For the first time in nearly 40 years, the Star Trek Universe will be inhabited by an animated show — Star Trek: Lower Decks. This new show will follow the adventures of characters who are not in the thick of the fight, or the tip of the spear or on a ship called Discovery, Voyager, or Enterprise.
Much like the British soap opera Downton Abbey (and its predecessor Upstairs Downstairs), Lower Decks will explore the world of the folks who work at the levels beneath the command staff. The show, created by Mike McHahan (who was a writer and producer for Rick and Morty), is supposed to actually be in the Trek canon! To be sure that it stays on ‘Trek’ track, the show’s executive producers are Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin.
THE CREW OF THE U.S.S. CERRITOS
For starters, we have Ensign Beckett Mariner, who will be voiced by Tawny Newsome. Newsome is a known as a comedian, appearing as Chelsea Leight-Leigh in the Seeso Original series Bajillion Dollar Propertie$, as Nina in the upcoming Comedy Get Down on BET, and many other humor-driven productions on and off TV.
The curious thing about her character, Beckett Mariner, is that she’s pictured holding a Klingon Bat’leth… which cannot be by coincidence. Perhaps Mariner is part of the security team on her ship… or perhaps she’s into alien weapons. Either way, the inclusion of this weapon brings up many questions, which can only be answered by the show itself — or a massive script leak.
If you happen to catch the Amazon Prime series, The Boys, then you’re familiar with some of Jack Quaid’s work. Quaid is the son of actors Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan, and can channel the young, awkward, and unsure voice very well. Interestingly, Brent Spiner credits his high school drama teacher for giving him the acting bug. This same guy would also inspire Dennis Quaid to act. Coincidence?
Regardless, as you can see by this still image, Ensign Brad Boimler looks like he’s chickening out of something already. Perfect for Jack’s voice.
COOL! Someone with green skin! Right away, fans wondered if Ensign Tendi would be an Orion (the same race featured in the original Star Trek pilot episode, “The Cage”). Tendi will be voiced by Noël Wells, who is an accomplished actress, comedian, director, musician, and writer. Her debut album, “IT’S SO NICE,” came out in August, and she’ll be touring this fall in support.
In all fairness, Tendi might just be suffering from some sort of radiation poisoning or something. She might not be an Orion girl. But it sure would be cool if the producers pulled this character/race out of the canon and breathed it new life.
Yep. I agree. Ensign Rutherford reminds me of Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Geordi La Forge, with that interesting gizmo over his eyes and ears. BUT — who else grabs normal Starfleet folk and turns them into implanted techno-baddies? That’s right! The Borg! Could Ensign Rutherford be a human who escaped from the Borg? On a standard Trek series, like Voyager, this could lead to complications. But on an animated Trek show, I think it might lead to hilarious, slapstick situations, not unlike what Cyborg deals with on Teen Titans.
In real life, Eugene Cordero is an actor and writer, known for Kong: Skull Island, The Kings of Summer, and The Mule. We hear that he demanded a working tricorder before he’d officially sign on to do Lower Decks. Just kidding.
The cast is rounded out by the talents of Dawnn Lewis, who plays the Cerritos‘ Captain Carol Freeman, Jerry O’Connell brings Commander Jack Ransom to life, Dr. T’Ana will be voiced by Gillian Vigman, and Lieutenant Shaxs will be voiced by Fred Tatasciore.
Star Trek: Lower Decks will air on CBS: All Access in 2020, and will feature a 10 episode season.
Photos courtesy of CBS