Animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks is returning for its second season very soon – and showrunner Mike McMahan has teased that there could still be a long way to go for the series yet.
The series has already been commissioned for a third run, but McMahan doesn't see it stopping there. "I would do this show forever," he recently told TrekMovies.com. "I would hit seven seasons and then beg for a TNG season 8-style Hail Mary season."
He added, "I would do movies of this show. I’ve got a billion ideas. I love the Cerritos, I love the Cerritos crew, I love the 2380s era. We’re going to do as many stories as we can until we run up until the events that kind of trigger the stuff that happens in Picard because the Federation drastically changes at that point."
For now, though, it's the second series that is the focus, and the good news for fans of the show – which airs on streaming service Paramount Plus in the US – is that it will be coming to the UK earlier than originally thought.
There are some big treats in store for Trekkies this time around, with a couple of Star Trek alumni set to join the cast for special guest appearances during the second season.
And McMahan has also said the second season allowed him to break new ground – given he doesn't have to spend so much time introducing things this time.
"You’ll see from the very first scene that there’s no hand-holding anymore," he said. "From that first scene, you see that we’ve got Mariner in a situation that would be impossible to describe to people who had never seen Star Trek before."
Read on for everything you need to know about Star Trek: Lower Decks season two, including exactly when you can expect to see new episodes and what might happen in the second run.
Star Trek: Lower Decks season 2 release date
In the UK, the series will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on Friday 13th August, just a day after the first episode arrives on Paramount Plus across the Atlantic.
Episodes will then be released on a weekly basis for the next ten weeks, with the finale set to land on Prime Video on 15th October.
And there's more good news for fans as well: this definitely won't be the last we see of the U.S.S. Cerritos, with the series already having been renewed for a third run.
Star Trek: Lower Decks season 2 cast
Most of the cast members from the first series have returned to the voice booth this time around, with Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid, Noël Wells, and Eugene Cordero all returning to voice Beckett, Brad, D’Vana, and Sam respectively.
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Other returnees include Dawnn Lewis as Carol Freeman, Jerry O'Connell as Jack Ransom and Gillian Vigman as T'Ana, although Fred Tatasciore won't be back after his character Shaxs sacrificed himself at the end of the first season. Meanwhile, Carl Kart has joined the voice cast as a new character, Lieutenant Kayshon – Shaxs' replacement on the U.S.S Cerritos.
And the extra exciting news is that two Star Trek alumni will be making appearances in the series. Star Trek: The Next Generation's Jonathan Frakes will reprise his role as William Riker, while Star Trek: Voyager actor Robert Duncan McNeill will play Tom Paris, who appears on the show in the form of a commemorative plate – and there's the possibility of even more legacy cameos as well.
Star Treks: Lower Decks season 2 plot: What will happen?
The second series will once again focus on the escapades of the support crew members on the U.S.S. Cerritos, with showrunner Mike McMahan having revealed that he wants to combine standalone episodes with season-long character arcs.
In addition to the Cerritos, the season will also tell several stories set on board another ship, the U.S.S. Titan, which Brad Boimler agreed to join as a Lieutenant junior-grade during the events of season one (although we're led to believe from the trailer that this move won't be permanent).
Speaking to ScreenRant about what to expect from season two, McMahan said, "We've got Rutherford's memory issues, we've got Mariner and her mom working together, we've got the Pakleds being a real threat out in the world, we've got Tendi worried about her friends not remembering her from the first season and what does that mean for their friendship.
"And we've got Boimler on the Titan! That's not the Cerritos. The Titan is a whole different beast and what does that mean for our Boimy Boims? You know, he's not with Mariner or Rutherford or Tendi and what is that new group like over there? How is he experiencing it and how are our other Lower Deckers experiencing him not being there?
"All that stuff is how we wrote season two. It's very funny. There are some amazing legacy cameos, there's some great standalone storytelling mixed with some season-long character arcs."
Star Treks: Lower Decks season 2 trailer
You can get a taste for the second season by watching the trailer below, which includes some new and returning enemies (including the Borg and the Ferengi) some exciting action (including a phaser fight inside a museum), and a teaser for the appearance of Tom Parris.
Star Trek: Lower Decks season 2 begins on Amazon Prime Video on Friday 13th August. You can sign up to Amazon Prime Video for £7.99 a month with a 30-day free trial. If you’re looking for more to watch, head over to our TV Guide, or visit our Sci-fi hub for more news and features.