LOWER DECKS Creator Mike McMahan Says Series is a “Love Letter to Star Trek,” Avoiding Initial Reactions

The latest incarnation of Star Trek, Lower Decks, has been a fairly divisive one with fandom being split between those who are enjoying an alternate take on what storytelling within Star Trek can be and those that downright despise it. While social media has been abuzz with discussion of the new CBS All Access series, its creator Mike McMahan says he’s avoided the response to new animated show—at least for now.

Recently, McMahan appeared on the Discovering Trek podcast to discuss a variety of topics, including the creation of the series, its shared DNA with Star Trek: The Animated Series, critical reactions, and the show being—what he describes as—a “love letter to Star Trek.”

Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford, Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler and Nol Wells as Ensign Tendi
Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford, Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler and Nol Wells as Ensign Tendi

McMahan says he hasn’t sought out or read any reactions to Lower Decks just yet… but has good reason—he’s already busy writing a second season.

“I haven’t been looking online. I don’t know what the response is because I’m literally writing season two. I’m focussed on what I want to do with that and I don’t want to be effected by the fan response to it… good or bad. So I don’t know what’s going on… and please don’t tell me.

I might check in at the end of the season because I think people won’t truly get the whole vibe of the show until all ten [episodes] are out there to be scrutinized. This isn’t a calculated attempt at getting people’s wallets or appealing to their nostalgia. It is an expression of what I love about Star Trek and what I wanted to share. I hope that’s what people are feeling when they’re watching it.”

Jerry O'Connell as Commander Ransom and Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman
Jerry O’Connell as Commander Ransom and Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman

Discussing the creation of the series, McMahan said:

“The first season I’m really in love with. It goes to really wonderful places, really unexpected and fun places. The place where it came from was—even before the pandemic and before we were all stuck inside— this was my love letter to Star Trek. This was me being like ‘This is my era that I love. This is the kind of TV I make. This is the version of Star Trek that somehow I’m getting to make.

There’s no aspect from CBS or the executives that ever felt like it was a mandate. It’s really all coming from a fan’s love of the show… and hopefully it speaks to a lot of people.”

Mike McMahan on Discovering Trek

You can listen to the entire Mike McMahan interview on the latest episode of Discovering Trek, which is available on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify. We’ve also embedded it for you to stream below.

The Star Trek: Lower Decks voice cast includes Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler, Noël Wells as Ensign Tendi, Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford, Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman, Jerry O’Connell as Commander Jack Ransom, Fred Tatasciore as Lieutenant Shaxs, and Gillian Vigman as Doctor T’Ana.

New episodes are released on Thursdays on CBS All Access in the United States and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel (English) and Z (French), before streaming on Crave in Canada.


Try CBS All Access for free

Want to check out Star Trek: Lower Decks for free? CBS is currently offering a one-month trial of All Access. You can sign up here.


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