Wednesday, April 18, 2018

#188 - WHEN STAR TREK GOES DARK


For all of its beaming optimism and can-do pluck Star Trek loves to occasionally journey... into darkness. This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton decide what they can and can't live with while exploring the most uncomfortable, grim and challenging episodes in the franchise's canon. From Sisko's dirty dealings in In the Pale Moonlight, to Discovery's Mirror Universe moral murkiness and TOS's eternally warring duo-chromatic aliens, the duo underline the episodes that left them shaken, weary and even a little scarred. And, in reliving these often unpleasant television hours, they ask the fundamental question: do these emotionally draining adventures fit into Roddenberry's utopia?

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Related Podcast Episodes:
Hidden Gems of Star Trek

Join us next week as we revisit the DS9 two-parter Favor the Bold/Sacrifice of Angels!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

#187 - STAR TREK'S BEST & WORST CROSSOVERS


Who can ever forget when the Flintstones met the Jetsons? Or Batman & Robin teamed up with the Green Hornet & Kato? Since nearly the beginning of the TV era crossovers have been a proven means of boosting ratings and injecting energy into a series. And Star Trek has definitely gone to this particular well more than a few times. This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton take a reflective look at the many times the people in charge of the franchise have attempted to grab eyeballs and generate fan excitement by mashing up their titanic properties. From the Enterprise-D swinging by Deep Space 9, to Sisko's Tribble troubles and Tuvok and Janeway's mind meld tour of Captain Sulu's Excelsior, the duo debate how successfully these attention-grabbing stunts have held up beyond their initial hype. Also, as an added bonus, Cam reviews IDW's new Stamets-centric Discovery double-sized annual.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
Star Trek TNG: Birthright
The Evolution of Q

Join us next week as we delve into Trek's darkest hours...

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

#186 - TNG'S LOST YEARS


Remember at the end of All Good Things... how Troi and Worf appeared ready to embark on a potential long-term romance? Boy, that sure paid off! But then, the TNG crew experienced so much off-screen change and growth in the eight years between the finale and Nemesis... In an attempt to settle their restless continuity-obsessed minds, this week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton form a two-man writers room to decide which unanswered questions most demand answers in a hypothetical reboot bridging the crucial post-series/mid-film time gaps. For example, what were the deciding factors behind Geordi's switch to ocular implants in First Contact? How did the crew occupy themselves while the Enterprise-E was under construction? And what were the circumstances surrounding Wesley's return to Starfleet and Guinan's exit post-Generations? If you've ever spent time pondering the staffing issues caused by Worf's sporadic movie-required reappearances on the bridge this is the episode for you!

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Related Podcast Episodes:
TNG at 30: The Greatest Trek?

Join us next week as we explore the franchise's best and worst crossovers.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

#185 - STAR TREK'S TURNING POINTS


Next Gen's new uniforms. Sisko's shaved head. The introduction of Seven of Nine. For many, these iconic milestones marked the point when their respective series truly hit warp 10. But if you were to highlight your own personal signpost episodes, indicating a developing show's transformation into a confident must-see, which ones would you pick? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, fresh from smashing a champagne bottle on the Defiant, sit down to debate the most significant transition chapters in each Trek series. From the emergence of the Romulans, to intense Xindi drama, the duo celebrate the TV hours that left an unforgettable impact on their beloved franchise. They also debate whether Discovery has reached its turning point yet...

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Join us next week as we brainstorm TNG's lost stories.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

#184 - STAR TREK'S LATE ARRIVALS


Roughly a year ago we examined the franchise's most tragically short-lived characters, but what about those who just arrived late to the party? This week half-shaven hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton race frantically to their microphones in order to roll-call the most significant show-altering afterthought additions to Trek-dom. From TOS's mop-topped Russian heartthrob, to no-nonsense TNG players Dr. Katherine Pulaski and Ensign Ro Laren, and attention-grabbing fourth season all-stars Worf and Seven of Nine, the duo Chekov check off all the unforgettable names that helped change up their respective corners of Roddenberry's universe. Plus, as an added bonus, Cam reviews the third issue of IDW's four-part The Light of Kahless comic-book arc.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
Early Departures in Star Trek
Star Trek's Best Recurring Characters
Best & Worst Star Trek Seasons
Exploring Star Trek's Outsider Characters
Star Trek DS9: Way of the Warrior

Join us next week as we pinpoint the key quality turning points for each Trek series.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

#183 - STAR TREK VOY: SCORPION


Back in the 1990 Star Trek: The Next Generation unleashed a massive shockwave with its now iconic season 3 finale Best of Both Worlds Pt. 1. The huge success of that episode, and it's fourth season conclusion, established a high water mark the various series have attempted to replicate ever since. This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with special guest Dale Deruiter of the Outrage Factory podcast, weigh the pros and cons of making a deal with the devil while revisiting Scorpion, Voyager's most obvious attempt to recapture the magic of the legendary Locutus saga. Bringing the Borg back in a big, bad way, as well as ushering in an all-new unstoppable adversary, the two-parter also introduces 7 of 9, sets up the departure of Kes and pits Janeway against Chakotay in a tense debate over the fate of the crew. Listen in as the trio discuss all of these key points, as well as consider the merits of television-grade CG, struggle to determine the show's most disposable character and toss out nerdy 90's references.

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Join us next week as we take a gander at characters who arrived late to the Trek party.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

#182 - STARFLEET'S WORST EMPLOYEE AWARD


Trek fans have long joked about the franchise's lengthy catalogue of renegade admirals and off-the-rails captains. But who among the many most egregiously exploited or perverted Starfleet values to pursue their own end? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton sip from their "World's Worst Employee" mugs while pitting the organization's most notorious names against each other in a grand tournament of workplace ineptitude. From high-ranking figures like The Pegasus's Admiral Pressman, Discovery's Mirror Universe imposter captain and dastardly Delta Quadrant survivalist Rudy Ransom, to lowly cadet louses Nick Locarno and Riley Shepard, there's definitely no shortage of candidates to choose from! So tune in as the duo strive, through an intense process of elimination, to crown the biggest loser of the woeful bunch.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
Why Do Starfleet Admirals Suck?
Take Me to Your Alien Leader

Join us next week as we revisit the classic Voyager two-parter Scorpion!