This is the first Star Trek production to be primarily set in the 24th century since Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002, a gap of 18 years - exactly the same span of time that Star Trek was in continuous production on television (1987-2005).
This series has the lowest-ranked protagonist of any Star Trek series in Ensign Beckett Mariner. Before this, the lowest-ranked protagonists were Commander Benjamin Sisko and Commander Michael Burnham (both of whom, it should be noted, were later promoted to Captain).
However, Mariner is roughly the same age as those of command rank, since her classmate from the Academy is a Captain. Mariner just wants to remain an ensign, since no one messes with her, or expects anything of her.
Acting for Two: Jessica McKenna, who plays the voice of the Cerritos computer, also plays Ensign Barnes.
Eugene Cordero's primary character is Ensign Rutherford but he also voices Lt. Winger Bingston, Jr..
In addition to voicing Dr. T'Ana, Gillian Vigman also voices Captain Dayton in "Much Ado About Boimler" and "No Small Parts".
Fred Tatasciore, a veteran "chameleon" voice actor, very often voices at least one additional character besides his primary, Lt. Shaxs, in each episode.
According to Dawnn Lewis, none of the actors knew what characters they were really playing until the announcement. In particular, she was told they were playing animal characters.
Both Tawny Newsome and Jack Quaid have commented that, when they auditioned, they were given isolated scenes and asked to audition for specific characters, seemingly without rhyme or reason. Then when the whole cast was brought together for a table read, the two of them were placed at the center of the table and they each noticed they both had a lot of lines...
Quaid also admitted on Twitter that he had no idea Boimler would flash his nethers in the episode "I, Excretus".
Cast Incest: June Diane Raphael, who plays Billups's mother, is the wife of Billups's voice actor, Paul Scheer.
Channel Hop: Sort of. The first season was classified as a CBS All-Access original; between seasons the service was relaunched as Paramount+ and is now classified as one of their originals (though this is only reflected in the end logos; the CBS All-Access logo at the start of episodes in replaced by a still saying the show is "A CBS Studios Production").
The Starfleet uniforms used by the Cerritos crew are an approximation of uniform designs that were intended for Star Trek: Generations but ended up scrapped due to a Troubled Productionnote Nothing concrete has been said, but it's believed the truncated filming schedule meant the new uniforms were not able to go through enough quality control to be ready for the big screen, causing the film to liberally reuse existing TNG and DS9 costumes. They were to be a blend between the TNG uniforms in coloring and style while evoking the TOS maroon jacket uniforms with a double-breasted flap.
Cetacean Ops is based on an idea for TNG where Stafleet ships would have whales on the ship as they are naturally gifted with traveling in three-dimensional space, but was never realized due to budget. Here it is staffed by a couple of porpoise Starfleet officers.
I Knew It!: After "Trusted Sources", fans guessed that Admiral Buenamigo deliberately let the Cerritos fall into a Breen ambush so he could use it as a testbed for his new Texas class automated vessel. "The Stars At Night" confirmed it and then some.
Ink-Suit Actor: All of the main cast could conceivably portray their characters in live action with appropriate make-up, hairstyling and costuming. In the case of Mariner her early concept art portrayed her as Caucasian with reddish hair, but changed to resemble Tawny Newsome. This was underlined when Newsome, Quaid, Wells and O'Connell appeared at a Star TrekFan Conventionin character. This will be taken to its logical extreme: Newsome and Quaid will portray their characters in live-action for a Star Trek: Strange New Worlds crossover.
Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros.": The four main Ensigns appeared in Star Trek Online as Duty Officer cards two days prior to the series' debut. It was here that Tendi's race was revealed, which interested many a player as Orions were Klingon-based in-game and the only other Orion in any Starfleet capacity was Cadet Gaila in Star Trek (2009).
Writer Mike McMahan is a lifelong Star Trek fan, and was previously the creator of TNG Season 8, which parodied the franchise's more absurd plotlines and/or its tendency for tonal mismatch between the A-plot and B-plot. Examples include "Picard must debate a copy of himself... to the death" and "Trapped in her patient's holo program, Troi literally battles a child's fears. Geordi starts tipping his visor when he says something cool." Now he's writing an officially licensed Affectionate Parody of the franchise he grew up with.
Tawny Newsome is also a huge Star Trek fan and has been known to geek out over the many references to past episodes and movies she encounters in the scripts - when she isn't adding in a few of her own along the way (see below). She is also one of the cohosts of the official Star Trek podcast.
The same happens in the Japanese dub, as Q, Paris, Riker, and Troi are voiced by their dub voice actors from their respective live-action TV series, Michio Hazama, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Akio Ōtsuka and Gara Takashima respectively.
"I, Excretus" has Alice Krige make a brief cameo as the voice of the Borg Queen, a character she last played in Voyager's series finale twenty years earlier.
"First First Contact" sees the return of Lycia Naff as Sonya Gomez for the first time in 32 years.
James Cromwell reprises his role as Zephram Cochrane in "Grounded" for the first time in 21 years.
Susan Gibney reprises her role as Dr. Leah Brahms in "Mining the Mind's Mines" for the first time in 31 years.
Some of Tawny Newsome's dialogue for Mariner was improvised, such as her line about "those sexy people in rompers that murder you just for going on the grass" in "Cupid's Errant Arrow". She is also the reason an Andorian is named "Jennifer", as she improvised the name when the script cued her to shove another character out of the way. She facetiously claims she would have come up with a more appropriate name if she'd been aware the character was supposed to be Andorian.
Voices in One Room: Mostly averted, as the cast generally records separately. However on at least one occasion, Tawny Newsome's recording session overlapped with Jack Quaid's, allowing the two of them to act out their scenes together, riffing and improvising along the way, to their delight and what they admit must have been the horror of the sound editors and animators who had to wring usable material out of their takes.
What Could Have Been: Early designs for the Cerritos suggest that it could have been a smaller variation of the Galaxy-class with square nacelles. Another version of the ship class is closer to the final take but with fancier nacelles and the registry located on the underside of the saucer section. Also, the Cerritos would have been called the San Diego.