Monday, November 12, 2018

#218 - SHORT TREKS: CALYPSO & TREK VS STAR WARS ON STREAMING


If the introductory Short Treks installment was a taste of the familiar, the latest effort proudly declares "and now for something completely different!" But is different a good thing? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton dance up a storm while taking on the franchise's second bite-sized story, Calypso, which sees a stranger waking up aboard an abandoned Discovery 1000 years after the glory days of Burnham and crew. His only companion? The ship's newly sentient computer. So, does this unconventional Short Trek deliver where the previous one fell, um, short? And what mysteries does it introduce to Discovery? Plus, as an added bonus, the duo consider the current world of streaming content and debate who, between CBS and Lucasfilm, has the creative upper hand. 

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

#217 - STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS & OTHER ANIMATED ADVENTURES


Now that Star Trek: Lower Decks is in the process of becoming a reality it's time to consider the doors animation opens for the franchise going forward, and the lessons learned from the attempts of yesteryear. This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton awkwardly exchange blank expressions while digging into the considerable potential of Trek's latest announced incarnation. What aliens would be cool to see? How could this comedic new venture play with canon? In addition, the duo take a look back at Star Trek: The Animated Series and highlight what worked, what didn't and which elements of the show would be worth bringing to Lower Decks.  

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

#216 - IT'S BODY SWAPPING TIME!


It's a concept employed time and time again in visual storytelling, both for its fun novelty factor as well as its cheap production costs. So what does Trek bring that's new or interesting to the popular conceit of body swapping? And which actors succeed best at portraying these new arrivals in their mortal form? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton aren't feeling quite themselves as they consider the franchise's long and often off-the-wall weird history of infusing its iconic heroes with different eccentric personalities. From Kirk and Spock's encounter with ancient aliens in Return to Tomorrow, to the hostage crisis of TNG's Power Play and the Doctor's experience occupying Seven of Nine, the duo cover all the bases, breaking down which episodes work and crowning some truly incredible acting MVPs. 

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

#215 - STAR TREK'S ODDBALL EPISODES


Look, when a creative team is tasked with cranking out 20-something television hours for years on end you're bound to wind up with the odd outside-the-norm diversion episode. The real question is: do these unconventional efforts nonetheless entertain? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton are abandoning all their usual business in order to examine these intriguingly quirky franchise stories, which mostly toss aside their series leads in favor of exploring entirely new characters. From backdoor-pilot creation Gary Seven and his unflappable feline (?) friend Isis, to the tragic tale of Benny Russell and a pair of in-depth ancestor flashbacks, the duo break down these very unique installments and ponder whether they should have been further expanded upon. 

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

#214 - THE FUTURE OF THE ALPHA QUADRANT


So we know Picard is returning soon, and that his series will be an ongoing one. But what does his universe even look like in the wake of the major events of DS9, Nemesis, Star Trek 2009 and so on? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton join Starfleet's brightest and boldest in order to explore the current status of the Alpha Quadrant's most famous denizens and predict where the future may take them. From post-Dominion War Cardassia and the Klingon Empire, to the now homeland-less Romulans and post-reform (?) Ferengi, the duo touch on all the major power players and strive to imagine how Picard may participate in their ongoing evolution.
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Monday, October 8, 2018

#213 - SHORT TREKS: RUNAWAY & DSC S2 TRAILER #2


The second season of Discovery is right around the corner and excitement is starting to build anew! And what better way to prepare for Burnham and crew's triumphant return than by breaking down both the very first Short Treks episode as well as the show's latest splashy trailer? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton turn off their invisibility cloaking long enough to review the franchise's first ever official short-form entry, Runaway, in which Tilly encounters a mysterious alien presence aboard the ship. Does this new bite-sized format work? And how successful is this brief adventure at amping up anticipation for the series' return? Plus, the duo geek out over DSC's high profile New York Comic Con trailer and weigh in on its teases of Spock, Pike, Number One, space angels and newly hairy Klingons!

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

#212 - STAR TREK DS9: WHAT YOU LEAVE BEHIND


All great journeys must come to an end. And, for DS9, that ending was entirely unexplored terrain for Star Trek in 1999. Unlike the more episodic TNG, which hit a major home-run with All Good Things..., the franchise's unconventional third series had such a labyrinthine web of mythology, character arcs and story to wrap up that satisfying expectations was the definition of a Herculean task. But, ultimately, were the creative team successful? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton don tuxedos and choke back tears while bidding farewell to the Gamma Quadrant's most turbulent space station and the idiosyncratic collection of personalities living within its weathered walls. Over the course of this lengthy discussion the duo break down both the story threads and character pay-offs of the episode, and determine how strongly What You Leave Behind works as a TV finale. Plus, they debate such hot topics as the show's resolutions to the Dominion War and Pah Wraith drama, Odo and Kira's iconic goodbyes and the curious lack of Jadzia in Worf's montage.  

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