Though the basic concept for the upcoming ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks‘ has been floating around fandom since the eponymous episode of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ aired in 1994, the show’s announcement still managed to be one of the more surprising to come out of the push CBS is currently making to bolster their All Access streaming service by expanding the franchise. That’s because it’s animated. True, ‘Star Trek’ has ventured into the animated realm before, but it’s always been an aberration in a predominantly live-action franchise
Speaking with ComicBook.com at the TCAs, ‘Star Trek’ head honcho Alex Kurtzman offered an update of sorts on the show. Though he spoke only in general terms, his statement does give us a sense of when the show might debut. It’s hardly an official release window. More an acknowledgment of the production time that animation demands. Nonetheless, Kurtzman all but confirms that the earliest we’ll see the show is sometime next year.
“Animation, it takes a year. It’s actually very much like what we’re doing on our shows because of the visual effects component. It takes a year from writing the script, doing the animation, getting it back, refining it. So, we don’t ever want to rush anything out until it’s perfectly ready. And the beautiful thing about streaming is we don’t have to. We get to keep doing it until we all love it, and then you get to watch. And hopefully you’ll love it too.”
Beyond ‘Lower Decks’, Kurtzman has been keen to expand ‘Star Trek’ into the animated realm more generally. We’ve known for a while that more animated projects are on the horizon, but their exact nature has been shrouded in mystery. In that same TCA chat, however, Kurtzman confirmed that at least one of them would be another full-fledged animated series. This one, however, will be somewhat different from ‘Lower Decks’.
While ‘Lower Decks’ is being described as an animated comedy with a relatively adult pedigree (the show is the brainchild of ‘Rick & Morty’ writer Mike McMahon), the unnamed second animated series will be aimed at a younger crowd. But before you start worrying that the show will turn into ‘Starfleet Babies’ or some such, that just means that it’s going for more of a family approach, likely not all that far removed from what ‘Trek’ has favored from its earliest days. Kurtzman continues:
“I think you’ll find that it is utterly reverent of everything we love about ‘Trek’. And so, our intention is that actually, it will also appeal to older kids too, even though, yes, it will traditionally look younger. But no, I think hopefully the age range is somewhere between eight and forty-five.”
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more ‘Star Trek’ news – including the latest on the second season of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ and other upcoming shows and movies – as it becomes available!.