I’m Still Annoyed Star Trek: Lower Decks Was Canceled, But There Is One Way This Could Turn Out To Be Good News

I’m Still Annoyed Star Trek: Lower Decks Was Canceled, But There Is One Way This Could Turn Out To Be Good News

Last week, the Star Trek franchise delivered both good news and bad news. In the former category, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has been renewed for Season 4, so taking that into account with the fact that Season 3 won’t come out until 2025, fans can take comfort knowing one of the best Paramount+ TV shows will be sticking around for several more years. Conversely though, Star Trek: Lower Decks is ending with Season 5, which will premiere to Paramount+ subscribers on a yet-to-be-announced date on the 2024 TV schedule. I’m still annoyed that Lower Decks has been canceled, but there is on way that this could turn out to be good news: if its characters are being spun off into a live-action show.

In summer 2023, Jack Quaid and Tawny Newsome, who voice Bradward Boimler and Beckett Mariner in Lower Decks, played their characters in live-action for the first time in the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds episode “Those Old Scientists.’ This Lower Decks/Strange New Worlds crossover saw Boimler and Mariner being transported back in time and meeting Captain Christopher Pike and his USS Enterprise crew, and Quaid and Newsome did a great job of balancing their characters’ comedic sensibilities without getting too wacky (though Newsome did admit to me there was one “Mariner-ism” she wasn’t able to replicate in live-action). Naturally Boimler and Mariner made it back to the 24th century by the end of the episode, and at the time, I was hoping there might be another opportunity for them and the Strange New Worlds characters to reunite someday.

However, now that I know Star Trek: Lower Decks is ending, my fingers are crossed that Paramount+ will consider letting these starring characters shine on their own live-action platform. This would be uncharted territory, to be sure… one might even say it’s boldly going where no one in this franchise has gone before! But seriously, it was one thing for Star Trek: The Animated Series to spotlight Captain Kirk and his Enterprise cohorts from 1973 to 1974 following The Original Series’ 1966-1968 run. Giving the Lower Decks cast their own live-action show would be a challenging feat, but one I’d like Paramount+ to undertake because characters deserve to be seen for more than just five seasons.

Now obviously a live-action take on Lower Decks would need some tweaks compared to the original. Namely, the cartoonish antics would need to be toned down, as there are many gags that play well in animation, but don’t translate effectively in live-action. There’s also the possibility that certain characters would need to be recast, whether it’s because it because of scheduling issues with the current voice actors or it’s decided that others is a better fit for playing these roles in live-action, as Star Wars has done with characters like Saw Gerrera and Ahsoka Tano. I imagine Jack Quaid and Tawny Newsome would be brought back as Boimler and Mariner, but we’d need to prepare for the possibility that folks like D’Vana Tendi and Sam Rutherford wouldn’t be respectively played by Noël Wells and Eugene Cordero.

But those hurdles aside, I think it’s worth Paramount+ taking the jump and moving Star Trek: Lower Decks from animation to live action. It would make for an intriguing experiment, and along with the animated show already having a sizable fanbase, this would be a great opportunity to loop in Star Trek fans who only pay attention to the live-action shows. If it doesn’t work out, then the streamer can cancel the new show too and call it a day, but if the show succeeds, then it opens up a new door for the franchise to venture into.

In any case, at least there’s one more season of Star Trek: Lower Decks to look forward to, and my fingers are crossed that if a live-action spinoff show isn’t in the cards, the writers have crafted a stellar ending. While we wait for the last batch of episodes, look over the upcoming Star Trek TV shows that are officially slated.