This week on Priority One --- Mr. Pic’rd, Pic’rd, Pic’rd, and Picard. Star Trek 4? Star Trek Online’s 10th Anniversary starts with a Cryptic message, another Star Trek game celebrates an anniversary and a retro Star Trek card game is still getting new expansions. Then we take a look at the latest Short Trek, Children of Mars. Finally, we open hailing frequencies and receive all of your incoming messages.
Of course, as always, before we wrap up the show, we’ll open hailing frequencies for your incoming messages
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This Weeks Community Questions Are:
by Shane Hoover
We’re in the final week of waiting for Star Trek: Picard’s January 23rd premier on CBS: All Access. If we thought that the hype was hitting high warp in the last couple of weeks, then I guess it has officially hit Warp 13 at this point. Because Picard news seems to be everywhere at once now.
For starters comes the news that the new Picard series, which hasn’t streamed a single episode yet, has officially been renewed by CBS for a second season. ViacomCBS Executive Vice President, Julie McNamara, cited the magnitude of excitement for the show’s premiere as a driving reason for the renewal.
Also announced this week, Picard’s sister show “Star Trek: Discovery” has more quietly been green-lit for a fourth season. This too, before an episode of Season 3 has been released.
The obvious place to start would be with the Captain himself. Sir Patrick Stewart sat down last week for a chat with NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday program. As he has stated before, Stewart was initially not considering a return to the role of Jean Luc Picard, but he’s now added some details to his thoughts on the matter. The political climate in the U.K. and the United States left Stewart feeling that the real world had become too distanced from Star Trek’s Federation ideal. He specifically mentioned his disappointment, embarrassment, and even anger at the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union, saying “The European Union always made me feel, well, we are heading towards our own Federation of Planets somewhere down the line, that will come about.”
But, while sitting down with the show’s producers, Picard was introduced to their vision for a Federation that’s very different from the one Jean Luc was last seen defending. This Federation has leaned toward isolationism, and Picard has distanced himself. The discussion was enough to change Stewart’s mind and intensely spark his interest.
Stewart also let drop a mention that during or after the Romulan refugee crisis, Picard made some “errors of judgement; mistakes.”
Speaking to what the character still has to offer viewers today, Sir Patrick highlighted the Captain’s modesty, patience, and passion for humankind. He points out, “One of the great things about Jean Luc was he was a great listener and would only speak when he felt everyone had expressed what they believed. The crew of the Enterprise came to know that they were at liberty to speak the truth about what they believed and what they thought.”
Stewart believes more people, particularly leaders, could stand to speak up about what they truly and passionately believe.
From Sir Patrick Stewart, we shift our attention to Star Trek’s franchise head, Alex Kurtzman. At a press tour in Pasadena, California, Kurtzman and producing partner Heather Kadin answered questions from Trek news website TrekCore.com. Asked about the lessons learned from the inaugural seasons of Star Trek: Discovery, he spoke about the importance of hearing the reactions and feedback of fans. “Before we lock things down it’s terribly important to listen to fans, and hear what they like — and what they didn’t respond to — or what wasn’t clear. To make sure we’re tacking accordingly. I learned when I started working in the ‘Star Trek’ world that that’s a really essential part of making these shows.”, said Kurtzman.
Speaking to the state of the Star Trek universe as a whole, Heather Kadin mentioned the ongoing development of the Section 31 show, and the animated Lower Decks and Nickelodeon projects. The key question , she says “Is this [show] a unique space we haven’t explored yet?”, and she hopes they continue to find those new avenues.
Kurtzman offered up an intriguing new bit of news next, declaring that there are two more live action shows in the works that haven’t even been announced. With Discovery viewer reaction hugely vocal, it can probably be assumed that one of those shows will be a show centered around Pike and Spock’s Enterprise. We’ll just have to speculate what the other unannounced show might be.
The next in this week’s series of Picard interviews is coverage of Jeri Ryan’s chat with IGN. Speaking about where the new series finds Voyager’s Seven of Nine, Ryan explains that Seven has seen a lot of “dark crap” in the last 20 years. The universe is a mess, she says, and Seven holds Starfleet and the Federation largely responsible. As the story opens, Seven is working with a group of freedom fighters called the Fenris Rangers. Ryan says the group is trying to keep a semblance of order in the galaxy’s mess. Her path crosses with that of Jean Luc Picard, and Ryan says, “This is the first time that Seven and Picard actually meet. They know each other by reputation. And ... Seven's not on the 'Oh, he's a god' bandwagon I think, initially, when she meets him”.
Ryan’s character was brought into the story because of Picard’s fundamental relationship with the Borg. Alex Kurtzman has said that Seven of Nine organically grew into the story through her shared experiences as someone who had also been assimilated. The opportunity to explore that element of their lives, and what it means to them, presented compelling questions for the show.
As part of a Picard panel for the Television Critics Association, Marina Sirtis had the opportunity to address her return to the screen as The Next Generation’s Deana Troi. The actress admits that TNG fans eager to find out all about the state of their favorite characters in Picard may be left short. She says viewers can expect to find out a little bit about Troi and Riker, but not everything.
Sirtis also shared a humorous anecdote about joining the show. It seems that when she spoke to the wardrobe department of Picard, they were unaware that Sirtis wore a wig and black contact lenses for her TNG costume. Luckily, the actress could bail them out. She says, “I was like, ‘Do you know what? I think I stole them so I think I have them. So let’s just get the contact lenses cleaned because they’ve been sitting in a lens case for 15 years, and I have the wig.”
Speaking generally about her return, Sirtis recalled comments made by Carrie Fisher on her return to Star Wars. She quoted Carrie saying “I’m a 60-year-old actress in Hollywood. People aren’t exactly throwing scripts at me”, which is kind of the place I’m in.”
With the humor Sirtis regularly displays at Trek conventions, she also pointed out her least favorite aspect of joining Picard - filming in HD - saying, “Really, the man who invented high definition cameras, and it was a man because a woman would never have <expletive> invented it, right? May he rot in Hell for all eternity.”
Picard isn’t the only Star Trek in the news this week, though! Fargo and Legion creator Noah Hawley spoke to Deadline this week about his upcoming Star Trek feature film. Interestingly, Hawley says it’s not decided if his film will carry on with the cast of the recent Star Trek films by Bad Robot. The project also might not be connected to the ongoing Trek universe of Alex Kurtzman and CBS. The filmmaker says, “I have my own take on Star Trek, and going back to what I loved about The Next Generation. When a lot of franchises focus on ‘might makes right’, Star Trek is about exploration and humanity at its best, and diversity and creative problem solving.”
He specifically called out the moment in Wrath of Khan when Captain Kirk stalls for time as they remotely lower the Reliant’s shields. Those are the elements of Trek that he wants to reach.
Hawley says he still needs to write the script, and wants to be respectful to the underlying material.
by Anthony Cox
With the 10th Anniversary of Star Trek Online right around the corner, many of us have been waiting for an announcement regarding the milestone event. Well, in a tweet dated January 14th, Star Trek Online shared a 10 Years of STO wallpaper featuring the Enterprise F and the Bortasqu Klingon Cruiser with a strange block of inserted text that read, “Hear me?” Even more mysterious was if you followed the link to the wallpaper and then clicked the wallpaper itself, you were taken to a completely different image. This one indicates a coded transmission and the saucer section of the Enterprise F with a series of characters where the registry number should have been. After being decoded through the ACII85 coding language, it translated to a phone number. Calling the phone number played a recording of the original series intro with a series of numbers spoken throughout. One of our own Patreon supporters, SFC, helped in linking the numbers to a hidden Cryptic blog post. This one contains a video that three more transmissions were coming and an audio recording of someone who seems to be given a recording device to make audio logs about their experiences. As of recording this episode it’s not known who the voice belongs to or what they are experiencing. Trek out the show notes for links to the tweet and decoded audio transmission.
In anticipation of Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek Online has announced a new Picard Bundle. And we use the term “new” loosely. The bundle is now available and includes all uniforms and variations from The Next Generation, including the All Good Things uniform from the series finale. It also includes the Privateer uniform Picard wears in the episodes Gambit parts one and two. The replica Thompson submachine gun is the only weapon in the bundle. However the bundle does include three starships, a Tier three Constellation class cruiser, complete with an updated visual skin, a tier five Galaxy exploration cruiser and upgrade token, and a Miradorn Raider. Which was previously only available from a lockbox. The Picard Bundle will set you back 12,000 zen, that is unless you purchase it between now and January 20th when it will be on sale for only 6,000 zen.
As many Star Trek Online players noticed a few weeks ago the in memoriam plaques on Earth Space Dock, the Klingon First City, and New Romulus Command. If you haven’t already we encourage you to take the time to visit these new installations, which are now columns lit-up in faction colors. Each one has a rotating list of names belonging to major contributors of the Star Trek franchise. Most recently adding Rene Auberjonois and Aaron Eisenberg. And if you’re missing those two specific Star Trek performers, be sure to stop by Quark’s Bar the next time you’re on Deep Space Nine. Both Odo and Captain Nog are now sharing a conversation at the far end of the bar for players to join in on.
The patch notes for PC had a few interesting things we wanted to mention. The devs have added item filtering and searching in all inventory windows. This includes personal inventory, bank inventory, account bank, etc. There are two new material types for the Guardian Cruiser. 8 and 8B, along with two new window types, five and six. They’ve resolved an issue with the Winter Event buyout not properly processing. And finally Ground Borg enemies will adapt slower to weapons that have a lot of tics per firing cycle.