The next Star Trek series will be warping into our sector very, very soon. The animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks finally has a release date. On August 6, 2020, the new series from Mike McMahan will air Thursdays on CBS All Access.
CBS also shared the first image of Lower Decks' new starship, the USS Cerritos, which should give any fan of The Next Generation some serious '90s vibes. Did you notice the Easter egg hidden in the poster? If you were a Trekkie who bought official tie-in magazines, there's a special message there just for you.
Now that CBS has confirmed the release date for Lower Decks, we're learning a bit more about the show itself. Here's the official synopsis:
Developed by Emmy Award winner Mike McMahan (“Rick and Morty,” “Solar Opposites”), 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. The Starfleet crew residing in the “lower decks” of the U.S.S. Cerritos, includes “Ensign Beckett Mariner,” voiced by Tawny Newsome, “Ensign Brad Boimler,” voiced by Jack Quaid, “Ensign Tendi,” voiced by Noël Wells and “Ensign Rutherford,” voiced by Eugene Cordero. The Starfleet characters that comprise the ship’s bridge crew include “Captain Carol Freeman,” voiced by Dawnn Lewis, “Commander Jack Ransom,” voiced by Jerry O’Connell, “Lieutenant Shaxs,” voiced by Fred Tatasciore and “Doctor T’Ana,” voiced by Gillian Vigman.
The new series is poised to give a slightly more meta take on the world of the Final Frontier, one that promises to be both funny and respectful of the source material. In other words, don't worry, this show isn't going to make fun of Star Trek, but instead, remind all of us why we love it in the first place.
The show's poster is proof. The USS Cerritos looks very much like a starship from the era of The Next Generation, Voyager, and Deep Space Nine. This makes sense, given that Lower Decks is set in the post-2379 era, after Nemesis, but before Picard. So, Starfleet should look vaguely how we remembered it in the '90s and very early '00s. Which is why a specific Easter egg in this image is so wonderful. Did you spot it?
If you look closely, you'll see the new promo image for Lower Decks is made to look like a once-folded poster for Lower Decks. We checked with CBS. This is intentional!
If you were a Star Trek fan from roughly 1987 (the year TNG came out) through the '90s heyday of the franchise, there's a good chance you remember tacking up posters just like this one in your room. All kinds of '90s geek merch had these kinds of posters, including several Star Trek toys, magazines, and even video games. Most of the official tie-in magazines came with fold-out posters. Every. Single. Time.
For example, here's a vintage TNG poster (for sale on eBay) from the Super NES Star Trek game circa 1994. Same creases!
This also might be a reference to the late-80s Cheerios promotion where you could try to win a walk-on role on The Next Generation, and send away for a really sick Enterprise poster that looked just like the one Picard had in his Ready Room. Yes, dear reader, my sister and I had that poster when we were kids, and it too had those telltale creases.
Oh, and look, it's me, the writer of this piece, in my room when I was 11 in 1993, and yes, that is a Lt. Jadzia Dax poster behind me, and you better believe it was unfolded from an official Deep Space Nine magazine.
This small Easter egg from Lower Decks bodes well for longtime fans hoping for a little bit of comfort food. If this series is wise enough to slip in something from our childhoods in a promotional image, imagine what the show is going to be like.
Lower Decks hits CBS All Access on August 6.