April 5, 2063, if you didn't know, is First Contact Day. That's the day in which humanity made (will make) first contact with an extraterrestrial species. More specifically, Vulcans.
The date was made canon in Star Trek: First Contact.
And on April 5, 2021, Paramount+ is going to celebrate First Contact Day with a whole mess of Star Trek. We're talking recorded panels across the greater Trek universe. We're talking marathons of curated episodes in the spirit of First Contact Day. And we're also talking 20 percent off merch at shop.startrek.com because if you can't put it on a T-shirt, is it really a celebration?
The panels themselves should be worth tuning in. There are five in all, and here's how they break down, from 3 to 5:45 p.m. Eastern time:
- Star Trek: First Contact 25th Anniversary Panel: Will include Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner and Slice Krige as they share behind-the-scenes memories of the 25-year-old film.
- Creating First Contacts Panel: Will include Star Trek: Discovery costume designer Gersha Phillips, senior concept designer Neville Page, VFX supervisor Jason Zimmerman, and makeup and prosthetics department head James Mackinnon from Star Trek: Picard.
- Women in Motion Panel: Includes Discovery's Sonequa Martin-Green, Picard's Michelle Hurd and Isa Briones, and Lower Decks' Dawnn Lewis "as they look back at how “Star Trek: The Original Series” actress Nichelle Nichols helped pave the way for women of color on television and overall, her lasting impact on not only Star Trek, but science and culture."
- Second Contact Panel: Mike McMahan (creator of Lower Decks), Paul F. Tompkins (host of Star Trek: The Pod Detective), Spiner and Frakes will talk about some hilarious B-plot stories from past series that paved the way for the current generation of series.
- Star Trek: Prodigy Panel: Executive producers Kevin and Dan Hagerman are joined by Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager), who's reprising her role in Prodigy.
There's also the marathon of First Contact Day-related episodes, which will begin at noon Eastern on April 5. They'll include:
- Star Trek: The Original Series: Season 1, Episode 18 – “Arena”
- Star Trek: Lower Decks: Season 1, Episode 1 – “Second Contact”
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Season 4, Episode 7 – “Little Green Men”
- Star Trek: Short Treks: Season 2, Episode 6 –“Children of Mars”
- Star Trek: Voyager: Season 4, Episode 1 – “Scorpion, Part 2”
- Star Trek: Discovery: Season 2, Episode 2 – “New Eden”
- Star Trek: The Animated Series: Season 1, Episode 7 – “The Infinite Vulcan”
- Star Trek: Enterprise: Season 1, Episode 6 – “The Andorian Incident’
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 4, Episode 15 – “First Contact”
- Star Trek: Picard: Season 1, Episode 8 – “Broken Pieces”
And that's just for starters. There's even more coming to StarTrek.com/FirstContact, and you'll also be able to stream the events on Pluto, Twitch, and YouTube.
Paramount+ (read our full review) is the home to all things Star Trek (that aren't the Kelvin timeline, anyway). The streaming service — formerly known as CBS All Access, is available for $5.99 a month or $59.99 a year if you don't mind advertising, or $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year if you want to get rid of most ads, making the Paramount Plus price as affordable as other services. In June 2021, the $5.99 option will be replaced by a $4.99-a-month plan that doesn't include access to your local CBS affiliate. (You can still watch that by logging in to CBS.com with an existing streaming or cable subscription, though.)
In addition to Star Trek, Paramount+ has live sports, including NFL games and international football. There also are a host of new original series coming to Paramount+, many of which already have made our list of the best shows on Paramount+. (And be sure to check out our picks for the best movies on Paramount Plus, too.)
Paramount Plus is available on every major streaming platform, including Paramount Plus on Roku, as well as on Amazon Fire TV. It's also available on Apple TV, Android TV, Google TV, smart TV platforms, and on the web.
Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations, is the Dad part of Modern Dad, and is editor of WhatToWatch.com.
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