Star Trek could soon become a lot wackier, as CBS All Access is developing an animated TV comedy with Rick and Morty writer Mike McMahan. It's going to be all Star Trek all the time on CBS's streaming service, as the network seeks to build on the success of Star Trek: Discovery with a whole slate of shows set in the Trek universe.
Fans of course are most excited about the new Trek show starring Patrick Stewart as iconic captain Jean-Luc Picard, but that series is only part of CBS's plans. The network has in fact already begun rolling out new Trek offerings with their series of short films built around Discovery characters, leading off with "Runaway" featuring Ensign Tilly's encounter with a new alien race. Overall, the plan for All Access is to have Star Trek-related programming running year-round, which of course will require a massive commitment to new content.
Indeed, CBS continues putting new Trek-related content into development with an eye toward turning All Access into heaven for Trekkies. In the latest move, the network has announced they're going forward with an animated Trek series, with Rick and Morty writer and devoted Trek fan Mike McMahan on-board (via TVLine). While most Trek properties deal with the relatively glamorous side of being in Starfleet, the new animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks will instead depict the low-end workers who keep the whole space-faring enterprise afloat, focusing on “the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships.” McMahan explained:
As a life-long Trekkie, it’s a surreal and wonderful dream come true to be a part of this new era of Star Trek. While Star Trek: Lower Decks is a half-hour, animated show at its core, it’s undeniably Trek - and I promise not to add an episode at the very end that reveals the whole thing took place in a training program.
Star Trek: Discovery showrunner and Lower Decks executive producer Alex Kurtzman said they fell in love with McMahan's idea after he explained, "I want to do a show about the people who put the yellow cartridge in the food replicator so a banana can come out the other end." McMahan of course already has loads of experience crafting animated sci-fi that takes a wacky look at the seedier aspects of living in outer space thanks to his work on Adult Swim's acclaimed Rick and Morty. McMahan worked on season 1 of the show, and had a hand in some of the more memorable episodes, including the classics "Lawnmower Dog," "Meeseeks and Destroy" and "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind."
Given CBS's huge commitment to spinning off Star Trek into as many forms as possible, it makes sense that they would go the animated route as well. Of course, Trek already received an animated series back in the seventies with the predictably titled Star Trek: The Animated Series. With McMahan bringing his Rick and Morty sensibilities to the new spinoff Lower Decks, this latest attempt at an animated Star Trek should prove to be a lot funnier (and hopefully less lame) than the previous series.