Rick and Morty writer is making an animated Star Trek comedy for CBS


The Star Trek series is in the midst of a revival. There are more Star Trek movies in the pipeline, and on TV, CBS All Access will roll out the second season of Star Trek: Discovery next year. Indeed, CBS All Access is the place to be if you’re a Trekkie these days. It’s also producing a series about the adventures of Jean-Luc Picard after the end of Star Trek: The Next Generation, with Patrick Stewart returning to the lead role. AND there are plans for a limited series based around the Wrath of Khan story AND a possible series about life at Starfleet Academy.

AND we’re not done. According to Variety, CBS has ordered two seasons of a show called Star Trek: Below Decks, a half-hour animated comedy about the lives of the support staff serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships. The show is the brainchild of Rick and Morty writer Mike McMahan. As executive producer Alex Kurtzman explains, McMahan is a big fan from way back:

"Mike won our hearts with his first sentence: “I want to do a show about the people who put the yellow cartridge in the food replicator so a banana can come out the other end.” His cat’s name is Riker. His son’s name is Sagan. The man is committed. He’s brilliantly funny and knows every inch of every ‘Trek’ episode, and that’s his secret sauce: he writes with the pure, joyful heart of a true fan. As we broaden the world of ‘Trek’ to fans of all ages, we’re so excited to include Mike’s extraordinary voice."

That does sound pretty promising. And McMahan already proved his fan pedigree with a book called Star Trek: The Next Generation: Warped: An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season, which is packed with funny synopses McMahan made up for episodes that never aired. And the book is based on a Twitter account McMahan created that did much the same thing. The guy just can’t stay away from Star Trek; if anyone’s gonna run an off-kilter Star Trek show, it might as well be him.

“As a life-long Trekkie, it’s a surreal and wonderful dream come true to be a part of this new era of ‘Star Trek,’” McMahan said. “While ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ is a half-hour, animated show at its core, it’s undeniably ‘Trek’ – and I promise not to add an episode at the very end that reveals the whole thing took place in a training program.”


Daenerys Targaryen on Dragonstone Throne Funko Pop! Figure from Game of Thrones
Daenerys Targaryen on Dragonstone Throne Funko Pop! Figure from Game of Thrones /

Daenerys Targaryen on Dragonstone Throne Funko Pop! Figure from Game of Thrones

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This all sounds great, with the drawbacks being that A) People could start feeling Star Trek fatigue in a few years when all of these shows come to air, and; B) But maybe not, because most of them are on CBS All Access, yet another streaming service not many people have. I’m glad a passionate fan like McMahan is at the helm, though. And if Lower Decks doesn’t work out, we’ll always have the short-lived Star Trek: The Animated Series from the ’70s:

By the way, is anyone else in favor of a half-hour comedy spinoff for Game of Thrones? I would totally watch a show called Inn at the Crossroads that just followed Hot Pie and his friends during their workaday medieval lives.

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