Out of all the new Star Trek shows currently in rotation, Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: Picard arguably feel the most like polar opposites. And yet, if any two shows out of that bunch were going to crossover, it makes sense timeline-wise for the the final chapter of one of Starfleet's greatest captains to embrace the series that gave me a very real fear of genetically modified dogs. Given the shows' thematic differences, I could only assume the philosophical Picard and comedy-driven Lower Decks would never cross paths, at least until my recent conversation with the animated spinoff's creator Mike McMahan.
Also a writer on the similar fan-favorite sci-fi comedy Rick and Morty, Mike McMahan spoke with CinemaBlend in advance of the physical release of Star Trek: Lower Decks on DVD, Blu-ray, and Steelbook, which come out on Tuesday, May 18th. Our conversation revisited the finale, in which Ensign Bradward Boimler (voiced by Jack Quaid) received a promotion aboard the USS Titan, which was captained by none other than William Riker, with wife Deanna Troi as the ship's counselor. Given that Boimler is now a character that Riker is familiar with, I asked if there's a possibility that Boimler could appear in live-action form via Picard. McMahan's answer actually surprised me, and made me excited for the potential future of both franchises.
You know, I can't imagine why not. I mean he's a capable Ensign as we've seen. He has that promotion to the Titan. You see Riker and Troi in Picard. You'd have to imagine if he doesn't run into too many Crystalline Entities that Boimler would still be bouncing around the quadrant. I know where I want Boimler to end up. It would depend on me talking to the Picard guys about who, where they want their stories to go and that kind of stuff.
Star Trek: Lower Decks is set in 2380, with Star Trek: Picard (which will return with Season 2 in 2022) set in 2399. With only 19 years between the two shows, there's certainly space to explore where Brad's journey may take him. It sounds like Mike McMahan has a pretty specific set of ideas for what he would like that character's future to look like, and if both sides can come to an agreement, we could very well see Bradward making the transition to live-action. It's obviously not the most likely turn of events, but the fact that it doesn't inspire an immediate dismissal is worth celebrating.
Mike McMahan would love to see Brad in live-action, but Jack Quaid's character isn't the only one, even if he makes the most sense at the moment. The Star Trek: Lower Decks creator went on to explain that, ideally, he'd like to see the rest of the Lower Decks crew making the leap to live-action, if one requirement can be met.
I think the question behind the question for me is, like, I would love to see all our characters in live action. I think that Tawny and Jack, Eugene, and Noël are so funny and they're such great screen actors as well as voice actors that I'd love for them to have the opportunity to take those characters into the live-action space for sure. As long as it makes sense. I don't want them to just get tossed in at a wedding in a movie, ya know? I want it to have a little more meat than that.
There's no reason why Star Trek: Picard, or any other live-action Trek series, couldn't feature the Lower Decks crew if the writing makes sense. In the case of Picard, 20 years can obviously change characters quite a bit, so one would imagine Boimler would be slightly less of a goofball, and maybe Mariner would finally got a rank worthy of her immense skill. These are all things I'd love to see recognized in the Trek canon eventually, so I can only hope the Picard team is receptive to any suggestions Mike McMahan or others may have.