Feb 20, 2021
From this week's Star Trek headlines, we #TrekOut how ViacomCBS is an arms dealer in the streaming wars, Ron Moore’s latest adventures, and rumors fresh off the mill! Then, in Gaming, Star Trek Online gets reactionary with it’s newest Legendary Ship offerings, and we finally break down our review of Anniversary’s featured episodes.
Of course, as always, before we wrap up the show, we’ll open hailing frequencies for your incoming messages
This Week’s Community Questions are:
CQ: Where do you think Captain Archer might make an appearance? Picard, Strange New Worlds, or something new. If so what kind of story do you hope they tell about him?
CQ: Are you getting the 2021 Legendary Ship Bundle, now that all the ships have been revealed and all the updates have been made?
CQ: Will you be using a cloaked torpedo build on your Temer Raider? If not what kind of build will you use?
As the streaming wars heat up so does the struggle to keep highly talented show creators locked into deals at a single production studio. J.J. Abrahms made headlines recently jumping from Paramount to Warner Bros. and now the Hollywood Reporter is saying Star Trek alum Ronald D. Moore is making a move. Having produced shows for both Starz and Apple TV+ under Sony TV, Moore has secured a deal with Disney’s recently acquired 20th Television where he will start with a recreation of a Swiss Family Robinson series for Disney+. Moore seemed very excited about the move, saying “I grew up loving Disney movies, TV shows, and theme parks, and I still do to this day, so the chance to work on some of the same classic titles like Swiss Family Robinson was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.” Moore will remain involved with both Outlander on Starz and For All Mankind on Apple TV+. The latter of which has just premiered its sophomore season.
In an exclusive interview with TrekMovie.com, Moore talked about the creation of the show, how they ride the line of an alternate reality space race while keeping it recognizable, and how working on Star Trek taught him how to write for television and the importance of diversity. For All Mankind is set in a fictional reality where a Russian cosmonaut was the first human to set foot on the moon and how that event would affect the subsequent space race to follow. “Star Trek basically taught me everything about writing for television in a lot of ways. And we did a lot of time travel episodes. We talked internally about a lot of history, a lot of alternate history ideas.” One of the biggest changes with this fictional reality is the diversification of NASA astronaut crews nearly 15 years earlier. Moore said that was one of the core concepts of the show, to make a bigger and better space program. “why is it better? We’re creating a better world. To bring it back to Trek, it’s the road to Star Trek. So what [does] the road to Star Trek entail? It entails becoming a better society.” For more information on Moore’s move to Disney and the full interview with Trek Movie, the links are in our show notes.
We’ve been talking on the show for a while now about CBS All Access – soon to be Paramount Plus – and how the broadcast home of Star Trek fits in among the plethora of streaming services out there. One analogy that we’ve overlooked is, perhaps surprisingly, “arms dealer.”
At least, that’s what ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish calls it. We’ve talked in the past about how CBS has been a lot more cavalier with licensing its extensive library to other services. I can still watch star trek reruns on Netflix, for example. However, they’ve made it a habit to sell their new content off as well. According to an article on Bloomberg.com, they’ve sold an Aaron Sorkin drama to Netflix and a movie about Billie Holliday to Hulu. Oh, and that Coming to America sequel? Paramount made it, but Amazon is going to distribute it. And maybe worst of all, they sold a popular Western-themed series called Yellowstone to Peacock. Yeah… Peacock.
According to the article, licensing deals like that account for nearly a quarter of the company’s revenue. And with movie theaters closed and the stiff competition among services, that’s money that they can’t afford to just give up. They can’t even pay to get their stuff back. According to the article, Peacock wouldn’t release ViacomCBS from the Yellowstone deal, so they’re just gonna make a prequel. Because if there’s one thing ViacomCBS and Paramount Plus know how to do, it’s how to do reboots and prequels that everyone loves.
Well, this week, the rumor-mill was churning out some good ones… But, remember.. These are ONLY rumors and should be taken with a grain of salt! For starters, Drew Dietsch at GiantFreakingRobot has heard reports that Paramount is moving forward with a fourth installment of the Kelvin Timeline --- but, instead of it being a strictly theatrical release, ViacomCBS plans to release it simultaneously via its streaming service and theatres. According to their sources, Pine and the rest of the cast will be involved -- although a new director has not yet been selected. The Plot… they’re going back to the timey-wimey Pine Kirk meets Daddy Hemsworth. As if THAT wasn’t rumor enough, the article goes on to say that the studio is trying to get Shatner to appear as well!
While we’re on the topic of returning cast: Dietsch has a separate report suggesting that Scott Bakula -- who played Captain Jonathan Archer is Star Trek: Enterprise -- will come back to reprise the role on Star Trek: Picard. According to the article, the studio hopes to //quote// bring Scott Bakula back by having him cameo in another Star Trek show and then leave the door open for him to headline his own solo series. //end quote//
On the topic of filming… while we anxiously await new Trek to grace our television screens, Social Media might help you pass the time. Especially if you follow folks like actors… showrunners… you know… industry folk. You see, earlier this week, actors like Ethan Peck and Rebecca Romijn posted some innocuous social media updates… random pictures FROM CANADA! Then, unrelated, Star Trek Picard’s Showrunner made a tweet that was quickly removed… In it, he wrote, “Day One of many…” with a little film-camera emoji. So… if we piece it all together, we can assume that filming has begun for BOTH Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Star Trek: Picard. Now… if only we had release dates!!
Enough w/ the Rumors!!! We do have ONE confirmed appearance of a legacy Trek Actor reprising their role!! On episode 360 of Comic Book Central, Billy Campbell -- who you might recall played Thadiun Okona on TNG’s Season 2 episode titled, “The Outrageous Okona” let slip that he’ll be returning to the role on Nickelodeon’s Star Trek: Prodigy! In the interview, Campbell goes on to talk about his experience on Star Trek and even teases how his character will return
by Thomas Reynolds & Shane Hoover
Captains, we have all four of the 2021 Legendary Klingon and Klingon-adjacent ships on sensors. The B’Rel Bird of Prey and Vor’cha Command Support Battlecruiser will bring honor to the Empire, as the Excelsior Miracle Worker Heavy Cruiser and Temporal Support Cruiser represent Federation ships entwined with Klingon history. In-depth analyses will come after the Bundle is available, but we have some thoughts to share while we wait. Priority One wants to hear your opinions too, so analyze the ship stat links in our shownotes.
Previously on Star Trek Online, the Klingon Civil War went south as J’Ula’s truth bombs jump-started an Imperial polyfaction spree. In “Knowledge is Power”, J’Ula’s friends (and not you) join Tenavik on her run-and-gun vision quest through the Boreth monastery. One bad trip leads to another, as they resurrect the late Chancellor L’Rell as an icon of reunification. What the time crystals left out is that her soul’s in Gre’thor so it’s time to do a little soul-searching. Don’t do time crystal, kids, it’s bad for you. “Leap of Faith” closes the loop with the whole gang suffocating themselves Flatliners-style to storm Gre’thor’s gates and liberate L’Rell. You meet Gowron in the Rio’s smoking area on your way to the Barge of the Dead and Fek’lhr’s throne. Gowron takes L’Rell’s place in Gre’thor–because, I mean, the Rio–but J’Ula makes a counteroffer: maybe J’mpok’s and Aakar’s souls instead? She was going to kill them anyway–but first, you have a lot of demons between you and the waking world.
House Reborn is another two-mission addition you could call an episode (we won’t, but that targ’s been beaten to death already). The Klingon Civil War only totals six missions, but might be STO’s most engaging story since the Iconian War ended. We’re not dissing Victory is Life in any way, but make this a miniseries and we’re there with the popcorn. Three Houses down, and it’s clear STO’s writers aren’t afraid of the narrative swerve. What separates this from what we see on CBS Al–sorry, Paramount Plus, is that the hard pivots are plausible. This is the Star Trek we wish was on TV...but as we’ll see later, that might not be all good.
Talking about TV: with Chieffo, O’Reilly, and Hurtzler behind the mic, is anyone surprised that the voice acting’s so good? It’s an out-and-out pleasure to have them back in our Trekkie lives, ridges or no ridges. J’Ula and Adet’pa are mostly the game’s invention, but Mara Junot and Rehka Sharma make them worthy of screen time.
Pivoting to gameplay…eehhh. The missions are very different, so we’ll address each individually, but in ten words or less? More–and more–of the same.
“Knowledge is Power” follows the traditional formula of “warp in, [BEEP] things up, warp out.” Space combat as Captain Yourself bookends a protracted slog as J’Ula around the monastery.
J’You’La is also the strike-from-shadows type of matriarch, not a drag-out brawler, making it even more tedious. Go back and watch the engineering room cutscene in “Secrets.” See what she has with her? Mobs of goons providing cover fire and Ripper chow. You will draw aggro as the largest damage source on your side, and the hypospray can’t recharge fast enough. The curse of competence, I guess.
Bless Cryptic for reinforcing hand-to-hand combat’s prominence in Klingon culture, religion, children’s birthday parties, and the Qo’noS dating scene. The game just isn’t suited to it. This is painfully apparent as you spam J’Ula’s single melee attack in one-button battles of attrition. If there’s an upside, the cathartic thrill of every...single...kill...you...make...is very Klingon. So, uh, immersion?
In comparison “Leap of Faith” is a lot easier: you’re yourself again, with your crew and the loadouts you’re used to. Three ambushes in the afterlife precede the fun of clawing your way out to the get-a-way barge. The mission is capped by a final space battle to remind you this, in fact, is still Star Trek. “Not as bad as the first” is damning with faint praise, but really: “Leap of Faith” just works better. The ambushes are sudden and believably short. Escaping Gre’thor is actually a plot point with a clear narrative start and end. The space battle can be a challenge even at Normal, and not just from how long the portals stay open. Say what you will about Fer’ang dreadnoughts as event ships: they’re a lot more beastly when pointed at you.
However as associate producer Shane put it, “Surface Tension’ is long. It's always been long. But unlike the new missions, every step tells the story. Every stage of every fight advances that story. Instead of being long while you're in it, it just feels like it's big stakes and large scale. It's like [Victory is Life’s] ‘Home’ in that way”. House Reborn, on the other hand, struggles where Shattered did too. Gameplay is a grinding vehicle between dialogue boxes and cutscenes. That’s where the money is, and it certainly shows. But as Shane pointed out, we know it’s possible to have engaging gameplay that advances the story, too.
Whether you bought out or grinded for the long haul, odds are good that you have your Temer now. Its 5/1 weapons layout and 5/2/3 Tac/Sci/Eng console allotment clearly mean it’s an alpha-strike ship. Ride up, drop the cloak, let your cannons rip, and slink into darkness while they’re mopping up their Earl Grey. Or, and hear us out on this one, maybe not?
The Temer’s Enhanced Battle Cloak lets you fire torpedoes, mines, and Captain/Boff abilities without fully switching it off. Therefore it’s also a perfectly competent Gravity Well and/or torpedo boat, even with its low Science console capacity. Yes, your cloak drops momentarily to light them up, but it’s still considered active as traits are concerned. Just make sure your hull is up to it, since you’re spending most of the fight without shields.
So, you have a stack of lockbox keys in one inventory slot, and Zhat Vash lockboxes in another. You got a Number One ground pet on your first try–by far the most important item you can get. Now what? You could always put the rest on the Exchange, but Priority One Podcast thinks there’s still value to be found. We think these prizes are worth the Zen you’ll spend to unlock them.
We all know mobile developer Scopely as the studio that brings us Star Trek: Fleet Command. And now they’re the creators of a new web-based 8-bit piece of Star Trek history. In a blog posted to the company site on February 11th, Scopely announced a new contest inviting players to beat Star Trek’s infamous Kobayashi Maru scenario. Put your command abilities to the test against deadly dangers like Dagger Pox, hidden poison and, of course, Klingon ambush!
But “CONTEST?!” you say? Yes, Captains, if you’re able to defeat this Kobayashi Maru faster than anyone else, you could win one of several big prizes. The First Prize winner takes home a lifetime subscription to Paramount Plus and an Original Series Captain Kirk Green Wrap tunic as seen on Season One. Second Prize includes a $500 Eaglemoss Ship Collectibles package, a Captain Kirk Standee, and a personalized Captain’s Assignment Letter to the U.S.S. Enterprise. And Third Prize wins a $200 Star Trek gift shop gift card and a Starfleet Academy Personalized Certificate.
But you won’t win. You can’t win. It’s a no-win scenario! After all, a connected Facebook account is required to enter the contest. Talk about a no-win scenario!