‘Star Trek’ Comic-Con Panel Teases Format-Bending Crossover

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.

At the ‘Star Trek’ Comic-Con 2022 panel, the ‘Lower Decks’ cast crashes the ‘Strange New Worlds’ presentation.

“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).

Follow us on Instagram

“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+

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

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.

CBS All Access Orders ‘Star Trek’ Spinoff Focused on Capt. Pike’s Enterprise

The CBS All Access streaming service May 15 announced it has ordered “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” a new series focused on Capt. Pike’s tenure as commander of the starship Enterprise 10 years before Capt. Kirk.

The series will star Anson Mount as Pike, Rebecca Romijn as first officer Number One, and Ethan Peck as science officer Lt. Spock. The trio first played the characters in the second season of CBS All Access’ “Star Trek: Discovery” and reprised the roles in a number of “Short Treks” episodes.

Though fan reaction to “Discovery” has been mixed, the performances of Mount, Romijn and Peck as the legacy characters has been widely praised, leading to calls for them to receive their own show.

“When we said we heard the fans’ outpouring of love for Pike, Number One and Spock when they boarded ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ last season, we meant it,” executive producer Alex Kurtzman said in a statement. “These iconic characters have a deep history in Star Trek canon, yet so much of their stories have yet to be told.”

The characters themselves date back to the original “Star Trek” pilot episode, “The Cage,” that was produced in 1964. Series creator Gene Roddenberry’s first attempt to sell the science-fiction series was famously rejected by NBC executives, though they were impressed enough by the concept to ask for a second pilot, which revamped the formula by replacing almost the entire cast, keeping only the alien Spock character, played by Leonard Nimoy, and introducing Capt. Kirk as played by William Shatner. Footage from the original pilot was eventually recycled for a two-part episode of the original “Star Trek” series that introduced Pike as Spock’s former captain.

“Strange New Worlds” could thus be seen in some regards as the “Star Trek” series that Roddenberry had originally envisioned in the mid-1960s. The title comes from the famous mission creed of the U.S.S. Enterprise to “explore strange new worlds” and “seek out new life and new civilizations,” with the show’s creators promising a series that returns “Star Trek” to its roots of a starship exploring a vast unknown galaxy.

“Fans fell in love with Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn and Ethan Peck’s portrayals of these iconic characters when they were first introduced on ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ last season,” Julie McNamara, EVP and head of programming at CBS All Access, said in a statement. “This new series will be a perfect complement to the franchise, bringing a whole new perspective and series of adventures to ‘Star Trek.’”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The series premiere was written by Akiva Goldsman with a story by Goldsman, Kurtzman, and Jenny Lumet. Goldsman, Kurtzman, and Lumet will serve as executive producers in addition to Henry Alonso Myers, Heather Kadin, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth.

“With Akiva and Henry at the helm, the Enterprise, its crew, and its fans are in for an extraordinary journey to new frontiers in the Star Trek universe,” Kurtzman said.

Pike was previously played by Jeffrey Hunter in “The Cage,” with actor Sean Kenney in heavy makeup doubling for Hunter in new sequences shot for the pilot footage’s use in the original series. Bruce Greenwood played Pike in J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot movie and its 2013 sequel (both co-written by Kurtzman). Number One was previously played by “Trek” mainstay (and later Gene Roddenberry’s wife) Majel Barrett in “The Cage.”

In addition to “Star Trek: Discovery,” which is expected to premiere its third season later this year, CBS All Access is also home to “Star Trek: Picard,” a “Star Trek: The Next Generation” sequel that presented its first season earlier this year, and “Short Treks,” a series of 15- to 20-minute short films based on elements from the franchise. CBS All Access will also present the animated series “Star Trek: Lower Decks.”

Follow us on Instagram!

“Strange New Worlds” will be the eighth live-action “Star Trek” series in the history of the franchise. The series will be produced by CBS Television Studios, Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment. Aaron Baiers, Akela Cooper, and Davy Perez will serve as co-executive producers. Goldsman will remain an executive producer and a member of the creative team on “Star Trek: Picard” as well.

A premiere date for “Strange New Worlds” was not announced.