Academy Online! First Impressions & Super Ship Roundup (July 15, 2020)


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator

Peacock is live and that means the highly anticipated streaming debut of Wing Commander Academy is here! The good news is that the sound appears to be much better than in other iterations of the show, so it seems like this is probably the definitive edition to watch. On the other hand, the brief segment missing from "On Both Your Houses" is absent on Peacock. For the DVD release, VEI was able to replace the missing ten seconds from that episode with footage from LOAF's archive.

I also neglected to mention yesterday that there is also a fully free tier available to everyone. It's heavily supported by ads (compared with minimal ads on the Peacock "Premium" and zero ads present on "Premium Plus"), but that means anyone and everyone can watch Wing Commander now. Comcast customers' free package is equivalent to Premium. The platform is currently available on Apple devices (iPhone/iPad/Apple TV), Google devices (Android, Android TV & Chromecast), LG & Vizio TVs and Xbox One consoles. It's pretty awesome to be able to call up and stream Academy any time on your phone now!

Last, but not least, LOAF put together this awesome tweetstorm roundup of all the ships in the show to celebrate its release - enjoy!

Let's escape reality with a thread showing off all the series' often-familiar spaceships. Magnum launch, all fighters up...

The series' concept started as basically 'Wing Commander III babies' and artists first adapted the ships from that game. In the end era appropriate ships were mostly used, but WC3 and 4 designs still make a few cameos (especially in the pilot). Here's the Hellcat V:

The speedy Arrow interceptor also makes a brief appearance in the first episode:

The good old CF-105 Scimitar medium fighter from Wing Commander I is the show's hero ship. It appears in every episode! (The accent colors typically indicate which character is flying.)

The Kilrathi get the classic 'pancake' Dralthi design from the first game, too:

Here's the first original ship that appears on the show: this Kilrathi capital ship is used as a blockade runner, transport, destroyer and carrier, scaled appropriately! It's clearly inspired by the large dreadnaught from Wing Commander III (fourth picture).

Episode 2 brings in the famed Bengal-class TCS Tiger's Claw, adapted from the original design with a more nautical bow:

It's also the only appearance of the Kilrathi Dorkir-class transport. The Dorkir was first designed as a tanker for Wing Commander I and then turned into a freighter to save memory (that's another story!):

Here's the Kilrathi Sartha light fighter, first seen in Wing Commander II:

Episode 2 introduces two human ships from Wing Commander II flown by renegades which re-appear later as supporting fighters aboard the Tiger's Claw. First is the... fan favorite... Epee!

And the second is the F/A-57 Sabre heavy attack fighter.

There's also a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo from Wing Commander IV's Avenger as a pirate transport!

The third episode introduces both faction's recurring bombers. If there had been a toy line, these two would have been the more expensive ones! The Kilrathi get the Grikath from Wing Commander II...

And the Confederation gets the venerable A-17 Broadsword!

Episode 4 has the last Wing Commander III cameo: a couple frames where the Longbow bomber is used as a search and rescue ship!

And here's the Kilrathi Jalkehi heavy fighter from Wing Commander II:

Two original designs for Episode 6: a Confederation space ambulance and an armored Kilrathi jump buoy:

Chain of Command shows us an entire Confederation fleet of new ship designs including the Achilles-class destroyer, Byrd-class recon ship and Manassas-class cruiser (only seen in part). The Byrd and Achilles designs are reused later as transports.

... and new shuttles for each side make their first apperances...

We also get a first look at Prince Thrakhath's massive dreadnaught, the Agon Ras Sivar (an original design):

Oh, and a familiar capital ship! The Kilrathi Kamekh corvette from Wing Commander II and Privateer:

Expendable gives us a Fralthi cruiser (called a destroyer in the script) that's straight out of Claw Marks:

The world's most insane crossover episode adds two ships in order to introduce Michael Dorn's Warrior King: a Kilrathi tug and a 25th century human sleeper ship!

Walking Wounded has two new human support ships: the TCS Pleiku, a hospital ship, and the TCS Morgan, a fighter transport (which seems to be an Achilles-class transport attached to a large bay).

Finally, Invisible Enemy introduces us to the Strakha stealth fighter (here a modified Sartha) and what the script calls a Ferret... though it's actually designed to match a prototype created by a toy company for the show (this was the last segment animated):

I think that’s everything! I hope new folks enjoy Academy, it’s a very solid show as far as such things go. And if you ever want to learn more or stream an episode or two, feel free to join the CIC Discord! We’re very friendly.
Original update published on July 15, 2020


Rear Admiral
that's pretty interesting. I never picked up Barnes ship was a Sabre
I kind of thought the strakha / Sartha was a prototype proof of concept retrofit thingy in my mind, before they designed a dedicated fighter (Strakha could have been its codename :) )
The last one, I thought that was a Rapier, not a Ferret lol.
I get a distinct Fralthi II vibe oof the Agon Ras Sivar