Season 1 spoilers, but if you haven't watched that by now, you've got some work to do.
Today, Aug, 12, second season of the animated, "Star Trek" spin-off show, "Star Trek: Lower Decks" begins on the streaming service Paramount+ in the U.S.
Once more we'll be able to gaze in wonder at the chaos that constantly seems to follow Starfleet crewmembers Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome), D'Vana Tendi (Noël Wells) and Samanthan Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) and Brad Boimler's (Jack Quaid. Paramount+ (opens in new tab) is a paid streaming service, so if you want to tune in you'll need a subscription (they start at $5.99 a month).
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Picking up more or less straight after the end of the first season, the premiere episode of Season 2, entitled "Strange Energies" continues to follow the madcap misadventures of the crew aboard the California class starship, the USS Cerrito – and maybe the USS Titan too, following Boimler's promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade – but we suspect it won't be too long before something happens to put him back on the Cerrito.
The trailer shown at this year's virtual Comic-Con@Home event promised more aliens, more cosmic crises and more interstellar evildoers to contend with. Will Mariner and Captain Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) resolve their mother-daughter issues? Was Lieutenant Shaxs (Fred Tatasciore) really killed in the epic first season finale? And will Tendi and Rutherford get over their awkward, but adorable attraction to each other?
And in fact, during a recent roundtable with some of the "Lower Decks" cast members, Space got the chance to ask the actors themselves if romance lay ahead on the horizon.
"I don’t know [about sexual tension]…." Cordero laughed. "The weird thing about them — and the great thing about the Tendi-Rutherford relationship — is that it's a kind of intellectual love they have for each other, in a way that you might with a coworker, or somebody who’s just as passionate about the work as you are," he said.
"I think that happens in college a lot, where you’re like, 'Oh, we both love the same things!' And then you think that you are in love, but you’re ultimately just like in love with the person – as in, what they grew up to be, and how they continue to live their lives. Who knows what it is? I think sexual tension within a cartoon is always kind of weird, so I don’t know!"
Laughing, Wells added, "That's funny. I mean, there’s a lot of sexual tension on 'Lower Decks' and I don’t know how HR would, recommend they, um, navigate that. But you’re right, it is interesting to have sexual tension with animated characters, but it is there, and we’re not denying that it is… there’s a lot of possibilities."
Look out for that interview in full coming soon, only on Space.com.
The second season of "Lower Decks" will premiere on Aug. 12 and will consist of 10, half-hour episodes, just like Season 1, with one installment dropping each week, which is a good thing, because binge-watching this show can feel like a seismic-registering sugar rush.
Season 1 is now available on Blu-ray (opens in new tab) and it's already been renewed for a third season. The debut season of "Prodigy" that's coming "this Fall" will serve as the second "Star Trek" series for 2021 after "Lower Decks." This means "Discovery" Season 4 will most likely follow in early 2022 and that in turn means that the earliest we will see Season 2 of "Picard" and the brand new "Strange New Worlds" will be next Spring.
International audiences will be able to see Lower Decks within a day of the North American release as the second season is set to beam down to Amazon Prime Video on Aug. 13.
Paramount+ (opens in new tab) is launching in the UK next year, which potentially means subscription to a third streaming service for "Strange New Worlds" since "Discovery" is currently on Netflix and "Picard" and "Lower Decks" can be found on Amazon Prime.