A new report indicates the Star Trek Universe will add a new half-hour long animated comedy called Star Trek: Lower Decks. The series is being developed by Rick and Morty writer Mike McMahan and is expected to focus on the support staff of a lesser known Star Fleet vessel.
The series will be available on CBS All Access and has reportedly been green lighted for two seasons and a half. It will also be the first animated series on the streaming service.
Lower Decks has been a fan desire and concept for many years. Star Trek: The Next Generation had a very similar premise with one of its season seven episodes titled “Lower Decks.” That episode told the story of four junior officers aboard the USS Enterprise, and their perspective of the ship’s missions. It’s something the Star Trek franchise rarely does.
Co-Executive Producer Aaron Baiers had nothing but positive things to say about bringing Rick and Morty writer Mike McMahan into the project:
“Mike won our hearts with his first sentence: ‘I want to do a show about the people who put the yellow cartridge in the food replicator so a banana can come out the other end.
He also revealed McMahan’s passion for the franchise:
“His cat’s name is Riker. His son’s name is Sagan. The man is committed. He’s brilliantly funny and knows every inch of every ‘Trek’ episode, and that’s his secret sauce: he writes with the pure, joyful heart of a true fan. As we broaden the world of ‘Trek’ to fans of all ages, we’re so excited to include Mike’s extraordinary voice.”
Mike McMahan was very positive about the announcement. He pointed to his lifelong love for the franchise as a “Trekkie” as well as how a show in this format is Star Trek at its core:
“As a life-long Trekkie, it’s a surreal and wonderful dream come true to be a part of this new era of ‘Star Trek. While ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ is a half-hour, animated show at its core, it’s undeniably ‘Trek’ – and I promise not to add an episode at the very end that reveals the whole thing took place in a training program.”
This isn’t the first time McMahan’s passion landed him a job regarding Star Trek. Back in 2011 he started a Twitter account that posted episode plots for an eighth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The plots were obviously fake, but they caught the attention of Simon & Schuster, who hired McMahan to write a guide for the fake eighth season, Star Trek: The Next Generation: Warped: An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season.
Executive Vice President of Original Content for CBS All Access, Julie McNamara echoed the excitement behind the new animated series:
“We couldn’t have imagined a better creative team to work with on CBS All Access’ first original animated series than Mike McMahan, Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment. …“’Star Trek: Lower Decks’ is a fantastic complement to our growing lineup of original series and our ongoing expansion of the ‘Star Trek’ universe on CBS All Access.”
This new series is one of many that are currently in the pipeline for CBS All Access. CBS previously announced an upcoming series focusing on Picard that will see the return of Sir Patrick Stewart to the role of Jean-Luc Picard.
There is also a show reportedly focused on Starfleet Academy with creators Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz attached to it. There is also a mini-series focused on The Wrath of Khan.
Star Trek: Lower Decks will be produced in-house by CBS Eye Animation Productions. They will work in tandem with Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment to bring Lower Decks to life.
Star Trek: Lower Decks has some big shoes to fill. This will be only the second venture into the animated world for the franchise. The first time was back in 1973 with Star Trek: The Animated Series.
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