The Ready Room: A Star Trek Podcast
125: The Rudolphs of the Empire

Affliction/Divergence.

Few subjects in Star Trek have caused as much controversy as Klingon forehead ridges. A simple lack of resources in 1967 and a big movie budget in 1979 worked together to create one of the greatest debates of our time. Why do some Klingons have ridges while others do not? Deep Space Nine chimed in on the topic in a humorous way in “Trials and Tribble-ations,” but Enterprise sought to create a real in-universe explanation. In the final episode of The Ready Room for 2013 we’re joined by Mike Schindler and Tyler Johnson to discuss the Season Four two-parter, the medical dilemma faced by Phlox, the implications for the Klingon Empire, the Section 31 twist, and whether or not Enterprise helped settle the debate or simply further muddied the waters.

In news we take a look at the Enterprise Season Four Blu-ray set, discuss the five stages of reading the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and round out our preview of Five Year Mission’s Year Three with “A Piece of the Action” and “The Immunity Syndrome.”

 

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Chapters

News

Enterprise Season Four Blu-rays set for April 1 release

Five Stages of Reading the Novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture

 

Feature: Affliction/Divergence

To Ridge or Not to Ridge

An Augmented Response

Medical Ethics

Reed and Section 31

A Little Bit of High-Warp Padding

Muddying the Waters

Final Thoughts

Direct download: trr-125.mp3
Category:Enterprise -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

124: A License to Eff with Time

Relativity.

Time travel has always been a mainstay of Star Trek storytelling. Starting with “The Naked Time” on TOS all the way to “Storm Front” on Enterprise, our crews have brought us no fewer than 50 flavors of temporal treats. Voyager is tied with TNG for the most time travel outings, and half of these were named to Star Trek 101’s list of Ten Essential Voyager Episodes. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Charlynn Schmiedt, Tristan Riddell, and John Mills to discuss one of the most fun—and perhaps most confusing—of these, “Relativity.” From the episode’s start as a “Caretaker” prequel to the Minority Report twist, we debate the pacing, the writing, and revel in the fun of the 29th century.

In news we take a look at some new Voyager fine art prints from Generation Gallery, explore the 8-bit galaxy with Star Trek: Trexels, and discuss LeVar Burton’s support for AIDS research and the We-Care.com contest that lets you win lunch with LeVar. Plus we get an update on Larry Nemecek’s Trekland Trunk and preview “Wolf In the Fold” and “The Trouble With Tribbles” from Five Year Mission’s Year Three.

Direct download: trr-124.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

123: Sitting With the Dead

The Ship.

We don’t often see our DS9 heroes in bright sunlight nor do we see ships buried in the side of mountains. But early in the fifth season of Deep Space Nine we got both rolled up into one as part of a story that would deliver both a tough character moment for O’Brien and a tool the Federation would use late in the Dominion War. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Michael Fisher, Ben McCormick, and John Mills to discuss “The Ship,” the production challenges faced by the staff and the actors, the hits and misses of this story about a siege, flaring tempers, and death, the always unpredictable nature of the Vorta, and the pettiness of war.

In news we take some intriguing new Star Trek-themed Hot Wheels cars for a spin, share our thoughts on J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay—the two new writers for the next Abramsverse Star Trek film—and we jam out on the new Vulcan Harp iPad app. Plus, we preview “The Deadly Years” and “Obsession” from Five Year Mission’s Year Three.

Direct download: trr-123.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

122: They’ve Leflerized the World

The Game.

Robin Lefler only made two appearances on TNG, yet became a fan-favorite thanks to a charming performance by Ashley Judd in “The Game.” When Riker’s Risian escapades endangered the Enterprise—and indeed all of Starfleet—someone had to lay down the laws and put things right. So we’re all lucky Lefler was there. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by the crew of our TNG show Earl Grey—Daniel Proulx, Darren Moser, and Phillip Gilfus—to discuss the fifth season Next Generation episode, how Robin and Wesley make the perfect geek date, how the episode foreshadows technology addiction and the modern world of smartphone-gazing, the problem with Data’s off switch, why the crew is so happy to see Wesley back on the ship, and why Worf is so proud of his cake. Remember, he made it himself.

In news we discuss the TNG cast reunion that William Shatner will host at Destination Star Trek Germany, share our thoughts on the Star Trek: Renegades teaser trailer, and preview “Journal to Babel” and “Friday’s Child” from Five Year Mission’s Year Three. Plus, we answer Questions from the Fleet to choose the best starship design, and Larry Nemecek and Teras Cassidy pop in to talk about Geek Nation Tours.

Direct download: trr-122.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

121: For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched Spock’s Brain

Five Year Mission: Year Three.

At long last the wait is over. It’s been two years since Five Year Mission, the Indianapolis-based TOS tribute band, launched their sophomore effort, Year Two. Building on the great success of Year One, the second album highlighted the growth in sound and took FYM in new creative directions. So anticipation has been high for the band’s third album; and at last they’ve cleared all moorings. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Five Year Mission themselves for a preview of Year Three and find out how the album came together, how the process differed from the past, and what inspired the sound of each track. Plus, the band gives us live acoustic performances of four tracks: “The Gamesters of Triskelion,” “I, Mudd,” “Metamorphosis,” and “The Doomsday Machine.” We also get hints of what’s to come on Year Four, plus a “Spock’s Brain” EP and an apparent obsession over “For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky.”

In news we run down some great gift ideas for the Star Trek fan on your holiday shopping list and discuss the recent StarTrek.com poll about favorite cliffhangers from the franchise.

Direct download: trr-121.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

120: Continuum Childcare

The Squire of Gothos.

Dealing with powerful aliens, computers, and the temper tantrums of children are all in a day’s work for Kirk and the Enterprise crew. But how about rolling them all into one? That’s what happened when the mysterious planet Gothos found its way into the path of the Enterprise—or vice versa—in the “The Squire of Gothos.” In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Charlynn Schmiedt, Drew Stewart, and John Mills to discuss Kirk’s run-in with the Paramount props department and General Trelane (retired), his assumption that a machine was behind all the tricks, the casting of William Campbell, and whether or not Trelane is a Q. We also choose the time periods that would be our own obsessions and uncover the true history of Earth’s salt vampire-infested past.

In news we check in on Syfy’s plans for a Thanksgiving-weekend Star Trek movie marathon, the release of Anthony Montgomery’s new film Chariot, full details on the Enterprise Season Three Blu-ray extras, and we preview two more tracks from Five Year Mission’s upcoming album Year Three. Plus, we remember Star Trek: The Motion Picture casting director Marvin Paige.

Direct download: trr-120.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

119: Neutronic Wave Mode

The Catwalk.

One of the goals in writing for any series is to tell stories that can’t be told anywhere else. With its early technology and proximity to our own time, Enterprise had an opportunity to put characters into situations that the other series couldn’t. One great example is the idea of a ship lost at sea facing a terrible storm, and this challenge of early exploration was examined in the second-season episode “The Catwalk.” In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Matthew Rushing and Larry Nemecek to discuss “The Catwalk,” how the crew of the NX-01 had to adapt when their technology was not advanced enough to save them, and how tough circumstances brought the crew together. We also delve into Human-Vulcan relationships, the sexual tension between T’Pol and Archer (or lack thereof), the relationship between T’Pol and Trip, and how it all leads to Amanda and Sarek.

In news we find out about Armin Shimerman’s new film project, Diani & Devine Meet The Apocalypse, Kate Mulgrew’s plans to write her memoirs, J.G. Hertzler’s election to office in New York state, and we answer some Questions from the Fleet. We also preview two tracks from Five Year Mission’s upcoming album Year Three.

Direct download: trr-119.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

118: A Problem with the Teeth

Faces.

We all have different sides that make us who we are. The Original Series explored this masterfully in Richard Matheson’s story of Kirk’s struggle to live with only his good or evil half in “The Enemy Within.” When Voyager rolled around nearly 30 years later, the writers once again took us to the realm of Jekyll and Hyde incarnate with “Faces,” the story of B’Elanna’s struggle between her Klingon and human halves. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Charlynn Schmiedt and Mariel Keeran to discuss what the story has in common with “The Enemy Within” and where it differs, how the loss of each side affected the other as B’Elanna coped with being fully Klingon and fully human, and how the writers could have taken a bold step on Voyager and turned the actions of the Vidiians into an incredible character arc.

In news we examine the winners of the WeLoveFine Star Trek t-shirt design contest, get you ready for Star Trek Online’s debut on Mac, learn about the return of Michael Dorn as Worf in STO, share our thoughts on the rumours of Joe Cornish directing the next Abramsverse film, and get the details of the Japanese Blu-ray release of Star Trek Into Darkness (are all the extras available in one set?). Plus, we find out which energy drink will be sponsoring the next Parrises squares championship. 

Direct download: trr-118.mp3
Category:Voyager -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

117: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

For the Uniform.

We knew from the start that Benjamin Sisko had a temper. After all, he punched Q in the face in the sixth episode of the series. But if you really make Sisko mad he’ll do more than just punch you. He’ll chase you down in a broken ship and then try to punch a holographic projection of you. That’s what happened to Michael Eddington when he decided to escalate the Maquis-Starfleet conflict by sabotaging the Defiant and attacking a Cardassian colony with biogenic weapons. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Ben McCormick, Mike Schindler, and Max Hegel to discuss Peter Allan Fields’s futuristic take on Les Misérables, the extreme tactics of both Eddington and Sisko, and how this episode paves the way for another of Fields’s classics, “In the Pale Moonlight.” We also explore the creative communication methods employed in this story, including the holographic communicator and the shouting Ferengi. In news we get into the Halloween mood with our favorite scary or spooky Star Trek episodes, debate the results of a poll that asked which character should have died differently, take a look at a new Starfleet uniforms infographic, and hear a few tidbits about the next Star Trek film. 

Direct download: trr-117.mp3
Category:Deep Space Nine -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

116: The Dyson Sphere In the Room

Relics.

Generations officially passed the baton from TOS to TNG on the big screen, but the relay began long before The Nexus swept away Kirk and Picard. Doctor McCoy appeared in "Encounter at Farpoint," Spock played a central role in "Unification," and Scotty was found hiding in a transporter buffer in "Relics." In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Larry Nemecek as well as Phillip Gilfus and Daniel Proulx from our TNG show Earl Grey to discuss the Enterprise-D's encounter with TOS's miracle worker, how Scotty serves as the true bridge between generations, and try to uncover where exactly Troi was the whole time a man from the past needed counselling.

In news we check in on the release date for the Enterprise Season Three Blu-rays, find out more about the behind-the-scenes creations of reunions and extras, discuss the TNG Season Five Blu-rays and the "Unification" feature release, and explore the chances of Star Trek returning to television soon—including the intertwined rights ownership between CBS and Paramount and the obstacles that Star Trek faces in making it back to the small screen. Plus, Larry gives us the lowdown on The Trekland Trunk. 

Direct download: trr-116.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 9:00pm MST