Wednesday, March 30, 2016

#84 - STAR TREK TNG: CHAIN OF COMMAND


Despite its proud dedication to Gene Roddenberry's utopic vision, Star Trek occasionally goes pretty dark and - more often than not - does it really, really well. This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with returning guest Jamie Davies, tackle arguably the most tense, uncomfortable and grim story in The Next Generation's entire run, as Picard's seemingly unwavering resolve is pushed to its very breaking point by merciless Cardassian sadist Gul Madred. Over the course of this hour long discussion the trio delve deeply into the combative relationships between both the Enterprise's brave leader and his captor, as well as Riker and stubborn senior officer Captain Edward Jellico, and determine whether this celebrated two-parter may actually be better than the beloved Best of Both Worlds.    

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All the best!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

#83 - WHY DO STARFLEET ADMIRALS SUCK?


Since almost its very inception, Star Trek has had a negative attitude towards those who out-rank the almighty captain. Typically portrayed as blandly forgettable exposition machines (when they're not acting as duplicitous villains), Starfleet admirals rarely ever receive the quality of creative attention and care that goes into writing the show's countless compelling heroes, bad guys, civilians and aliens. But why? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton shine a spotlight on the franchise's least compelling figures in order to understand their storytelling limitations, and determine whether their shoddy treatment exposes a serious crack in Roddenberry's futuristic utopia. Along the way, the duo also tackle rare stand-outs like the formidable Alynna Nechayev, Into Darkness turncoat Alexander Marcus and The Pegasus's scheming Erik Pressman, as well as decide which series captains most make sense climbing up to the next rung on the career ladder.

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 Fare thee all well!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

#82 - FOR THE LOVE OF WESLEY!


Out of all the countless characters populating the dense Star Trek universe, none have proven more polarizing and oft-ridiculed as one Wesley Robert Crusher. Frequently seen saving the day during TNG's rocky early seasons, Wil Wheaton's adolescent protagonist fast became a fan whipping boy and is often cited as one of the most damning issues with the show's not-so-confident launch. But is he really that bad??? For this week's episode hosts Cam Smith, Tyler Orton and Benjamin Yong offer their own feelings on the boy genius, and determine why he was such a problematic and controversial show addition. From the legendary Traveler trilogy, to the smashed flower boxes of Justice and his crucial relationships with Picard, Beverly and Geordi, the trio examine the many layers of the figure many still consider Trek's unholy answer to Jar Jar Binks. 
 
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Stay Wesley Groovy!

 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

#81 - WHAT WE DON'T WANT TO SEE IN STAR TREK 2017


With Star Trek officially in the capable hands of showrunner Bryan Fuller, now it's time to begin pondering what this new show both could and shouldn't be! Dusting off their speculative hats once again, this week sees hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton running down their own personal checklists of clich├ęs and tropes that need to be retired as we move into the next thrilling franchise iteration. Do we genuinely yearn for more holodeck episodes? Or another series fraught with story reset buttons? How about more aliens with minor forehead prosthetics? So listen in as the duo do their darndest to dream of a future free of Trek's less endearing go-to staples. 

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Good journey!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

#80 - STAR TREK TNG: TIME'S ARROW


Time travel stories have been historically very good to Trek. In classic adventures, we've watched a tragic Depression-era Kirk romance unfold, laughed along as the Enterprise saved the whales and scratched our heads while Gary Seven accomplished, uh, something or other with a magical cat lady. Okay, maybe they weren't all gems... At any rate, this week sees hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with returning guest Tony Geluch, journeying back to 19th century San Francisco in order to review the cosplay-tastic 1992 TNG two-parter "Time's Arrow." Over the course of a lively discussion, the trio debate the necessity of spreading this breezy tale over two full hours, how successful the episode is at balancing fish out of water comedy with sinister snake-cane-fuelled intrigue, and whether Jerry Hardin's popular Samuel Clemens performance still works. At all. So toss on your white linen suit and feathered bowler hat and enjoy!    

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Have a great weekend!