it "even more canon than it was before".

McMahan chose to set the series after Nemesis due to his love of the 1987–1994 series Star Trek: The Next Generation (Nemesis is a Next Generation-era film). The series is named after the Next Generation episode "Lower Decks", which McMahan said was his favorite episode of any Star Trek series, and which also focuses on the lives of lower-ranking starship personnel. The episode was the first thing that McMahan showed the writers room when they started work on the series. For Lower Decks, McMahan was inspired by the more social side-stories in The Next Generation, but wanted to include science fiction and comedic elements as well, and he felt that animation allowed this mixture of tones. He explained that the series' humor would not be about "punching down on Trek" and was more focused on telling Star Trek stories where the characters happen to be funny, and added that the series would feature jokes and references specifically for fans of the franchise that newcomers likely would not understand but hopefully would still find funny. The California-class starship was created specifically for the series as a type of support starship that works alongside the larger starships seen previously in the franchise. McMahan described the mission of the Cerritos as "Second Contact", so after Starfleet has made First Contact with a new civilization and invited it to join the Federation the crew of support ships like the Cerritos arrive to find "all the good places to eat [and set up] the communications stuff". He suggested that these support ships have been present throughout the franchise, but just "haven't been important enough to have screen time yet".

Design

The series has a similar animation style to Rick and Morty. The series' design is intended to reflect the Next Generation era of Star Trek, including the series' sets, starship designs, camera angles, and character movements. McMahan explained that the crew created artificial boundaries for themselves to ensure that they were consistent with the live-action films, even though they had the option to be different due to the possibilities of animation. They used the wiki encyclopedia Memory Alpha and other fan resources to ensure they were staying accurate to the original designs of the era, and the animators watched episodes of The Next Generation while they were working on the series. Most of these influences from the 1990s Star Trek series like Next Generation apply to the Cerritos and other starships, while the animation team had room to show "how far [they] can push Star Trek with the designs of different planets, which Kelly described as lush and overwhelming. According to Screen Rant, the name of the Cerritos was derived from the California city of the same name, which Screen Rant's Dusty Stowe calls a "a perfectly nice, blandly unimportant city", to contrast with the more bold, historically noteworthy names of the starships that served as the settings of previous Star Trek shows. The name was also a reference to a car dealership known to Californians for its catchy jingle, which Stowe called "the sort of random, nerdy humor that one would expect from" the series' showrunner Mike McMahan, an alumnus of Rick and Morty.

The uniforms worn by the crew of the Cerritos are based on unused designs for the film Star Trek Generations (1994). Supervising director Barry J. Kelly said the Cerritos was designed to stand-up as a model alongside the live-action starships already seen in the franchise, with some adjustments then made to fit the animation style of the series. It is a Next Generation version of the USS Reliant from the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), McMahan's favorite Star Trek starship. The California-class starships seen in the series feature the same colors as the uniforms, with yellow for engineering, blue for medical, and red for command (the Cerritos is yellow). For interiors of the Cerritos such as the carpet, walls, and ceiling, elements of the LCARS computer system from The Next Generation were included in the design, with actual LCARS displays also featured throughout the ship. Michael Okuda, who designed the LCARS system for Next Generation, consulted with the series' animation team to discuss their LCARS designs and colors.

Casting and voice recording

Kurtzman stated in June 2019 that the series would mostly focus on new characters, but there was potential for characters from previous Star Trek series to appear at some point. The next month, McMahan announced the main cast and characters for the series: a group of ensigns serving in the "lower decks" of the Cerritos, including Tawny Newsome as Beckett Mariner, Jack Quaid as Brad Boimler, Noël Wells as Tendi, and Eugene Cordero as Rutherford; and the bridge crew of the ship that believe "the show is about them, but it's not", including Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman, Jerry O'Connell as Commander Jack Ransom, Fred Tatasciore as Lieutenant Shaxs, and Gillian Vigman as Dr. T'Ana.

Voice overs for each episode are recorded before any animation work is done, with the different recordings edited together into what McMahan described as an "old-timey radio play version of the episode". Initially, actors were recorded together such as Newsome and Quaid, but this stopped during production on the first season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This became one of the biggest challenges for the series during the pandemic, with a need to use remote recording equipment in each actor's house.

Animation

Independent animation studio Titmouse provides the animation for the series, with Barry J. Kelly serving as supervising director for the series. The first step of the animation process involved the "board teams" drawing a rough version of the episode in black-and-white based on the initial "radio play" version of the voice actor recordings. These drawings are then put together as an animatic version of the episode. The final animated episode with full details, backgrounds, and colors is then created based on the animatic version.

Music

In January 2020, Star Trek: Discovery composer Jeff Russo expressed interest in also composing the score for Lower Decks, but said that may not be possible due to his workload and the large number of Star Trek series being produced at the same time. He suggested that he could oversee some other composers for Lower Decks and the other Star Trek series if Kurtzman asked him to. In July, Chris Westlake was revealed to be the composer for the series after previously working with McMahan on Solar Opposites.

McMahan said Westlake's score sounded like a traditional Star Trek score that fit within the fast-paced, comedic style of Lower Decks. Westlake wanted the music to be sincere, feeling it was funnier to take the music seriously than to make it comedic. This is why the main theme includes a choir. Westlake wrote six or seven different main theme ideas for the series that were narrowed down to two: a slower, more stately theme; and a more energetic theme. The final theme is "between" these two.

Sound

Once the animation is completed, the last element of the series is the final sound design. McMahan noted that the same level of care was applied to the series' sound design as its animation in terms of honoring "legacy" elements from previous Star Trek series. Sounds from earlier in the franchise that were studied and replicated include those for existing technology, such as the noises made by different phasers, the different sounds made when making or receiving a call using a Starfleet badge, or the sound of the ships' warp core. They also include the general "room tone" of different areas of the ship, such as the bridge, different hallways, and crew quarters. General sound design was also required, such as for the sound of characters' footsteps. Once the sound design is completed, these sounds are mixed with the voice recordings and score in a final mix for the episodes.

Star Trek: Lower Decks premiered on August 6, 2020, on CBS All Access in the United States. Like previous All Access Star Trek series, each episode of Lower Decks is broadcast in Canada by Bell Media on the same day as the All Access release, on the specialty channels CTV Sci-Fi Channel (English) and Z (French) before streaming on Crave. International distribution for the series was not secured by the time of its premiere, due to negotiations being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In September 2020, ViacomCBS announced that CBS All Access would be expanded and rebranded as Paramount+ in March 2021. Existing episodes of Lower Decks' first season will remain on Paramount+ along with future seasons of the series. In December, Amazon Prime Video was revealed to have picked up the streaming rights for the series in several territories—including Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and India—with the first season released on the service on January 22, 2021. The series is distributed internationally by ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group. The first season was released on DVD and Blu-ray from Paramount Home Entertainment on May 18, 2021.

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds a 67% approval rating with an average rating of 7.15/10, based on 45 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "Fun, but not very bold, Lower Decks flips the script on Star Trek regulation just enough to stand out in the franchise, if not the greater animation landscape." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, gives it a score of 59 out of 100, based on 17 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Arab News described the series as taking a "more comic approach" than other Star Trek adaptations, said the show gently mocks "many of the series' tropes", and argued that the visual style is "safe and familiar" but is far from "breaking new ground" as an adult animation.

Accolades

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2021 Critics' Choice Super Awards Best Animated Series Star Trek: Lower Decks Nominated
Best Voice Actor in an Animated Series Jack Quaid Nominated
Best Voice Actress in an Animated Series Tawny Newsome Nominated
2021 Emmy Awards Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) "No Small Parts" Nominated
Main article: The Ready Room

A special episode of the CBS All Access Star Trek aftershow The Ready Room, hosted by Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Wil Wheaton, was released following the premiere of Lower Decks. Another aftershow episode was released following the sixth episode of the series' first season. Wheaton hosted a virtual panel for the 2020 New York Comic Con after the series' first-season finale which was recorded and released as a third aftershow episode for the series.

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Star Trek: Lower Decks
Star Trek Lower Decks Language Watch Edit Lower Decks redirects here For the Star Trek The Next Generation episode see Lower Decks Star Trek The Next Generation For ship decks see Deck ship Star Trek Lower Decks is an American adult animated television series created by Mike McMahan for the streaming service CBS All Access later rebranded as Paramount It is the ninth Star Trek series and was launched in 2020 as part of executive producer Alex Kurtzman s expanded Star Trek Universe Lower Decks is the franchise s first animated series since the 1970s series Star Trek The Animated Series and its first comedic series It follows the low ranking support crew of the starship U S S Cerritos in the year 2380 Star Trek Lower DecksGenreAdult animation Comedy Science fictionCreated byMike McMahanBased onStar Trek by Gene RoddenberryVoices ofTawny Newsome Jack Quaid Noel Wells Eugene Cordero Dawnn Lewis Jerry O Connell Fred Tatasciore Gillian VigmanComposerChris WestlakeCountry of originUnited StatesOriginal languageEnglishNo of seasons2No of episodes20ProductionExecutive producersAlex Kurtzman Heather Kadin Rod Roddenberry Trevor Roth Katie Krentz Mike McMahanRunning time25 minutesProduction companiesCBS Eye Animation Productions Secret Hideout Important Science Roddenberry Entertainment Titmouse Inc ReleaseOriginal networkCBS All Access season 1 Paramount season 2 present Original releaseAugust 6 2020 2020 08 06 present present ChronologyPreceded byStar Trek PicardFollowed byStar Trek ProdigyRelated showsStar Trek TV series Tawny Newsome Jack Quaid Noel Wells and Eugene Cordero voice lower decks crew members of the Cerritos with Dawnn Lewis Jerry O Connell Fred Tatasciore and Gillian Vigman also providing voices for the series Work on an animated Star Trek series began in June 2018 McMahan joined as creator and showrunner by that October when Lower Decks was ordered for two seasons by All Access Animation studio Titmouse began work by the following February with the main cast announced in July 2019 Production on the first two seasons shifted to taking place remotely by March 2020 due to the COVID 19 pandemic Star Trek Lower Decks premiered on CBS All Access on August 6 2020 and its first season ran for 10 episodes until October A second season premiered on Paramount in August 2021 It has received generally positive reviews A third season is in production Contents 1 Premise 2 Episodes 2 1 Season 1 2020 2 2 Season 2 2021 2 3 Season 3 3 Cast and characters 4 Production 4 1 Development 4 2 Writing 4 3 Design 4 4 Casting and voice recording 4 5 Animation 4 6 Music 4 7 Sound 5 Release 6 Reception 6 1 Critical response 6 2 Accolades 7 Aftershow 8 References 9 External linksPremise EditStar Trek Lower Decks is set in the Star Trek universe in the year 2380 in which Earth is part of the multi species United Federation of Planets The Federation s military and exploration division Starfleet operates a fleet of starships that travel the galaxy establishing contact with alien races Lower Decks focuses on the support crew of one of Starfleet s least important starships 1 Unlike previous Star Trek series whose principal characters are typically starship captains or other senior officers Lower Decks focuses on lower deckers low ranking officers with menial jobs the captain and other senior staff appear as supporting characters 2 Episodes EditSeasonEpisodesOriginally releasedFirst releasedLast releasedNetwork110August 6 2020 2020 08 06 October 8 2020 2020 10 08 CBS All Access210August 12 2021 2021 08 12 October 14 2021 2021 10 14 Paramount 310 3 TBATBASeason 1 2020 Edit Main article Star Trek Lower Decks season 1 Star Trek Lower Decks season 1 episodesNo overallNo in seasonTitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date11 Second Contact Barry J KellyMike McMahanAugust 6 2020 2020 08 06 22 Envoys Kim ArndtChris KulaAugust 13 2020 2020 08 13 33 Temporal Edict Bob SuarezDave Ihlenfeld amp David WrightAugust 20 2020 2020 08 20 44 Moist Vessel Barry J KellyAnn KimAugust 27 2020 2020 08 27 55 Cupid s Errant Arrow Kim ArndtBen JosephSeptember 3 2020 2020 09 03 66 Terminal Provocations Bob SuarezJohn CochranSeptember 10 2020 2020 09 10 77 Much Ado About Boimler Barry J KellyM WillisSeptember 17 2020 2020 09 17 88 Veritas Kim ArndtGarrick BernardSeptember 24 2020 2020 09 24 99 Crisis Point Bob SuarezBen RodgersOctober 1 2020 2020 10 01 1010 No Small Parts Barry J KellyMike McMahanOctober 8 2020 2020 10 08 Season 2 2021 Edit Main article Star Trek Lower Decks season 2 Star Trek Lower Decks season 2 episodesNo overallNo in seasonTitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date 4 111 Strange Energies Jason ZurekMike McMahanAugust 12 2021 2021 08 12 122 Kayshon His Eyes Open Kim ArndtChris KulaAugust 19 2021 2021 08 19 133 We ll Always Have Tom Paris Bob SuarezM WillisAugust 26 2021 2021 08 26 144 Mugato Gumato Jason ZurekBen RodgersSeptember 2 2021 2021 09 02 155 An Embarrassment of Dooplers Kim ArndtDave Ihlenfeld amp David WrightSeptember 9 2021 2021 09 09 166 The Spy Humongous Bob SuarezJohn CochranSeptember 16 2021 2021 09 16 177 Where Pleasant Fountains Lie Jason ZurekGarrick BernardSeptember 23 2021 2021 09 23 188 I Excretus Kim ArndtAnn KimSeptember 30 2021 2021 09 30 199 wej Duj Bob SuarezKathryn LynOctober 7 2021 2021 10 07 2010 First First Contact Jason ZurekMike McMahanOctober 14 2021 2021 10 14 Season 3 Edit Main article Star Trek Lower Decks season 3 A third season was ordered in April 2021 3 Cast and characters EditMain article List of Star Trek Lower Decks characters Tawny Newsome as Beckett Mariner A human ensign aboard the U S S Cerritos and the daughter of Captain Freeman 1 5 Newsome described Mariner as an irreverent rule breaker who has been demoted several times though she is actually very good at all things Starfleet 6 The character is named after showrunner Mike McMahan s sister Beckett Mariner McMahan 7 Jack Quaid as Brad Boimler A human ensign aboard the Cerritos 1 Boimler is a stickler for the rules and will need to learn how to improvise if he is to become a captain one day 8 Quaid said the character would nail the written portion of the driving test with flying colors but once it actually got to him being in the car it would be a complete and total disaster 6 Noel Wells as D Vana Tendi An Orion ensign in the medical bay aboard the Cerritos 8 9 Tendi is a big fan of Starfleet 8 and is thrilled to be on a starship She is new to the Cerritos at the start of the series and helps introduce the audience to the setting and characters McMahan said he would act like Tendi if he ever got to work on a starship 6 Eugene Cordero as Sam Rutherford A human ensign aboard the Cerritos 1 10 Rutherford is adjusting to a new cyborg implant 8 McMahan compared Rutherford to the Star Trek The Next Generation character Geordi La Forge saying they are both amazing at engineering stuff but Rutherford does not always solve the problem like Geordi because he is still learning 6 Dawnn Lewis as Carol Freeman The human captain of the Cerritos 1 McMahan described her as a capable Starfleet captain whose starship is not very important 11 Freeman does not want her daughter Mariner to be on the Cerritos and is looking for a reason to have her transferred to another ship 5 Jerry O Connell as Jack Ransom Human first officer of the Cerritos whom McMahan compared to Next Generation s William Riker if he was on speed and had less shame 1 6 Fred Tatasciore as Shaxs A Bajoran tactical officer aboard the Cerritos 1 6 At the end of the first season Shaxs dies sacrificing himself for Rutherford 12 but returns in the second season in a storyline that plays on the numerous times and ways that characters have been resurrected in previous Star Trek series 13 Gillian Vigman as T Ana A Caitian doctor and head of medical aboard the Cerritos 1 McMahan described her as a good doctor but she s an unpleasant cat Including a Caitian in the series is a reference to Star Trek The Animated Series which also features a member of that species M Ress 11 Production EditSee also Production of season 1 season 2 and season 3 Development Edit In June 2018 after becoming sole showrunner of the series Star Trek Discovery Alex Kurtzman signed a five year overall deal with CBS Television Studios to expand the Star Trek franchise beyond Discovery to several new series miniseries and animated series 14 While developing one of the animated series Aaron Baiers of Kurtzman s production company Secret Hideout brought Mike McMahan the head writer of popular animated comedy Rick and Morty to the production Kurtzman was won over by McMahan s love of Star Trek and his pitch for a series following the people who put the yellow cartridge in the food replicator so a banana can come out the other end The series was marketed to different platforms and networks before being picked up by CBS All Access the streaming service that releases Discovery It is the service s first original animated series 15 All Access officially ordered two seasons of the animated series titled Star Trek Lower Decks on October 25 2018 McMahan was set to create write and executive produce the series alongside Kurtzman Secret Hideout s Heather Kadin Rod Roddenberry the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and Trevor Roth of Roddenberry Entertainment and veteran animation executive turned producer Katie Krentz of the newly formed CBS Eye Animation Productions It is the first animated Star Trek series since the 1973 74 series Star Trek The Animated Series 15 In January 2019 Kurtzman said the series would not be Rick and Morty in the world of Star Trek and would have its own tone but would skew slightly more adult 16 That July McMahan announced that the first season of Lower Decks would consist of 10 episodes and be released in 2020 1 By late March 2020 work on the series was taking place remotely due to the COVID 19 pandemic forcing staff to work from home 17 In May McMahan said animation was uniquely suited for this moment since the series animators could continue work on the series from home 18 In July All Access scheduled the series to premiere in August 2020 19 A third season was ordered in April 2021 for the rebranded Paramount ahead of the second season premiere in August 2021 3 Writing Edit The series was announced as focusing on the support crew of a starship rather than the main bridge crew usually focused on in previous series in the franchise 15 It is set in 2380 one year after the film Star Trek Nemesis 2002 aboard the California class starship U S S Cerritos 8 Discussing the direction of the series in June 2019 Kurtzman called it a love letter to Star Trek that would be appropriate for audience members aged 11 to 70 He explained that things that would typically be the A story of a Star Trek episode would be taking place in the background of each Lower Decks episode so huge crazy crazy shit is going on in the background and that s super peripheral to the story that you re actually focusing on which he felt would make the series a unique addition to the franchise 20 When putting together the series writers room McMahan wanted to hire writers from different comedic backgrounds and with different levels of interest in Star Trek due to the different elements the series would need to balance The series writers include M Willis Chris Kula Ben Rodgers Ann Kim 11 and David Wright 11 Star Trek author David Mack served as a consultant on the series to ensure the series would fit within the franchise s canon 21 11 McMahan hoped that references to The Animated Series specifically would honor it as the franchise s first animated series and make it even more canon than it was before 11 McMahan chose to set the series after Nemesis due to his love of the 1987 1994 series Star Trek The Next Generation Nemesis is a Next Generation era film 6 The series is named after the Next Generation episode Lower Decks which McMahan said was his favorite episode of any Star Trek series and which also focuses on the lives of lower ranking starship personnel The episode was the first thing that McMahan showed the writers room when they started work on the series 11 For Lower Decks McMahan was inspired by the more social side stories in The Next Generation but wanted to include science fiction and comedic elements as well and he felt that animation allowed this mixture of tones He explained that the series humor would not be about punching down on Trek and was more focused on telling Star Trek stories where the characters happen to be funny and added that the series would feature jokes and references specifically for fans of the franchise that newcomers likely would not understand but hopefully would still find funny The California class starship was created specifically for the series as a type of support starship that works alongside the larger starships seen previously in the franchise 6 McMahan described the mission of the Cerritos as Second Contact so after Starfleet has made First Contact with a new civilization and invited it to join the Federation the crew of support ships like the Cerritos arrive to find all the good places to eat and set up the communications stuff He suggested that these support ships have been present throughout the franchise but just haven t been important enough to have screen time yet 11 Design Edit The series has a similar animation style to Rick and Morty 22 The series design is intended to reflect the Next Generation era of Star Trek including the series sets starship designs camera angles and character movements McMahan explained that the crew created artificial boundaries for themselves to ensure that they were consistent with the live action films even though they had the option to be different due to the possibilities of animation They used the wiki encyclopedia Memory Alpha and other fan resources to ensure they were staying accurate to the original designs of the era and the animators watched episodes of The Next Generation while they were working on the series Most of these influences from the 1990s Star Trek series like Next Generation apply to the Cerritos and other starships while the animation team had room to show how far they can push Star Trek with the designs of different planets which Kelly described as lush and overwhelming 23 According to Screen Rant the name of the Cerritos was derived from the California city of the same name which Screen Rant s Dusty Stowe calls a a perfectly nice blandly unimportant city to contrast with the more bold historically noteworthy names of the starships that served as the settings of previous Star Trek shows The name was also a reference to a car dealership known to Californians for its catchy jingle which Stowe called the sort of random nerdy humor that one would expect from the series showrunner Mike McMahan an alumnus of Rick and Morty 24 The uniforms worn by the crew of the Cerritos are based on unused designs for the film Star Trek Generations 1994 11 Supervising director Barry J Kelly said the Cerritos was designed to stand up as a model alongside the live action starships already seen in the franchise with some adjustments then made to fit the animation style of the series 23 It is a Next Generation version of the USS Reliant from the film Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan 1982 McMahan s favorite Star Trek starship The California class starships seen in the series feature the same colors as the uniforms with yellow for engineering blue for medical and red for command the Cerritos is yellow 25 For interiors of the Cerritos such as the carpet walls and ceiling elements of the LCARS computer system from The Next Generation were included in the design with actual LCARS displays also featured throughout the ship Michael Okuda who designed the LCARS system for Next Generation consulted with the series animation team to discuss their LCARS designs and colors 23 Casting and voice recording Edit Kurtzman stated in June 2019 that the series would mostly focus on new characters but there was potential for characters from previous Star Trek series to appear at some point 20 The next month McMahan announced the main cast and characters for the series a group of ensigns serving in the lower decks of the Cerritos including Tawny Newsome as Beckett Mariner Jack Quaid as Brad Boimler Noel Wells as Tendi and Eugene Cordero as Rutherford 1 and the bridge crew of the ship that believe the show is about them but it s not including Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman Jerry O Connell as Commander Jack Ransom Fred Tatasciore as Lieutenant Shaxs and Gillian Vigman as Dr T Ana 1 8 Voice overs for each episode are recorded before any animation work is done with the different recordings edited together into what McMahan described as an old timey radio play version of the episode Initially actors were recorded together such as Newsome and Quaid but this stopped during production on the first season due to the COVID 19 pandemic 26 This became one of the biggest challenges for the series during the pandemic with a need to use remote recording equipment in each actor s house 18 Animation Edit Independent animation studio Titmouse provides the animation for the series 19 with Barry J Kelly serving as supervising director for the series 23 The first step of the animation process involved the board teams drawing a rough version of the episode in black and white based on the initial radio play version of the voice actor recordings These drawings are then put together as an animatic version of the episode The final animated episode with full details backgrounds and colors is then created based on the animatic version 26 Music Edit In January 2020 Star Trek Discovery composer Jeff Russo expressed interest in also composing the score for Lower Decks but said that may not be possible due to his workload and the large number of Star Trek series being produced at the same time He suggested that he could oversee some other composers for Lower Decks and the other Star Trek series if Kurtzman asked him to 27 In July Chris Westlake was revealed to be the composer for the series after previously working with McMahan on Solar Opposites 28 McMahan said Westlake s score sounded like a traditional Star Trek score that fit within the fast paced comedic style of Lower Decks 26 Westlake wanted the music to be sincere feeling it was funnier to take the music seriously than to make it comedic This is why the main theme includes a choir Westlake wrote six or seven different main theme ideas for the series that were narrowed down to two a slower more stately theme and a more energetic theme The final theme is between these two 29 Sound Edit Once the animation is completed the last element of the series is the final sound design McMahan noted that the same level of care was applied to the series sound design as its animation in terms of honoring legacy elements from previous Star Trek series Sounds from earlier in the franchise that were studied and replicated include those for existing technology such as the noises made by different phasers the different sounds made when making or receiving a call using a Starfleet badge or the sound of the ships warp core They also include the general room tone of different areas of the ship such as the bridge different hallways and crew quarters 23 General sound design was also required such as for the sound of characters footsteps Once the sound design is completed these sounds are mixed with the voice recordings and score in a final mix for the episodes 26 Release EditStar Trek Lower Decks premiered on August 6 2020 on CBS All Access in the United States 1 19 Like previous All Access Star Trek series each episode of Lower Decks is broadcast in Canada by Bell Media on the same day as the All Access release on the specialty channels CTV Sci Fi Channel English and Z French before streaming on Crave 30 International distribution for the series was not secured by the time of its premiere 31 due to negotiations being impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic 31 In September 2020 ViacomCBS announced that CBS All Access would be expanded and rebranded as Paramount in March 2021 32 Existing episodes of Lower Decks first season will remain on Paramount along with future seasons of the series 33 In December Amazon Prime Video was revealed to have picked up the streaming rights for the series in several territories including Europe Australia New Zealand Japan and India with the first season released on the service on January 22 2021 The series is distributed internationally by ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group 34 The first season was released on DVD and Blu ray from Paramount Home Entertainment on May 18 2021 35 Reception EditCritical response Edit On Rotten Tomatoes the first season holds a 67 approval rating with an average rating of 7 15 10 based on 45 reviews The site s critical consensus reads Fun but not very bold Lower Decks flips the script on Star Trek regulation just enough to stand out in the franchise if not the greater animation landscape 36 Metacritic which uses a weighted average gives it a score of 59 out of 100 based on 17 reviews indicating mixed or average reviews 37 Arab News described the series as taking a more comic approach than other Star Trek adaptations said the show gently mocks many of the series tropes and argued that the visual style is safe and familiar but is far from breaking new ground as an adult animation 38 Accolades Edit Year Award Category Nominee s Result Ref 2021 Critics Choice Super Awards Best Animated Series Star Trek Lower Decks Nominated 39 Best Voice Actor in an Animated Series Jack Quaid NominatedBest Voice Actress in an Animated Series Tawny Newsome Nominated2021 Emmy Awards Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series Half Hour No Small Parts Nominated 40 Aftershow EditMain article The Ready Room A special episode of the CBS All Access Star Trek aftershow The Ready Room hosted by Star Trek The Next Generation actor Wil Wheaton was released following the premiere of Lower Decks 23 Another aftershow episode was released following the sixth episode of the series first season 26 Wheaton hosted a virtual panel for the 2020 New York Comic Con after the series first season finale which was recorded and released as a third aftershow episode for the series 41 References Edit a b c d e f g h i j k l Star Trek Lower Decks Voice Cast and Animated Characters Unveiled at San Diego Comic Con R The Futon Critic July 20 2019 Retrieved January 19 2020 Turnbull Robert January 24 2021 Star Trek Lower Decks Season One Review The Digital Fix Archived from the original on January 25 2021 Retrieved February 21 2021 a b c Del Rosario Alexandra April 5 2021 Star Trek Lower Decks Renewed For Season 3 As Second Season Gets Teaser amp Premiere Date On Paramount Deadline Hollywood Archived from the original on April 6 2021 Retrieved April 5 2021 Shows A Z star trek lower decks on paramount plus The Futon Critic Retrieved September 27 2021 a b Cardona Ian August 12 2020 Star Trek Lower Decks Who Is Ensign Mariner Comic Book Resources Archived from the original on August 14 2020 Retrieved August 15 2020 a b c d e f g h Pascale Anthony July 22 2019 SDCC19 Lower Decks Panel Unveils An Animated Comedy By And For Star Trek Fans TrekMovie com Archived from the original on July 23 2019 Retrieved January 19 2020 Below Deck With Lower Decks Mike McMahan Breaks Down Season One StarTrek com October 9 2020 Archived from the original on November 1 2020 Retrieved December 29 2020 a b c d e f Comic Con 2019 Star Trek Lower Decks Characters and Voice Cast Revealed TrekMovie com July 20 2019 Archived from the original on July 21 2019 Retrieved January 19 2020 Star Trek StarTrek July 27 2020 Meet Ensign Tendi when StarTrekLowerDecks beams in August 6th StarTrek bit ly STLowerDecks Tweet Retrieved July 31 2020 via Twitter Star Trek StarTrek July 27 2020 Ensign Sam Rutherford reporting for duty Star Trek Lower Decks beams in August 6th StarTrekLowerDecks bit ly STLowerDecks Tweet Retrieved July 31 2020 via Twitter a b c d e f g h i Drew Brian August 6 2019 STLV19 Star Trek Lower Decks Panel Talks Second Contacts Cleaning Holodecks And Canon TrekMovie com Archived from the original on August 8 2019 Retrieved January 19 2020 Star Trek October 8 2020 The Ready Room Star Trek Lower Decks Finale Special Facebook Retrieved December 29 2020 Britt Ryan August 27 2021 Lower Decks just fixed Star Trek s biggest canon plot hole Inverse Archived from the original on August 27 2021 Retrieved August 27 2021 Otterson Joe June 19 2018 Alex Kurtzman Sets Five Year CBS TV Studios Pact Will Oversee Expanded Star Trek Universe Variety Archived from the original on July 21 2018 Retrieved July 21 2018 a b c Goldberg Lesley October 25 2018 Star Trek Animated Comedy a Go With 2 Season Order at CBS All Access The Hollywood Reporter Archived from the original on October 25 2018 Retrieved October 25 2018 Alex Kurtzman Talks Discovery Season 2 Arc Klingon Hair And Taking Star Trek To New Places TrekMovie com January 9 2019 Archived from the original on January 28 2019 Retrieved April 1 2019 Pascale Anthony March 24 2020 Star Trek Discovery And Lower Decks Work Continues By Remote TrekMovie com Archived from the original on March 28 2020 Retrieved March 25 2020 a b Kleinman Jake May 8 2020 Rick and Morty s Secret Weapon is Building a Weird Sci Fi Empire Inverse Archived from the original on May 11 2020 Retrieved May 15 2020 a b c Petski Denise July 1 2020 Star Trek Lower Decks Gets August Premiere Date On CBS All Access Teaser Art Unveiled Deadline Hollywood Archived from the original on July 1 2020 Retrieved July 2 2020 a b Wright Matt June 18 2019 Alex Kurtzman Gives Updates On CBS Star Trek TV Franchise TrekMovie com Archived from the original on June 19 2019 Retrieved January 19 2020 Star Trek Author David Mack Is Consulting On Lower Decks And Something Classified TrekMovie com July 9 2019 Archived from the original on December 18 2019 Retrieved January 19 2020 Hibberd James June 18 2020 Star Trek Lower Decks might include favorite Next Generation characters Entertainment Weekly Archived from the original on June 19 2020 Retrieved June 19 2020 a b c d e f Star Trek Lower Decks Premiere Special The Ready Room Facebook August 8 2020 Retrieved August 9 2020 Stowe Dusty July 15 2020 Star Trek Lower Decks USS Cerritos Name Explained Screen Rant Archived from the original on July 17 2020 Retrieved May 22 2021 How To Kill An Hour August 5 2020 Star Trek Lower Decks Mike McMahan 370 How To Kill An Hour YouTube Retrieved December 29 2020 a b c d e Star Trek September 10 2020 Star Trek Lower Decks Mid Season Special The Ready Room Facebook Retrieved December 29 2020 Schweiger Daniel January 24 2020 Interview with Jeff Russo Film Music Magazine Archived from the original on March 28 2020 Retrieved March 28 2020 Chris Westlake Scoring CBS All Access Star Trek Lower Decks Film Music Reporter July 15 2020 Archived from the original on July 17 2020 Retrieved July 25 2020 Britt Ryan October 1 2020 Star Trek Composer Chris Westlake Breaks Down the Bold Audio Easter Eggs in Lower Decks Syfy Wire Archived from the original on October 3 2020 Retrieved December 31 2020 Star Trek Lower Decks Coming To CTV Sci Fi Channel And Crave In Canada TrekMovie com June 23 2020 Archived from the original on June 26 2020 Retrieved June 25 2020 a b Perry Alex August 4 2020 Mike McMahan Explains How the Pandemic Warped Star Trek Lower Decks International Release Planning TrekCore com Archived from the original on August 9 2020 Retrieved August 9 2020 Graham Megan September 15 2020 CBS All Access streaming service is getting a new name Paramount CNBC Archived from the original on September 17 2020 Retrieved September 17 2020 Prosser Keegan January 25 2021 Paramount Promo Unites Star Trek Dora Beavis amp Butt Head and More Comic Book Resources Archived from the original on January 26 2021 Retrieved February 20 2021 Ritman Alex December 17 2020 Amazon Beams Up Star Trek Lower Decks Animated Series for Multiple Territories The Hollywood Reporter Archived from the original on December 18 2020 Retrieved December 18 2020 Lovett Jamie March 2 2021 Star Trek Lower Decks Season One Is Coming to Blu ray ComicBook com Retrieved March 2 2021 Star Trek Lower Decks Season 1 Rotten Tomatoes Retrieved February 18 2021 Star Trek Lower Decks Season 1 Reviews Metacritic Retrieved October 9 2020 Ross Matt January 23 2021 Star Trek Lower Decks explores strange new worlds to great effect Arab News Archived from the original on January 23 2021 Retrieved February 23 2021 Critics Choice Super Awards November 19 2020 Retrieved November 19 2020 Star Trek Discovery And Lower Decks Nominated For 5 Emmys July 13 2021 Retrieved July 13 2021 Ramos Dino Ray September 16 2020 New York Comic Con Sets Panels For Star Trek Discovery Lower Decks And The Stand TrekMovie com Archived from the original on October 10 2020 Retrieved October 11 2020 External links EditOfficial website Star Trek Lower Decks at IMDb Star Trek Lower Decks at Memory Alpha a Star Trek wiki Star Trek Lower Decks Episode Guide Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Star Trek Lower Decks amp oldid 1052930717, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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