The Ready Room: A Star Trek Podcast

Proto-TNG and the Pike Memo.

We’ve all heard the stories about how Star Trek: The Next Generation was created. Or have we? While rummaging through Gene Roddenberry’s drawers, Larry Nemecek, John Champion, and Rod Roddenberry uncovered a long-lost memo from 1986 that presents a TNG that is very different from the one we know. The document, prepared by Paramount Network Television President John S. Pike, Greg Strangis, Jeff Hayes, and Rick Berman, outlines a premise, crew, and pilot for Star Trek’s return to television that until now was unknown.

In this episode of The Ready Room, C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek bring you an extended discussion about the document featured in episode four of Larry’s podcast, The Trek Files. We imagine what the adventures of Captain Rhon, Cadet Commander Brik, the painfully beautiful Helen Joyce, and the USS Odyssey might have been like—and why the security of the galaxy might depend on young Klingon officer Mynk and a simple piece of paper.

In our news segment, we look at Star Trek: Discovery’s nomination for Outstanding Drama Series in the GLADD Media Awards, given by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, a new book filled with lost scenes from The Original Series, and Larry shares his thoughts on a subject he’s very passionate: Tellarites.

News
Intro (00:00:00)
A GLADD Media Awards Nomination for Discovery (00:06:19)
Those Discovery Tellarites (00:15:52)
Star Trek Lost Scenes (00:25:18)

Feature: Proto-TNG and the Pike Memo
Background (00:35:45)
The Purpose of the Memo (00:39:03)
The TNG Announcement (00:46:02)
Concept and Crew (00:49:36)
Let’s Remember 1986 (00:54:55)
Character Parallels with Other Trek (01:02:54)
Pilot Premise (01:12:41)
Final Thoughts (01:22:39)
Closing (01:35:08)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek

Production
C Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Renee Roberts (Associate Producer) Zachary Fruhling (Associate Producer) Sam Piassick (Associate Producer) Kay Elizabeth Shaw (Associate Producer) Tim Robertson (Associate Producer) David Shuford (Associate Producer) Joo Kim (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)

Direct download: trr-218.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 10:53pm MDT

DS9 at 25.

It’s been a quarter century since Benjamin Sisko arrived at one of the Federation’s most remote outposts—Deep Space 9—and began a journey of self discovery that would turn the Star Trek model on its head. Overshadowed by The Next Generation and then Voyager, Deep Space Nine quietly flew under the radar and developed into a series that would later emerge as what many consider the franchise’s crown jewel. It’s a show that fans are rediscovering—and some are discovering for the first time—in this age of streaming and binge-watching. And it has stood the test of time in a remarkable way.

In this episode of The Ready Room, C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek look back at 25 years of Deep Space Nine, discussing its development, premiere, the roles of Rick Berman and Michael Piller, why the love fans have for the show continues to grow, and much more.

In our news segment, we consider the camaraderie of past Star Trek casts in light of Jonathan Frakes’s comments about the crew of Discovery, check out the 4-disc La-La Land Records Deep Space Nine Volume 2 Limited Edition music collection, and remember Jon Paul Steuer, the actor who played young Alexander on The Next Generation. Plus, Larry has a special announcement about activity detected in Trekland.

Chapters
Intro (00:00:00)
Remembering Jon Paul Steuer (00:04:16)
How Close Were the Casts of Each Series? (00:10:02)
La-La Land Records DS9 Volume 2 (00:18:53)
The Trek Files (00:26:38)
Feature: DS9 at 25 (00:41:06)
Developing Deep Space Nine (00:46:19)
Setting Up the Story (01:06:51)
The Roles of Rick Berman and Michael Piller (01:21:59)
TOS Nodes (01:30:35)
Surprising Ira (01:33:01)
Standing the Test of Time (01:35:47)
Final Thoughts (01:53:06)
Closing (01:48:32)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek

Production
C Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Renee Roberts (Associate Producer) Zachary Fruhling (Associate Producer) Sam Piassick (Associate Producer) Kay Elizabeth Shaw (Associate Producer) Tim Robertson (Associate Producer) David Shuford (Associate Producer) Joo Kim (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)

Direct download: trr-217.mp3
Category:Deep Space Nine -- posted at: 7:46am MDT

Discovery Post-Premiere.

After nearly two years of waiting—and much speculation—we’re now well into the Star Trek: Discovery story. How does what we’ve seen compare to our expectations? What do we think of the writing and creative decisions so far?

In this episode of The Ready Room, C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek revisit some the topics from their last discussion—including an ancient Klingon secret, a unique Vulcan story, and the business side of Discovery—and explore new topics such as the storytelling format, technology, Section 31, how Discovery is connecting with past Star Trek, and whether these connections might change the fan conversation over whether The Animated Series and the literary universe are canon.

Chapters
Intro (00:00:00)
The Business Side of Discovery (00:05:39)
Fall Season Extended (00:17:29)
Ancient Klingon Secret Revisited (00:22:46)
Sarek and Burnham’s Vulcan Adventure Revisited (00:45:12)
A Fourth Approach to Vulcans (00:55:47)
Future Debate About Canon (01:08:11)
Is Discovery a Section 31 Ship? (01:24:37)
Spore Drive and Iconian Gateways (01:32:21)
A Different Way of Telling a Story (01:39:40)
Closing (01:48:32)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek

Production
C Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Renee Roberts (Associate Producer) Zachary Fruhling (Associate Producer) Sam Piassick (Associate Producer) Kay Elizabeth Shaw (Associate Producer) Tim Robertson (Associate Producer) David Shuford (Associate Producer) Joo Kim (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)

Direct download: trr-216.mp3
Category:Discovery -- posted at: 10:02pm MDT

Star Trek: Discovery Latest Details and Summer Con Preview.

We’re just two months away from the launch of Star Trek’s seventh venture onto the small screen: Discovery. As summer heats up and convention season kicks into gear, news about the series, images from the set, and interviews with creators are bringing us new details and stirring the pot of speculation more feverishly than ever.

In this episode of The Ready Room, C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek get together to discuss some of the latest tidbits, including an ancient Klingon secret, a unique (or as Alex Kurtzman calls it a very, very unique) Vulcan story, Riker on the set, the business side of Discovery, and much more. Plus, we make an exciting announcement about the Trek.fm podcast network.

Chapters
Intro (00:00:00)
Star Trek: Discovery Premiere Schedule (00:05:12)
The Business Side of Discovery (00:13:27)
Ancient Klingon Secret (00:16:36)
Sarek and Burnham’s Vulcan Adventure (00:24:56)
Jonathan Frakes Directs Discovery (00:00:00)
Alex Kurtzman on Discovery’s Story (00:34:55)
Connecting to the Original Star Trek (00:39:11)
How Discovery Respects Canon (00:50:24)
Why We Still Need Roddenberry’s Vision (00:57:17)
Star Trek: Discovery and San Diego Comic-Con (01:02:21)
Star Trek Las Vegas 2017 (01:10:14)
A Network Announcement (01:23:39)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek

Production
C Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Renee Roberts (Associate Producer) Zachary Fruhling (Associate Producer) Sam Piassick (Associate Producer) Kay Elizabeth Shaw (Associate Producer) Tim Robertson (Associate Producer) David Shuford (Associate Producer) Joo Kim (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)

Direct download: trr-215.mp3
Category:Discovery -- posted at: 4:00am MDT

The Cloud Minders.

Kirk has a history of getting involved in the domestic disputes of other worlds and trying to set the locals straight. That’s why the little Federation clean-up ship is always trailing the Enterprise. Of course, when the planet in question is a member of the Federation, is refusing to do its part to help another member world, and is torturing its own people, it’s a lot easier to justify stepping in. That’s what happened in the third-season episode “The Cloud Minders.”

In this episode of The Ready Room, host C Bryan Jones is joined by Zachary Fruhling, Amy Nelson, and Justin Oser to discuss this story of a city in the sky, cave dwellers, the stratification of society, and deadly gas. Along the way we debate what it means to be part of the United Federation of Planets, how laws might apply to such a vast political organization, and why Spock is so flirty when his head is in the clouds.

In our news segment, we examine Mike Okuda’s new design for NASA’s flight operations emblem, talk about the winners of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, and explore what it will take to make a Star Trek-style medical tricorder a reality.

News
Intro (00:00:00)
Mike Okuda Designs New NASA Flight Operations Emblem (00:03:05)
How Close Are We to a Real Star Trek-Style Medical Tricorder? (00:12:39)

Feature
Initial Thoughts (00:23:33)
Science Fiction Parallels (00:25:41)
Federation Law and Member Worlds (00:32:34)
Caste System (00:41:17)
Flirty Spock (00:48:47)
David Gerrold’s Original Story (00:58:53)
Manny Coto’s Magic Bag of Hindsight (01:09:53)
Caste Systems Revisited (01:16:38)
Final Thoughts and Ratings (01:26:00)
Closing (01:33:42)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Zachary Fruhling

Guests
Amy Nelson and Justin Oser

Production
C Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Renee Roberts (Associate Producer) Zachary Fruhling (Associate Producer) Sam Piassick (Associate Producer) Kay Elizabeth Shaw (Associate Producer) Tim Robertson (Associate Producer) David Shuford (Associate Producer) Joo Kim (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)

Direct download: trr-214.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 9:28am MDT

Vanishing Point.

Sometimes it would be nice to have a transporter. What Star Trek fans hasn’t had that thought? But would we really want to be disassembled atom by atom and put back together somewhere far away? Hoshi certainly didn’t in the second-season Enterprise episode “Vanishing Point,” but it was her only way out of a deadly situation.

In this episode of The Ready Room, host C Bryan Jones is joined by Justin Oser, Aaron Harvey, and Luke Weir to discuss Hoshi’s eight-second mental adventure, her father’s confusion, early transporter technology, the repetition of story concepts in Star Trek and, of course, the legend of Cyrus Ramsey.

In our news segment, we explore the new video vault component of the Deep Space Nine documentary and take a trip through the Cosmos as LeVar Burton brings Carl Sagan’s classic to life.

News
Intro (00:00:00)
DS9 Documentary Update and Video Vault (00:02:38)
LeVar Burton Reads Cosmos (00:17:02)

Feature
Initial Thoughts (00:25:01)
ETP: Early Transporter Phobia (00:32:44)
Only in Her Head (00:45:11)
Overcoming Fears (00:54:05)
I am Hoshi’s Dad. I am Smart. (00:59:59)
The Aliens that Weren’t (01:10:46)
Third Verse, Same As the First (01:20:51)
Final Thoughts and Ratings (01:27:34)
Closing (01:33:56)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Justin Oser

Guests
Aaron Harvey and Luke Weir

Production
C Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Renee Roberts (Associate Producer) Zachary Fruhling (Associate Producer) Sam Piassick (Associate Producer) Kay Elizabeth Shaw (Associate Producer) Tim Robertson (Associate Producer) David Shuford (Associate Producer) Joo Kim (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)

Direct download: trr-213.mp3
Category:Enterprise -- posted at: 9:48am MDT

Workforce.

We all want to escape from our lives sometimes. What if you could really do it? What if you couldn’t remember the life you left behind? And what if it was all against your will? That’s what happens to the crew of the Starship Voyager in the seventh-season episode “Workforce.”

In this episode of The Ready Room, hosts C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek are joined by Kay Elizabeth Shaw of To The Journey and Bruce Gibson of Literary Treks to discuss this story of the Voyager crew’s other life as employees of a power facility on the planet Quarra.

In our extended news segment, Chris and Larry share their thoughts on the Star Trek: Discovery trailer presented at CBS upfronts, the international Netflix version of the trailer, the new look of the Klingons, and more.

News
Intro (00:00:00)
The Star Trek: Discovery Trailer (00:01:48)
Made for Upfronts (00:06:04)
The Kelvin Look (00:13:43)
Characters: Michael Burnham, Lt. Saru, and More (00:22:00)
The Klingons (00:34:02)
The Most Ambitious Star Trek Ever? (00:42:24)

Feature
Initial Thoughts (00:50:45)
Personality Parallels (00:58:08)
Backstories? (01:13:04)
Janeway and Jaffen (01:18:20)
A Meat By-product Tangent (01:24:18)
Emergency Command Hologram (01:28:07)
A Meandering Story? (01:30:55)
Final Thoughts (01:49:45)
Closing (02:08:28)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek

Guests
Kay Elizabeth Shaw and Bruce Gibson

Production
C Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Renee Roberts (Associate Producer) Zachary Fruhling (Associate Producer) Sam Piassick (Associate Producer) Kay Elizabeth Shaw (Associate Producer) Tim Robertson (Associate Producer) David Shuford (Associate Producer) Joo Kim (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)

Direct download: trr-212.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:03am MDT

Star Trek: Discovery and a Look Back at 50.

The premiere of the next Star Trek series may be delayed, but there’s still plenty to talk about. In this episode of The Ready Room, host C Bryan Jones returns from medical leave and hops on mic with Larry Nemecek to discuss some of the news from the past eight months. Looking at Star Trek: Discovery, we delve into the time period, ships, stories, writers, characters, casting, production, delays … and imagine the return of a classic alien. We also recap some of the key moments from Star Trek’s 50th anniversary year and how we’re carrying the excitement into the 51st.

Chapters
Intro (00:00:00)
About Chris’s Absence (00:00:59)
Star Trek: Discovery (00:08:39)
Star Trek: Discovery - Time Period (00:10:38)
Star Trek: Discovery - The Ships (00:12:28)
Star Trek: Discovery - Stories and Writers (00:21:40)
Star Trek: Discovery - Characters and Casting (00:25:00)
Star Trek: Discovery - Production and Delays (01:02:10)
Star Trek 50 - Conventions (01:17:46)
Star Trek 50 - Star Trek Beyond (01:20:36)
Star Trek 50 - Geek Nation Tours (01:24:12)
Star Trek 50 - From There to Here (01:28:14)
Star Trek 50 - The Roddenberry Vault (01:30:42)
Star Trek 50 - Portal 47 (01:38:07)
Star Trek 50 - Series Set Repackaging (01:42:40)
Closing (01:49:41)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek

Production
C Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Renee Roberts (Associate Producer) Zachary Fruhling (Associate Producer) Sam Piassick (Associate Producer) Kay Elizabeth Shaw (Associate Producer) Tim Robertson (Associate Producer) David Shuford (Associate Producer) Joo Kim (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)

Direct download: trr-211.mp3
Category:Discovery -- posted at: 8:37am MDT

210: Disastrous Consequences

Crossover.

Sometimes actions can have unexpected consequences. Such was the case in The Original Series when Kirk convinced Mirror Spock to turn the Terran Empire from evil to good. Only he didn’t know it. Kirk had the best intentions, but maybe there was a reason the Terrans were the way they were. We learned the result of Kirk’s speech in the Deep Space Nine episode “Crossover,” the first of many trips to the Mirror Universe for the DS9 crew.

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined by Zachary Fruhling, Rumman Chowdhury, and Brandon-Shea Mutala to discuss the first onscreen foray into the Mirror Universe since TOS. Beginning with Kirk’s actions, we continue on to explore the disastrous consequences his words had for the humans of this universe, how oppression impacts lives, and how sexuality can be used to wield power over others. We also discuss various DS9 characters and their mirror counterparts, and how circumstances bring out different traits.

Plus, in our news segment we discuss the lineup of events and panels scheduled for Star Trek: Mission New York.

News
Star Trek: Mission New York Rundown (00:03:20)

Feature: Crossover
Initial Thoughts (00:24:36)
The Divergence (00:36:28)
DS9’s Take on the Mirror Universe (00:37:45)
Odo: Same of Different? (00:44:59)
Kira, The Intendant, and Sexuality (00:53:33)
Mirror Garak (01:02:31)
Kira Outsmarting Kira (01:10:23)
Smiley and the Weight of Oppression (01:16:30)
Final Thoughts (01:24:34)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Zachary Fruhling

Guests
Rumman Chowdhury and Brandon-Shea Mutala

Production
C Bryan Jones (News Editor and Producer) Matthew Rushing (Feature Editor and Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Renee Roberts (Associate Producer) Zachary Fruhling (Associate Producer) Sam Piassick (Associate Producer) Kay Elizabeth Janeway (Associate Producer) Tim Robertson (Associate Producer) David Shuford (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)

Direct download: trr-210.mp3
Category:Deep Space Nine -- posted at: 5:38am MDT

209: Just Don’t Smell the Flowers

Justice.

The first rule of Rubicun III is don’t play in the flowerbeds. No wait … that would be “run everywhere.” But staying away from the flowers is definitely rule number two. And if don’t obey the rules, there’s only one punishment: death. The boy, Wesley Crusher, learned this the hard way when Picard allowed his crew to go on shore leave on a pre-warp world.

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined by Bruce Gibson and Luke Weir to discuss “Justice” … and why there can be none when laws are absolute. We also debate whether a system of absolute laws could actually work, the highly sensual nature of 1987 Star Trek, the obsession with god-like aliens, and more.

Plus, in our news segment we discuss recent Star Trek: Discovery news and the forthcoming Deep Space Nine documentary.

News
Star Trek: Discovery Details (00:03:48)
DS9 Documentary (00:19:51)

Feature: Justice
Initial Thoughts (00:30:20)
The Boy, Wesley Crusher (00:38:30)
Let’s Get Racy! (00:40:25)
An Eden-like Feel (00:49:27)
Forbidden … Temporarily (00:52:36)
Can Absolute Rules Work? (01:03:52)
The God Thing (01:12:15)
The Original “Justice” Concept (01:19:14)
Final Thoughts (01:37:06)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Bruce Gibson

Guest
Luke Weir

Production
C Bryan Jones (News Editor and Producer) Matthew Rushing (Feature Editor and Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Renee Roberts (Associate Producer) Zachary Fruhling (Associate Producer) Sam Piassick (Associate Producer) Kay Elizabeth Janeway (Associate Producer) Tim Robertson (Associate Producer) David Shuford (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)

Direct download: trr-209.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 8:12am MDT