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Jack Quaid On How The Boys Impacted His Approach To Controversy Surrounding Star Trek: Lower Decks' Raunchiest Moment

Star Trek: Lower Decks is, without a doubt, the funniest show the franchise has to offer. In its quest to poke fun at the lore, however, there are times when creator passionate Trek superfan Mike McMahan (who has addressed fan concerns) and his crew toe the line between what some fans find funny and others find crude. Such was the case in Season 2, during which one particularly raunchy moment caused a big stir. Jack Quaid recently spoke about the controversy"at length and how his role on The Boys might’ve desensitized him to the weirdness of it. 

Jack Quaid had a substantial conversation with YouTuber Jessie Gender, and the two briefly touched on “I, Excretus," specifically Lower Decks' raunchy holodeck orgy scene, which prominently featured Quaid’s character, Bradward Boimler. The actor talked about the controversy and fan discourse after the episode and explained that working on The Boys made what he did on Star Trek seem like no big deal: 

That was just an interesting time in my life because that episode came out, and then it was kind of like, 'I don’t know, I’m on The Boys, so it’s like there’s an orgy in every episode, seemingly, so orgies don’t phase me anymore.' That episode came out, and it was almost like a week later where the quote-unquote controversy kicked in. People seemed to be like, ‘Oh, this is very offending to me,’ and I’m like whatever, but then again I come from The Boys, so it’s very normal to me.

Bradward Boimler had the standout moment from the orgy scene, as Mariner, as well as anyone with a Paramount+ subscription, saw the character up on the ship’s bar completely nude with his legs spread up in the air. Take a look at the moment which the episode did censor with a black bar: 

Bradward Boimler on Star Trek: Lower Decks legs spread and fully nude

(Image credit: Paramount+)

That's an image that will live on in Star Trek history for some time, I’d imagine, and fans hotly debated whether the show went too far with it. Jack Quaid explained that when he worked on the episode, he had no idea what the scene would look like and explained why that moment in particular is more Trek than some might think: 

I don’t think I ever really realized that would be the shot. I’m recording lines and I think it said like, ‘Boimler’s in an orgy.’ Which, by the way, [was] referencing other Star Trek episodes where there’s basically a horny disease rampaging the ship…I remember I watched it for the first time, and I was like, ‘Oh my God. I didn’t realize that would be the shot.’ But it was great. I thought it was fun… Oh God, there were just so many takes from that, and it was weird to be the person in the middle of it even though it wasn’t exactly me, but it was a characterized voice. Yeah, it was an interesting time.

The actor brings up a great point as, for all the heat Lower Decks caught, few people acknowledged what a great homage it was to similar episodes in other Trek shows. Granted, we didn’t see Picard butt-ass naked in The Next Generation’s “The Naked Now,” but it’s not like those episodes also didn’t have a level of raunch that fans might’ve stuck their noses up at back then. And as the Hughie Campbell actor hinted, none of it is even close to some of what's been done on The Boys, so it's debatable as to how much of a line the franchise really crossed in terms of decency. 

The controversy eventually settled down and didn’t stop Paramount+ from bringing Star Trek: Lower Decks back for Season 3 (it’s also doing a crossover with Strange New Worlds). This season will take the characters to new places once again, including the famous Trek location Deep Space Nine. Many have wanted the new era of the franchise to revisit Deep Space Nine for some time, so this should be a treat for them and potentially open the door for DS9-related revivals with the characters from the Trek series. Of course, time will tell if we get anything as raunchy as what Jack Quaid and co. delivered during the second season.

Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3 premieres on Paramount+ on Thursday, August 25th. It’s the latest upcoming Trek series headed to the platform, but there are still a few more things on the way for fans wondering what else is around the corner.

Mick Joest
Mick Joest

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.