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Star Trek: Lower Decks -- All we know about the new CBS animated show

The USS Cerritos support crew gets to shine in a new Star Trek animation from Rick and Morty's Mike McMahan.

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Star Trek: Lower Decks is all about the ensigns.

CBS Interactive

Behind every glamorous Starfleet captain is an unsung crew of lower-level workers who keep the starship running. The ensigns will finally get their full due in Star Trek: Lower Decks, a CBS All Access comedy show that explores life under the bridge.

Lower Decks episodes will run half an hour each and focus on the crew of the USS Cerritos. It will premiere on the CBS All Access streaming service on Aug. 6, with new episodes every Thursday. (Disclosure: ViacomCBS is the parent company of CNET.)

Trek has appeared in animated form before in Star Trek: The Animated Series, which ran in 1973 and 1974. During a panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, producer of the current line-up of Trek shows Alex Kurtzman described Lower Decks as a way to invite kids into the fandom.

Here's the trailer:

What is Lower Decks about?

Lower Decks takes place in the year 2380, shortly after the events of the Next Generation movie Star Trek: Nemesis. That means the USS Cerritos is at work during the same general time frame as Picard and his crew and Voyager.

The USS Cerritos has a bridge crew, but they're not the main focus of the show.

CBS Interactive

Co-creator Mike McMahan of Rick and Morty fame described the Cerritos as "a not important ship in Starfleet" during the SDCC panel. Cerritos is the Spanish word for "little hills," so it's not as majestic of a starship name as Enterprise, Voyager or Discovery. 

The spacecraft is part of a new class of ships called the California class and it will feature an all new design. We know it has a balky Holodeck on board, which needs cleaning every now and then.

Four ensigns, voiced by Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid, Noël Wells and Eugene Cordero, are the stars of the show. McMahan said the stories will fit in with the Trek legacy and universe: "Every Star Trek is kind of about a family and our show is also about a family, it's just not the same family you've seen before," he said. 

That said, fans of the original Animated Series can look forward to seeing some aliens that appeared on the earlier show. 

Meet the Lower Decks ensigns

Ensign Mariner, voiced by Tawny Newsome.

CBS Interactive

Newsome described Ensign Mariner at SDCC as a "weirdo rock'n'roll party queen," saying she's good at all things Starfleet and should be further along in the ranks than she is.

Ensign Boimler has book smarts but lacks practical skills.

CBS Interactive

Quaid was also on the panel at SDCC and said his character Ensign Boimler is very "by the book" and has aspirations of becoming a captain. He may be smart, but he isn't so great with practically applying his knowledge.

Ensign Tendi is voiced by Noel Wells.

CBS Interactive

Ensign Tendi (Noël Wells) will be experiencing her first day on the job in the Lower Decks pilot episode. She's a huge fan of Starfleet and works in the medical bay. "There's no gross alien illness that she's not just absolutely thrilled to be dealing with," said McMahan.

Eugene Cordero voices Ensign Rutherford.

CBS Interactive

Ensign Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) works in engineering and has a fresh cyborg implant on his head. "Like Geordi LaForge, he's amazing at engineering stuff, but unlike Geordi La Forge, he does not solve the problems by the end of every episode," McMahan said.

How to watch Star Trek: Lower Decks

CBS All Access will release Lower Decks on the streaming service on Aug. 6. The first season will span 10 episodes, available each Thursday. 

Lower Decks joins a slate of live-action Trek shows on CBS All Access, including Star Trek: DiscoveryStar Trek: Picard and the upcoming Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. But don't expect any animated crossover action since these take place in very different corners of the Trek universe.

Who is in the voice cast for Lower Decks?

This piece was originally published on July 25, 2019, and will be updated as more Lower Decks information becomes available.