The writers of the new comedic, animated series ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ were present at Star Trek Las Vegas 2019, along with the show’s creator, Mike McMahan (‘Rick & Morty’). The characters were revealed at SDCC, but as part of their STLV19 panel, the writers offered new insights into these wacky oddballs.
Courtesy of Trek Movies:
Ensign Mariner: She is kind of a classic Star Trek hero. She is a little bit Kirk, a little bit Riker. She doesn’t really play by the rules necessarily and thinks outside the box a bit, but gets the job done. And she is really, really good at Starfleet stuff. She is the ultimate Star Trek nerd. She knows a little bit about everything.
But she has been demoted so many times, that is why she is on the lower decks. So despite knowing everything, she is really bad at taking orders. She is kind of like Maverick from Top Gun. She would buzz the tower.
Tawny Newsome (‘Brockmire’, ‘Big Mouth’) provides her voice.
Boimler: He is our by-the-book and obsessed with rank. He wants to be captain one day and thinks following protocol is the only way he is going to get there. He is wound super tight, which makes him a perfect foil for Mariner. He will get to the captain’s chair one day, if he can take a page from her and learn there is more to Starfleet than just following the rules.
Boimler is voiced by Jack Quaid (‘The Boys’, ‘Harvey Girls Forever!’).
Tendi: Tendi is a huge Star Trek fan who has got into Starfleet and is an Orion and this shows her first day getting to work on a Starfleet ship and it is wish fulfillment. We are channeling what if one of us got to work on a Starfleet ship. The original pitch for her is there is no job too lower decks that she isn’t losing her mind for joy over…She’s like if the optimism of Starfleet was turned into a person.
Noël Wells (‘Master of None’, ‘Mr. Roosevelt’) provides her voice.
Rutherford: An engineer who just recently became a cyborg and isn’t used to it yet. He is only complaining about his implant because he doesn’t understand how to use it. Rutherford is like Geordi La Forge, if you don’t solve the problem in 40 minutes. Every episode he’s like “I got this,” but he sometimes does not have it.
[example exchange between captain and Rutherford] “I need 20 minutes” “well, you have 10” “no, seriously I need the full 20”…I’m not doing the Scotty thing, I probably need 30.”
Eugene Cordero (‘Star Vs. the Forces of Evil’, ‘StevenUniverse’) voices Rutherford.
As for their duties, McMahon said:
“Our lower deckers are always scraping carbon off of slightly harder carbon and they hate it. And maybe the second-worst job is cleaning the holodecks. People mess up the holodecks. A lot of weird stuff goes down there.”
Even the Bridge Crew of the USS Cerritos– Captain Freeman (Darwin Lewis), Commander Ransom (Jerry O’Connell), Lt. Shaxs (Fred Tatasciore), and Dr. T’Ana (Gillian Vigman)– isn’t doing much better than the lower decks crew.
Captain Freeman: She is as capable as a Starfleet captain as you would want them to be. But she is just not on the most important ship in the fleet.
Commander Ransom: He is kind of like a chill, smug Riker.
Lt. Shaxs: He is our beefcake Bajoran.
Dr. T’Ana: She is kind of like a super-Palaski, angry cat from a junkyard. She is not purring at anybody. She is a good doctor, but she’s an unpleasant cat.
‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ will be available on CBS All Access next year.