Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Lower Decks episode “Hear All, Trust Nothing.” Read at your own risk!
Star Trek: Lower Decks threw things back to Deep Space Nine in its latest episode by bringing some beloved characters from the beloved series into the fold. Nana Visitor and Armin Shimerman returned as Kira and Quark, respectively, who were slightly sillier than their live-action counterparts. It’s one thing to return to a character after decades of being away from them, but it's another thing to perform them within the parameters of a different genre. As such, I asked LD showrunner Mike McMahan about the challenges that come with integrating legacy actors into the show, and he explained how he helps them settle back into their roles.
“Hear All, Trust Nothing,” is not the first time that Star Trek: Lower Decks has invited a franchise actor to reprise their role, albeit in a more inflated and comedic way. (Fans may remember Jonathan Frakes’ run as Riker in Season 2.) Mike McMahan broke down the process of not only helping the franchise's legacy actors find the comedic side of their characters but also ensuring that the dialogue remains true to the actors' roles:
Star Trek: Lower Decks might’ve irked fans in the past due to some controversial and raunchy scenes, but many fans would defend the care it takes in ensuring its fun falls within the parameters of franchise canon. Given that, it’s no surprise that Mike McMahan and the writing team were careful when it came to ensuring that Kira and Quark still sounded like themselves.
Getting the character right on the page is one thing, but then there’s also guiding the talented actors so that they give a performance that fits Star Trek: Lower Decks. Mike McMahan talked about the two-way process that takes place between him and the stars when it comes time for the latter to record their dialogue:
Lower Decks delivered an episode dedicated to Deep Space Nine and, ultimately, it was a fitting tribute to a show that hasn’t gotten a lot of love in this new era of Trek. Here’s hoping the installment will lead to discussions of a potential live-action DS9-related project. Or at the very least, maybe the higher-ups will consider getting some of the Trek show's cast to return for something else. But as I hope for either of those scenarios, I just remain in awe of Mike McMahan and the thoughtful way that he's working with the franchise vets.
Snag a Paramount+ subscription to check out the latest Star Trek: Lower Decks crossover as well as all of the other great Trek shows that are out there. Also, stream Deep Space Nine on Paramount+ (opens in new tab), and keep your fingers and toes crossed that show is revived in some form or fashion.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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