Star Trek: Lower Decks: Jack Quaid Discusses Balancing Comedy, Respect

Jack Quaid has a pretty busy remainder of 2020 ahead of him, resuming his role as Hughie in Amazon Prime's second season of The Boys on September 4 and officially joining the "Star Trek" universe with Star Trek: Lower Decks on August 6 on CBS All Access. I had the opportunity to discuss both projects with Quaid so with Star Trek: Discovery officially premiering this October, let's take a look at the project that's going where no other "Star Trek" series has gone before: into the realm of adult animated comedy.

Jack Quaid discusses Star Trek: Lower Decks (Images: Ron Adar / Shutterstock.com // CBS All Access)
Jack Quaid discusses Star Trek: Lower Decks (Images: Ron Adar / Shutterstock.com // CBS All Access)

CBS All Access and Rick and Morty writer/executive producer Mike McMahan thought it would be a good idea to show you how the "non-Kirks, Picards, and Janeways" spend their day-to-day lives. You know, the side that doesn't get to scream about the wrath of Khan, help with the search for Spock, face the final frontier, or any other Star Trek movie title we can use to make the point. They're the day-to-day'ers, where health insurance premiums and faulty food replicators are the kinds of "big bads" they face on a regular basis- yet their dreams of the "final frontier" live on in Star Trek: Lower Decks, the 10-episode half-hour adult animated comedy series streaming exclusively on CBS All Access.

Quaid voices Ensign Brad Boimler, a total stickler who does everything by the book. While great at sci-fi stuff, Boimler's completely bound to the rules. He doesn't know how to follow his gut but if Boimler wants to be a captain someday, he's going to have to learn how to improvise. For Quaid, being a part of the Star Trek universe is an honor that he appreciates:

"Oh, my God. I feel so… I'm so happy you asked about Lower Decks because I am just so… first of all, I'm so honored to be a part of that franchise in that world. I just… I really loved it for a long time. I'm getting into it more now than I ever have liked it in order to do my research for a Lower Decks site. You know, I started watching TNG [Star Trek: The Next Generation] a little bit more than I had. And, you know, I used to be more of a Star Wars guy and now Star Trek's kind of coming up and vying for the top spot.

But I just think I'm so proud of the show. I've seen some of the episodes. And what I love about it is it is still Star Trek but we are doing it, you know, in an animated comedy sense. And it's just so much fun to be a part of this franchise, but be able to be a part of it in this interesting and fun way. And like, I've become super close to the two, my classmates on that and the showrunner and like this just a good thing for people, too. And I think… I think Star Trek fans are really going to get a kick out of it."

Pictured: No'l Wells as Ensign Tendi; Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford; Tawny Newsome as Ensign Mariner; Jack Quaid as Ensign Boimler of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS. ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS. ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

One thing Quaid wanted to make clear to fans is that while the comedy series will be "poking fun at some of the weirder aspects of Star Trek," it will be doing so out of a love for the "insanely incredible and long-running franchise":

"That's really… that's what we're really trying to hone in on. So Mike McMahan is our showrunner on that. He is a die-hard… die-hard Star Trek nerd. And the dude, like I am… I am in the booth basically being like, 'How do I pronounce this alien's name?' Like, he has the answers to every question that I have. And, you know, knew all the episodes that I had to watch because our show kind of takes place… I think it's post-TNG era or during maybe… slightly during TNG era. I'm not really quite sure where, but he wanted to make sure that it wasn't a show that, you know, was razing Star Trek or saying that Star Trek was dumb or that its fans were dumb or any of that stuff.

He wanted to make a show that, you know, if anything were to be kind of lightly… kind of poking fun at some of the weirder aspects of Star Trek. Fans would get it, and they would understand and they would be like, 'Oh, yeah, I've noticed that, too.' They wouldn't… the show isn't taking a shot at anyone who's a big fan of this insanely incredible and long-running franchise."

Developed by Emmy Award winner Mike McMahan ("Rick and Morty," "Solar Opposites"), "Star Trek: Lower Decks", a new half-hour animated comedy series, focuses on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet's least important ships, the U.S.S. Cerritos, in 2380. Ensigns Mariner, Boimler, Rutherford, and Tendi have to keep up with their duties and their social lives, often while the ship is being rocked by a multitude of sci-fi anomalies.

CBS All Access' Star Trek: Lower Decks features the vocal talents of Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler, Noël Wells as Ensign Tendi, Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford, Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman, Jerry O'Connell as Commander Jack Ransom, Fred Tatasciore as Lieutenant Shaxs, Gillian Vigman as Doctor T'Ana, and Paul Scheer as Lt. Cmdr. Andy Billups. The animated series is produced by CBS Eye Animation Productions, CBS Television Studios' animation arm; Secret Hideout; and Roddenberry Entertainment. Secret Hideout's Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin and Roddenberry Entertainment's Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth and Katie Krentz will serve as executive producers alongside McMahan. Aaron Baiers, who brought McMahan to the project, will serve as a co-executive producer.

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought on board as staff in 2017.

twitter   instagram   envelope