May 30, 2020
This week on Priority One --- We trek out Star Trek: Picard’s possible series longevity, Sir Patrick’s history with Star Trek, Mike McMahon’s vision for Lower Decks, and what Simon Pegg knows about the next Trek film - spoiler: it isn’t much! In Star Trek Gaming, Star Trek Online goes to Red Alert, takes on rubberbanding, and Star Trek Timelines announces its newest event!
Of course, as always, before we wrap up the show, we’ll open hailing frequencies for your incoming messages
This Weeks Community Questions Are:
CQ: Do you think Star Trek is better suited for Television, Movies, or is there a place for Trek on both?
CQ: What’s your Star Trek Online Red Alert of choice? Why?
by Jake Morgan
Delays are an inevitability - even more so now, during the pandemic. But with those delays comes anticipation, and sometimes opportunity. At least that’s what Star Trek Executive Producer and Oscar winning writer Akiva Goldsman thinks. Last week, Goldsman sat down with Collider to discuss Star Trek: Picard season 2, how quarantine has changed the timetable, and how the delays may be a blessing in disguise.
Goldsman discussed those inevitable delays we just discussed, telling Collider ”We were to start shooting in June, which I guarantee you we will not unless the world opens tomorrow. We had broken the season, we were about halfway through the writing of it. You know, we will start as soon as we can once the world opens, you know? Prep will have to resume, and then we’ll start. We know what it is, and it’s cool.”
In regards to Picard’s early “dark tone”, as well as Covid-19’s silver-lining, Goldsman explained ”I kept saying, ‘They’re reviewing the first act of a movie.’ The first act of a movie is always dark. If you stopped It’s a Wonderful Life at the bridge, it’s a really dark movie! Because fundamentally in a longform narrative, it’s a redemption story, it’s a healing story, it has to be bad at the beginning so it gets good at the end, otherwise there’s nothing to fix. So we’re in this weird world now where we create one narrative object but we dole it out bit by bit, which is fascinating. And can be kind of fun. But what you really want is to be able to refine your setups once you’ve written your payoffs… if in fact you could have the time to write 10 hours first, that would be amazing. And maybe we will.”
When asked how many seasons Goldsman foresaw in Picard’s future, he responded ”I mean, I think we have discussed it as both a 3 season show, a 5 season show, a “let’s just keep going forever” show[...]Star Trek: Picard in my view will go as long as Patrick Stewart wants to do it… As I’m sure you know, he was not interested in coming back. And we did a lot of… really good collaborative story breaking and talking and you know and I think he’s particularly delighted in a good way about having come back. And we will rely on that good will until he feels he’s done.”
Speaking of Sir Patrick, the “Picard” star had a candid interview with CBS This Morning about his history with Star Trek, Picard, and his daily sonnets.
When asked by "CBS This Morning" co-host Tony Dokoupil whether he always aspired to Produce a series, Stewart said ”No. I was too naïve, too new at the game of series television. And I had so much work to do. I mean[...]the first couple of years, I didn't have a life or a social life at all. We'd work a five-day week; 13-, 14-, sometimes 15-hour days, especially towards the end of the week. And Saturday morning, I would allow myself a little sleep in. And then I would do my own laundry, which by the way, I still do. It's an obsession with me.”
Stewart was frank about his early days on the TNG set, saying /”I lectured my fellow cast members about some of the fooling around that was going on on the set, and the games that they were playing and the singing and the jokes and the ruining shots. And there was this horrible silence. And it was Denise Crosby who said to me, 'Trick, come on, we gotta have some fun!' And I said, 'We are not here to have fun.' I said that! And that became, you know, a legendary quote, as I progressively got sillier and sillier as the series wore on.”
Finally, in regards to Stewart’s charming daily sonnets, Sir Patrick said ”I had no idea what I was saying or what it meant. But there was something in the language”
Star Trek’s first animated series since the 70’s is set to air this year, and the buzz is starting to form around the upcoming “Lower Decks”. In the interview from our first story, Akiva Goldsman said ”Lower Decks] literally couldn’t seem funnier to me”. But what does series showrunner and Star Trek super-fan Mike McMahon think? We’re glad you asked!
McMahon discussed the series with Slashfilm this week, explaining the premise and structure of the show ”If you’re watching Lower Decks, you’re getting a full Star Trek episode from the perspective of people who are having their own social and emotional stories and their own sci-fi stories, but they just aren’t on the bridge. They don’t have the information the bridge is getting, and they don’t have the responsibility.”
McMahon, who was the showrunner on the popular “Rick and Morty”, explained how Lower Decks isn’t a Star Trek skinned version of his previous show ”A big thing that was important to me was figuring out how do we comedically access these characters. How can these characters be funny and not break Star Trek? You can’t have a Morty [from Rick and Morty] in Star Trek. You can’t just have a stupid person in Starfleet, otherwise it breaks the aspirational paradigm of what humanity is like in Starfleet. So our leads are foils for each other, but they’re very much ingrained in Star Trek.”
McMahon gave a little flavor to the series main characters, explaining Ensign Beckett Mariner as ”kind of like Captain Kirk if Kirk wasn’t a captain and didn’t have the power. Kirk would follow his gut, and she followers her gut.” and Ensign Brad Boimler as /”so by-the-book and so burdened by following the rules that he can’t follow his gut.”
Oh Simon Pegg. How sick you must be of answering questions about Star Trek. But bless your heart - you keep doing it. This week, Collider had the honor of asking Pegg about a possible upcoming movie that he knows very little about.
Pegg was asked what he and his castmates knew about an upcoming film, to which he replied ”If [Paramount says], ‘We’d like to do another movie,’ I’m sure we’ll all jump at the chance. I miss those guys, and I love making those films. But I just don’t know. Noah Hawley’s project has been mentioned, and maybe that will happen. I don’t know anything about that. So yeah, I’m as in the dark as everyone else, I’m in the same boat as you guys.”
Pegg discussed the more “niche” audience of Trek, when compared to - say - the Marvel Universe, and offered ”the obvious thing to do would be to not go for that massive spectacle, go for something a little bit more restrained in the vein of the original series. Yes, that would be a brilliant thing to do, and I’m sure it probably has been discussed… You specialize a little bit more.”
Finally, Pegg may have talked himself out of future Star Trek work, telling Collider ”Maybe TV is a better place for [Star Trek] now. Television has evolved so much. It’s become something which is very much a contemporary, a peer of cinema. It’s simply viewed in a different way. It isn’t a reduced scope anymore. You can still do masses of interesting things, and it can still look modern and not inexpensive. Maybe television is a better format for Star Trek. That’s where it started, you know.”
by Shane Hoover
All the Red Alerts, all the Red Alerts
All the Red Alerts, all the Red Alerts
All the Red Alerts, all the Red Alerts
All the Red Alerts, now put your shields up
If Operation Delta Rising, the Draanuur colony, and the Khitomer-class battlecruiser have taught us anything, it’s the value of collaboration across different cultures towards our common goals. However our less-pleasant galactic neighbors have taken the hint, and are launching a coordinated multi-front offensive across the galaxy. It’s teamwork that makes the existential threat work, I guess.
From May 28th at 8 AM Pacific to June 4th at 10 AM Pacific, PC captains will be able to play all five Red Alert Task Force Operations:
Players will receive the normal rewards for each playthrough, and each day’s first completed Red Alert will also grant Daily Event Progress on their account. After receiving five daily progress token players will be able to claim either a Universal Tech Upgrade or Specialization Point grand prize for their account. The grand prize can also be purchased outright on a prorated scale, relative to daily progress made in the event. Players who complete a Red Alert TFO each day after getting the grand prize will receive a dilithium ore bonus, starting at 8,000 and increasing by 1,000 each day.
So that there’s no confusion, captains, I want to stress: THERE. ARE. FIVE. ALERTS.
From June 2nd at 8 AM Pacific to June 23rd at 10 Pacific, captains on console will have another crack at simultaneous Infinity R&D and Duty Officer Promotions. As usual, during the promotion R&D Packs and Duty Officer Packs purchased from the C-Store and opened will grant either an additional 10 Lobi Crystals or a Special Requisition Choice Pack - Tier 6 Promotional Ship Choice Pack. And this time a new ship is making its console debut in the Ship Choice Pack—the contentiously-named La Sirena T6 Heavy Raider, as seen in Star Trek: Picard.
Also coming to consoles, from June 2nd through June 23rd, players can assault J’Ula’s moon based shipyards in the “To Hell With Honor” Featured TFO Event. Just like it was on PC, this is a unique TFO featuring space combat over a moon surface map. Destroy J’Ula’s ships before they can join her fleet, and deal with unexpected guests provoked by J’Ula’s Mycelial weapon technology.
This featured TFO is part two of the four part Event Campaign on consoles, with each day’s completion rewarding 50 Event Campaign progress points. To see the event rewards, like the DOT-7 Drones last seen on Short Treks, follow the link to STO’s blog in our show notes.
Picture this: you’re tearing across the Park in the Dyson Ground Battlezone like, or because, there won’t be a tomorrow. The Voth are almost done collecting Omega particles, and you’re the only one who can stop them. The V-Rex is in sight, you ready your Orbital Strike—and suddenly you’re 50 meters away, running over the same patch of grass again. And again. And again. And scene.
You, mon capitan, have been rubberbanded.
Player complaints about lagging in MMOs are as old as MMOs themselves. However Star Trek Online has *allegedly* been more badly-affected than usual recently. On Monday the 25th, the official Star Trek Online Twitter account shared a link to a SurveyMonkey poll, asking players to describe their recent experiences. The poll includes your general geographic location, proxy usage, ISP, and in-game locations you find particularly troublesome. Link in the show notes.
Join us for TFO Thursday - each Thursday we team up with other Armada members to earn marks and dilithium.
From Thursday May 28 at noon ET to June 1 at noon ET, Star Trek Timelines will feature the Blundering Terror Galaxy Event for the Federation, Ferengi Alliance, and Borg factions. No details for the event narrative have been released but we do have the following key details.
The 4-star Professor Scott--Great Scott! [throw toilet paper roll]--will be returning as a featured crew member, joined by the new 5-star crew member Determined Paris and 4-star Grebnedlog. Grebnedlog, for those whose rubber bands may be broken, is the captain of the Pakled ship in the TNG episode "Samaritan Snare." As always, event crew members grant the highest bonuses. However variants of Tom Paris, Montgomery Scott, and crew members with the Thief trait will also make you strong and make your Faction go.
The winning Faction may not attain the 24th level of awareness, but they will receive a new 5-star Kira-variant crew member. 20th century science fiction author Kay Eaton, seen in the DS9 episode "Far Beyond the Stars," will be a featured crew member in the next event starting on 06/04.