The main characters of Star Trek: Lower Decks standing ground in a hall and pointing phasers.

Comic-Con 2020: Things We Learned About Star Trek: Lower Decks

The premiere of Star Trek: Lower Decks, an animated comedy series that follows the support crew on the U.S.S. Cerritos in 2380, is just around the corner! Before we dive into this new adventure, I gathered up all of the exciting details from the ComicCon@Home panel.

To start off, the crew and cast want people to know you don’t need to watch Star Trek regularly or know the world incredibly well in order for you to enjoy Lower Decks. While the show can be exciting for established fans, it’s also made for people who enjoy animation or dark comedies. And who knows? It might even tempt you to watch other Star Trek content.

Another thing to know about Lower Decks is it takes place during the Star Trek: The Next Generation era, specifically after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). The Cerritos itself isn’t considered a super important ship with equally super important missions, mainly because the ship and her crew are responsible for what’s now known as second contacts. First contact between the Federation and a warp-capable civilization is exciting and goes down in history, but nobody really thinks about what comes after. That’s where the Cerritos comes in. They make sure things are running smoothly.

Complications will arise, of course, so it’ll be exciting to see the characters tackle those challenges and more in humorous ways. That said, showrunner and Executive Producer Mike McMahan emphasized Lower Decks will keep the traditional ethical approach while trying to keep things fresh and new at the same time.

Characters of Lower Decks

Ensign Beckett Mariner (voiced by Tawny Newsome) is not your ordinary ensign. She’s kind of kooky, doesn’t play by the rules, and comes across as overly enthusiastic, but Newsome attributes those qualities to her being smart and ahead of the game, “It’s kind of like, when you’re the class clown because you are ahead of the lesson in school, type of a thing.”

According to Jack Quaid, his character, Ensign Brad Boimler, is the “ultimate Starfleet nerd.” This means he’s the opposite of Mariner because he follows the rules and goes by the book. He’s also obsessed with rank and moving up the ladder. It’ll be interesting to see how Mariner and Boimler collide and potentially find common ground, since they seem to be on opposite ends of each other.

Ensign Sam Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) is a cyborg. Unlike others who might struggle with their cybernetic components, especially if those artificial parts came as a result of an accident, Rutherford is “all about the tech talk” and loves the fact that he’s half mechanical.

Ensign D’Vana Tendi (Noël Wells) boards the Cerritos with a fresh pair eyes. Despite being brand new, she knows how to keep calm under pressure. When there isn’t a crisis, however, she keeps an upbeat attitude and feels excited about pretty much everything. She’s the more optimistic one in the group, making her a perfect fit for the medical bay.

Dawnn Lewis described Captain Carol Freeman as someone who takes herself very seriously, but she also said, “As the captain, I never feel confident, and I never feel in command. I always feel like I’m talking for talk-sake, and people are just going to do whatever they’re going to do anyway.” Lewis additionally explained how her character constantly tries to keep Mariner in line because this particular ensign has a tendency to undermine her. At some point in the season, Freeman comes up with a plan to promote Mariner because working is the last thing she wants to do. I don’t know about everyone else, but I can’t wait to see how that plan quickly falls apart!

Commander Jack Ransom (Jerry O’Connell) is Freeman’s Number One. According to O’Connell, Ransom has a short fuse and he’s not an easy person to work for, but he ultimately cares about Starfleet.

Shaxs (Fred Tatasciore) is a Bajoran lieutenant who comes on too strongly. Tatasciore said his character “comes in at full force.” He’s the type to shoot first and ask questions later. Shaxs is also a no-nonsense kind of character with a chip on his shoulder.

Last but not least, Gillian Vigman voices the Caitian Doctor T’Ana. She is the head medical officer, and while she’s extremely curious and great at solving medical mysteries, T’Ana has a rough beside manner. That’s partly due to the bad-tempered and bitter side of her personality. At the end of the day, though, she loves to dig in and get to the heart of the problem.

One last detail mentioned during the panel? “I know we got a lot of cool mileage out of [the holodeck] in the first season,” said Quaid. The holodeck is one of those sci-fi technologies we all wish we had, and even though we’re not there yet in our own reality, it’ll be fun to see how it’s used in animated form.

The good thing is we don’t have to wait too long! Star Trek: Lower Decks will be available on CBS All Access starting August 6.

Featured Image: CBS Television Studios

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