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Star Trek: Lower Decks sets up Season 2 with Jonathan Frakes(?!) at NYCC 2020
Star Trek: Lower Decks wrapped up its first season on CBS All Access today — airing the finale, "No Small Parts" — but fans shouldn't fear for the humble crew members of the U.S.S. Cerritos: not only do they have a second season on the way, the cast and showrunner have stopped by to unpack all the hilarious madness of that episode. And there's one very special guest for Trekkies that happens to stop by towards the end.
**This panel contains spoilers for the S1 finale of Star Trek: Lower Decks**
Mariner's secret was revealed, the ship was attacked by a Pakled fleet, Rutherford's all messed up, and Lieutenant Shaxs is actually dead! Isn't this show a comedy? And what's next for Boimler and Mariner?
Not to worry, show creator Mike McMahan and stars Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid, Eugene Cordero, Noël Wells, Dawnn Lewis, Jerry O’Connell, Fred Tatasciore, and Gillian Vigman sat down at the show's New York Comic Con 2020 panel to provide answers. The ensemble returned for a very special episode of its official aftershow, The Ready Room, hosted by (who else?) Wil Wheaton.
Check it out:
"What I didn't realize," McMahan said, "is how much I was gonna love the home base, family feeling of the Cerritos. I think that when you see the final episode — the first season has clicked into place, who everybody is and what we love about these characters — and I'm really proud of not only the comedy that we made, but also the Star Trek show we made."
Newsome and Lewis touched on the twist with their characters: that Mariner is actually the Captain's daughter. "Like any mother and daughter, their relationship is like a head-on collision," Lewis said. "I feel like I'm the preacher and she's the preacher's kid. The preacher's kid is always the worst kid in the church."
Newsome, who gaffes by calling her character's mom "Carol" (a big no-no), also touched on the "frustrating" position that the secret put their characters in: "Watching that play out over the season — I love watching the fans who aren't sure who knows as the episodes would air. I would notice fans be like, 'Okay well, does Ransom know, or does Boimler know?' And so the fact that by the tenth episode, the fact that it's this big reveal for the whole crew is my favorite."
Quaid asked McMahan to make Boimler "a good guy" after the character left his friends for a promotion, citing that he's still probably got doubts in the back of his mind. Tatasciore also touched on Shaxs' death, which the voice actor cited as perfectly fitting for the character: "Even when he was blowing up the ship, he still had someone in a headlock...and cackling." Cordero pitched the idea that Shaxs could return via Rutherford's implant. Memory is a strange thing.
If that wasn't enough, Trek legend Jonathan Frakes surprised everyone by dropping in unannounced partway through the panel. Riker himself, who showed up in Lower Decks, talked about his cameo as Riker, who swoops in to save the day with his high-tech new ship. "Mike McMahan made it happen," Frakes said. "We're at a sushi bar in Toronto and he asked me if I wanted to be on the show. I said 'Of course I want to be on the show.' Then when we got into the studio, he encouraged me to do what I've wanted to do for 35 years, which is let Riker be a wild, insane character."
And don't worry, McMahan promised that fans "will be seeing Riker again at the beginning of next season." Star Trek: Lower Decks will have a second season coming to CBS All Access in the not-too-far future.
Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of New York Comic Con Metaverse 2020.