The Final Frontier Gets the Rick and Morty Treatment in Star Trek: Lower Decks

Aaron Katzmarek

Calling all Trekkies! On Thursday, August 6th, a new and entirely animated Star Trek show will drop on CBS All Access. Star Trek: Lower Decks looks to be the lighter side of the Star Trek franchise, focusing mostly on the areas of the ship inhabited by the under characters who usually are the first to be vaporized on away missions. It’s written and produced by Mike McMahan, who had his fingers and toes all up in the highly regarded Rick and Morty animated series.

Wait… Rick and Morty?  And Star Trek

That’s correct, my fellow sci-fi aficionados, we have a juxtaposition of two universes, combined, mixed, and baked to a wonderful golden-brown controversy casserole. The online chatter is mostly negative, causing the studio to deactivate comments and remove the like/unlike feature on the trailer uploaded to YouTube. Initial response was very poor indeed, as most Trek fans were extremely disappointed that Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s revered universe was being bastardized in such a fashion.  

The trailer looks like pretty standard fare for today’s animated series geared for Gen X: mix the slapstick humor with some sexual hilarity and toss in some violence and hit puree. Add ice, if desired. It’s a largely forgettable preview, and the lack of star power or appeal in the cast is bound to be a barrier to drumming up initial support. I will mention here that Tawny Newsome, who voices Ensign Mariner, had a large role in a Steve Carell creation called Space Force (Netflix), a show I enjoyed immensely. She was excellent.

I can understand the public outcry and outrage from hardcore Trek fans, as this series seems so far removed from even the basic premise of the original shows. Lower Decks also doesn’t appear at first glance to be anything noteworthy to everyday folks just looking for funny cartoons. This will predictably result in failure due to lack of an established audience, and piss plenty of Star Trek purists off to boot. Yikes.  

‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ focuses on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships, the U.S.S. Cerritos, in 2380. Ensigns Mariner, Boimler, Rutherford and Tendi have to keep up with their duties and their social lives, often while the ship is being rocked by a multitude of sci-fi anomalies.

Star Trek: Lower Decks stars sci-fi veteran Jerry O’Connell as the voice of Commander Ramson. Other voice talents include Eugene Cordero (Kong: Skull Island,The Mule) and Jack Quaid (Hunger Games, Logan Lucky).

Star Trek: Lower Decks premieres August 6th, only on CBS All Access.

 

Image courtesy of CBS

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You can follow Katz on Twitter @AaronKatzmarek

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