Star Trek Online Expansion Goes All Timey-Wimey

It’s Star Trek a-go-go lately, with every dang series hitting Netflix UK last week and a new movie out in a fortnight. Not wanting to be left out, free-to-play MMORPG Star Trek Online [official site] today launched a new expansion which crosses over with The Original Series and Star Trek Beyond and other things in ways that would be baffling if you treated these timelines as a serious history rather than plot devices to tell fun stories. (Please don’t explain timelines to me. Any of them. Anyone.) They’ve even got Walter Koenig to play Chekov again.

Here’s the official word on the Agents of Yesterday expansion:

“Agents of Yesterday sends players on a mission to save the future by protecting the past. The expansion allows players to create a brand-new Captain from Star Trek: The Original Series, the quintessential television show that gave way to one of the most popular science-fiction franchises of all time. Captains can explore planets taken directly from the show, while commanding one of several 23rd Century starships, including the classic Enterprise, Constitution-class starship and many other designs inspired by the classic aesthetic. All of the Star Trek timelines and universes collide when enemies threaten to destroy the past, calling for the recruitment of Star Trek Online’s bravest to become Temporal Agents and defend our very existence.”

Oh… the Temporal Agent guff from Enterprise again. Good. Good stuff. Not any of the fun Star Trek time travel stuff. Temporal Agents. Fine! STO was already all sorts of janked up from squeezing in fan-favourite characters from everywhere and everywhen, of course.

The point is, the expansion’s cast includes Walter Koenig as Chekov, Matt Winston as Temporal Agent Daniels, Joseph Gatt as his cyborg character from the new movies, Chase Masterson as Admiral Leeta (please, explain no timelines), and Scotty is played by James Doohan… ‘s son. James Doohan’s son, Chris Doohan.

Is Star Trek Online worth a go at this point? Cobbo took a new look a few months ago. “It’s at least worth a look if you’ve been meaning to already, as an MMO that plays things differently, if not necessarily one you’ll play for months,” he concluded. And that was before he knew he might get to meet James Doohan’s son.

I’ve been watching a lot of The Next Generation since it hit Netflix, seeing it in order for the first time in ooh yonks. I’m enjoying seeing it find its feet and discover its values, tolerant of its missteps knowing it’ll improve, and delighted by how insistent it is that everyone in space us so damn space-horny all the damn space-time. Wank it out, Will.

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43 Comments

  1. UpsilonCrux says:

    Admiral Leeta????

  2. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    Ah, TNG. I did a rewatch myself not too long ago, after not having seen more than the odd episode in years. It hasn’t aged too well and at times you could call it bland, if you were being kind. I still loved it though. I grow up watching that group of characters and I have no doubt that the idealism and goodwill each of them espoused has shaped my own beliefs.

    That first series or two could get pretty ropey, but there are some genuinely fantastic episodes dotted throughout. It does go downhill in its last season or 2 again, although probably never to the levels of season 1 (nothing ever gets as bad as the space Irish, although space Scottish does get pretty close.)

    I have gone through a bit of a watch of all of Trek actually. Watched all of DS9 (much, much better than I remembered it being,) and the films (the TNG films are all much worse than I remembered.) I am currently polishing off the Original Series, with just the last few episodes of the third season to go. Netflix’s crack down on using proxy put a stop to that for a while, but great to see they have finally brought them over to the UK site.

    • dontnormally says:

      you fockin wot m8

      But seriously, did you start at the beginning, or at S03E01 or S04E01?

      • Premium User Badge

        Vandelay says:

        Where did I start with TNG? I started right from the very beginning and slogged my way through some of the tat that it begins with. I enjoyed it though, much in the same way Alice mentions above. Definitely still finding its feet, but you can see it has some good ideas.

        As soon as Riker gets his beard though, it all fits together.

    • gunny1993 says:

      I re-watched it all on bluray recently and all I can see is it aging fantastically; the series lack of reliance on any special effects and focus on the more philosophical areas of the science fiction spectrum (Although like all the star treks it ranges throughout the genre) means that the themes are both distant and relatable in that uniquely ST way.

      Totally agree that seasons 1 and 2 are fairly weak with spots of greatness, the films largely suck (apart from the bit in the one with the Borg) and the last two seasons kind of hit a malaise that long running shows often hit, although the final two episodes are excellent.

      Also Q, there’s never enough Q

      TL;DR: Shut Up Wesley

      • Premium User Badge

        Vandelay says:

        My biggest surprise when watching the films was just how poor First Contact was. It was my second or third favourite alongside Wraith of Kahn and Undiscovered Country when I was a teenager, but in reality it probably only just scrapes by as being the best of the TNG films Similarly, I remembered thinking Generations was underappreciated, but it is actually a mess of a film, with numerous nonsensical plot moments and far too much of an attempt to make it not look like a TV show by turning down the lights in every scene. Insurrection actually ended up being the one I enjoyed the most, but it suffers from feeling like the plot from a solid two parter episode. And that is all three films covered. All THREE!

        The TNG crew deserved so much better on the big screen.

        • gunny1993 says:

          The ONLY thing I like about any of the TNG films is the one scene with Picard and his white whale “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeGMHbK4NlA” mostly because P Stew is a baller on screen and it’s always great to see Picard losing his shit.

          Although that scene has some fairly dodgy camera work, lol that glass smashing shot is just odd.

          TBH I don’t think Star Trek has ever preformed that well in the movies, Wrath of Khan being the only notable exception, I would even say the new Star Trek was a better “Movie” even if it was pretty poor star trek.

          • P.Funk says:

            As much as I liked that one scene about Moby Dick its also the scene that inexcusably puts Picard in the role of not being Picard.

            He was never vengeful. He was never the man who sought the white whale. So while its a nice bit of acting its a terrible bit of character writing.

            The films basically reneged on all that TNG was about, which was ethics and moral decision making and being above your baser instincts. It also totally retconned Picard’s character development in the TV show where he had a chance to destroy the Borg and chose not to out of humanity and compassion. He stepped back from this Moby Dick style thing so the film was utterly incomprehensible as long as you remember the series.

            Incidentally the best Trek film is arguably the first one, Motion Picture. Its the only one that’s remotely like Star Trek while using the big screen to do what they never could on a TV budget. The rest are action movies, though Search for Spock is a fun romp.

          • Asurmen says:

            I never really got the impression that it was about vengeance. I thought it was about the ship, that it didn’t want to give up the E

            As for using the storyline with Hugh as evidence that he’s morally superior and therefore First Contact doesn’t make sense, I think there’s a difference between committing genocide, and a personal invasion and subversion of his ship and his crew.

          • gunny1993 says:

            Those are both good points, in fact I had totally forgotten about the episode “I Borg”, I don’t actually think I’D seen it when I first watched the movie but yeah, that does seems a bit ooc thinking about that.

          • P.Funk says:

            Well I’m sorry but I can’t see how you don’t glean revenge as the primary motivator for Picard in that scene and therefore the entire motivation for his decisions til that point in the film. It can’t get much clearer. He’s literally saying “I will make them pay” which hardly has anything to do with the ship.

            Furthermore drawing parallels to Moby Dick, literally, means you have to literally interpret his obsession to being analogous to the main character in the novel which was definitely about revenge, hence the wonderful quote from the book that signifies his moment of revelation about his motives.

            As for the reference to Hugh, its not even about whether he’s morally superior, its about the fact that he demonstrated that he had moved past his experience sufficiently that it didn’t seriously affect his judgment.

            So on all counts it seems utterly incompatible with the character’s narrative carried over from the show. Perhaps his judgment could have been shown to be warped more subtly but certainly not to the fever pitch it was in First Contact.

          • Asurmen says:

            Revenge doesn’t make sense, given what started the argument was setting self destruct and abandoning the Enterprise. It was purely about the ship and its crew. He gets his revenge if the ship blows up and the Born die, yet he was unwilling to do it.

            My point about Hugh was that I don’t think it had anything to do with him moving past his experience. You could see clearly his reaction until he personally interviewed Hugh was one of revulsion and getting to strike back at the Born. It’s only when he realised Hugh was more than a drone, and the moral argument of genocide as presented throughout the episode that stopped him from doing it.

            First Contact is different than the episode with Hugh though, which is why I think it makes a poor counter argument. Hugh was a moral issue, First Contact was much more personal, with a violation of his ship and his crew bringing up issues with his own experience.

        • Scurra says:

          None of the Next Gen films are very good. I like Insurrection the best because it’s a proper Next Gen story with the characters (mostly!) staying in character. First Contact is the best “film” – as in “looks good on the big screen” but is far weaker than its reputation suggests. Nemesis is terrible.

          • gunny1993 says:

            lol Nemesis, I remember actually seeing that with my dad when it was released, I was 9ish years old I think and now that I think back to it I recall my dad hating for reasons I didn’t understand at the time XD

            GOOD GOD THAT MOVIE HAD TOM HARDY IN IT … wow

          • P.Funk says:

            I think the only positive thing you can say about the early TNG films is that Worf was not the butt of jokes, whereas starting with Insurrection that’s all he was, not to mention the writing got a lot cheekier, such as Data talking about boobs firming up which was… just embarrassing.

            Also Picard hooking up with a MILF was kinda weird. Actually if you think about it the films completely flub Picard. Above I discuss how First Contact messes up his motivation entirely but when it comes to women and marriage both Generations and Insurrection match him with images that simply don’t jive.

            The MILF is about as bimbo as Picard can go and his dream family from Generations evoked a backward looking feeling that I never got from him, he being the trail blazer who left all that behind. The women he got it on with in the show also never matched either of these images making it all very strange.

      • Neutrino says:

        This is the right answer.

      • Danley says:

        Don’t underestimate the quality of the episodes on blu-ray. Remastering them makes every episode look like it’s shot on a stage, with a variety of lighting. It really comes off as Star Trek theater and explains why they attracted some of the actors they did.

        Oh, and it was Roddenberry’s vision most refined.

    • Unruly says:

      DS9 is the best Trek. A storyline running from pretty much start to finish rather than always having monster of the week stuff, a lot more focus placed on politics and individual characters’ interactions with each other, and a more realistic take on the Federation that makes it less noble in its actions and intentions at times. I remember I used to hate it when I was younger, because it was all talking and no poorly-choreographed fist fights, but when I finally went and watched it all on Netflix a few years back I fell in love.

      Still can’t get more than about 4 episodes deep into Voyager before I wanna hang myself. And I haven’t even tried to watch Enterprise yet for fear that I’ll actually go through with it if I do.

      • P.Funk says:

        I say give Enterprise a chance. As someone who thinks Voyager was boring and still is and used to think Enterprise was worse, I changed my mind on a rewatch last year.

        Enterprise has its problems but it does try at some point to do what DS9 did which was follow a semi persistent story line and weave in some early politics of the pre-Federation.

        It fails more than it succeeds and while the Xindi storyline that’s persistent along a single season is enjoyable they also end up messing up in the final year or two by doing too much tie in stuff and multi part episodes. However there’s this little kernal of goodness somewhere in the middle of the series, maybe season 2-3ish, where it begins to charm you.

        In the end I ended up liking Scott Bakula as the Captain. I used to hate him but I can’t deny it anymore. I like Archer. I watched the final episode thinking “I wish there had been another season or two”.

    • P.Funk says:

      I’m going to disagree and say that its aged very well because where its dicey in its first few seasons it has a sort of kitsch to it. Even at its lowest there’s still Patrick Stewart and there’s something rather satisfying with watching a famed Shakespearean actor try to salvage some C- tosh that would barely make it onto the Outer Limits.

      In its prime however I think it stands up well. Bewteen season 2.5ish to the end of around season 5 its as good as I remembered it, but perhaps the cushion was added by me basically having it on the TV constantly over the years. Space network in Canada for a while had all the old Trek on a permanent cycle so it was easy to know almost every ep of TNG, DS9, and VOY by heart.

      DS9 of course was always the jewel in my opinion. It took the best of TNG and turned it into something rawer, rougher, more human. It basically was TNG without the strange warped idealism of Gene Roddenberry that was applied to TNG that transmuted from the much less utopian Original series. Its actually tangible how TNG got better after Roddenberry got sick and then died. Basically he didn’t believe in interpersonal squabbles in the utopian future so the early seasons had lots of bland character interactions.

      DS9 of course was a total demolition of that skewed late era Roddenberry and embraced what Rick Berman said he could only do in TNG by throwing a towel over the bust of Roddenberry in his office, as a kind of contrition for going against the man’s vision.

      I recently rewatched Voyager myself though and realized that its generally the worst of all Trek TV, with the highs of Enterprise even exceeding the highs of Voyager. The only thing barely enjoyable is Seven of Nine and the Doctor.

    • TheLetterM says:

      Oh c’mon, the Space Oirish got nothing on the Space Zulus from Code of Honor. Take a drink every time someone says, “owwerrr cullllltuuuurrre.”

  3. vecordae says:

    Mirror universe stuff. It’s not timeline stuff, so I think I can offer that much without incurring the too much wrath.

    I hope.

    • Ieolus says:

      Sorry mate, but the Mirror Universe has its beginnings in timeline stuff. :P Its all timeline stuff!!

    • Sharpe says:

      Technically the 2009 movie is an ALTERNATE timeline rather than a mirror or parallel timeline, because Nero goes back and time and alters the prime timeline. So the prime timeline ceases to exist, being replaced by the alternate kelvin-universe.

      Thus, timetravel stuff, not mirror universe stuff.

      I’d also like to add that the ‘mirror’ universe is just ONE parallel universe out of many, and would also be the wrong term to use even if 2009 Star Trek was a parallel universe rather than an alternate universe.

      This game, bringing the alternate and prime universe together….*might* be considered to be doing both. Maybe.

      • Asurmen says:

        Prime timeline still exists. Nero and Spock just made an alternate one.

        • Sharpe says:

          That’s not how it works. Prime exists because we have episodes and movies of it to watch. but in 2009 movie the prime universe ceases to be.

          • Asurmen says:

            Time travel to the past by the Romulan mining vessel Narada through a black hole created with red matter resulted in the creation of an alternate reality. (Star Trek)
            The writers of Star Trek, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, were asked about the implications of the new alternate reality that was introduced in the film in an interview. They explained the new reality runs parallel to the prime reality as a new quantum reality, as the concept was explained by Data in the episode TNG: “Parallels”. [1]

            From memory-alpha, the wiki for Star Trek from official sources. Prime reality still exists, because them going back in time created a new reality, and didn’t change the main timeline.

          • Sharpe says:

            Asuremen: That would mean that whatever prime reality Old Spock came from was actually a parallel universe itself from the ‘prime universe’ we see in the tv show. An alternate reality is one that REPLACES the original reality. A parallel reality is one that runs at the same time as another reality.

            According to what you’ve said then, What we have in Star Trek 2009 is a reality that is parallel AND alternate…. Interesting.

          • Danley says:

            There was a comic book prequel that linked the two. Old Laforge builds a ship for older Spock to save Romulus, which he is too late to do and gets sucked into the black hole that takes him into the Abrams universe. If it had been young Laforge or Spock, then there might be some suggestion of a timeline breach, but presumably they had already experienced ALL of the timeline we’ve watched in the shows and movies by the time Spock and Nero influence the Abrams universe. How does their experience of it justify or necessitate its having existed, or still existing?

            (Dear Gene I hope the new show is cerebral, political, philosophical and socially challenging and not just Space Military: TNNG.)

  4. gbrading says:

    Goddamn it. I’ve been watching TNG on Netflix (always loved it but never watched it all the way through) and I thought I’d kicked the Star Trek Online habit. I may be tempted back again… It’s sad because Star Trek Online is a mediocre game at best and a downright bad game at worst. Yet I still keep coming back each year for a little bit, hoping it has improved. Damn.

  5. Massenstein says:

    Star Trek post with pictures actually from Star Trek?? Maybe the editor was busy or something…

  6. Blain says:

    I couldn’t explain timelines because I don’t know or care about them either. But I would like to share one of my favorite lines from Trek when things go timey-wimey.

    “I hate temporal mechanics.” – delivered in unison by two Chief O’Briens

  7. Greg Wild says:

    Guys, why are you showing screenshots of a Stargate game?

  8. Asurmen says:

    All the temporal agent stuff mainly came from Voyager, not Enterprise.

  9. NephilimNexus says:

    I think I’ll just watch some Dr.Who and skip the P2W, thanks.

  10. chromedbustop says:

    Chris Doohan has actually played Scotty several times in some of the fan made Star Trek productions. The acting in those is pretty bad but some of them are actually some good stories that never made it into the original series.

    Worth checking out. It’s a shame (albeit understandable) that Paramount cracked down so hard on those productions.

  11. vecordae says:

    Uh…to everyone who responded, my post was meant to be a response to the question about Admiral Leeta.

  12. solymer89 says:

    The game is pants. Grind to level cap, grind reputations, grind dilithium, grind specializations, grind special events, grind your face on a grindstone, grind gear upgrades, grind grind grind…