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Star Trek: Lower Decks’ showrunner on the 'Deep Space Nine' surprises we got this week
SYFY WIRE talked with the Star Trek: Lower Decks showrunner about how that Deep Space Nine episode all came together, including those cameos.
Season 3 of Star Trek: Lower Decks has been a whirlwind of a ride for the crew of the U.S.S. Cerritos. And while the California Class starship has traveled a fair amount in its first two seasons, the latest episode, “Hear All, Trust Nothing,” has the crew heading to a place that will tickle the fancy of many a Trekkie.
This episode is the previously promised Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, where the Lower Deckers get to walk on the promenade of the space station we haven’t seen on-screen in years.
SYFY WIRE talked with Lower Decks showrunner Mike McMahan about how this episode came to be, including how certain actors readily got into their Star Trek roles once again. Read on for that discussion though be warned:
**There are spoilers below for Lower Decks’ sixth episode of Season 3, “Hear All, Trust Nothing”***
McMahan is a massive Deep Space Nine fan, so the dream of having a Lower Decks episode on the station was something he’s wanted to do since the show’s inception.
It was also something he wanted to do with the utmost respect for DS9. “I wanted it to feel like a Lower Decks episode but also like you're getting one more bonus mini-adventure on Deep Space Nine that feels like Deep Space Nine,” he told SYFY WIRE. “We're not tearing down anything about Deep Space Nine — we're only adding a tiny little extra dessert to it, that feeling like, ‘Oh, Christmas is over, but there's one more stocking stuffer I didn't know I had!’ That's the kind of feeling I wanted to have.”
One way to give the episode that Deep Space Nine feeling was to have some of the show’s stars come back and play their Trek roles once more. To that end, “Hear All, Trust Nothing” featured Kira (Nana Visitor) and Quark (Armin Shimerman), who both have some run-ins with the Lower Deckers.
McMahan was careful, however, to have these cameos serve the story. “I wanted the ones to be there to be the ones that made sense to be there,” he explained. “I would have loved to have worked with Rene Auberjonois — I'm such a fan of his and I'm such an Odo fan and I really felt that loss. He would have been my first dream character to be on there. And obviously O'Brien as well — the show has already made its point that he’s the original Lower Decker.”
McMahan, however, was going off what the writers in the Deep Space Nine documentary, What We Left Behind, said they thought the station would be like in the Lower Decks time.
“Having Kira there made a ton of sense,” he said, based on that analysis. “And then just I love Quark and we've already involved his franchises in the show, so I knew I had to see Quark.”
McMahan admitted he was “geeking out so hard” when Visitor and Shimerman came in to record their parts. Shimerman, according to McMahan, “might have the only scream that's funnier than Jack Quaid’s,” and the actor also put in his Quark teeth when recording to get the voice right.
“We were also balancing this thing where they had to be the characters they played for so many years, but they also had to be a faster, funnier, version of them," he said. "Seeing them navigate that for the first time, and getting to see them play those characters for the first time in a long time … I was like God, what are we doing? This is such a dream.”
New episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks drop on Paramount+ on Thursdays.
Looking for more sci-fi TV? Check out shows like Resident Alien, Brave New World, Project Blue Book, Eureka, Heroes, Intergalactic, and more streaming now on Peacock.