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441 – CCXP, ViacomCBS, and STO Interviews | Priority One: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast

Jake Morgan December 13, 2019 124 3


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This week on Priority One — we trek out what updates came from a Star Trek Picard panel in Brazil; Viacom and CBS merge; expansions are coming in Ticonderoga; and the Star Trek community was devastated by another loss this week; In Star Trek Gaming, we’ve received a “Cryptic” message regarding the mycelial network and we take a closer look at the new Winter Wonderland Bridge Officer abilities in Star Trek Online; and Anthony takes us back in time for another retro Trek game spotlight. Then, we’re joined by two of Star Trek Online’s artists to discuss 2019 milestones and take a glimpse into 2020

Of course, as always, before we wrap up the show, we’ll open hailing frequencies for your incoming messages

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

This Weeks Community Questions Are:

CQ: Now that ViacomCBS is a reality, what do you think it means for Star Trek?

AND

CQ: Have you ever played Star Trek: 25th Anniversary? Do you have any favorite old Star Trek video games?

TREK IT OUT

by Shane Hoover

CCXP Picard Panel

In other Star Trek news this week, the Comic Con Experience, or CCXP for short, made its annual appearance in São Paulo, Brazil. Eager Trek fans were rewarded with an Amazon Prime Star Trek: Picard panel featuring four of the show’s stars: Jonathan del Arco, Isa Briones, Michelle Hurd, and Santiago Cabrera. Del Arco, who played the Borg drone Hugh in TNG, told attendees that if you love Picard “you are going to want to watch this show many, many times.”  He also promised plenty of unexpected twists to the story.

Michelle Hurd’s character Raffi Musiker was introduced as Picard’s new first officer in the pages of the Countdown comic. She believes the show will provide a window to humanity, and commented on sci-fi’s importance as a reflection of world events. Hurd said, “It’s the necessity of hope. This is a bigger story than I realized. It gives up something for us to hold on to. In a time when we are divided, it’s good to have something we can jump on to and tell a story that can touch our hearts and connect us together.

Picard will begin streaming in the US January 23rd, 2020 on CBS All Access, and the following day on Amazon Prime in more than 200 countries.

ViacomCBS News

With the announcement last week that the merger of media giants Viacom and CBS was successfully completed, the Trek-minded among us have been eagerly awaiting signs of what comes next. Well, on Monday, Bob Bakish, CEO of the new ViacomCBS, spoke to an investor conference in New York, and Hollywood Reporter ran the story. Bakish declared his belief that ViacomCBS may now be the most important content dealer in the world, and described a plan for “one global content licensing force”. No word yet on whether the Licensing Force carries badges or phasers. Specifically addressing Star Trek concerns, the CEO confirmed reports that two new Star Trek films are currently in development. Bakish also announced that the company will be looking to sell the CBS headquarters building in New York. 

ViacomCBS plans to release a share dividend in a few days, and they expect an upcoming buyback plan on stock shares. In terms of Paramount Pictures, Bakish admitted that the current quarter results were below expectations, and he stressed that the studio is in better shape today than it was just a few years ago. He also said, “As we look forward, we are very excited about the pipeline.

In wrapping up, Bakshi pledged at least $500 million in cost synergies for the merged company, as well as revenue opportunities in distribution, advertising, content licensing, and streaming.

TNG Set Tour Finds a Home

Recently on the show, we visited the Original Series Set Tour in Ticonderoga New York, and sat down with the tour creator, James Cawley.  One subject we covered was Cawley’s hope to move ahead with the development of a similar set tour for The Next Generation. We’re pleased to report that, according to an article in local news outlet The Sun Community News, Essex County supervisors voted to begin the process that will transform a derelict building into Cawley’s next tour location.  The building had previously reverted to county ownership when its owner failed to pay taxes. The county will sell the site to a local economic development group for the price of the outstanding back taxes, and that group intends to transfer the site to James Cawley for development. Executive Director of the Ti Alliance development group, Donna Wotton, said, “It’s a great bonus for our community. It will be a functioning building on the tax rolls that will generate a sizable amount of money for the Ticonderoga economy. (Cawley) is a guy with great vision and he brings these things to life.

It’s An Honorable Life

At the Mounds Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota, it has been a Christmas tradition since 2015 to stage a performance of “A Klingon Christmas Carol”.  The adaptation had been created by the Commedia Beauregard theatre company back in 2007, and Mounds Theater has previously licensed the show. However, this year they were unable to obtain the license.  Distressed Klingons around St. Paul could be heard howling their despair. Instead, they’ve produced an all-new creation of their own, “It’s an Honorable Life”. As reported in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press website, the new Trek-themed production will play shows from December 13th to 28th. When Klingon warrior Bailey fears that he will fail to die gloriously in combat, a member of the Q Continuum arrives to teach him the error of his ways. As the show’s director, Jason Kruger says, “He’s shown how it is more honorable to have gotten through, to continue to live and be a good Klingon.

The show is being billed as a “Star Trek Fan Production”. Similarly to “A Klingon Christmas Carol”, the show is delivered mostly in the Klingon language with English subtitles.

Star Trek Mourns More Losses

Last week, we were saddened to report the passing of Trek legend D.C. Fontana.  This week, the Star Trek world finds itself still in mourning. The beloved actor behind Deep Space Nine’s constable Odo, René Auberjonois, passed away on December 8th after a battle with lung cancer. He was 79 years old. René’s first Trek role actually came in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.  He portrayed Colonel West, a Starfleet officer who conspired to incite war with the Klingons. That role was cut from the theatrical release of the film, however, so Trek audiences first met him on screen as the gruff and scrupulous Odo. Over the course of DS9’s seven seasons, René’s acting talents added many layers of complexity to the character of the Alpha Quadrant’s lone Changeling. From his adversarial friendship with Quark to his deep love of Kira Nerys or his conflicted yearning to belong among the Great Link, Auberjonois’ talents brought out the best in Odo. 

Castmates from DS9 and others from around the Trek world took to social media to share their loss and their memories of the man. Quark actor Armin Shimerman tweeted, “It is with great heartache and loss I share with you the passing of dear,dear Rene Auberjonois.His last message to me was entitled “Don’t forget…” I know that I,Kitty,and all that knew him will never forget.The world seems noticeably emptier now. I loved him.

Surely, we Trek fans will never forget, either.

Sadly, this week has also hit the Star Trek community with two more losses. Robert Walker, Jr., who portrayed the empowered “Charlie X” in the TOS episode of the same name, died Thursday at 79 years old. And The Next Generation’s Marina Sirtis took to Twitter Sunday to let fans know that her beloved husband, 61 year old guitarist Michael Lamper, had passed away in his sleep. Sirtis informed followers that she would be gone for a while, and messages of support have flooded into her account. 

To all those mourning Trek’s recent losses, we at Priority One offer our most heartfelt condolences. 

Star Trek Online and Gaming News

by Anthony Cox

From the Federation Astrophysics Database

Captains, we appear to be receiving a transmission from someone. A heavily redacted file from the Federation Astrophysics Database? That’s right, this past week Cryptic posted what can only be considered a teaser for something coming soon. A Discovery style image of a report about the Mycelial Network. Some of the details have been redacted, but it does appear that many of the galaxy traversing technologies we’ve encountered throughout Star Trek Online could all be connected to the Mycelial Network and those existing within. Among the list of “Associated Astrophysical Anomalies” are the Briar Patch, the Donatu System, Fluidic Space, the Khitomer System, and all known Iconian Gateway locations, among others. Including one redacted location. Trek out the show notes for a link to the message.

Cryptic Raises Money for Charity with Extra Life Event

This past weekend Cryptic studios streamed a plethora of gaming activities for 24 hours over the course of the weekend. All in an effort to raise money for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network. The Cryptic Crew started off with Star Trek Online, then moved to the epic Star Trek tabletop game Star Trek Ascendancy. They then played something called Dungeons and Decorators and finished day one with a game of Magic the Gathering Commander. On day two they started off playing Neverwinter before moving to an RPG set on Ceti Alpha V. Sunday’s stream finished up with board games and a Krampus edition of D&D. All together Cryptic raised over $12,000 for their local Children’s Hospital, and we here at Priority One would like to congratulate their efforts.

  • Julia Fredrickson played STO during day one and had to admit that the dinosaurs in Star Trek Online were better than in Neverwinter.
  • Mike Fatum played Neverwinter on day two.

PRIORITY ONE ARMADA NEWS

This week in Armada News:

Join us for TFO Tuesday – each tuesday we team up with other Armada members to earn marks and dilithium. 

If you’re interested in joining the Senior Staff for the Console Fleet – please reach out to us via priorityonearmada.com

Winter Giveaway

  • The House of Martok needs Colony Ore provisions! We need just about 20,000 more provisions and we can put the first Tier V Colony Upgrade on cooldown. Great job House of Martok!
  • We have a new admiral in the Armada. Bullz was promoted to Admiral last week. Congrats! 

Other Gaming News

Star Trek Ascendancy Board Game adds Vulcans and Andorians

We mentioned the Cryptic crew played Star Trek Ascendancy during their live stream. Gale Force Nine, the publisher of what is probably the biggest, most expansive table top game for the Star Trek Universe. Each player leads a cultural faction int he game and sets out to explore the galaxy, expand their dominion, acquire resources, and in some cases engage in battle against enemies. The base game comes with the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans. Other expansions include the Ferengi and Cardassians, and there is even a Borg expansion that pits players against the evil automatons. Now the Vulcans and Andorians have joined the galaxy. Recently released expansions for these factions can now add a 6th and 7th player to this already epic game. Inspired by their storylines in Star Trek Enterprise, these expansions bring new and unique mechanics to the game so each faction feels thematic. Trek out the show notes for a link to an unboxing video.

StarTrek.com Celebrate #NationalDiceDay with free RPG Resources

Since we talked about a new streaming show involving the tabletop RPG, Star Trek Adventures last week. To celebrate National Dice Day this past December 4th, StarTrek.com posted links to free resources to help you get started with your Star Trek Adventures. This included a link to Star Trek Online to help you visualize your RPG character. That link can be found in our show notes.

Retro Gaming

Star Trek: 25th Anniversary DOS Game

Earth date: 1992. The Star Trek franchise was approaching its popularity peak at warp speed. Having just celebrated 25 years in pop culture with the release of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country in December of 1991 and with The Next Generation enjoying the highest tv ratings in all of Star Trek’s broadcast history. Star Trek toys had found the sweet spot for both children and collectors. DC comics was publishing an ongoing Next Generation series that lasted for 7 years! New Star Trek Novels were releasing monthly. Also arriving in 1992; a Star Trek board game, trivia game, and even a Star Trek TNG themed “How to Host a Mystery.” Star Trek, it seemed, had conquered all avenues of pop entertainment. Well, except for video games. Up until 1992 Star Trek had failed to deliver even one solidly fun, well received video game. In fact, it was around this time that plans were scrapped to release Star Trek V: The Final Frontier Nintendo game. Which was nearly finished. It seemed Star Trek couldn’t figure out a way to put its fans in the captain’s chair. That is, until interplay released the Star Trek: 25th Anniversary computer game for DOS and later for the Amiga and Mac OS. This point and click adventure game put you in the role of Captain James Tiberius Kirk commanding the crew of the Enterprise during its original 5-year mission. The game first released on 3.5” floppy disk, but later was released on CD-ROM and included the entire cast returning to voice their characters. Players guide the crew of the Enterprise through a series of episodic style missions, solving puzzles, exploring planets, and generally treking about the galaxy. The graphics are of the time, but the sprites are clean and crisp and the environments are colorful expressions of pixel art rather than jaggy antiquated images. The game is free enough that if you don’t explore everywhere or look at everything you might feel lost, but always gives you the sense that you’re controlling your own destiny and making the big decisions. The only negative part of the whole experience is the occasional space battle that can quickly become frustrating. Thankfully in its current edition you can skip those. This game was also one of the first games to combat video game piracy. Many missions would start out with an admiral telling you to navigate to a distant star system to complete your objective. However, when you opened the in game star chart, none of the stars had names. And warping to the wrong system would initiate one of those frustrating space battle sequences. In order to navigate to the correct system you needed to reference the starmap located in the games manual. Pirates who simply copied and shared the game would often overlook including a copy of the manual. Star Trek: 25th Anniversary is critically considered the first really good Star Trek video game. It’s often listed among the top three. The writing, the music, the game play, everything just hits the right notes and it holds up well, even for today. You can find this game on both the Steam store and on Good Old Games Galaxy store, also known as GOG.com. Be on the lookout for sales I recently picked up both Star Trek: 25th Anniversary and its sequel Judgement Rites, for $3.50 each. And that is well worth it

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Post comments (3)
  1. Joshua Selig on December 14, 2019

    First and foremost, I would like to add my condolences to the family and friends of Rene Auberjonois, from Colonel West in Star Trek VI to Odo on DS9, the Trek community has lost a guiding light, may he rest in peace and to quote B5 ‘go beyond the rim’
    In regards to the Viacom-CBS merger, they are a little late to the party, in regards to film, it is a little bit of a confused picture, are they going to merge the timelines which has been rumoured?
    Considering that we have Picard coming out shortly and still no word on where Discovery will end up timeline wise after Season 3 comes out in 2020, will we get a new series

  2. seannewboy on December 19, 2019

    Rene was a wonderful actor, I always enjoyed watching him. Ms. Fontana is also someone that i am very sad to see go, i encourage people to check out here wiki page, im sure many will find other things they enjoyed that she did besides star trek.
    cq1) For better or worse everything will now be connected. Hopefully that does not mean heading fully into kelvin crud territory.
    Wonderful show everyone, Merry Christmas!

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