While “Star Trek” and “animated workplace comedy” might seem like an unlikely hybrid, that’s exactly what’s coming to CBS All Access on August 6 with “Star Trek: Lower Decks.” The 10-episode first season is created by Mike McMahan, formerly the head writer of the Adult Swim phenomenon and Emmy-winning series “Rick and Morty.” McMahan also co-created the Hulu series “Solar Opposites.” Check out the first trailer for “Star Trek: Lower Decks” below.
McMahan already has plenty of experience in the “Star Trek” universe as the mastermind behind the popular TNG Season 8 Twitter account, which imagined what “Star Trek: The Next Generation” might’ve looked like had the series continued, and it even spawned a spinoff book of its own in 2015. (Hypothetical episode logline for that non-existent Season 8: “A subspace rumple disables the Enterprise and blinds the crew. Data & Geordi’s plan to build the perfect girlfriend backfires explosively.”) “Star Trek: Lower Decks” is now the third spinoff to debut exclusively on CBS All Access out of the sci-fi franchise, including “Star Trek: Discovery” as well as “Star Trek: Picard.” There are more shows to come from the renaissance, including “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.” CBS All Access also hosts an anthology of short films related to the “Star Trek” world called “Short Treks.”
According to the official synopsis, “Lower Decks” will focus “on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships, the U.S.S. Cerritos, in 2380. Ensigns Mariner, Boimler, Rutherford, and Tendi have to keep up with their duties and their social lives, often while the ship is being rocked by a multitude of sci-fi anomalies.” The voice cast includes Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid, Noël Wells, Eugene Cordero, Dawnn Lewis, and Jerry O’Connell. The series will air on CBS All Access on Thursdays.
CBS All Access already has ordered a second season of “Lower Decks,” and back in March, production on the series went remote amid the pandemic. Development on “Lower Decks” began as early as 2018. It’s the first animated series from “Star Trek” since “Star Trek: The Animated Series,” which ran briefly in 1973 through 1974.
“Star Trek” franchise executive producer Alex Kurtzman said, “If you watch ‘Rick and Morty’ you will see that it is deeply influenced by ‘Star Trek,’ which is really wonderful. It’s just a very different tone. The key is to laugh with ‘Star Trek’ and not at ‘Star Trek.’ And it will skew slightly more adult.”