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Priority One: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast

Apr 24, 2021

This week on Episode 505 of Priority One: We #TrekOut the Tweet that broke the Star Trek Community, the fate of the multiverse, and a look into Star Trek Discovery’s special effects for Season 3. In gaming, grab yourself a Phoenix Prize Pack and check out the update to the Azure Nebula. Later, Dr. Robert Hurt reports on black holes with this week’s Astrometrics Report.

This week’s Community Questions are:

CQ: If you were writing for Worf’s return in a show like Star Trek: Picard, how would you set it up?

CQ: What items from the Phoenix Prize pack do you think players should try to get their hands on?

CQ: What are the key pieces of advice you would give to first-time players of Star Trek Online?

Let us know on social media like Facebook, Twitter, or by visiting our website!


Edited by Thomas Reynolds

Michael Dorn Breaks Twitter

By Elio Lleo

On Monday, April 19th, Michael Dorn broke Twitter. Well, metaphorically broke the corner of Twitter that most Trekkies hang out in. You see, his tweet read "Just got the news, being summoned back into action. Starfleet calls. #ad".

At the time of this writing, the post has been retweeted almost 3,000 times and liked nearly 40,000 times. Everyone assumed that this was an “unofficial” announcement that he would be reprising this role as Worf in an upcoming Star Trek film or television production. Even our own team at Priority One mistakenly believed this was another “slip-up” from one of the actors: an announcement that he had been cast to return.

Dishonor On You And Your Podcast

We’re not journalists, nor have we ever announced ourselves as such. For 500 episodes, we’ve curated the big headlines from industry sources and do our best to offer our thoughts and reviews on the subject. So, it was definitely our mistake to have retweeted it as if we had official confirmation of his return to the small or big screen [so stop emailing us about it-Ed.].

But the fine folks at TrekMovie and io9–with their constantly reliable sources--did their due diligence. Michael Dorn’s tweet “...whatever this is, it isn’t related to a Paramount+ Star Trek project.” So that’s that. Worf is not returning–at least not on any Star Trek Paramount+ or film project.

Lt. Commander Worf and other Klingons perform the Klingon death ritual in Star Trek: The Next Generation.Some of us are taking it harder than others. Image: ViacomCBS, via Memory Alpha.

But let’s say he did. What would that look like? If you’ve read the IDW Countdown series that set up the Kelvin Fork, you know that Worf was impaled by Nero. If you’ve played Star Trek Online, you know he’s an ambassador. And most recently, if you’ve read Una McCormack’s pre-Picard Prime Universe novel, you know he’s the captain of the Enterprise.

That leads us to our first community question this week:  

CQ: If you were writing for Worf’s return in a show like Star Trek: Picard, how would you set it up?

Let us know in the comment section for this episode at, or by replying to our community question post on our social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

He Who Controls The Multiverse Controls the Streams!

By Elio Lleo

Last week, we recapped Akiva Goldsman's interview with The Hollywood Reporter, about what viewers can expect from Star Trek: Picard and Strange New Worlds. This week, Variety spoke with Alex Kurtzman (and several other executives) exploring how big intellectual properties are influencing the streaming and film industries.

The cover of tbhe Image: Giacomo Gambineri, for Variety.

When exploring how the production and distribution of media has shifted–especially during the COVID19 pandemic when theatres were shut down–Kurtzman explains that “I think vertical alignment has made it so that it’s impossible not to accept the reality that the line between movies and television is gone. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have a feature that is separate from television. But if they aren’t connected in some way, then you’re basically running two universes parallel as opposed to interconnected, and I think that those messages could potentially cancel each other out.”

Interestingly, in the wake of the merger the Star Trek team of showrunners are (apparently) meeting monthly. Kurtzman told Variety, “We make sure that those showrunners are coordinating so that they’re not stepping on each other’s toes." So Star Trek: Discovery aired back in 2017, and Picard in January of 2020. Is it possible we’ll see more cohesive storytelling and development from collaboration going forward?

A Closer Look At Discovery Season 3 Visual Effects

By Cat Hough

Pixomondo, the Emmy-nominated visual effects house for Star Trek: Discovery,. released a highlight reel of the visual effects seen in Season 3. We hear VFX supervisor Phil Jones explaining some of the complexities involved in designing 32nd century ships. One challenge in particular was Book's chameleon ship, which had to be re-configured to fit in the Discovery's shuttle bay–not to mention constantly changing shape when flying.

The team also designed most of the planet and ground locations by starting with live-action footage and layering in additional effects. For example, the ice planet was based from footage shot in Iceland. As discussed in previous episodes, Pixomondo also confirmed that Season 4 is being shot on a virtual production stage, Mandalorian-style. 

In Memoriam: Felix Silla, Cousin Itt On The Addams Family, 84

By Rosco McQueen

The actor Felix Silla, who played Addams Family member Cousin Itt, has died after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 84. Silla was a trained circus performer who came to the United States from Italy in 1955. He toured with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Show, which ultimately led him to roles in Hollywood as a stuntman. 

In memoriam: Felix Silla, 1937-2021.Felix Silla, 1937-2021. Image: Dave Starbuck/Geisler-Fotopress via Variety.

Silla’s links to Star Trek go back to the very beginning–he was a Talosian in the original pilot “The Cage”–but his list of credits is extensive. Along the way, he worked with the likes of Michael Dorn in 1977’s Demon Seed, Michael Ansara in 1978’s The Manitou, and in the 1979 film The Brood by David Cronenberg.

In Memoriam: Robert Fletcher, Star Trek Costume Designer, 98

By Rosco McQueen

Also Robert Fletcher, 'Star Trek' Costume Designer, has died this week aged 98. Fletcher was the designer behind the feature films’ Klingon and Vulcan looks, which have since become iconic to the franchise. He was also the designer of the full set of rank pins used in Wrath of Khan and beyond.

In memoriam: Robert Fletcher, 1922-2021Robert Fletcher, 1922-2021. Image: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images via The Hollywood Reporter.

Robert Fletcher received three Tony Award nominations for his work on Little Me (1963), High Spirits (1964), and Hadrian VII (1969). In 2005 he was awarded the Career Achievement Award from the Costume Designers Guild and in 2008 he received a Theatre Development Fund / Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award for his set design work.


By Robert Hurt, PhD.

Edited by Thomas Reynolds

For this week's Astrometrics Report, we're going to take a journey into darkness: specifically, the vast halo of dark matter astronomers think surrounds our galaxy. Because dark matter is, well, dark, it is notoriously hard to study. It can't be observed directly, and indeed there's no clear idea of what it is. It is only inferred to exist by its substantial gravitational effect on the normal, luminous matter that we can detect. That effect is not subtle–scientists think that dark matter outweighs normal matter by a factor of 5 to 1.

That's a lot of dark, but there is a tiny bit of light in this dark matter tunnel that astronomers have just leveraged to get a handle on all that stuff surrounding out galaxy. Two teams of astronomers have come together, in a recent Nature paper, to compare theoretical models of how dark matter may flow around the Milky Way. The challenging observational effort: survey the most difficult stars in the outer reaches of our galaxy, in the region known as its halo.

Image: NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/Conroy et. al.

Our galaxy has two neighboring galaxies that factor into this study, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. These are a standard fixture in our dark nighttime skies, but only from the Southern Hemisphere. The larger one ("LMC" for short) has about one-quarter the mass of the Milky Way, and is about 160,000 lightyears away. For a sense of scale, the Milky Way itself is only about 100,000 lightyears across. It has long been thought that the LMC and SMC are satellite galaxies orbiting the Milky Way. A recent theoretical study from the University of Arizona, indicates this orbit should create a sort of gravitational wake in the Milky Way's dark matter halo.

But how would one ever find the wake if it existed? This is when a group of Harvard astronomers came into the picture. Reasoning that the sparse scattering of stars in the halo would follow the hidden distribution of dark matter, they set out to find the faint population of the most distant stars around the Milky Way. To do this, they combined star catalogues from two complementary missions. The European Space Agency's Gaia mission has mapped out billions of stars in visible light, while NASA's NEOWISE mission has surveyed the entire sky in infrared light.

Only by comparing the visible and infrared signatures of billions of stars could they identify about 1300 sitting further out than even the LMC itself. This map of our galaxy's most distant stars showed a striking irregularity–one that aligned incredibly well with the dark matter simulation. It's a classic case of theory leading to a hypothesis that could be tested with data. This is the scientific method in action!
Animation: NASA/JPL-Caltech/NSF/R. Hurt/N. Garavito-Camargo & G. Besla.

The study also sheds light on the nature of mysterious dark matter itself. In this case, it lends support for a kind of scenario scientists have dubbed "cold dark matter. " Refining the dark matter simulations to better match the observations may also help establish more precise properties of this elusive stuff. Make sure to check the shownotes for a link to the paper, and the cool animation showing the dark matter halo simulation.

But as a parting thought, I'd like to take a minute to imagine what it would be like, standing on a world orbiting one of these distant lonely stars in the Milky Way's halo. Chances are you would not be able to see easily the nearest star with the naked eye, as they would just be too far apart. Instead, your night sky would be filled with the spectacle of the entire Milky Way itself. Not unlike that closing moment in the Empire Strikes Back, as the rebel fleet regroups in the far reaches of their own galaxy far, far away.

"Star Wars"? Never heard of it. Image: Disney/Lucasfilm


Edited by Thomas Reynolds

Upgrading Phoenix Box Upgrades

By Rosco McQueen

Captains on PC can claim a free Phoenix Prize pack each day until April 27th. So why not take the time to say hi to Gyrm on Drozana Station, or shoot the breeze with Onna on Deep Space Nine?

For those brand new to STO, your account can claim one prize pack per day, or you can spend dilithium for single or 10-box bundles. Open the pack and receive a token with one of five rarity levels. The top two tiers, Ultra Rare and Epic, will allow you to claim a T5 or T6 starship. For a full list of available prizes, trek out the link in our show notes.

Image: Cryptic Studios.

The most interesting part is the Experimental Upgrade tokens are now available to claim at the Ultra Rare level.  It’s not the first time the token has been a part of the prize pack. However, the blog post announcing the event states “[t]hese tokens will only be available in this pack during this event.”

CQ: What items from the Phoenix Prize pack do you think players should try to get their hands on?

STO Remasters Tholian TFOs

By Cat Hough

If you happened to be playing through TFOs over the weekend, you may have noticed the Azure Nebula and Vault Ensnared have been remastered. Updates include different optional requirements, updated timers and more noticeable indicators. The remastering wasn’t mentioned in patch notes, but announced via tweet instead.

Be Advised: First-Time Players In Star Trek Online

By Rosco McQueen

The independent MMO website Massively OP asked a straightforward question this week. What key advice would you give to first-timers in your MMO?

Star Trek Online has just been through the Klingon Recruitment event, and rolled into a revamped Delta Recruit event.  What does this mean for new players?  It’s the perfect time to start a new character and take them on a new adventure, with all-new bonuses available! So if you’re brand new to the game, first of all, welcome!  We thought we would share a couple of pieces of advice that will hopefully set up your captain for success.

Image: Cryptic Studios via SFC3/STOwiki.

  • Choose a weapon type at the start–phasers, disruptors, etc.–and a style like beams or cannons. Stick with them.
  • You can never go wrong with a hot, sour little pick-me-up in a stemmed glass, with a drop of honey.
  • STOWiki is your best source of information for missions, equipment, build, and anything else in the game.
  • An MMO-style mouse with side-mounted 10-key pad will make the game far easier to play. Also, consider setting up macros to automate your power usage.
  • Don’t rush! Enjoy the game and get through the story missions. You don’t have to be in a hurry to get to endgame.
  • Join a fleet! We happen to know a few.

CQ: What are the key pieces of advice you would give to first-time players of Star Trek Online?