On September 8th, CBS All Access is holding an all-day streaming event to commemorate the 54th anniversary of the premiere of the original Star Trek television show. I’ll admit I skimmed the email announcement until I found what I was looking for: yes, Patrick Stewart aka Captain Jean-Luc Picard will be part of the Star Trek panel discussions and will even reunite with Jonathan Frakes aka William Riker aka Number One aka Ensign Babyface.
You can tell I am a) respectful of Star Trek because I didn’t go with a cheap “boldly go” or “engage!” pun in my lede, and b) I have a somewhat limited scope of interest in the Star Trek universe. But I think that’s OK! Unlike that other space-related franchise, you can fully enjoy one aspect of the Star Trek dynasty and it doesn’t mean you’re any less of a fan. So, if you like The Next Generation and Voyager, or prefer the newer movies with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto as Kirk and Spock to the older TV series, it doesn’t mean you don’t respect William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. Live long and prosper, fellow fans (OK one pun, sorry).
It’s always been a universe open to new ideas; later this year Star Trek Discovery will introduce the franchise’s first non-binary and transgender characters.
For US-based fans, the day will kick off early at 3AM ET, and feature a marathon of episodes from eight different Star Trek TV shows. At 3PM ET, the marathon pauses for global panels, hosted by Wil Wheaton aka Wesley Crusher, and Mica Burton (daughter of TNG star LeVar Burton) as well as other stars from the franchise. Then the marathon resumes at 6:30PM ET and runs until midnight.
The event will stream free on the Star Trek website, and doesn’t require a CBS All Access subscription.
Themed streaming events have become the norm during the coronavirus pandemic, if anything can be called “normal” right now. Last month’s DC’s FanDome set the standard for these kinds of events, my colleague Julia Alexander wrote; the eight-hour virtual convention spotlighted some of its biggest upcoming films, including The Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman 1984, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League — as well as interviews, rapid Q&As, and tributes to the world of DC. So other streaming events need to step it up.
Star Trek Day’s lineup looks promising; in addition to the panels and marathon, there will be previews of what’s coming up across the Star Trek universe, and CBS All Access will hold a virtual “pub quiz” on Twitch starting at 7PM ET. They’re also planning Star Trek emojis on Twitter, and of course, there will be merch.
And relevant to my interests, the Picard + The Next Generation panel starts at 3:05PM ET. Check out the full schedule of events here.