Star Trek Lower Decks pilot

Star Trek: Lower Decks marks a return to animation for the Star Trek franchise for the first time since the 1970s, and the very first overtly comedic series in the franchise’s history. If you’re wondering what all the hype has been about, you can watch the first episode for free on YouTube right now.

Rick and Morty writer and Solar Opposites co-creator Mike McMahan created the CBS All Access series, which basically ignores prominent members of a starship like captains, communications officers, and science officers and instead focuses on the lower-level Federation employees who don’t typically take part in any of the “real” action. Check out the episode below.

Star Trek: Lower Decks Pilot

The first episode hit CBS All Access on August 6, and the second episode lands on the streaming service today. The first season is made up of ten episodes.

“I’m never gonna write a serious Star Trek, so the way that we handled it is it’s on a ship that isn’t the capital ship,” McMahan explained to us in a recent interview. “It’s not about the bridge crew. It’s about the lowest officers on that ship. But when we’re breaking stories for the lower decks, every episode also has a proper Star Trek episode that’s happening to the bridge crew, and our lower deckers aren’t involved in it. However, you can’t have a big sci-fi thing happening on a starship and not have it affect them because that’s their whole world. So if you’re watching Lower Decks, you’re getting a full Star Trek episode from the perspective of people who are having their own social and emotional stories and their own sci-fi stories, but they just aren’t on the bridge. They don’t have the information the bridge is getting, and they don’t have the responsibility.”

And as you can see, the show is pretty damn funny. (I especially dug the scene in which utter chaos breaks out in the mess hall, but two characters continue their date as if nothing is wrong.) This is the first animated Trek show since Star Trek: The Animated Series, which only ran for one season from 1973-1974. Here’s hoping McMahan is able to keep this one afloat for much longer, because he’s zeroed in on a killer premise here. I can’t wait to see the rest of the season.

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