SAN DIEGO — Cast members for three “Star Trek” shows gathered Saturday, July 23 for a massive Hall H panel to preview upcoming storylines for the Paramount+ original series.
Among them is a crossover between “Strange New Worlds” and “Lower Decks,” which should be interesting considering one is live-action, one is animated, and they are set over 100 years apart.
The announcement came during the “Strange New Worlds” portion of the panel, which was moderated by Lea Thompson of “Back to the Future” fame. She directed two episodes of the second season of “Star Trek: Picard” and made a guest appearance as well.
After Thompson introduced the “SNW” cast, “Lower Decks” voice actors Tawny Newsome and Jack Quaid returned to the stage despite their portion of the panel having just concluded minutes earlier. They asked why they weren’t introduced with the rest of the “SNW” cast, prompting “SNW” star Anson Mount to confirm that the second season of “SNW” would feature a crossover episode.
“We’re coming aboard the Enterprise baby!,” Quaid said.
The episode will include both live-action and animation, and will be directed by longtime “Star Trek” actor and director Jonathan Frakes (aka Commander Riker).
“Strange New Worlds” takes place prior to the original “Star Trek” series in the mid 23rd century, focused on the adventures of Capt. Pike (Mount) and his crew. “Lower Decks” chronicles the missions of the U.S.S. Cerritos in the late 24th century.
All 10 episodes from the first season of “Strange New Worlds” are now available on Paramount+
The first segment of the panel involved a preview of the third and final season of “Picard,” which features a reunion of the cast of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” joining series star Patrick Stewart.
“When we first started, of course the first instinct is to bring back the entire crew of ‘The Next Generation,’ if you’re going to do a Picard show,” said executive producer Alex Kurtzman. “And Patrick was amazing because he said to us ‘I want to do this show but I don’t want to repeat old things, and if we’re going to get to the crew, then we have to earn it.’ And I think we took two seasons to earn the return of the crew. And the key thing for us is we did not want the crew to sort of come and have cameos. We actually wanted everyone to have significant roles, and we wanted to whet appetites a little bit to see them come back together.”
Kurtzman said the idea of a “TNG” reunion came from showrunner Terry Matalas, who “was very taken with the idea of doing the final “Next Gen” movie, and it was really exciting to approach this from a place of … who would these characters be now, so many years later.”
Kurtzman said that Brent Spiner, whose character of Data was killed off in the actual last “Next Gen” movie, 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis, would also appear, as an “old new character.” In the first two seasons he played a virtual re-creation of Data, as well as various members of the Soong family, relatives of Data’s creator.
During the “Lower Decks” portion of the panel, a trailer for the show’s third season revealed the show would feature a return to the title space station of 1990s series “Deep Space Nine.”
“We circle Deep Space Nine. We check out the pylons. And then we go in to Deep Space Nine,” said series creator and executive producer Mike McMahan. “You might see some friendly faces in there. It feels to me like one last walkaround Deep Space Nine. It’s a really great episode.”
The third season of “Lower Decks” premieres Aug. 25 on Paramount+ in the U.S. and Latin America; Amazon Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan and India; and in Canada it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.
Kurtzman also said two additional “Trek” shows were in development in addition to the five already in production (“Discovery” and the CG-animated “Prodigy” in addition to the three shows promoted at the panel), and that there would be more female leads.