Based on the overwhelming positive reception of the episode, the “Strange New Worlds”https://www.slashfilm.com/”Lower Decks” crossover successfully managed to appeal to both fans of “Lower Decks” and those who may not have gotten around to the animated series just yet. But longtime viewers were not disappointed to see the essence of both Boimler and Mariner effectively translated into another medium entirely, thanks in large part to Jack Quaid and Tawny Newsome essentially acting like live-action cartoons in the best possible way. According to Frakes, their chaotic vibes had an “infectious effect” on the rest of the “Strange New Worlds” cast and convinced producers Henry Alonso Myers and Akiva Goldsman to give them free rein — a marked departure from the days when Frakes was acting in “The Next Generation.”
When that subject of improvisation came up, Frakes noted to Variety:
“Which doesn’t happen a lot on ‘Star Trek,’ as you probably have heard. I mean, especially in our f***ing show [‘The Next Generation’], they were so strict. It was like we were doing Shakespeare or Chekhov.”
One can imagine the classy and no-nonsense presence of Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard likely had the biggest influence on the sense of atmosphere on set during those days, but having everyone loosen up on “Strange New Worlds” definitely led to one of the most hilarious moments in the entire episode. According to Frakes, the entire exchange between Boimler and Mariner over how unexpectedly hot Spock is at such a young age was completely improvised during filming. Fans know just how well this fits in with Mariner’s personality throughout “Lower Decks,” making this the perfect moment for the fun-loving character to bounce off the stuffy Spock. Be sure to check out the full interview.
“Strange New Worlds” is currently streaming on Paramount+.