There were many announcements made during the Star Trek panel at San Diego’s Comic Con. In addition to the large reveal of Patrick Stewart in the new Picard series, Trekkies were treated to a reveal for the Short Treks series. According to Alex Kurtzman, it will feature characters and elements you wouldn’t normally see, such as tribbles causing more trouble. He also announced there will be 6 of these shorts and presented a teaser. Two of the six will be animated. The last short will give a background to Jean-Luc 15 years before the series.
Another series that was teased was something by Mike McMahan, creator of Rick and Morty, called Star Trek: Lower Decks. As one might expect, it is a comedic take on the Star Trek Universe, but not at all in a demeaning way. In face, McMahan claimed that each episode will feel like a real Star Trek episode. It all started when McMahan, an avid Trekkie himself, began sending fake loglines on Twitter. These tweets were turned into a book, explaining what happens on the lower decks of the ship. Jerry O’Connell described it as “the Downton Abbey of Star Trek.”
Set in the year 2380, the series will be a half hour animated comedy that focuses on four ensigns who serve on a non-important ship on the Starfleet. The cast will be on a new ship class called the “California Class” aboard U.S.S. Cerritos.
The main characters are Tawny Newsome, who plays Ensign Beckett Mariner, a misfit who had been demoted. Jack Quaid plays Ensign Brad Boimler, who, unlike Kadin, is by the book. He wants to be a captain but gets in his own way. Noel Wells plays Ensign Tendi, who is super motivated about being on Star fleet. Lastly, Eugene Cordero voices Ensign Rutherford, an engineer with a cyborg implant on eye, which he just got and is still working out how to use it. The bridge crew will consist of Doctor T’Ana, voiced by Gillian Vigman, Jerry O’Connell as Commander Ransom, Dawnn Lewis as Captain Freeman, and Fred Tatasciore as Lieutenant Shaxs.
Concerning the aim of the series, McMahan added that although the goal was to reach a younger audience, there will still be inside jokes for Trekkies. The stories are humanistic, focused on regular work life on the ship and dealing with the social and emotional aspects that come with it.
Secret Hideout will be producing the series along with Eye Animation Productions, a division of CBS Television Studios, and Roddenberry Entertainment. Mike McMahan, Alex Kurtzman, Heather Kadin, Trevor Roth and Katie Krentz will all executive produce the series.
The 10-episode series will air exclusively on CBS All Access worldwide in 2020 for its first season.
During the Hall H panel, it was also announced that Tawny Newsome will be hosting a Star Trek podcast “Prime Directive: The Official Star Trek Podcast.” According to a press release, the podcast will be official with behind-the-scenes professionals of the Star Trek franchise and take an insightful view on all Trek-related topics. The discussions will be thought-provoking and explore all 50 years of the franchise’s legacy for all levels of fandom from beginners to full-on, hardcore Trekkies. It will be available on podcasting apps this fall or via startrek.com. Make it so.