The new Star Trek: Lower Decks animated series may include animated versions of some fan-favorite characters from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Show writer Mike McMahan admitted in a recent interview that Star Trek: TNG is one of his favorite eras of the franchise, with many characters that he would love to get his hands on. Lower Decks' place in the Star Trek timeline makes those kinds of cameo appearances possible, as the animated series is set in the 24th century era of Star Trek: The Next Generation, with some obvious comedic slants on that show's aesthetic and themes.
While speaking to EW, McMahan had the following tease for Star Trek fans, when it comes to TNG characters appearing on Lower Decks:
"There are a lot of recognizable characters in the galaxy at that point," McMahan says abut the 24th century setting. "Next Gen is my favorite era. And as a huge Trek fan, I would definitely want to try to use some of them so that I could not only build out the world, but also work with some of my heroes. But I can't get more specific than that. You'll have to wait and see."
The Star Trek: The Next Generation cast has gotten a dash of new life in the franchise, thanks in large part to Star Trek: Picard. Patrick Stewart is already a famous animated series voice actor (American Dad!), while TNG stars Jonathan Frakes (Riker), Brent Spiner (Commander Data), and Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi) all made appearances in Picard, and inspired a lot of fan fervor about possible larger roles in the franchise; LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge), Michael Dorn (Worf) and Gates McFadden (Beverly Crusher) next on fans' wish-list, as well. Lower Decks is a nice compromise for any Star Trek: TNG actors who want to give the fans a thrill, without doing the work of a live-action appearance.
As McMahan describes it, Star Trek: Lower Decks would be a fun time for any of the series alumni to participate in:
"Lower Decks treats mythological sci-fi things just as important as a regular Trek show, while finding new stories to tell — just from a different angle. It's not disassembling mythological sci-fi things. It's treating them as important for everybody on the starship as it would be in a regular star Trek show."
Star Trek: Lower Decks will air on CBS All Access. s