Star Trek: Lower Decks' Jack Quaid Talks Boimler's Future, Live-Action Potential, and More

Star Trek: Lower Deck's Jack Quaid is game to dye his hair purple to play Ensign Brad Boimler in [...]

Star Trek: Lower Deck's Jack Quaid is game to dye his hair purple to play Ensign Brad Boimler in live-action. Last week, ViacomCBS released the Star Trek: Lower Decks: Season One on Blu-ray, packed with special features like the Lower Dectionary. With the Blu-ray release now available, and Star Trek: Lower Decks set to return in August for its second season on Paramount+, spoke with Quaid over the phone and, after squeezing in a quick question about his new role as Superman, the actor shared his thoughts on Boimler's future in Starfleet and aboard the USS Titan.

Our conversation touches on everything from the possibility of the Lower Decks crew coming to live-action to Galaxy Quest's influence on the animated Star Trek comedy. Read on to see what Quaid had to say.

(Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

Star Trek: Lower Deck's second season debuts in August. What's it been like returning to the Cerritos as Boimler?

Jack Quaid: It was amazing. It was incredible. I just love this show so much, and I think that we ended season one on such a great cliffhanger, obviously, now Boimler is on the Titan, and that was such a fun thing to record. The only downside of it being recorded during the pandemic is that in season one, I was able to actually record in the booth live with Tawny Newsome, which we didn't get to do. I mean, she's really busy as well right now. So we weren't really able to join together, but it's just been really, really fun. And even if it's over Zoom, working with Mike McMahan, and Brad Winters, and the rest of the crew, it's just always a joy. And I love playing Boimler. He's just such a little goofball, and I love him so much. So it was a joy. It was awesome.

At the of season one, it seemed like Boimler had finally gotten the thing he thought he wanted. Can you say anything where his season two arc takes him from there?

Oh, man, I don't know how much I can say. We released a teaser trailer, basically, I don't know, like a month ago or something. And in it, you can see Boimler is on the Titan and he does have everything that he wants, but he remains very skittish and very freaked out. So it's like be careful what you wish for a bit. It's everything he ever wanted, but it's very intense for him. So we'll see how he fares with that, and that's about all I can say. I think.

The Star Trek: Lower Decks Season One Blu-ray is out now and it has a bunch of special features showing fans what happens behind the scenes. What's something that you think fans wouldn't know just from watching the show that you're exciting for them to learn or get a sense of through those features?

Ooh, well, first of all, I grew up as a kid just watching... They would release DVDs and they had just oodles of special features, and featurettes, and commentary. I ate that up, I always did. I remember being... I don't know how old I was, maybe like seven, and I was just watching the movie Galaxy Quest with the commentary on, all these behind-the-scenes featurettes, all the trailers, everything. I loved that. So the fact that I get to be a part of that in some way, maybe to someone else, is really, really exciting.

But yeah, we did a lot of cast interviews and cool little things for people to check out. One of my favorite little tidbits, it's very tiny, and I don't know if they'll use it or not, so I might as well say it now. There was this thing that Mike and I added into Boimler's character that, to me, is so funny and so small and weird. It's that Boimler, for some reason, more often than not, calls Captain Freeman Cap'n Freeman, and not captain, like C-A-P-'-N, which I love because it's this folksy way of saying captain, like Cap'n Crunch kind of a thing. And Boimler, he wants to be a captain someday, and he would love sucking up to the captain. The fact that he has a hard time saying the word captain is endlessly funny to me, and that's just something that came up when Mike and I were fooling around in the booth, but that's the kind of stuff you'll get on the DVD, and I got to hope that's in there. I want the world to know.

I really hope once this interview is published, it inspires someone to put together a Cap'n Freeman cereal box in the Cap'n Crunch style.

Oh, please, oh my God. That'd be amazing. Oh, and this is not a spoiler for season two, but it continues. I say Cap'n in season two.

It's funny you mentioned Galaxy Quest because Star Trek fans love that movie. They did a fan poll at a Star Trek convention and inserted it into the list of best Star Trek movies. Do you, having been a fan of that movie, see its DNA in Lower Decks, given the movie is a kind of Star Trek comedy itself?

Oh, for sure. Yeah. I remember I heard that Galaxy Quest, I think it placed like seventh in the middle, like square in the middle of all the Star Trek movies, which is saying something because it's not an actual Star Trek movie. To me, that movie is just gold. I rewatched it recently and it still holds up, it's still amazing.

I remember really being excited about Lower Decks, not only because I was a Star Trek fan but because I was a Galaxy Quest fan. And I'm like, that's a movie that pokes fun at the tropes while simultaneously embracing it, you know what I mean? And that's the fine line I think we're trying to walk with our show is we're not parodying, we're not spoofing, we're not making fun of, that's the most important thing, we're not making fun of Star Trek. We are embracing what it is and showing its little idiosyncrasies, and shining a light on that, but really just having fun within that world. And that's what I think Galaxy Quest does so well, even though it's not a traditional Star Trek film.

I wanted to get your thoughts on a conspiracy theory I've seen going around among Star Trek fans.

Oh, my God. Ooh, I've never heard of this.

Well, it's real simple. It's basically that they drew the character models for Lower Decks specifically so that eventually they can have you guys show up in a live-action show.

Oh, man.

Does that seem like a reasonable theory in your mind?

I'll be very candid. No. No one's approached me about appearing in a live-action version of the thing. I know that when I auditioned for Boimler, I was able to see a drawing of him on a screen. They showed me what he looked like, and that was before I was cast. I was auditioning at the time, so I think it just worked out that we all could feasibly play our animated counterparts. I'll just say right now, I'd love to do it. I'll dye my hair purple. I'll wear the red uniforms. It would be amazing to do that, and such a weird, interesting challenge. How do you make a cartoon character somewhat more grounded for a live actor? Maybe you don't have to, I don't know. It would be a really interesting thing to do. So, hopefully, in the future, oh my God. I'd jump at the chance to do that.

I know you mentioned that the pandemic has made recording audio as a group a little trickier this season. Have you gotten to record with any other members of the cast? Did you get to do it with Jonathan Frakes when he came and played this very, very over-the-top version of Riker to find chemistry that way? Or was it more solo outings?

It was more solo outings. And I think with Tawny and I, it was the fact that we're very much a duo on the show, and we have to have a certain back and forth. And per season one, that was good that we were in the same room so we got used to each other's rhythms now, we're amazing friends. We talk all the time and we talk with Mike, but I know more or less what she's going to bring. So even if I'm working solo, I can bring that to the character, and understand what Tawny would do with a certain line. And Mike also knows the things Tawny improvised because she's a master improviser.

So now that it's a little bit more locked in, we don't have to be in the same room as much, even though I missed that, and I wish we could be. But with Jonathan, I'd never recorded in the same room as him, but I met him at a Toronto comic con, basically, when I was shooting season two of The Boys. He was out here. I met him. Karl Urban introduced me to him because they're all the Star Trek people that hang out, and they're all lovely.

And I was a huge fan, obviously, and he looked at me and he was like, "Oh, Jack, you're going to come work for me on my ship." So Jonathan Frakes, in real life, basically spoiled the show, and told me that Boimler was going to work for Riker. I had no idea that that was coming. And he told me in person, which was amazing. And he's the nicest, kindest man ever.

When I talked to Mike McMahan ahead of season one, he described the show as an origin of a bridge crew, how a bridge crew grows from lower decks to the people you see on a live-action Star Trek show. In your own mind, hypothetically, what kind of bridge officer do you see Boimler becoming? Does he become exactly what he wants to be, the captain? Or do you see him in a different role in the future?

I hate the break it to Boimler. I don't know if he's captain material. I know he wants it so bad, but he's why. I just don't think he knows how to make snap judgment decisions. I think, realistically, I think he's an amazing, and I'm talking amazing, first officer, once he gets over himself. He's a great number one, once he gets over his anxieties, I think. Because he's logical, he goes by the book. He'll tell the captain when they're going overboard. I think Mariner is captain and Boimler is number one. I think that that's a perfect combo, but yeah, I don't know about captain in his future. I don't see it. Maybe older Boimler, like how Captain Riker became captain a little bit later. I think maybe he could do that, but for now, I just see him as the first officer, but that's good. First officer's pretty damn good.


Star Trek: Lower Decks Season One is now available to own on Blu-ray. Star Trek: Lower Decks returns for its second season on Paramount+ on August 12th. Star Trek: Lower Decks' first season is streaming now on Paramount+.