If you got Paramount+ and love Star Trek, you probably watched the first season of Lower Decks when it premiered last year. The animated series, focused on the support crew of the USS Cerritos, premiered a trailer for its upcoming second season at a “Second Contact” panel held during Star Trek’s virtual First Contact Day convention. Even better? They're officially making Season 3!
From blasting rainbows out of their hands to fighting snake people, ensigns Mariner (Tawny Newsome), Tendi (Noël Wells), and Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) are indeed up to doing more “sci-fi stuff” for the new season. The final member of the Cerritos quartet, Jack Quaid’s Boimler, got transferred to the USS Titan at the end of Season 1, and it’s going.... well, it’s going. Certainly looks stressful for our former Chosen One, and his doubts about his new gig are something we’ll see play out over the course of the season. Those doubts, and Jonathan Frakes’ Riker, will return for Season 2.
Lower Decks stands out in the series for many reasons, especially as it’s Star Trek’s first foray into comedy. During a panel featuring Frakes, Brent Spiner, and Decks showrunner Mike McMahan, the trio, plus Wil Wheaton and Paul F. Tompkins, talked about the laughs in the franchise. Humor’s always been in the series, however, and Frakes openly admitted that he, Spiner, and Patrick Stewart were influenced by Kirk, Spock, and Bones in the original series. To Spiner, the spirit of the original trio was prevalent in his series. “The characters [of The Next Generation] appreciated each other’s humor,” Spiner also recalled.
Humor can be hard, especially if the humor isn’t using anyone as a target. That’s what McMahan believes, and he would know: he co-created Solar Opposites for Hulu. Prior to that, he worked on Rick & Morty, and both shows have a decidedly crude bent towards their respective sci-fi riffings. That “nice” humor, the kind that’s come to define Lower Decks, is what he thinks has helped the franchise endure for so long. “You never went to a well of being mean or punching down,” he told his fellow panelists. “The things that were funny were coming from such an innocent place...it never broke Star Trek.”
Star Trek: Lower Decks begins its weekly run of new episodes starting on Aug. 12 on Paramount+. Stay tuned to SYFY WIRE for more coverage from First Contact Day.