Friday 19 June 2020

Lower Decks preview images, and other Trek TV updates

At last some new previews of Lower Decks have hit the net today. Continue below to check them out, plus updates from the rest of on-screen Trek:

Entertainment Weekly have released two shiny new stills from Lower Decks, along with an interview with the creator, Mike McMahan, all helping paint a picture of what this new animated comedy series will be like. Behold, our heroes (Beckett Mariner, Tendi, Rutherford, and Brad Boimler) , seemingly in a more relaxed moment:

Note (on the right) Boimler's shoes; the Starfleet branding department seem to have gone all out on that colourful footwear, with Starfleet deltas on the soles!

This next shot is from a more action packed moment, involving black and pink goo!

Looks like rows of biobeds in the background. Could this be Doctor T’Ana's (the Caitian), sickbay? Joining Lieutenant Shaxs (the Bajoran) and Captain Carol Freeman with the Doctor and most of our ensigns, we also have a new Trill character - Ensign Barnes played by Jessica McKenna, according to TrekMovie.

Some of the details are of note: Our first look at the TNG style phaser carrying over into this series. And it looks like the uniforms open up with a flap like the TOS movie era uniforms; per Mariner's jacket being open. Although also seem to have the TOS uniform ripping issue in the case of Shaxs!

In the interview, Mahan explained the approach to comedy in the series:
The big stories are happening in the bridge crew and there's more kind of social-emotional stories happening to the Lower Deckers. So it's like their job and the world they're in get affected by these sci-fi stories. But the funny thing too is that whatever menial job you have to do in Star Trek, it might be something that they do every day, but it's still sort of a fascinating look into stuff that happens onboard that haven't been highlighted in another series. So instead of being on the turbolift — the elevators in Trek — our guys are repairing the turbolift. We also spend a lot of time in the bar. You'll also see the Lower Deckers go on away missions doing things that the bridge crew doesn't have to deal with.
He also outlined the character of Captain Freeman:
She is sort of trying to do this balancing act that all captains do, where they demand respect and are admired and trusted by the crew, but then they also kind of have to be the bad guy. And a thing we play with a lot is that the Lower Deckers don't always get all the information they're delegated to, but they don't get to have a voice and they don't get to know the context a lot of the time.
And hinted at possible cameos in this post-TNG era series:
There are a lot of recognizable characters in the galaxy at that point. Next Gen is my favorite era. And as a huge Trek fan, I would definitely want to try to use some of them so that I could not only build out the world, but also work with some of my heroes. But I can't get more specific than that. You'll have to wait and see.

In other Trek TV news, a couple of the editors working on Discovery have been tweeting recently, revealing one of them has completed his work on the forthcoming third season, but that the team at large is still at work (so not quite ready for us yet):

Looking further ahead, Jason Issacs (Crecently appeared on the Empire podcast (spotted by TrekMovie), and seemed to suggest he's been talking with production people about the possibly of returning to Trek as prime-Lorca:
Where is prime-Lorca? Well, I admit that we talk. It's not like when Mirror Lorca bit the bullet; there wasn't a clamouring for where's prime-Lorca. But the thing is, it has got to be a great story. Pike is already there! We know what he is like, we've seen him, he's great. We don't know who prime-Lorca is. If he's mirror-Lorca's Frank Spencer-like cousin, then nobody wants to spend time with him. He's going to have to be as interesting, as ballsy, and you've got to find him a ship, and find him a context to bring him into a story. So we talk, and when and if we come up with something we think is fabulous I will happily go on a starvation diet required to slip into the snakeskin uniform again.

There's also a little update from Picard, via co-creator, writer, director, and executive producer Akiva Goldsman, who recently told IndieWire:
I am on a Zoom call in an hour with Terry Matalas and Kirsten Beyer and Michael Chabon and we will be bashing through some continuity issues we are having between episodes three and four in the script phase. Yeah, we're in it. We have room that is up and running; we have broken the season; we are closer to halfway through the scripts than not. We really loved doing it, and we feel really lucky to do it, and we feel kind of like season one was getting read, you know, and now season two is let's go.
He also hinted at possible things to come in the second season, including maybe more Starfleet:
We knew that bringing in that fleet was a little bit of a promise, and so we tried to be thoughtful about it. Especially as we go forward, we're going to start making statements about really what the world of Starfleet, at least technologically if not socially and culturally … These are the things that are likely to get a little bit more play than they did [in Season 1] in what was essentially a story about somebody who is outside of Starfleet.
Plus the possibility of Brent Spinner returning, as Alton Soong:
We wanted to feather in the possibility of more. And we knew we were letting Data go. We knew that this Soong character had been in our head canon when it came to the season anyway, but you-know, we want more Brent, and we wanted to create a platform for which there could be more Brent in ensuing seasons.
He also reflected back on Spinner as Data, revealing the final virtual reality scene between Picard and Data was at one point going to be an entire episode on it's own:
At one point it was going to be a whole episode. At one point it was going to be a play, that was just going to be the two of them, for all of episode nine. 
Damn! That would have been an incredible and bold change of pace and format for the closing chapter - Imagine the previous episode, leading into that scene as a standalone, could have just ended in Picard being dead!

To keep track of all the latest Trek TV news, have a look back through my TV tag. And for updates from each of the series, have a look back through my DiscoveryPicard, Lower Decks, and Strange New Worlds tags, for previews, behind the scenes, tie-in fiction, and other merchandise updates.

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