Thursday, May 17, 2018

#192 - DOES STAR TREK HAVE A PREQUEL PROBLEM?


Although there's been plenty of new Trek adventures over the last 15-plus years little attempt has been made to properly develop a future beyond Nemesis, which hit theatres waaaaay back in Winter 2002. Is this a cause for concern? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with special guest Taylor Ramone of Vancouver's premiere nerd bar Storm Crow, analyze the franchise's ongoing obsession with prequel storytelling, which began with the (post-Phantom Menace) launch of Enterprise and continues to this very day with Discovery. By continually looking backwards are those overseeing the franchise still able to spin vital and exciting tales befitting the brand? And how successful have the two most recent series, along with J.J. Abrams' Kelvin-verse movies, been at properly leading into or evoking the classic episodes and films set further down the timeline? Plus, the trio offer their hopes for where they'd like to see Star Trek go if it ever manages to journey past the 24th century.

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Join us next week as we relive the Year of Hell!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

#191 - WHY TREK NEEDS ACTORS LIKE JEFFREY COMBS


Since the franchise's earliest days there's been a proud tradition of recycling character actors under heavy alien makeup. And while many proud individuals have inhabited multiple personas, nobody's done it better than Mr. Jeffrey Combs. This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton undergo several costume changes while taking a look at the actor's many unforgettable creations, from modest early beginnings as a pervy creep in the DS9 episode Meridian, to fan-fave icons Weyoun and Shran. In addition, the duo also celebrate the contributions of Combs' fellow 'Men & Women of a thousand Trek faces' including J.G. Hertzler, Vaughn Armstrong, Tony Todd and Susanna Thompson, and determine which species they should portray on Discovery and beyond.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
Star Trek TNG: Birthright

Join us next week as we explore the franchise's obsession with prequels!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

#190 - THE CURRENT STATE OF TREK 2018


At this time last year fandom was waiting with bated breath to experience its first new season of TV Trek in over a decade. And boy was it exciting! But now that Discovery has finished its inaugural run how are we feeling about the future of Roddenberry's universe? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton suit up in vibrant new Constellation-class uniforms in order to hold their annual forum on the state of our beloved franchise. What can we hope to see when DSC returns, and how successful is its recently dropped season 2 teaser at building hype? The duo also check in with the movie-verse, and the two big screen projects currently under development from Quentin Tarantino and S.J. Clarkson, as well as weigh in on potential merch opportunities and more!

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Related Podcast Episodes:
The Current State of Trek 2017
The Current State of Trek 2016
The Current State of Trek 2015
Beyond Star Trek Beyond
Las Vegas Star Trek Con 2017 Memories
Star Trek: Discovery: Best First Season Ever?

Join us next week as we hang out with Jeffrey Combs's many Trek identities!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

#189 - STAR TREK DS9: FAVOR THE BOLD & SACRIFICE OF ANGELS


As a climax to the incredible Dominion invasion arc Favor the Bold & Sacrifice of Angels inarguably left a major mark on the series. But how much credit do they deserve as an isolated two-hour tale versus being key parts of a grander whole? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with special guest Waylon Snedker, solemnly pass the baseball around while delving into this spectacular sixth season shakeup, wherein Starfleet battles to take back the titular space station from Gul Dukat and his Dominion accomplices. Does this mark the beginning of the narrative end for the Cardassian villain? Is Sisko being strategically smart or just plain reckless in his dogged attempts to win the day? And what does the death of Ziyal truly mean to the show and viewers? Tune in as the trio break down the themes, concepts and unforgettable moments contained within this crucial wrap-up story.

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Related Podcast Episodes:
The Dominion War - 20 Years Later
DS9: Homefront & Paradise Lost
DS9: In Purgatory's Shadow & By Inferno's Light

Join us next week as we hang out with Jeffrey Combs's many Trek identities!

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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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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Why Do Starfleet Admirals Suck?
Take Me to Your Alien Leader

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

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

#181 - STAR TREK: DISCOVERY: BEST FIRST SEASON EVER?


While it's tough to argue Discovery's inaugural season was perfect smooth sailing, it did ultimately prove highly effective at kick-starting fan excitement anew. But how does its first run of episodes stack up against the classic series that paved the way for it? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with torchbearing guest David Borys of the Cool Canadian History podcast, break down the flashy season that was, from favorite moments and characters to nagging story and filmmaking criticisms. Did the Klingon redesigns serve their purpose and justify the extensive effort? How does the Klingon war match up against the Dominion and Xindi arcs? And what type of course should the NCC-1031 set for 2019? There's a lot to unpack here, as the trio valiantly strive to sum up their definitive thoughts and feelings on Trek's frequently surprising, thrilling and unpredictable return to weekly must-see TV status.

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Join us next week as we call out Starfleet's bad apples!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

#180 - BEST & WORST STAR TREK CLIFFHANGERS


With everyone buzzing about the surprise appearance of the NCC-1701 at the close of Discovery's season finale, now seems like a fantastic time to reflect on Trek's rich history of cliffhanger endings. Certainly Best of Both Worlds is the high water mark for most, but does it still stand supreme? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton champion the merits of mystery and anticipation while naming off both their favorite and least favorite "To be Continued..." moments. From the exhilarating, fist-pumping triumphs of Locutus's viewscreen debut and Sisko's baseball message to Dukat, to the eye-rolling anti-hype of Chakotay evading security guards and Worf being trapped in a Klingon vacation prison, the duo reveal their very unique preferences when it comes to abruptly delayed gratification.

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Trek's Most Badass Moments

Join us next week as we break down the highlights and lowlights of Discovery's inaugural season.

Monday, February 12, 2018

#179 - WILL YOU TAKE MY HAND?: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY


Well guys, here we are: at the eventful end of the inaugural season of Trek's first new series in over a decade. Discovery's lift off was reasonably strong, but how fared the landing? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton paint themselves Orion green in order to delve into the very busy and course-altering wrap-up to the Klingon War story arc. From L'Rell's often head-scratching journey, to Emperor Georgiou and Ash Tyler resolutions and Burnham's painfully long-coming catharsis, the duo break down all of the major moments. They also offer insight into where future roads could take the characters, as well as geek out big-time over the show's nostalgia-fanning cliffhanger close. It's been one wild journey, so settle in for some engaging post-show chatter!

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Why Do Starfleet Admirals Suck?

Join us next week as we celebrate Discovery's season-ending final shot with a tribute to Trek cliffhangers!

Monday, February 5, 2018

#178 - THE WAR WITHOUT, THE WAR WITHIN: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY


If Discovery was aiming for a bit of calm before the big finale storm, this episode sure was low on the tranquility scale! But was that for the better or worse? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with special guest Dale Deruiter of the Outrage Factory podcast, dive into the character-heavy penultimate chapter in the show's inaugural season, the ominously titled The War Without, The War Within. Practically bursting with major dramatic moments involving Burnham, Tyler, Stamets, Sarek, Mirror Georgiou, Admiral Cornwell and L'Rell, the episode offers plenty of fodder for the trio to obsessively mull over. Will there be a place for our tortured former security chief in season 2? What is fallen Emperor Georgiou's dubious game plan? And does anyone really care that Lorca is gone?! All these lingering questions, and many others, fuel this mighty energetic hour of Star Trek discussion. Plus, as an added bonus, Cam reviews the second issue of IDW's "The Light of Kahless" comic-book arc, and Tyler & Dale offer their thoughts on the new sci-fi Netflix series Altered Carbon.

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The Evolution of the Klingons
Should Trek Return to the Mirror Universe?

Join us next week as we close out Discovery's first momentous season, with Will You Take My Hand?

Monday, January 29, 2018

#177 - WHAT'S PAST IS PROLOGUE: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY


Judging from passionate online discussions, Vaulting Ambition's bombshell Lorca twist proved a polarizing creative decision. But was it, at the very least, all for the greater good of the Mirror Universe arc? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with special guest Penny Daflos, don leatherjackets and wield sharp swords while debating the ramifications of this week's explosive, series-altering episode, What's Past is Prologue. Over the course of a fun hour-long conversation the trio determine whether they'd rather be ruled by Lorca or Emperor Georgiou, ponder how satisfying these two key characters' journeys have been, and cast their gaze towards a future where Saru proudly sits in the big chair. Plus, unlikely connections to He-Man and the Fast & the Furious franchise are made.

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Take Me to Your Alien Leader
Best & Worst Star Trek Uniforms
Should Trek Return to the Mirror Universe?

Join us next week as we jump into Discovery's penultimate season 1 episode, The War Within, The War Without ! 

Monday, January 22, 2018

#176 - VAULTING AMBITION: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY


So, how about that Ty'Voq/Voqler twist! Can't imagine the Discovery writers having any bigger revelations in their back pocket than that in season one, right? Oh wait...! This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton shake off the lingering shock of The Wolf Inside in order to tackle the hugely impactful events of the show's latest foray into the ever-mysterious Mirror Universe. Given Vaulting Ambition's big time (and likely controversial) Lorca bombshell, as well as its touching Stamets/Culber reunion and tense Burnham/Emperor Georgiou mommy issues, there's no shortage of food (!) for thought. So join in the fun as the duo break down all of the foundation-rocking happenings in suitably agonizing detail, and question how successfully the show's story swerves hold up to close scrutiny.

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Star Trek Mothers Gone Amok!
The Dominion War: 20 Years Later
Should Trek Return to the Mirror Universe?

Join us next week as we explore Discovery's 13th episode, What's Past is Prologue! 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

#175 - THE WOLF INSIDE: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY


After the crowd-pleasing highs of Despite Yourself last week (Captain Killy ftw!), we're about due for some downtime in the Mirror Universe, right? Not so fast! This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with special guest Janine Smith, pledge allegiance to the glorious Emperor and grapple with the latest epic shakeup in the Discovery universe! For not only does the show's latest thrilling hour offer up new takes on the Andorians and the Tellarites, it also at last pays off the mystery surrounding frequently conflicted security officer Ash Tyler. In addition to discussing the ramifications of these major happenings, the trio also ponder the future of poor Stamets, the vagaries of L'Rell's plan and the comic possibilities of DSC's cumbersome new Klingon accent.

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All About the Andorians!
Talkin' About Tellarites!
Should Trek Return to the Mirror Universe?

Join us next week as we delve into Discovery's 12th episode, Vaulting Ambition! 

Monday, January 8, 2018

#174 - DESPITE YOURSELF: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY


The hiatus is over and it's time to once again journey into the fray, dear Trek fans! When last we saw the resourceful crew of the U.S.S. Discovery they were stranded in an ominous field of wreckage. Have things improved? This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton, along with special guest Taylor Ramone, don flashy Terran Empire uniforms in order to tackle SDC's first voyage into the always entertaining Mirror Universe. Over the course of their freewheeling breakdown of this much-buzzed about Jonathan Frakes-helmed midseason premiere the trio critique the revamped aesthetics of the beloved alternate dimension, ponder Ash Tyler's ongoing torment and collectively gasp at the show's most shocking grim turn of events yet! Enjoy!

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Should Trek Return to the Mirror Universe?
The Star Trek Spin-Off Showcase Spectacular

Join us next week as we bear witness to Discovery's 11th episode, The Wolf Inside! 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

#173 - BEST STAR TREK SPOOFS


Happy 2018 all! Given how last year gave Star Trek a major bump in terms of mainstream pop-culture cache, now is a perfect time to celebrate some of the great spoofs, tributes and homages it has inspired. This week hosts Cam Smith and Tyler Orton use Black Mirror's recent USS Callister episode as a springboard to discuss some of the most interesting and incisive satirical takes on Gene Roddenberry's galaxy. From fan favorites like The Orville, Galaxy Quest and The Muppet Show, to ultra-nerdy shout-outs on The Wonder Years and Saturday Night Live, the duo hit many of your comedic faves along with perhaps a few unfamiliar gems. Plus, Cam offers his perspective on the 1998 Shatner-tastic indie film Free Enterprise.

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Galaxy Quest
The Orville Vs Star Trek

Join us next week as we re-enter the world of Star Trek Discovery!