The Ready Room: A Star Trek Podcast (the original series)

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 MST

206: Flamenco Stunt Dancer

Plato’s Stepchildren.

Uncontrolled power will turn even saints into savages. This is what Captain Kirk explains to Parmen, the sadistic leader of the Platonians in “Plato’s Stepchildren.” Despite saving the man’s life, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are held hostage and tortured—along with Uhura and Nurse Chapel—when they refuse to leave the doctor behind and accept some random gifts.

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined by Aaron Harvey, Andi VanderKolk, and Mike Morrison to discuss this episode that—despite being amongst TOS’s campiest—has been an inspiration to many since it first aired in 1968.

In our news segment, Aaron shares a first-hand account of the Star Trek Beyond press conference held at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on July 14, and his spoiler-free impressions of the movie, which was shown the day before at LA’s Century City. We also discuss the news that there will be a fourth film set in the Kelvin Timeline and how they should handle the loss of Anton Yelchin.

News
Star Trek Beyond LA Press Conference (00:06:13)
First (Spoiler-free) Impressions of Star Trek Beyond (00:16:21)
A Fourth Film? Do We Want It? (00:20:52)
Sponsor: The Eaglemoss Official Star Trek Starships Collection (00:28:17)

Feature: Plato’s Stepchildren
Synopsis and Initial Thoughts (00:32:04)
Alexander the Great (00:44:54)
The Kiss (00:57:26)
The Ministry of Silly Walks (01:08:16)
A Problem of Pacing (01:11:28)
Bitter Dregs (01:21:03)
Final Thoughts (01:32:53)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Aaron Harvey

Guests
Andi VanderKolk and Mike Morrison

Production
C Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive 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) Will Nguyen (Content Manager)

Direct download: trr-206.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 7:39am MST

201: Escape from Light Ball

Return to Tomorrow.

Having your body taken over by an alien is a risk every Starfleet officer takes. And, as Kirk has said, risk is our business. Being possessed of your own free will, however, isn’t usually how it works. But when the disembodied voice of Jimmy Doohan asks a favor, it’s hard to resist. That’s what happens to Captain Kirk when the crew of the USS Enterprise visit a long-dead planet being used to store giant lightbulbs.

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined by Brandon-Shea Mutala, Zachary Fruhling, and Phillip Gilfus to discuss the classic Star Trek episode “Return to Tomorrow.” Why did Kirk decide to let Sargon take over his body? Why was Doctor Pulaski so eager to be possessed as well? And how did Leonard Nimoy master the art of leaning at a 45-degree angle? Plus, what’s with all the seed spreading? Join us to find out.

In our news segment, we discuss details about the new TV series, straight from Les Moonves himself, and the stamp craze that has now spread to Canada.

News
Les Moonves Reveals Detail of the Next Star Trek Series (00:03:12)
Star Trek Stamps Canada (00:17:40)

Feature: Return to Tomorrow
Synopsis and Initial Thoughts (00:32:17)
A Questionable Decision (00:46:57)
Disembodied Moments (00:55:28)
Ancient Love Triangle (01:00:06)
Where Did She Come From? (01:07:38)
A Mechanical Life (01:10:33)
Planting Your Seed (01:17:49)
Biblical Acknowledgment (01:21:37)
Katras and a Scheming Sargon (01:27:04)
Oblivion … Together (01:33:22)
The Music of “Return to Tomorrow” (01:43:24)
Final Thoughts (01:45:36)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Brandon-Shea Mutala

Guests
Zachary Fruhling and Phillip Gilfus

Production
C Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Renee Roberts (Associate Producer) Zachary Fruhling (Associate Producer) Sam Piassick (Associate Producer) Kay Elizabeth Janeway (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Will Nguyen (Content Manager)

Direct download: trr-201.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 5:51am MST

195: Lamb Chop’s (Creepy) Play-Along

The Lights of Zetar.

You probably already know that it’s not a good idea to stare into a bright light. When there are many lights—and they’re multi-colored—doing so becomes an even worse idea. You could damage your eyesight, or perhaps have you brainwave replaced by that of a group of alien minds searching for a body to call home. That’s what happened to Lt. Mira Romaine in “The Lights of Zetar,” the third-season TOS episode that plays with character personalities, limited financial resources, and has a connection to a beloved children’s show.

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined by Larry Nemecek and Brandon-Shea Mutala to discuss Memory Alpha, Scotty in love, how you can blame anything on space, and why horses might not make the best engineers. We also delve into some Season Three trivia, production shortcuts, and remastered TOS elements.

In our news segment, Chris and Larry discuss whether the ascension of Les Moonves to Chair of CBS Corp. will have an impact on Star Trek, when we’ll hear first details about the Star Trek 2017 series, and the future of Star Trek on streaming services not called CBS All Access. Plus, Larry fills us in on the latest happenings in Portal 47.

News
Les Moonves new CBS Corp. Chair (00:05:33)
When will Star Trek 2017 details be announced? (00:11:24)
Star Trek’s future on streaming services (00:15:40)
Portal 47 update (00:25:07)

Feature
Synopsis and Initial Thoughts (00:32:41)
Lamb Chop’s (Creepy) Play-Along (00:43:16)
Pacing, Message, and Cinematography (00:47:41)
Scotty in Love (00:53:27)
Production Shortcuts (01:05:22)
Remastered Elements (01:11:51)
We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Shields (01:15:21)
Farewell Engineering, and Other Zetar Trivia (01:22:04)
Final Thoughts (01:24:44)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek

Guest
Brandon-Shea Mutala

Production
C Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Rene Roberts (Associate Producer) Zachary Fruhling (Associate Producer) Sam Piassick (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Will Nguyen (Content Manager)

Direct download: trr-195.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 5:30am MST

189: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Topaline!

Friday’s Child.

When fans think of Klingon episodes on TOS, they think of “Errand of Mercy,” “Day of the Dove,” and “The Trouble with Tribbles.” The second appearance of the classic villains was made in what is really a Bones story—they just happen to be there. “Friday's Child” gets overlooked by fans, yet it builds upon the Organian Peace Treaty and allows Dr. McCoy to step into the spotlight all at the same time.

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined by Larry Nemecek, Charlynn Schmiedt, and Zachary Fruhling to discuss the other Vasquez Rocks show, those dastardly Klingons, wearing carpet in the desert, how Dorothy Fontana handles the symmetry between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, and whether or not “Friday’s Child” is the most undervalued TOS episode.

In our news segment, we discuss the recent Beverly Crusher Day and upcoming Deanna Troi Day, more from the Star Trek Beyond Dubai set and its alien faces, and we discuss the StarTrek.com poll that asked which series has the saddest episodes.

News
#BeverlyCrusherDay + #DeannaTroiDay (00:02:59)
Poll: The series with the saddest episodes is… ? (00:07:58)
More Star Trek Beyond Dubai and Aliens (00:18:05)

Feature: Friday’s Child
Synopsis and Initial Thoughts (00:23:06)
The Most Undervalued TOS Episode? (00:34:38)
Symmetry in Character (00:41:10)
1960s Campiness (00:48:24)
Scotty In Command (01:02:23)
The Other Vasquez Rocks Show (01:05:29)
The Forgotten Klingon Story (01:08:55)
Cultural Relativism + the Prime Directive (01:13:43)
Final Thoughts (01:23:52)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek

Guests
Charlynn Schmiedt and Zachary Fruhling

Production
C Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Renee Roberts (Associate Producer) Zachary Fruhling (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Will Nguyen (Content Manager)

Direct download: trr-189.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 10:59pm MST

184: The Tribble Whisperer

The Trouble with Tribbles.

They’re the cutest, most prolific aliens in the Star Trek universe—and also the furriest. They are, of course, Tribbles. And at six credits a head—or a body—they also make for good business. At least that’s what Cyrano Jones thought … until the critters got hankerin’ for some wheat. “The Trouble with Tribbles” remains one of the most beloved Star Trek episodes nearly 50 years after it aired, and in this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Matthew Rushing, Andi VanderKolk, and Zachary Fruhling to discuss why that is.

In our news segment, we discuss Nichelle Nichols’s upcoming NASA flight, Shatner’s mosaic tribute to Leonard Nimoy, and Creation’s plans for Star Trek’s 50th anniversary in Vegas. And, we also remember TOS guest star Yvonne Craig.

 

Hosts

C Bryan Jones and Matthew Rushing

 

Guests

Andi VanderKolk and Zachary Fruhling

 

Editor and Producer

C Bryan Jones

 

Executive Producers

Matthew Rushing and Norman C. Lao

 

Associate Producers

Renee Roberts and Zachary Fruhling

 

Production Manager

Richard Marquez

 

Content Manager

Will Nguyen

 

News

Remembering Yvonne Craig (00:03:55)

Nichelle Nichols to Fly with NASA’s SOFIA (00:07:27)

Shatner’s Creates a Mosaic Tribute to Nimoy (10:40)

Star Trek Las Vegas 2016 Dates Set! (00:15:19)

 

Feature: The Trouble with Tribbles

Synopsis and Initial Thoughts (00:22:32)

Blending Seriousness and Humor (00:32:49)

Ecological Messages (00:44:10)

The Proto Quark (00:49:30)

Continuity in TOS? (00:52:55)

There Be Klingons Here! (00:57:38)

Different Perspectives (01:03:13)

An Elegant Symmetry (01:10:26)

Final Thoughts (01:19:54)

 

Send us your feedback!

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Direct download: trr-184.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 9:07am MST

177: We Have Found ALL the Culture

The City On the Edge of Forever.

Nearly 50 years after it was written, “City” remains one of the most beloved of all Star Trek episodes. It’s the first time travel story that most fans remember (sorry “Naked Time” and “Tomorrow Is Yesterday”) and made screwing with the past cool long before it became Star Trek’s go-to trope. But, as a story that really lacks most of what makes TOS what it is, why does this story transcend time?

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined by Phillip Gilfus, Andi VanderKolk, and Daniel Proulx to seek out the answer. We explore the premise, the time travel mechanism, soft-focus lighting, Edith Keeler’s place in time, Kirk’s dilemma, and what the story might have been like had it been set in Chicago—as Harlan Ellison originally wrote it. And, along the way, we find all the culture. Or at least most of it.

In our news segment, we share our thoughts on Jonathan Frakes’s recent comments about Star Trek not returning to television, and we remember the woman who, with her beehive hair and just eight appearances, helped define The Original Series.

 

Hosts

Christopher Jones and Phillip Gilfus

 

Guests

Andi VanderKolk and Daniel Proulx

 

Editor and Producer

Christopher Jones

 

Executive Producers

Matthew Rushing and Norman C. Lao

 

Associate Producer

Renee Roberts

 

Production Manager

Richard Marquez

 

Content Manager

Will Nguyen

 

News

Remembering Grace Lee Whitney (00:04:11)

Frakes Says No New Star Trek on TV (00:10:48)

 

Feature: The City On the Edge of Forever

Intro and Synopsis (00:23:31)

First Impressions (00:29:27)

The Grandaddy of Time Travel Stories (00:37:40)

Edith Keeler Must Die! (00:47:56)

Spot-on Spock and Kirk (00:58:47)

Kirk’s Decision (01:01:05)

Unitards, Sequels, and CULTURE! (01:07:38)

Final Thoughts (01:15:13)

Closing (01:27:13)

 

Send us your feedback!

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Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm

Direct download: trr-177.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 8:54am MST

170: Written by Space Ostriches

The Tholian Web.

The third season of TOS is a divisive one for many Star Trek fans. The fight for survival behind the scenes led to shoestring budgets, sparse sets, unbalanced scripts, and—in eyes of many—questionable directions for Spock. But before this feeling really set in, Judy Burns and Chet Richards delivered a bottle show that put Spock in the command chair, at odds with Bones, and in search of Captain Kirk. What’s more, they delivered one of the franchise’s most intriguing attempts at a truly different alien in the Tholians.

In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Larry Nemecek and Norm Lao to discuss “The Tholian Web,” the mysterious disappearance or the USS Defiant (not that one), Captain Kirk (yes that one), spacesuit design, the poor track record of Constitution-class starships not named Enterprise, Scotty’s love of drinking, and why nerve gas can sometimes save your life.

 

In our news segment we discuss Simon Pegg and the next Star Trek film script, and the possibility of a TNG reunion on screen.

 

Hosts

Christopher Jones and Larry Nemecek

 

Guest

Norman C. Lao

 

Editor and Producer

Christopher Jones

 

Associate Producer

Renee Roberts

 

Production Manager

Richard Marquez

 

Content Coordinator

Will Nguyen

 

News

Simon Pegg co-writing Star Trek 3 (00:03:07)

Could the TNG crew come back to the screen? (00:15:34)

 

Feature: The Tholian Web

Intro and Synopsis (00:26:53)

The Original Defiant (00:37:30)

The Roots of the Tholian Web (00:39:27)

An Enterprising Follow-up (00:49:18)

Spock In Command (00:58:41)

Super Spacesuits and Chaos (01:04:42)

Watch with Scotch (01:13:08)

Final Thoughts (01:26:39)

Closing (01:33:38)

 

Send us your feedback!

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Direct download: trr-170.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 10:38pm MST

165: Like Nothing We’ve Ever Seen Before

The Naked Time.

 

The Next Generation went out of its way to avoid connections with The Original Series, but one thing they have in common is crew members getting drunk on water. TNG fans know it as the Psi-2000 virus, but in Kirk’s day it was just good ole polywater. Thanks to highly questionable environmental suit design and procedures that would make the CDC cringe, the crew of the Enterprise fell victim to some fancy water molecules that almost killed them. Potential cause of death? Strange behavior.

 

In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by John Mills, Drew Stewart, and Norm Lao to discuss newly introduced characters acting out of character, crying Vulcans, and why there’s always room for time travel. We also explain how to deal with shrinkage and space madness, and we do it all whilst singing a rousing rendition of “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen.”

 

In our news segment we discuss Paramount's plans for a resort in London, Kate Mulgrew's upcoming memoir Born with Teeth, and look back at 20 years of Star Trek Generations.

 

Hosts

Christopher Jones and John W. Mills

 

Guests

Drew Stewart and Norman C. Lao

 

Editor and Producer

Christopher Jones

 

Associate Producer

Renee Roberts

 

News

Looking back at 20 years of Star Trek Generations (00:02:44)

Paramount plans to open London resort with Star Trek (00:22:33)

Kate Mulgrew to release memoir in 2015 (00:32:08)

 

Feature: The Naked Time

Intro and Synopsis (00:36:10)

Initial Thoughts (00:41:41)

Vulcan’s Don’t Cry (00:46:02)

Space Madness! (00:58:15)

Dealing with Shrinkage (01:04:40)

There’s Always Room for Time Travel (01:10:08)

Final Thoughts (01:25:10)

Closing (01:30:05)

 

Send us your feedback!

Twitter: @trekfm

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Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm

Direct download: trr-165.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 3:28am MST

160: Bones Looking at Bones

Catspaw.

Many TV series have Halloween specials, but Star Trek is NOT one of them. Of course, it isn’t like they didn’t try. The Original Series did its part; the later series just didn’t follow suit. On October 27, 1967, Kirk, Spock, and Bones got quite a fright with the airing of “Catspaw.” It was the first episode produced for Season Two, yet was held until the week of Halloween.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Charlynn Schmiedt, Drew Stewart, and Jennie Zell to discuss the concept of a Star Trek Halloween episode, haunted house aliens Korob and Sylvia, sympathetic magic, dungeons, cats, and, of course, Chekov's hair.

In our news segment we break down the results of StarTrek.com's Captains vs. Zombies poll, check out some spiffy new LCARS wallpaper for iPhone, and tour the country to find out which state has the most Star Trek fans.

 

Hosts

Christopher Jones and Charlynn Schmiedt

 

Guests

Drew Stewart and Jennie Zell

 

Editor and Producer

Christopher Jones

 

Associate Producer

Renee Roberts

 

News

Star Trek Captains vs. Zombies (3:53)

New LCARS wallpaper for your iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (10:59)

The States with the most Star Trek fans (18:13)

Sponsor: Audible (26:33)

 

Feature: Catspaw

Intro and Synopsis (29:20)

Halloween in Space (40:30)

Have You Met Chekov's Hair? (48:10)

Meet the Koroborator (54:41)

Sylvia [Actual Chapter Title Redacted] (1:07:15)

Sympathetic Magic and Other Oddities (1:16:12)

Final Thoughts (1:22:30)

Closing (1:31:49)

 

Send us your feedback!

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Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm

Direct download: trr-160.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 8:06am MST

154: Spock and [Redacted]: A Love Story

The Enterprise Incident.

The cloaking device is one of the most powerful strategic technologies in Star Trek, coveted by the Federation even in 24th century. So when the little space birds started tweeting about the Romulans having one, Kirk and Spock had no choice but to stage an elaborate play in order to get their hands on it. It came to be known as "The Enterprise Incident," and introduced a number of elements that would be revisited time and again throughout Star Trek.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by John Mills, Drew Stewart, and Jaime Sanchez to talk about Kirk and Spock's convoluted—and somewhat sensual—mission to steal a cloaking device, William Shatner's take on Romulans, why Joanne Linville should get more credit, and we reveal the true story behind the Romulan use of Klingon ship designs.

In our news segment we debate the results of StarTrek.com's Mirror Universe poll, field listener Gene Russell's Question from the Fleet about pilot episodes and title sequences, and remember Arlene Martel, who portrayed T'Pring in one of the most famous Star Trek episode ever "Amok Time."

 

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Chapters

 

News

Remembering Alene Martel (2:23)

And the Favorite Mirror Universe episode is… (9:30)

Question from the Fleet: Pilot + Title Sequence Faceoff (18:44)

Sponsor: Audible (31:40)

 

Feature: The Enterprise Incident

Intro and Synopsis (36:43)

Thoughts and Memories (43:19)

You Pointy-Eared Bastard (49:09)

A Convoluted Mission (55:36)

Damn That Ship Looks Familiar! (1:05:23)

Spock and [Redacted]: A Love Story (1:13:03)

Influencing Later Trek (1:25:56)

Final Thoughts (1:32:42)

Closing (1:40:00)

Direct download: trr-154.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 8:00am MST

148: General Order Jack Bauer

A Taste of Armageddon.

According to Elaine Benes, Tolstoy once said “War, what is it good for?” And while she may have been wrong about the source, apparently Kirk shared the sentiment. When the Enterprise was dispatched to establish diplomatic relations with a planet that apparently wanted no part of the Federation, Kirk and his crew found themselves casualties of a war fought through computers. The damage-free conflict—if you don’t count the deaths from willing disintegration—didn’t sit right with Kirk, and so he took the future of two worlds into his own hands by forcing them into choosing between full conflict or reconciliation. The outcome remains unknown.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Charlynn Schmiedt, Drew Stewart, and Eric Brasure to discuss "A Taste of Armageddon," the antisceptic nature of the war between Eminiar VII and Vendikar, whether civilization is worth saving if the people no longer see the value of life, and debate if Kirk has the right to make the decision for an alien society. We also discuss Vulcan wall-telepathy, the new Eminiar line at Uniqlo, and uncover the real origins of General Order 24.

In our news segment, we discuss Robert Picardo's newly available house, TMZ accosting Brannon Braga to get the answer to a question the rest of us left behind in 1991, and take a behind the scenes look at Star Trek Continues with the help of Condé Nast Entertainment and WIRED.

 

News

Robert Picardo teams up with Coldwell Banker (3:50)

TMZ accosts Brannon Braga to ask age-old question (5:57)

Behind-the-scenes of Star Trek Continues (11:32)

Reviews Promotion (22:11)

Sponsor: TrekFan (23:03)

Sponsor: Audible (24:58)

 

Feature: A Taste of Armageddon

Intro and Synopsis (27:46)

First Impressions of Eminiar VII (31:39)

Protecting Civilization? (36:34)

The Antiseptic Nature of War (43:14)

The Naivety of Diplomacy (54:21)

The Real Origin of General Order 24 (1:04:32)

Father Kirk Knows Best (1:07:39)

Uniqlo and Telepathy (1:16:20)

Final Thoughts (1:20:25)

Closing (1:29:44)

Direct download: trr-148.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 5:09am MST

143: Hand-Rolled Sushi Furnace

The Doomsday Machine.

If you ask fans of The Original Series to name their favorite episodes, invariably “The Doomsday Machine” comes up. Even James Doohan named the episode his favorite of the series. In 1968, “The Doomsday Machine” received a Hugo Award nomination for Best Dramatic Presentation; but not all are in love with the story. D.C. Fontana named the episode her least favorite of the series, and the story's author, Norman Spinrad, has expressed disappointment with its translation to screen. Neverthless, "The Doomsday Machine" remains one of the essential hours of TOS.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Daniel Handlin, Drew Stewart, and Suzanne Abbott to find out where we stand on this story of a captain (well… a commodore) destroyed by the loss of his crew, the Moby-Dick allegory, the social message that H-Bombs are bad, the origins of the planet killer itself, and our thoughts on the remastered version of the episode.

In our news segment we learn about Five Year Mission's Las Vegas adventure, get technical with some advancements in the field of tractor beams and their possible applications, and look back at Star Trek III: The Search for Spock on the film's 30th anniversary.

Direct download: trr-143.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 1:25am MST

137: Teeth Pulling By Appointment

Spectre of the Gun.

The date is October 26, 1881. The place is Tombstone, Arizona. It’s the day of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. So what are Kirk and his crew doing here? Well, Chekov is here to hit on the ladies. That much is clear. But what about the others? It wasn't unusual for the Enterprise crew to visit locales that looked a lot like Earth. Usually the buildings in those places had four walls. But when budgets are thin you spread around the limited walls you have, and if you're creative you find a way to make it work in your favor. Such was the case in "Spectre of the Gun," a Western set in space at a time when Earth-bound Westerns were standard programming.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Daniel Proulx, Drew Stewart, and Mariel Keeran to discuss TOS's trip to the wild, wild West, whether it's a remarkable exploration of the workings of the mind, or just an average chapter in a series trying to tell stories with limited resources. We also explore whether this was a prelude to holodeck malfunctions, why Chekov can't keep his hands to himself, and find out why sublimated snake venom might be better than scotch.  In our news segment we check out the new home at the Smithsonian for the original the Enterprise shooting model, spot starships landing in Japan, dicuss the upcoming changes to StarTrek.com—which include closing down the discussion boards—and learn more about Star Trek Timelines, a new strategy game heading for your mobile device.

Direct download: trr-137.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

131: That Touchy Thing You Saw In the Bushes

Inside The Apple with Marc Cushman.

Computers controlling humanoid populations is a common theme in The Original Series, as is the association between these situations and the worship of God here on Earth. In “The Apple,” the two were brought together in a most obvious way as Kirk and his landing party find themselves in the Garden of Eden. To drive the point home, Kirk is even cast in the role of Satan. In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Drew Stewart, Mike Schindler, and Marc Cushman, author of These Are the Voyages, for an inside look at this very dangerous trip to paradise. What was the public reaction in the 1960s to a story with such blatant Biblical parallels? How did Gene L. Coon, D.C. Fontana, and the rest of the TOS staff feel about the story? And how does "The Apple" fit into the overall narrative of TOS's second season?

In our news segment we take a look at a new Paramount theme park coming to Spain that will feature Star Trek in its "Plaza Futura," Oregon-based Trek Theatre performing "The Measure of a Man," and io9's list of the ten times Kirk actually faced the no-win scenario—sort of.

Direct download: trr-131.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

115: The Cage 2: Electric Boogaloo

The Man Trap.

After "The Cage" was rejected by NBC, Gene Roddenberry was given an unprecedented second chance to bring Star Trek to the screen. Three new pilot outlines were written and finally one was chosen. The public's first glimpse of Star Trek was to take place on planet M-113—a world left deserted by a civilization with an apparent salt and stacking fetish—and tell a story that the studio felt was a safer first impression with its straightforward plot, monster action, and not-too-exotic setting.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Mike Schindler and Drew Stewart to discuss "The Man Trap," why it was chosen as the first episode to air, how it stacks up to the other choices both as science fiction and as an introduction to Roddenberry's concept, and how the franchise might have differed had it followed this episode's format and approach to alien life.

In news we learn about the next stop for Destination Star Trek—Frankfurt, Germany—how you can build your own NX class refit, look at the wide variety of 2014 Star Trek calendars, and discuss Bryan Fuller’s desire to bring Star Trek back to television—and what form that might take. Plus, we learn about Mike's get-rich-quick scheme involving his cat, an ink pad, and a Star Trek convention. 

Direct download: trr-115.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

109: Set Phasers to ROCK!

The Devil in the Dark.

The mission of the Enterprise is to seek out new life and new civilizations. And that’s exactly what Kirk and his crew did when they visited Janus VI. But sometimes our heroes don’t react to truly alien life in the way they perhaps should. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Daniel Proulx, Drew Stewart, and Charlynn Schmiedt to discuss the realities of seeking out new life, the way TOS explores racial issues, and why we have more in common with the Horta than you might think. We also jump into The Great Phaser Debate, feel sorry for the nine unluckiest guys on the ship, and marvel at the magical properties of the Vulcan mindmeld.

In our news segment we break down the Into Darkness Honest Trailer, discuss the "Unification” Blu-ray and the possibility of such releases for DS9 and Voyager, get an update on the WeLoveFine Star Trek t-shirt design contest, and pull up a table for Michael Dorn’s Swallow Your Bliss Indiegogo campaign. Plus, we introduce a new segment, Messages from the Fleet. 

Direct download: trr-109.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

104: The Cranial Screwtop Method

Spock’s Brain.

On September 20, 1968, after successfully rescuing Star Trek from cancellation, fans were greeted with the premiere of a third season. When you’ve been given a second chance, you want to put your best foot forward. So rather than going with the first new episode filmed, the producers reached deeper into the bag to pull out the season premiere. And the story they chose was “Spock’s Brain.” In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Drew Stewart, Charlynn Schmiedt, and Jennie Zell to explore this legendary episode to find out why—rather than being the worst episode of Star Trek as is so often claimed—it is truly a brilliant work of art.

In our news segment we look at the Smithsonian Channel’s Real Story of Star Trek, an expanded soundtrack release for Insurrection from GNP Crescendo, some unique Into Darkness promotions from Japan—including a track featuring Kyary Pamyu Pamyu—and news about the next Star Trek film. Plus, we hit the club to try out the latest dance craze—the Riker Maneuver. 

Direct download: trr-104.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

98: The Best Little Heater Out There

A Piece of the Action.

When Gene Roddenberry was putting together his first proposal for Star Trek, he jotted down a one-sentence synopsis: “President Capone.” And from that eventually came the second-season episode “A Piece of the Action.” In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Matthew Rushing and Drew Stewart to discuss Kirk and Spock’s romp through 1920s Chicago—or at least an alien world modeled after the gangster lifestyle—in one the most quintessential TOS stories around. And if you’re lucky, you’ll leave the show with a royale Fizzbin.

In news we look at release dates for the Enterprise Season Two Blu-ray set, an expanded soundtrack for “The Best of Both Worlds” from GNP Crescendo, the premiere of Star Trek Continues, Space.com’s Treknology infographic, the History Channel’s Star Trek: Secrets of the Universe, and pre-order promotions for Star Trek Into Darkness. Plus, we learn the identify of Jeffrey Combs’s female counterpart. She is everywhere!

Direct download: trr-098.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

91: Chronic People Pleasers

This Side of Paradise.

We all strive for happiness, but true contentment is difficult to achieve—and perhaps for good reason. A group of Federation colonists found just that, however, when Berthold radiation-hungry flowers gave them complete joy… with no side effects. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by John Champion of Mission Log: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast and Kate Walsh to discuss the classic TOS episode “This Side of Paradise,” the roles of happiness and strife in the evolution of society, the parallels between the spores and drug addiction, whether or not this episode was a response to the growing hippie movement of the 1960s, and how mint juleps make you more and more Southern by the sip.

In news we remember set decorator James Mees, find out what role Marina Sirtis will be playing on NCIS, and we relive the epic fight between Kirk and the Gorn—this time with pillows. We also discuss the possibility of Netflix bringing Enterprise back for a fifth season, IDW’s comic sequel After Darkness, and check out Empire’s May 2013 J.J. Abrams issue and fold-out Into Darkness cover. Oh… we also come to terms with the fact that Lefler won’t be making us obey her laws after all and unveil Star Trek: The Next Generation’s long lost Easter episode. 

Direct download: trr-091.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

86: Logic Bombing the Shakespeare Robot

The Conscience of the King.

Shakespeare can be found throughout Star Trek, from simple quotes to lifted plotlines. Today we take the influence of the Bard on the franchise for granted; but it all started in first season of The Original Series with a story that digs deeply into the issues of justice, vengeance, and justifications. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Drew Stewart and Charlynn Schmiedt to discuss “The Conscience of the King” and how a story that may seem like a simplistic, bad mystery is actually a multilayered gem that showcases the very best of Star Trek and the cast.

In news we have the latest information on the Best of Both Worlds theatrical event, try on some tunic tanks, and take a look at Andorians in DK’s upcoming Star Trek Visual Dictionary, IDW’s May 2013 comic lineup, and the making of Star Trek: The Video Game. Plus, we share our impressions of Ongoing #18’s trip into Uhura’s past and the second part of Countdown to Darkness. A Star Trek IV homage may also be on deck.

Direct download: trr-086.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

81: Fauxdorian Fight Scene

Journey to Babel. 

Ask any fan to name a quintessential episode of TOS, an episode whose story and visuals embody all that is Star Trek. Without a doubt “Journey to Babel” would be on almost everyone’s short list. D.C. Fontana’s diplomatic murder mystery has it all: Spock, Sarek, Amanda, space food, a shirtless Kirk, and not one but two—well, one and a half—Andorian fight scenes. In this episode of The Ready Room we are joined by our TOS Editor Drew Stewart and Managing Editor Charlynn Schmiedt to discuss “Journey to Babel,” the inner conflict faced by Spock, Andorian tempers, and the Vulcan fixation on finger play.  

In news we cover the full slate of Enterprise Blu-ray extras, TrekWeb’s campaign to restore Star Trek V, a full-length movie release of “The Best of Both Worlds,” Star Trek sportsball logos, and a new Botany Bay print from Bye Bye Robot. Plus, we break down Qualcomm’s press release for their Star Trek Into Darkness iPhone app. 

Direct download: trr-081.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

75: Tracking Through the iMudd

I, Mudd.

Who doesn’t love rolling around in the Mudd? Norman certainly doesn’t mind, as we find out in the second-season episode “I, Mudd.” It was our second visit with Harcourt Fenton… but was it the last? In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by our TOS Editor Drew Stewart and Jennie Zell of Dork Trek and the Mouthy Broadcast to discuss this episode along with how Harry Mudd fits into the the larger Star Trek universe.

In news we cover the latest additions to Star Trek Las Vegas 2013, Starfleet threads for your top and bottom, a new way to carry around your Data, and we play with the holiday update to Shatoetry. Plus we discuss some of the many hippy laws on the Planet of Galactic Peace and why, if you live there, you’re forced to join a biker gang.

Direct download: trr-075.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

69: The Ultimate Eff You Finale

Turnabout Intruder.

After 80 produced episodes, Star Trek bid us farewell on June 3, 1969, with one of the most bizarre stories of the series. It was a finale filled with moaning, out-of-character acting, and a fab bass line. With one last shot, there’s a bit of everything for TOS fans in what’s more a clearing house for William Shatner’s acting than an actual finale. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by our Managing Editor Charlynn Schmiedt, TOS Editor Drew Stewart, and Jennie Zell of Dork Trek, Playing Doctor, and Broadcast to explore “Turnabout Intruder” and why it’s a wicked fun romp that leaves you feeling like Gene Roddenberry gave you the Winnie.

In news we discuss Destination Star Trek London and a special con exclusive from Star Trek The Official Magazine, Haynes Publishing’s Klingon Bird-of-Prey owner’s manual, a possible Paramount theme park in England, the 2013 Star Trek wall calendars, StarTrek.com’s poll of the best series opening credits, and we reveal the hidden message that can be found in the Deep Space Nine theme music. 

Direct download: trr-069.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

64: You Whip the Captain First

The Gamesters of Triskelion.

When the Enterprise entered orbit of Gamma II to check on an automatic communications and astrogation station, Kirk, Uhura, and Chekov beamed down into one of the most brilliant TOS episodes ever created. From Shatner at his most Shatneresque to Chekov screaming “Cossacks!”, from the trinary star system of Triskelion to the caves of Janus VI, this episode has it all. Reportedly there is a message about slavery in here somewhere. And it all serves to show us how we can live our lives amongst flickers of light—and how you can record a Captain’s Log in virtually any situation. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by our TOS Editor Drew Stewart and our Managing Editor Charlynn Schmiedt to discuss the classic TOS episode “The Gamesters of Triskelion.”

In news we get a hands-on look at Star Trek Catan—fries, shakes, and all—update you on the upcoming TrekMate Podathon for charity, and cover the TNG Season Two Blu-ray release, Google’s Star Trek anniversary doodle, Walter Koenig’s Star Celebration, and the best t-shirt ever made. Plus we come to terms with the realisation that J.J. Abrams and the cast of Star Trek Into Darkness aren’t making Batman. 

Direct download: trr-064.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

59: Self-Imposed Zombiness

The Return of the Archons.

We’re up for the Red Hour as we take on the classic TOS episode “The Return of the Archons.” In addition to the original story, the Star Trek universe has put a new twist on Landru and the mysteries of Beta III through IDW’s Star Trek Ongoing comic series. As part of the development of the Abramsverse, this series—overseen by Robert Orci and Bad Robot—has been re-imagining classic episodes; and the most recent two-part release sheds new light on Landru. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by David Taylor and Drew Stewart to discuss both the original TV episode and the IDW comic version.

In news we cover Patrick Stewart and the Olympic torch, the Star Trek Las Vegas event schedule, Star Trek Night at Dodger Stadium, and Greg recounts his night at the TNG theatrical event. Plus, we get into the spirit of summer competition with an event known to few humans—the Edo Olympics.

Direct download: trr-059.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

46: All Roads Lead to Stonn

Amok Time.

Spock is normally cool and collected. But when the seven-year itch sets in all bets are off. The urge is strong in this one, and no amount of plomeek soup can stop the uncontrollable urge to return to Vulcan and mate. It all sounds a bit humorous, but in reality “Amok Time” is anything but funny. The second-season premiere of The Original Series serves up everything that’s great about TOS: the triumverate of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, serious social discussion, and our first real exploration of Vulcan culture. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Sean Tourangeau and Michael Fisher to discuss this fan favorite and its role in the foundation of Star Trek.

In news we cover the Walter Koenig Star Celebration, the final flight of the Space Shuttle Enterprise, autograph and photo pricing for Destination Star Trek London, the international premiere of Trek Nation, and some new rumors and speculation about the next J.J. Abrams movie. We even pay a visit to the local Home Depot. 

Direct download: trr-046.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

35: Spock's Periwinkle Tights

Errand of Mercy.

The Klingons are perhaps the best-known of all Star Trek villains, and that status is due as much to The Original Series as to their role on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. It’s an interesting point since they made only seven appearance on TOS and were not even the main focus of all of these episodes. Still, John Colicos’s portrayal of Kor in the first ever appearance of the Klingons ensured that they would be a long-lived adversary of the Federation. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by David Taylor as we discuss the episode “Errand of Mercy.”

In news we cover the upcoming Broadway run of Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It, a possible Star Trek TV series pitch from Bryan Fuller and Bryan Singer, the TNG Remastered Season One trailer and more new surrounding the TNG-R project, and some movie news and rumors. We also dip into our mailbag for some listener thoughts on our recent discussions of “Blood Fever” and “Regeneration.” Oh… and did I mention our mind scanner? 

Direct download: trr-035.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

26: Interns with Spears

The Galileo Seven.

Logic is good for a lot of things, but command may not be one of them. In the first season TOS episode “The Galileo Seven” we see Spock take command for the first time. The results almost get the crew killed, but this episode is an important turning point in the development of Spock’s character. It’s an episode that combines the best elements of The Original Series with the worst, and tosses it all at the viewer like giant spears. In this episode of The Ready Room we discusses “The Galileo Seven,” its importance in the growth of Spock, and how delightfully cheesy the execution of the script turned out to be. We also compare the new IDW Ongoing comic reimagining of the episode with its original TV version.

In news we cover the Trek Nation Director’s Log, TrekCore’s SD/HD Analysis of TNG Remastered, the new issue of Star Trek Magazine, Star Trek Online Season 5, movie rumors about Benicio Del Toro and Alice Eve, and we’ll preview two more tracks from Five Year Mission’s Year Two. Plus Greg does his imitation of Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard as Captain Kirk.

Direct download: trr-026.mp3
Category:The Original Series -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

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