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This Star Trek series won’t say the F-bomb for a very clever reason

Lower Decks avoids coarse language more than other Star Trek series, but you might be surprised to know the studio isn't actually the one censoring anything.

Jonathan Frakes as Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generaiton

Star Trek hasn’t always been the most family-friendly. Some Star Trek entries include some foul language, but you won’t find any in Lower Decks. Instead, this Star Trek series bleeps everything, but it’s not because anyone has cold feet about throwing around the occasional “fuck”.

“CBS has never told us anything. We’ve never been censored,” Barry Kelly, an animator on Lower Decks, tells CinemaBlend. “We just think it’s funnier. It’s funnier to self-censor. It tells you something bad happened without having to say it.”

Honestly, he’s right. Masking expletives often creates a better dynamic than letting them fly. The beeps let us fill in the blanks in our heads, and if there are a lot of them, the conversation takes on a whole other layer of absurdity. Using this approach has made Lower Decks one of the best animated series currently on.

Kelly explains that they’re aware it’s all about balance. “There are a few times we’ve left an occasional s-word in there, or ‘ass’ makes it through,” he says. “It’s the big ones that got more bite on them [that we censor]. Sometimes, I don’t even know what potty mouth our actors and actresses have because what they’re saying we don’t use.”

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If you’re not familiar with Lower Decks, you’re missing out on one of the best sci-fi series on at the moment. The show follows crewmembers who’ve less notable roles within the federation, moving away from Star Trek captains and such to show us what life is really like being on the Enterprise.

Menial in a lot of the same ways as any other job, it turns out. Members of the Star Trek The Next Generation cast and Voyager cast have appeared at various points, but only ever in certain episodes so they don’t overshadow the actual characters.

You can check out all four seasons of Lower Decks on Paramount Plus now. You can find out more in our guides to Moopsy and what destroyed the Klingon and Romulan ships. You’ll also enjoy our pieces on why Strange New Worlds breaking canon doesn’t bother us and how Paramount execs expected Kate Mulgrew to fail.