Oct 23, 2020
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This week on Episode 483 of Priority One–we ‘Trek Out’ Star Trek Discovery’s season 4 renewal, the SFX info dump, and Mike McMahan’s second week of interviews! We’re also joined by The Roddenberries to talk about their upcoming Virtual Extravaganza! In Star Trek gaming, we look at Star Trek Online's Legen–wait for it–dary Mirror Bundle and Bort’s borked weapons. Finally, we head “On Screen” to trek out Discovery’s season 3 premiere - “That Hope Is You, Part 1”
Of course, as always, before we wrap up the show, we’ll open hailing frequencies for your incoming messages
This Weeks Community Question Is:
CQ: Who do YOU think Discovery’s “Big Bad” will be?
Star Trek: Discovery’s third season took off–or crash landed– this past week, but the cast and crew continue to look towards the future. That’s true both in front of–and behind–the camera, because Star Trek: Discovery Season FOUR was officially announced on Star Trek.com this week!
The Star Trek website made the announcement via a 57 second video, with appearances from showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise–and series stars Sonequa Martin-Green and Doug Jones.
But with COVID restrictions, how will the show start filming? Likely in much the same way season 3 wrapped. In an article published on IndieWire, Alex Kurtzman talked a bit about Star Trek’s pioneering home-created visual effects. ”Our editors, miraculously and heroically, took their editing bays into their living rooms, and we cut the entire season, in collaboration, just the way I’m talking to you right now. We also scored the entire season, mixed the entire season, color timed the entire season, all from this laptop [over which this Zoom interview occurred].”Image credit: CBS
Kurtzman explained that even actors took the craft home, filming with motion-capture suits so they could be inserted later. ”It’s an actual actor at their home motion-capture studio, which then gets rendered in the computer as a living thing. It’s a real person… Each of our actors have been scanned, so we can actually impose their faces on a body, which is quite something.”
The cast is reportedly in Toronto so that they may appropriately quarantine, and there may be a “Mandalorian”-ish AR wall heading to the Star Trek sets. So the future–of the future–looks pretty bright!
“The World's Number One Sci Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Mag”, SFX, caught up with the cast of Star Trek: Discovery–and its captain Alex Kurtzman–to talk about Discovery’s third season. But, since Kurtzman has the proverbial keys to the Star Trek castle, discussion veered to some of the other Trek offerings. Break out the bibs, polish your silverware, and grab a seat at the table–we have Trek Nuggets.
Kurtzman told reporter Darren Scott that Discovery’s jump to the distant future wasn’t always in the cards. The plan was originally to jump a mere 300 years. When pressed about why that was changed, Kurtzman replied ”I can only answer half of your question – I don’t want to spoil things. But I will tell you that one thing that we were very excited about was being entirely free of canon.
"Michelle [Paradise] and I certainly felt strongly that jumping 1,000 years into the future just gave us room to invent a lot of things. It allowed us to put Star Trek into a blender, meaning every assumption that you have about staples of the Trek universe can be upended in 1,000 years, because nothing could possibly be exactly what it was. That was a really exciting challenge for us”.Image credit: Future
Kurtzman continued these sentiments when talking about Discovery’s “Big Bad”–which would NOT be the Borg, because that story was told by Picard. ”Yes! It goes back to what I was saying earlier, which is that putting things in a blender means people who used to be allies are now enemies and vice versa. That’s a really interesting thing to play with, because it forces you to take what you know about Star Trek, and some of the characters and some of the species and aliens, and see them through the looking glass in a different way.”.
When asked about the toll jumping 1000 into the future took on the Discovery crew, and whether the past would still play a part in season 3, Kurtzman responded cautiously. ”I’m trying to answer your question without spoiling too much. [...] Burnham is absolutely going to look to the past and try and understand what happened to Spock. [...] She will dive into that and she will get to see what became of her brother. And that will actually impact the story for her in a significant way. I’ve just told you more than I told anybody about that!”
Kurtzman explained the difficulties of filming during the epidemic, calling it “a very systematised, militarised operation”. But the Franchise Captain wasn’t throwing a pity-party. In fact, he mentioned there was some GOOD coming from the social distancing and crippling feelings of isolation. ”We would have been in production already on Picard, but we couldn’t be because of Covid. It’s pushed our Discovery and Strange New Worlds dates just a little bit, but I think we’re actually planning on staying on track for those.
"The silver linings are that Akiva [Goldsman] and Henry [Alonso Myers] are ready to show up and able to really get ahead with scripts. By the time we go back into production, we will have a lot of scripts ready to go, which is not usually how it is for us. We’re always running ahead of the freight train that is production and trying not to get flattened, but this time we actually have some advanced warning with a lot of prep time."
And what of the oft-discussed Star Trek films? Kurtzman has some thoughts on those, too. ”I have no involvement in it right now. I don’t know where that’s going. Frankly, I have my hands very full. Having done two of those films, I loved them so much, and I really would love to see continuity and unification between the features and the TV side, because I think it’s what’s good for Star Trek, and that can be done any number of ways.”
The article is so full of info, we could spend an entire show going through it. We’ll post a link to the magazine, which features interviews with the cast and even MORE goodies, in our show notes.
Following last week's interview extravaganza, Mike McMahan followed it up with - more interviews! Well, at least one more interview. This week the Lower Decks creator pulled up a chair with io9, Riker Maneuvering himself into discussing humanity.
McMahan talked io9 reporter James Whitbrook about his feelings on Starfleet, perfection, and humans. ”We’re constantly examining this concept of Starfleet that’s like...everybody knows that Starfleet is the best of us, and they’re perfect, and they’re this unified group that’s out in the stars looking for truth and everything has to be moral and ethical, and Prime Directive-y. But at the same time they’re also human, you know? Every episode of Star Trek is about humanity as much as it is about our future—there’s aspects of humanity that just feel like...Star Trek has humans in it. It’s not a perfect, ideal, robotic future for us.”
McMahon continued on topics he covered last week, like replicator programs and the ‘need-to-know’ struggles lower decker’s deal with. He also, again, discussed humanity's need for stories - and how that need affects Lower Decks. ”You see that a lot with our lower deckers, and with the bridge crew as well—humans are a species that gab. We process and we share information that is interesting to us. Part of the humanity on the Cerritos is they’re talking about Roga Danar! They’re talking about Data! These are the things that are interesting to them, and it serves a dual purpose of making that humanity come through and making that examination of context in Starfleet come through.”Image credit: CBS
Does your resume start with the words “bigoted, hateful warmonger” and go downhill from there? Is your superior officer’s back just begging for a knife or eight? Are you pathologically sensitive to bright lights and shirts with sleeves? Then Cryptic has an opportunity for you, you sicko. Invading on October 21st, the account-wide Legendary Mirror Bundle unlocks some of the worst offenses to galactic peace Star Trek Online offers:
The Bundle will cost you 6,000 Zen and whatever shred of humanity you may have still possessed. But who cares: it feels so good to be so bad.Image credit: Cryptic Studios
If the Bundle only included items, then it'd be for new players who really like Mirror Universe episodes–or Armada members preparing for Mirror Month. However the Legendary Dreadnought Cruiser throws all that math off. Depending on the nature of the T6 trait, it could be compelling for players who favor beam-based loadouts–or even necessary.
What kind of warship is so tough, so powerful, so dominant that Picard, Riker, Data, LaForge and…Reginald Barclay plotted to steal her from Edward Jellico? Well, as its story was told in the pages of IDW Comics, the answer is, of course, the I.S.S. Enterprise-D. Now the Mirror Universe’s most deadly warship has made its way to Star Trek Online as the T6 Legendary Dreadnought Cruiser. You could certainly call this the evil twin of the T6 Fleet Galaxy Dreadnought Cruiser that has been in the game for some time.
The new ship diverges from the Fleet Galaxy Dreadnought in a few key spots. For starters, where the T6 Fleet Dreadnought sports a balanced 4/4 weapon loadout, the Legendary Dreadnought carries a more aggressive 5/3 layout. The Legendary ship also lets you double down on the Tactical abilities with a Lieutenant Commander Engineering/Command bridge seat. As with all Legendary ships, gaining maximum ship mastery grants access to the Starship Traits of its previous T6 variants. It also comes with a brand new Starship Trait, “Best Hope of the Empire”, which grants a damage buff and temporary hull points on the use of Beam Overload or Lance abilities.Image credit: Cryptic Studios
Captains, you may have noticed that your Advanced Phaser or Disruptor arrays just don’t have the destructive pep they once did. Or your Risian Kit Frame doesn't stack powers like it’s supposed to, and the 30-day warranty already expired. You could try turning them off and on again (have you tried that?), or wait for Cryptic to make it all better. On October 17th, Jeremy “@BorticusCryptic” Randall clarified on Twitter that nonspecific issues with the Advanced beam arrays and Kit Frame power stacking were not intentional nerfs. Cryptic will fix them on an equally nonspecific timeline.
Mobile game developer Beamable, known as Disruptor Beam back when they released Star Trek Timelines, has filed for bankruptcy as of October 1st. According to a VentureBeat article quoting Beamable CEO Jon Radoff, the bankruptcy will not mean the end of Beamable or its employees. Radoff says “[t]he reality of Disruptor Beam was that we built some great games, but we weren’t really able to turn that into a sustainable business [...] But we did create this very valuable technology platform along the way. We will clean up the balance sheet, and then compete like any other startup.”
The change at Beamable shouldn’t have any real impact on Star Trek Timelines at this point, since the game is now run by Tilting Point using the Beamable technology platform as a service.Image credit: Beamable