Monday, November 13, 2017

#167 - INTO THE FOREST I GO: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY


If you're going to subject fans to a two month break the mid-season finale sure as heck better go out with fireworks and fanfare! But did Discovery's creative team achieve this thrilling feat? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton take a dangerous journey into Klingon territory in order to break down the action, the drama, and the Kol of it all, in the momentous, and ominously titled, Into the Forest I Go. From Burnham's badass slow-mo hero shots, to Stamets' spore drive brain-scrambling and L'Rell's ambiguous connection to Ash Tyler, the duo leave no stone unturned in dissecting what is arguably the series' most high octane instalment yet! Plus, as always, the sturdy ol' ship Ortonville returns on a mission to ponder the ninth episode of The Orville, Cupid's Dagger.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
Trek's Most Badass Moments
Why Do Starfleet Admirals Suck?

Join us next week as we bow down to Star Trek's most badass characters! 

Monday, November 6, 2017

#166 - SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY


Hallelujah! Eight episodes in and our favorite spore-driven starship is finally visiting a strange new world! But was the wait worth the payoff? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with special guest Dale Deruiter of the Outrage Factory podcast, watch Saru flip his lid during a fateful away mission and ponder how helpful this fit of temporary insanity is in better understanding Doug Jones's overly buttoned up XO. Also, the trio struggle to decipher L'Rell's increasingly convoluted game of deception and debate whether or not trout-fishing is officially Ash Tyler's most exciting character trait. Plus, Cam reviews the first DSC novel Desperate Hours and the trusty ship Ortonville sums up The Orville's eighth episode, Into the Fold.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
Space Madness!
Exploring Star Trek's Outsider Characters

Join us next week as we unveil the secrets of Discovery's mid-season finale Into the Forest I Go!

Monday, October 30, 2017

#165 - MAGIC TO MAKE THE SANEST MAN GO MAD: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY


Who'd have guessed a little Wyclef Jean was all the frequently uptight crew of the Discovery needed to lighten up a little?! Would that have worked for the NX-01 gang? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with special guest Andy Chan, take a break from playing beer pong to tackle DSC's most wacky and fun-loving episode yet, Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad! Does the Cause and Effect/Groundhog Day formula yield another winner for the franchise, or does it go down in spectacular flames? In addition, the trio debate whether this new show is officially the hardest partying in the Trek-verse, as well as determine whether Harry Mudd's unexpectedly speedy return is welcome or not. Plus, as always, the reliable ship Ortonville returns to transmit his thoughts on The Orville's seventh episode, Majority Rule

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Best & Worst Recreation Episodes
Best & Worst Hangouts

Join us next week as we delve into Discovery's eighth episode Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum!

Monday, October 23, 2017

#164 - LETHE: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY


To quote the great Monty Python: And now for something completely different! After a trio of episodes dedicated to spore drives and the Klingon war hijinx, Discovery's latest chapter, Lethe, takes a breather in order to focus on adding depth and complexity to its characters. But is it a welcome diversion? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with special guest Carmin Carotenuto of the Adventure.exe podcast, discuss Michael Burnham's troubled relationship with the famed Sarek, and debate whether or not the latter is in the running for the title of Trek's worst father. The trio also tackle Lorca's PTSD, celebrate the episode's much appreciated hangout scenes and pay loving tribute to Ash Tyler's hometown Issaquah, Washington. Plus, the Ortonville coasts in with his thoughts on The Orville's sixth installment, Krill.

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Star Trek's Daddy Issues


Join us next week as we explore Discovery's seventh episode Magic to Make the Sane Man Go Mad!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

#163 - CHOOSE YOUR PAIN: STAR TREK DISCOVERY


Anticipation has been building for a long time, but finally Harry Mudd has arrived on Discovery! But was he at all worth waiting for? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with special guest Jesse Oquendo, weigh in on Rainn Wilson's fresh take on the highly problematic fan fave, as well as examine the many characters who undergo physical and/or psychological torment in the latest episode. In addition, the trio greet series regular Ash Tyler, debate Choose Your Pain's captain-centric fan service, get their Klingons confused and, as an added bonus, offer up their highlights from Creation's Continuing Voyage San Francisco convention.

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Characters Who Must Suffer

Join us next week as we delve into Discovery's sixth episode Lethe!

Monday, October 9, 2017

#162 - THE BUTCHER'S KNIFE CARES NOT FOR THE LAMB'S CRY: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY


War is raging, tensions are high and the Lorca-led USS Discovery is on a fateful course to potentially turn the tide of the Federation/Klingon conflict. But is this story still holding steady? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton tackle what could very well be the show's most polarizing episode yet! From the increasingly tragic tale of poor Ripper, to layered Klingon intrigue and a shocking early departure, the duo break down all the highs and lows making up this week's intense chapter of DSC drama. In addition to a thorough analysis of The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry, your feedback is addressed, Blade Runner 2049 is reviewed and the groovy ship Ortonville transmits his thoughts on The Orville's Charlize Theron-tastic fifth episode, Pria.

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Early Departures in Star Trek

Join us next week as we delve into Discovery's fifth episode Choose Your Pain!

Monday, October 2, 2017

#161 - CONTEXT IS FOR KINGS: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY


There was a lot to unpack after the one-two punch of Discovery's slam-bang premiere, and many questions left unanswered. But thankfully Captain Lorca has arrived to give us some context. Or has he? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with special guest Vicki Siu, dive into the series' first post-Shenzou episode which introduces viewers to the titular ship and its alternately quirky and mysterious crew. Over the course of a lively discussion, the trio offer their first impressions on Jason Isaac's ominous captain, as well as major players Cadet Tilly and Commander Landry, and debate what impact the addition of spores and ravenous space-beasts will have on Michael Burnham's increasingly complicated journey. Plus, as usual, the reliable ship Ortonville docks in order to unload his thoughts regarding episode four of The Orville, If the Stars Should Appear.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
Ranking Star Trek's Captains

Join us next week as we examine Discovery's fourth episode The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry.

Monday, September 25, 2017

#160 - THE VULCAN HELLO & BATTLE AT THE BINARY STARS: ST DSC


After what felt like an eternity of speculation, Discovery is here at last! But was the splashy premiere worthy of fandom's intense anticipation? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton breathlessly break down the fledgling series' first two episodes and debate this Trek's very modern approach to characters, world-building, aesthetics and energy. Do its revamped sensibilities work, or do they awkwardly butt heads with the incarnations that came before? The duo also tackle new protagonist Commander Michael Burnham, and consider how she currently fits into our established understanding of Starfleet first officers and where she ranks against the formidable icons of yesteryear. Plus, as if this podcast episode couldn't get any more thrilling, the good ship Ortonville beams in his thoughts on episode three of The Orville, About a Girl

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Related Podcast Episodes:
Ranking Star Trek's First Officers
Why Do Starfleet Admirals Suck?


Join us next week as we examine Discovery's third episode Context is for Kings.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

#159 - TNG AT 30: THE GREATEST TREK?


Astonishing as it may be, it has now officially been three decades since Star Trek's beloved Next Generation made its modest debut with the feature-length adventure Encounter at Farpoint. Where in the name of Q does the time go? This week, in celebration of this momentous milestone, hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton take a deep dive into the iconic show's history, naming their top 5 quintessential episode picks and highlighting the characters, aliens and world-building that established it as one of the finest science-fiction ventures of all time. In addition, the duo also discuss the crew's unfortunate lack of firepower in the motion picture world, and consider what TNG truly means to the franchise as a whole. Plus, in a new bonus segment, the good ship Ortonville transmits his take on Command Performance, the second episode of Seth MacFarlane's polarizing new series The Orville.
 
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Related Podcast Episodes:
The Best of Picard
The Evolution of the Borg
The Evolution of Q
Star Trek: Generations
Star Trek: First Contact
Star Trek: Insurrection
Star Trek: Nemesis

Join us next week as we witness the launch of Discovery!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

#158 - THE ORVILLE VS STAR TREK


It has long been established that Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane LOVES Star Trek. Like, a lot! But, intense fandom aside, is he the right man to captain the bridge of his own space-faring series? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton check in with their own opinions regarding the pilot of Fox's The Orville, the ultra-successful comedian's colorful homage to Roddenberry's wild and wonderful universe. Will the show's oddball mixture of sci-fi aesthetics and crass humor entertain or repel Trek fans? Does the debut episode, "Old Wounds," instill faith in the project having a creatively rich and satisfying run? And how confident can we be MacFarlane even gets the spirit of the franchise? All these questions, and many more, are answered as the duo take on what has unexpectedly become one of the most polarizing new arrivals of the fall TV season.    
  
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Related Podcast Episodes:
Galaxy Quest
How Film Influenced Star Trek
Why Do Starfleet Admirals Suck?

Join us next week as we throw a big 30th birthday party for TNG!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

#157 - THE DOMINION WAR: 20 YEARS LATER


With Star Trek purposely moving more and more into serialized storytelling, and the very-soon-to-arrive Discovery aiming to be its most clear break from the episodic format to date, now seems the ideal time to reflect on the landmark epic tale that kick-started the evolution! To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Deep Space Nine's oft-heralded Dominion War saga, this week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with special guest David Borys of the Cool Canadian History podcast, reflect on the unforgettable seven-episode arc that changed Roddenberry's universe forever. Beginning with the pulse-pounding station invasion in the fifth season finale Call to Arms and working all the way through to the tragic nail-biting conclusion of Sacrifice of Angels the trio enthusiastically dig into the rich themes, big ideas and remarkable character journeys that elevated the already great show into the ever-loving stratosphere. Plus, as an added bonus, regular guest Patrick Johnson pops in to offer his own insights regarding Sisko's baseball power move and the resulting narrative fireworks.
  
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DS9: The Way of the Warrior

Join us next week as we take a curious gander at Seth MacFarlane's The Orville and pick apart its Trek connections.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

#156 - STAR TREK DS9: IN PURGATORY'S SHADOW & BY INFERNO'S LIGHT


It's thuddingly obvious at this point in Deep Space 9's run the question isn't really whether a two-parter is good or not so much as just how mind-meltingly awesome it is! And how could you ever go wrong with a space jail epic starring everybody's favorite Cardassian man of mystery Garak?! This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with returning guest Patrick Johnson, lock themselves up with the show's fifth season Great Escape homage In Purgatory's Shadow & By Inferno's Light and relive Martok's return, Worf's warrior badassery and the legendary Bashir bombshell. An inarguably ambitious episode in concept, but does it work as both a satisfying standalone adventure as well as another escalating chapter in the broader Dominion war tapestry? Join the trio for their memorable return trip to Internment Camp 371 and find out!

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Related Podcast Episodes:
DS9: Emissary
DS9: The Maquis
DS9: The Search
DS9: Past Tense
DS9: Improbable Cause/The Die is Cast


Join us next week as we pay tribute to DS9's groundbreaking Dominion invasion arc on its 20th anniversary!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

#155 - STAR TREK'S BIGGEST BREAKTHROUGHS


Over the course of its 50-plus years Star Trek has been crucial in lifting fans' optimism during rough and depressing periods of social strife, war and seemingly stalled advancement. After all, Roddenberry's utopia promises there are rewards waiting for us on the other side. But has the show always fought to honor its pledge to showcase progressive values in primetime? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton reflect on the franchise's most important breakthrough moments of showcasing and celebrating diversity, and debate how successful the various series have been at striving to reflect the realities of our time. From Nichelle Nichols' invaluable contributions as Uhura, to key episodes like Far Beyond the Stars, Rejoined and The Outcast, the duo cover the many highs (and some of the unfortunate lows) in an attempt to determine whether Trek's enlightened, forward-thinking reputation is still deserved and how Discovery can further the evolution.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
How Star Trek Changed the World
Best & Worst Star Trek Flings of the Week

Join us next week as we revisit the DS9 season five two-parter In Purgatory's Shadow & By Inferno's Light! 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

#154 - TAKE ME TO YOUR ALIEN LEADER + MOST ICONIC MOMENTS, PART III


Throughout our explorations into Roddenberry's expansive universe we've visited countless alien worlds governed by a plethora of unforgettable rulers. But how many of these prominent figures would you actually want to live your life under? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton discuss the franchise's biggest names, such as Dukat, Gowron, Martok, Maje Culluh and the Borg Queen, and - with the aid of a highly sophisticated computer simulation program - figure out who would be the ultimate choice in a democratic vote. The results will almost certainly surprise you! Plus, as an added bonus, there's a second full-length Las Vegas-recorded instalment in which special guest Stefan Estonilo helps the duo induct a third round of iconic moments into the Subspace canon.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
All-Time Trek Antagonists
Star Trek's Most Iconic Moments, Part I
Star Trek's Most Iconic Moments, Part II

Join us next week as we celebrate Trek's biggest breakthroughs! 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

#153 - LAS VEGAS STAR TREK CON 2017 MEMORIES


Last year may have been the big 50th anniversary hoopla, but Creation Entertainment still had some tricks up their sleeve for this year's hordes of Las Vegas con attendees! After all, with Discovery waiting in the wings, and TNG turning 30 there was plenty of excitement to be had! Recorded immediately after the 5-day event's final panel, this week's episode sees sleep-deprived hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with returning special guests Scott Hardy and James Chesser, recounting their own convention highlights. From CBS's Discovery showcases, to the Enterprise-D crew's anniversary bows and memorable appearances by William Shatner, Ira Steven Behr and Dr. Mae Jemison, the weary foursome fill you in on all the crucial happenings that transpired during Trekdom's legendary annual tradition.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
Las Vegas Star Trek Con 2016 Memories
Las Vegas Star Trek Con 2015 Memories
Las Vegas Star Trek Con 2014 Memories
Galaxy Quest


Join us next week as we induct more iconic moments into our official canon!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

#152 - ACTING BEYOND STAR TREK


Undoubtedly the men and women responsible for inhabiting Trek's greatest characters achieved iconic status thanks to their time with the franchise. But an actor's life is rarely summed up by a single gig. This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton recreate their 2017 Star Trek Las Vegas Con panel with an in-depth look at how certain hidden gem entries in key players' filmographies parallel their time in Roddenberry's universe. Did Brent Spiner's work in the HBO movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge require the touch of an android with a positronic brain? Could Mirror Universe Uhura have helped inform Nichelle Nichols' fiendish turn in the 1974 Blaxploitation hit Truck Turner? And what are the chances Patrick Stewart's Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy interrogation experience colored his tortured performance in Chain of Command? There's plenty to ponder, and some great film and television recommendations just begging for your attention!

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Related Podcast Episodes:
How Film Influenced Star Trek
Life After Trek

Join us next week as we recap our wild and wacky Star Trek Las Vegas Con experience!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

#151 - STAR TREK VOY: FUTURE'S END


Few formulas have proved more successful for Trek than fish-out-of-water time travel comedy, with TOS and TNG mining the well to beloved effect. But how did Voyager fare when its turn came to follow up its predecessors' triumphs? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with special guest Tony Geluch, follow surly Captain Braxton back to the glorious year of 1996 in order to revisit the popular double-sized season 3 adventure Future's End. Over the course of their wild and wacky odyssey the trio ponder the accuracy of the show's take on the era which birthed it, debate whether racist redneck subplots are ever a good thing, and reconsider the efforts of big deal guest stars Ed Begley Jr. and Sarah Silverman. So toss on your best neutral-toned suit and get hyped because the 90s are back, baby!

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Related Podcast Episodes:
Star Trek VOY: Basics
Star Trek VOY: Caretaker
Star Trek TNG: Time's Arrow
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Trek Does Time Travel

Join us next week as we scour Trek actors' filmographies for hidden gems.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

#150 - THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO STAR TREK


As loyal Star Trek fans, it's our proud duty to welcome newbies into the fold. But which episodes from which series are the best to recommend? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton are tackling this eternal conundrum head-on with a daring high-stakes contest: they've each assigned special guest (and franchise non-fan) Janine Smith one episode from all five shows with the aim of winning her over with the most engaging picks. Will she be wowed by the slow-burn intrigue of the Corbomite Maneuver or the alternate universe lunacy of Mirror, Mirror? How about the touching Data tale The Offspring versus the time paradox classic Cause and Effect? You'll doubtlessly be surprised by her insights and preferences, and especially by the destined-to-be-legendary punishment awaiting the co-host who fails to choose wisely.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
Ranking Star Trek's Captains
Creepiest Episodes

Join us next week as we travel back to 1996 and revisit Future's End!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

#149 - BEST & WORST STAR TREK STORY ARCS


While Trek began as a prime example of episodic sci-fi, the gradual evolution of television writing and audience tastes have impacted it in hugely impactful and exciting ways. With the heavily serialized Discovery waiting in the wings, this week sees hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with special guest Carmin Carotenuto of the Adventure.exe podcast, taking a good hard look at the franchise's history of multi-episode narrative arcs. Beginning with the somewhat accidental three-part Christopher Pike saga, the trio scrutinize the highs (the Dominion War, the Xindi conflict) and lows (the Temporal Cold War) in order to determine which elements make long-form storytelling, and which mistakes break it. Plus, each of the crew chime in with their own hopes and concerns regarding Discovery and its place in this brave and bold new entertainment landscape.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
Star Trek: The Menagerie
Star Trek TNG: Redemption
Star Trek VOY: Basics
The Evolution of Q
The Evolution of the Borg
Star Trek's Most Awkward Moments, Part I

Join us next week as we introduce a beginner to the world of Trek!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

#148 - ARE STARFLEET CADETS THE WORST?


It's a well-established fact Starfleet's track record for promoting great officers is pretty darn unassailable, but can the same be said about its Academy's top cadet picks? This week brash, fresh-faced youngster hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with hotshot guest Andy Chan, enlist in the organization's prestigious, yet often dubiously organized, training school in order to figure out why so many of its students go bizarrely astray. From the smarmy cover-up tactics of Nova Squadron leader Nicholas Locarno, to DS9's highly unorthodox elite Red Squad unit and Star Trek 2009's smug take on the Kobayashi Maru, no helpful reference material is left unanalyzed in this daunting research assignment. Lastly, to conclude their report, the trio debate whether the concept of Starfleet Academy could ever possibly sustain a future movie or series.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
For the Love of Wesley!

Join us next week as we chart the thrilling history of Trek story arcs!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

#147 - STAR TREK VOY: BASICS

 
Not too long ago we celebrated the splashy television launch of the good ship Voyager. Now it's time to dive into more classic Delta Quadrant craziness! This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with special guest Dale Deruiter of the Outrage Factory podcast, find themselves battling tooth and nail to survive the show's first epic cliffhanger saga Basics. While perhaps not as iconic as later double-length episodes, there's no shortage of highlights in this season two finale/season three premiere, from combustible Seska/Kazon drama to the end of Betazoid psycho Lon Suder's tormented arc. In addition, the trio debate both the writing staff's treatment of aboriginal characters and the dubious merits of 1996 CGI reptiles, as well as scratch their heads over Tuvok's formal archery education. Enjoy!

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Related Podcast Episodes:
Star Trek VOY: Caretaker

Join us next week as we delve into the history of Star Trek story arcs.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

#146 - STAR TREK'S MOST AWKWARD MOMENTS, PART I


The mighty men and women of Starfleet may best us mere common folk in many ways, but they have yet to master the ability to avoid uncomfortable situations. Ergo, this week frequently maladjusted hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton are getting their cringe on by celebrating the franchise's most unbearable social faux pas and gaffs. From Geordi being busted for having a secret sexy hologram program, to Harry Kim's embarrassing romantic proclamations and the tragic behavior of Charlie X, no opportunity is missed to revel in Trek's many traumatic public humiliations. Plus, as an added bonus, the duo debate how each of the TNG crew would fare in the online dating world. Y'know, just because.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
The Evolution of Q
The Best Worst Star Trek Episodes: Part II
The Psychology of Geordi La Forge

Join us next week as we return to the Delta Quadrant for the Voyager two-parter Basics!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

#145 - GOING GREEN WITH THE ORIONS & GORN


Now that the evolution of both the Andorians and Tellarites has been exhaustively charted, it's time to wrap up the ongoing examination of classic recurring TOS aliens! Thus, hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton are channeling their inner-Kermit this week in order to determine if it truly isn't easy being an Orion or Gorn, and whether the franchise loves these iconic species as much as fans. Do they have the depth to support further development in Star Trek Discovery and beyond? And what could the future hold for them? Plus, as an added bonus, the duo toss in a third very cool (non-green) alien just for kicks.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
All About the Andorians
Talkin' About Tellarites!
Aliens We Want to See on Discovery
Starfleet vs. Super-Powered Beings

Join us next week as we, uh, list some of our favrite favorite awkward Trek moments!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#144 - STAR TREK DS9: HOMEFRONT & PARADISE LOST


Has anyone mentioned lately how insanely relevant Deep Space Nine still is? For a show that went off the air almost 20 years ago it's often staggering how prescient the creators were in forecasting the future political landscape. This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with returning guest Patrick Johnson, delve into the season 4 two-parter Homefront and Paradise Lost, which delves into compelling themes of martial law, governmental manipulation and the harmful effects of terrorism-induced fear and paranoia. However, as fascinating as the episode is idea-wise, is it as effective in its construction? And how does it stand up following on the mighty heels of The Way of the Warrior? Tune in and find out if the trio have stronger opinions to offer than, say, loser United Federation President Jaresh-Inyo.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
DS9: Emissary
DS9: The Maquis
DS9: The Search
DS9: Past Tense
DS9: Improbable Cause/The Die is Cast

Join us next week as we delve into the evolution of some of TOS's greatest - and greenest - alien creations.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

#143 - THE CURRENT STATE OF TREK 2017


Now that the fanfare surrounding the big 50th anniversary year has faded, does the franchise still appear to be in promising shape? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton once again hold their annual forum to take Trek's temperature and gauge how healthy the not-so-distant future looks to be. Among the crucial bullet-points discussed are the polarizing new Star Trek Discovery teaser trailer, Seth MacFarlane's impending TNG spoof The Orville, and the seemingly uncertain fourth Kelvin-verse film entry. While there's no shortage of life left in our beloved sci-fi series, listen in and find out whether the duo choose to embrace pessimism or Roddenberry-ish optimism.    

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Related Podcast Episodes:
Beyond Star Trek Beyond
What Can We Expect from Star Trek 3?
The Current State of Trek 2016
The Current State of Trek 2015

Join us next week as we revisit the DS9 two-parter Homefront/Paradise Lost.