The Ready Room: A Star Trek Podcast (the next generation)

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 MST

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 MST

202: The Limits Curse

Suspicions.

When you have a story that features both Ferengi and Klingon scientists, you know you're in for something unusual. Throw in a Takaran, and you may start to feel blue—especially if you've lost your job after causing an intergalactic incident. This is what happens to Dr. Crusher in “Suspicions.”

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined Larry Nemecek, Sue Kisenwether, and Mike Morrison to discuss this episode of Murder, She Wrote in space and why it sometimes feels like the pieces don’t quite fit together. Larry reveals some behind-the-scenes information you won’t find anywhere else—at least not when we recorded this—and also makes a few bad Data jokes.

So join us as Beverly Crusher violates orders, desecrates an alien corpse, and turns Nurse Ogawa into an accomplice … all to make Jessica Fletcher proud.

Plus, in a super-sized news segment, we discuss the Star Trek 2017 teaser trailer, the second Star Trek Beyond trailer, Larry’s experience at the Paramount fan event, and an unexpected twist in the Axanar lawsuit.

News
The First Star Trek 2017 Teaser Trailer (00:03:00)
The Star Trek Beyond Fan Event (00:20:19)
JJ, Lin, and the Axanar Lawsuit (00:48:32)

Feature: Suspicions
Synopsis and Initial Thoughts (01:00:17)
Like a Scientific Diplomat (01:08:38)
Not Just Your Average Doctor (01:15:37)
Casting Scientists (01:18:40)
A Klingon Scientist (01:26:14)
The Limits Curse (01:33:17)
Murder, She Wrote (01:46:28)
Making Whoopi’s Limits Work (01:54:55)
Final Thoughts (01:59:13)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek

Guests
Sue Kisenwether 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) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Will Nguyen (Content Manager)

Direct download: trr-202.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 8:17am MST

196: Indiana Picard and the Secret of the Whatever

Captain’s Holiday.

Everyone gets a bit too stressed sometimes. And when that happens, it can be difficult to enjoy anything—even the negotiation of a successful trade agreement. When this happened to Captain Picard, the crew had to pull together to force him to take a vacation. But of course, a Picard vacation isn't quite like the ones you and I take.

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined by Aaron Harvey, Matthew Rushing, and Mike Schindler to discuss “Captain’s Holiday,” Jean-Luc and Vash, the prolific Max Grodenchek (he’s everywhere!), Riker’s counseling skills, and why you should be careful where you put your Horga'hn.

In our news segment, we consider whether William Shatner’s return as Captain Kirk would be a good idea or a bad one, debate the StarTrek.com poll that asked Star Trek pet you would want to have, and discuss the choice of Bryan Fuller as show-runner for the new Star Trek series premiering in 2017.

News
Shatner back as Kirk? (00:03:14)
Poll: Which Star Trek pet do you want? (00:08:59)
Bryan Fuller named Star Trek 2017 Show-runner (00:13:25)

Feature: Captain’s Holiday
Synopsis and Initial Thoughts (00:31:58)
The “Shore Leave” Connection (00:39:55)
The Vashification of Jean-Luc Picard (00:42:23)
Ira’s Take on TNG (00:53:03)
Thank You, Counselor Riker! (01:00:05)
The Changing Flavor of TNG (01:05:21)
Prosthetnic Vorgon Jeltz (01:10:04)
Max Grodenchek is Everywhere! (01:17:17)
A Few More Thoughts on Vash… (01:21:49)
Final Thoughts (01:24:00)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Aaron Harvey

Guests
Matthew Rushing and Mike Schindler

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-196.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 5:30am MST

191: Robotic Loverboy

In Theory.

The last person you’d expect to be looking for love on the Enterprise is Data. But that’s just what happens in “In Theory.” Well, Data wasn’t actually looking for love, but once it presented itself the prospect got its own subroutine … and the 1701-D became The Love Boat, filled with advice from corners both expected and not.

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined by Charlynn Schmiedt, Andi VanderKolk, and Zachary Fruhling to discuss our robotic loverboy, the Riker book of moves, the future of human-android relations, and, unexpectedly, what cats do on starships. It’s all part of the fun when we share our theory of “In Theory.”

In our news segment, we discuss William Shatner's idea for a Star Trek musical, The Oatmeal's retelling of a famous Gene Roddenberry story, and some exciting news about our network.

News
Shatner interested in a Star Trek musical? (00:03:45)
The Oatmeal tells Gene Roddenberry’s story (00:13:45)
Trek.fm merchandise now available! (00:21:52)

Feature: In Theory
Synopsis and Initial Thoughts (00:30:20)
Robotic Loverboy (00:36:20)
Geordi La Forge: Love Counselor (00:57:20)
Random Observations (01:18:30)
B-Plot Unnecessary? (01:25:33)
Final Thoughts (01:33:00)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Charlynn Schmiedt

Guests
Andi VanderKolk 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)

In Theory. The last person you’d expect to be looking for love on the Enterprise is Data. But that’s just what happens in “In Theory.” We discuss our robotic loverboy, the Riker book of moves, and much more.

Direct download: trr-191.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 8:04am MST

185: Space Mystery Inc.

Devil’s Due.

We’ve all heard the expression “selling your soul to the Devil.” The people of Ventax II took this perhaps a bit too literally when nature started getting restless and a con-artist with a claim to the planet showed up. Who can save the day? Well, Kirk, of course. We mean Picard. This is a TNG episode, after all. Only it isn’t.

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined by Daniel Proulx, Jarrah Hodge, and Zachary Fruhling to discuss all things Ardra, how the script for “Devil’s Due” was repurposed for TNG from the aborted Phase II series, how societies fall into apocalyptic thinking, whether Picard’s role would have worked better with Kirk, and much more.

In our news segment, we discuss the first major update to the Star Trek Encyclopedia in 16 years, leaked photos from the next film, and who we think the Star Trek Beyond villain might be.

 

Hosts

C Bryan Jones and Daniel Proulx

 

Guests

Jarrah Hodge 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

Star Trek Encyclopedia Due for Major Update (00:04:30)

Star Trek Beyond Leaked Images and Villain (00:11:41)

 

Feature: Devil’s Due

Synopsis and Initial Thoughts (00:26:09)

The TOS of it All: Adapting the Phase II Script (00:37:46)

Picard/Data or Kirk/Spock (00:47:34)

Apocalyptic Thinking (00:51:42)

Ardra’s Motivations (01:06:53)

The Holodeck Setup (01:18:12)

Final Thoughts (01:22:02)

 

Send us your feedback!

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Direct download: trr-185.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 12:08am MST

178: It’s All About the Zippers

Déjà Q.

After three appearances as a thorn in Picard’s side, Q has been kicked out of the omnipotence club. With only a split second to decide his own fate, Q chose to be made human and sent to the ship of his only friend in the universe: Jean Luc Picard. But was this really a good idea?

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined by Will Nguyen, Andi VanderKolk, and Daniel Handlin to discuss the third-season TNG episode “Déjà Q.” We take a look at the cruel and unusual punishment meted out by Q’s fellow superfriends, how he handles terrifying experiences like getting hungry and falling asleep, and what he learns about being human from Data. We also reach into the Magic Bag of B-Plot Crises and pull out the “falling moon” card… just like the writers!

In our news segment, we share our thoughts on Simon Pegg’s comments that Paramount found Orci’s original Star Trek 3 script “too Trek-y,” what the Chinese starship building really looks like to us, and the potential of the upcoming game Star Trek Timelines. Plus, stick around for the closing segment where we discuss listener feedback about a new Star Trek series and CBS All Access.

 

Hosts

Christopher Jones and Will Nguyen

 

Guests

Andi VanderKolk and Daniel Handlin

 

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

China’s Star Trek Starship Building (00:02:24)

Simon Pegg Says Paramount Doesn’t Want “Too Trek-y” (00:04:40)

Star Trek Timelines Nearing Launch (00:19:15)

 

Feature: Déjà Q

Intro and Synopsis (00:30:14)

First Impressions (00:34:23)

Banished from the Continuum (00:42:46)

Cruel and Unusual Punishment: Q as a Human (00:51:54)

The Magic Bag of Crisis Plots (01:05:56)

Data Teaches Humanity 101 (01:19:05)

A More Serious Tone? (01:28:14)

Final Thoughts (01:31:48)

Closing: Star Trek and CBS All Access (01:35:44)

 

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-178.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 3:49am MST

172: Jacking With His Earl Grey

Lessons.

They say music brings us all together, and that was certainly the case when Captain Picard met Lt. Commander Nella Darren. “Lessons” is perhaps the best glimpse we got into Picard’s emotional side—at least where relationships are concerned—during The Next Generation’s seven-year TV run. It was an attempt by the writers to tackle the subject of workplace romance, as well as the challenges and isolation faced by a captain. But did the resolution really connect with the message?

In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Matthew Rushing and Charlynn Schmiedt to discuss Picard’s extended robe time, how one stellar cartography officer took over the entire ship—and the captain’s heart—and why Geordi’s hearing knocking in engineering. We also connect Picard’s openness here with what we see in the character during TNG’s film run, and we revel in the music and how melodies can take us back to specific places in time.

In our news segment we discuss the possibility of a new Star Trek attraction at Universal Orlando, and which character from each series would be the most fun to hand out with on the weekend.

 

Hosts

Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing

 

Guest

Charlynn Schmiedt

 

Editor and Producer

Christopher Jones

 

Associate Producer

Renee Roberts

 

Production Manager

Richard Marquez

 

Content Coordinator

Will Nguyen

 

News

Is Star Trek Returning to Universal Orlando? (00:04:18)

The Most Fun Character to Hand Out With Is… (00:14:43)

 

Feature: Lessons

Intro and Synopsis (00:25:32)

The Captain’s Off Hours (A.K.A. Robe Time) (00:32:22)

Writing Future Relationships (00:36:21)

The Dating Captain (00:46:48)

Picard’s Continuity (00:59:28)

Falling In Love for the First Time (01:09:04)

Musical Connections in Space and Time (01:17:02)

Final Thoughts (01:19:26)

Closing (01:27:12)

 

Send us your feedback!

Twitter: @trekfm

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Support the Network!

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-172.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 9:07am MST

166: Let’s Go Crazy Honey Child

The Naked Now.

When The Next Generation launched, Gene Roddenberry and the writers wanted to make sure it had its own identity and wasn’t perceived as a rehash of The Original Series. So for the second episode, they pulled out a script written in 1967 as a planned sequel to "The Naked Time" and reworked it a bit to feature the crew of this new Galaxy Class starship. More fancy water molecules meant more life-threatening strange behavior, and a story that felt wildly familiar to the fans TNG was trying to win over.

In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Daniel Proulx, Suzanne Abbott, and Andi VanderKolk to discuss this second take on polywater intoxication, the different ways in which the Enterprise-D crew behave, Riker’s obsession with the showering habits of the 23rd century, weepy drunks, angry drunks, Acting Captain Wesley Crusher, and much more.

In our news segment we look back at 18 years of Star Trek First Contact, find out about the final push for Marc Cushman's These Are the Voyages Volume 3, and debate which crew faced the most adversity.

 

Hosts

Christopher Jones and Daniel Proulx

 

Guests

Suzanne Abbott, and Andi VanderKolk

 

Editor and Producer

Christopher Jones

 

Associate Producer

Renee Roberts

 

News

Marking 18 years since First Contact (00:02:59)

Poll: The crew that faced the most adversity was... (00:22:19)

Support Marc Cushman's These Are the Voyages, Volume 3 (00:32:27)

 

Feature: The Naked Time

Intro and Synopsis (00:43:34)

A Second Dose of Polywater (00:50:45)

Android Love and Fashion: Writing Yar (00:59:59)

Horny Doctor (01:05:45)

Confused Counselor (01:08:52)

Riker’s Leggy Playground (01:13:21)

Weepy Drunk, Angry Drunk (01:18:34)

If You Prick Him, Does He Not Leak? (01:27:47)

Acting Captain Wesley Crusher (01:33:39)

Nekkid Remastering (01:37:01)

Closing (01:45:06)

 

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-166.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 7:00am MST

161: An Homage with a Capital H

Sarek.

First introduced in “Journey to Babel,” Sarek of Vulcan is one of the best known characters from The Original Series, perhaps due primarily to his role in The Search for Spock and subsequent TOS films. Following McCoy’s cameo in “Encounter at Farpoint,” it took a while for familiar faces from Star Trek's past to return to the screen. Finally, in the TNG's third season, the wall between past and present began to come down as Spock's father came aboard Picard's Enterprise. Seeing Sarek shed tears at a musical performance and lose control of his emotions was a major advancement in making Vulcans more than just "logical," but making this happen wasn't as straightforward as one would think.

In this episode of The Ready Room, we're joined by Matthew Rushing, Larry Nemecek, and John Champion to discuss the episode "Sarek," how the evolution of the story showed continuing reservations on the part of Gene Roddenberry about connecting TOS and TNG even near the end of TNG's third season, as well as Sarek's place within the Star Trek universe and the battle to speak Spock's name on screen.

In our news segment, we debate which series deserved an additional season, io9's list of the Top 100 episodes, and play with Larami's classic Star Trek: The Motion Picture tie-in toys from 1979.

 

Hosts

Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing

 

Guests

Larry Nemecek and John Champion

 

Editor and Producer

Christopher Jones

 

Associate Producer

Renee Roberts

 

News

Looking back at Larami Star Trek: The Motion Picture Tie-ins (3:02)

Poll: Which Star Trek series deserved another season? (11:51)

io9's list of the Top 100 Star Trek episodes (28:56)

Sponsor: Audible (37:46)

 

Feature: Sarek

Intro and Synopsis (41:24)

Sarek's Place in Star Trek (44:20)

Bring Sarek to The Next Generation (52:39)

Evolving Vulcans, Shedding Light on Emotion (1:16:30)

Slapping John Champion Crusher (1:29:12)

Spock Is Voldemort (1:33:42)

Final Thoughts (1:42:34)

Closing (1:50:11)

 

Send us your feedback!

Twitter: @trekfm

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Support the Network!

 

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-161.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 6:51pm MST

156: Max Headroom's Historic Adventure

A Matter of Time.

We’ve all asked ourselves, at least once, if the crew of the Enterprise-D has a grasp of the fundamentals. And, of course, the best way to find out would be to travel to the year 2368 and observe them first hand. That’s what Professor Berlinghoff Rasmussen did in the fifth-season episode “A Matter of Time,” where the "inventor" from 22nd-century New Jersey with a 26th-century time ship posed as a historian observing Picard's mission to Penthara IV.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Sebastian Prooth, Andi VanderKolk, and Daniel Handlin to discuss Matt Frewer's guest appearance on TNG as well as what the episode might have been like had the role been played by the actor it was originally written for, Robin Williams. We also explore the dilemma faced by Picard with the possibility of advance knowledge at hand, the concept of using time travel for historical research, and finally figure out who Future Guy from Enterprise really is.

In our news segment we talk about the premiere of The Red Shirt Diaries, explain how you can help get the USS Titan into the Official Starships Collection, and debate which captain was best under pressure.

 

Send us your feedback!

Twitter: @trekfm

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Chapters

 

News

The Red Shirt Diaries premieres (3:06)

And the captain who was best under pressure is… (8:43)

Support Trek.fm on Patreon (15:25)

Help get the USS Titan into the Official Starships Collection (17:33)

Sponsor: Audible (24:15)

 

Feature: A Matter of Time

Synopsis and Initial Thoughts (29:03)

Seeking Help from the Future (35:31)

Mork or Max Headroom? Choosing the Best Rasmussen (39:23)

Crew Reactions to Rasmussen (52:32)

Using Time Travel as a Tool for Historians (1:04:52)

Picard's Dilemma (1:16:20)

Final Thoughts (1:23:11)

Closing (1:29:46)

Direct download: trr-156.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 2:17am MST

150: I Remember You Without a Beard

Launching TNG with Mission Log.

Few creators get a second change to explore their original vision. Gene Roddenberry got such a chance with The Next Generation twenty-one years after the original Star Trek first aired. TNG’s pilot "Encounter at Farpoint" is a restatement of Gene's utopian ideas, which are challenged by Q. But, of course, these ideas evolved a bit over the course of two decades.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by John Champion and Ken Ray of Mission Log: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast, who are preparing to launch into TNG on their show. We talk about the transition from TOS to TNG as a platform for Gene's message, impressions of the new ship and crew, twenty-fourth-century technology, meeting Q for the first time, "Encounter at Farpoint," and more. 

In our news segment we look at Star Trek events at San Diego Comic-Con, discuss the real status of Roberto Orci as director of the next film, and reveal our picks for the best engineering set.

 

News

San Diego Comic-Con Star Trek events (3:22)

Prelude to Axanar premieres at San Diego Comic-Con (11:34)

And the best Star Trek engineering set is… (13:50)

Is Orci directing Star Trek 3 or not? (23:59)

Sponsor: Audible (30:05)

 

Feature: Launching TNG and Encounter at Farpoint with Mission Log

Impressions of TNG (33:19)

The Tone of The Next Generation (41:55)

The 1701-D and Visions of the Future (51:51)

The TNG Characters (57:40)

Meeting Q for the Very First Time (1:07:04)

24th-century Technology (1:19:24)

Final Thoughts (1:28:13)

Mission Log Podcast's Plans for TNG (1:31:35)

Closing (1:37:46)

Direct download: trr-150.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 8:00am MST

149: Don't Mention the Joystick

TNG Films Face-off.

When the the Original Series cast set foot on the big screen, it was a dream come true for a generation of fans who had supported the short-lived show through the dark 1970s. For fans of The Next Generation, however, the experience was quite different. As soon as the final episode wrapped, the cast jumped right into shooting their first movie. The result was a film that felt more like the next TV episode than a major motion picture. Or did it?

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Phillip Gilfus and Daniel Proulx of Earl Grey to pit the four Next Generation films against one another. We cover the good and the bad of each and discuss whether more time between the television series and the movies would have changed fan perception of these four stories.

In our news segment we discuss the controversy surrounding the sixth-season TNG episode "Timescape" and an uncorrected VFX mistake, Dayton Ward's selection of ten Star Trek episodes that could work as stage plays, and the launch of Star Trek: Axanar's official podcast, which will chronicle the production of the independent film through discussions with the cast and crew.

 

News

Mike and Denise Okuda speak out on the "Timescape" VFX controversy (3:02)

Star Trek: Axanar teams of with Trek.fm for its official podcast (9:23)

Dayton Ward's Star Trek episodes that could work as stage plays (14:06)

Sponsor: Audible (22:38)

 

Feature: TNG Films Face-off

Overview (26:01)

Generations (28:43)

First Contact (50:51)

Insurrection (1:06:04)

Nemesis (1:25:42)

Final Thoughts (1:46:42)

Closing (1:58:26)

Direct download: trr-149.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 7:00am MST

144: Livingston, You Will Be Assimilated

I, Borg.

When you think about how long-lived Star Trek is, it’s incredible to think that the storytelling moment that has been nearly impossible to top came 24 years ago. “The Best of Both Worlds” was so big, so bold, so impactful that the writers shied away from returning to the story's villain, the Borg, because, well, where do you go from there? Two seasons later they finally hit on an approach that could bring back the Borg in a unique way that did not require trying to top the famous cliffhanger.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Charlynn Schmiedt, Daniel Proulx, and Tyler Johnson to discuss the story that was born during a writers' retreat in 1991. The concept became “I, Borg,” and for such a quiet story it had lasting repercussions on the future of Star Trek. We discuss the dilemma faced by the Enterprise crew, whether or not the story defangs the Borg, Beverly's seeming naivity, Geordi's way with machines, whether or not it and "The Best of Both Worlds" violate canon, and how First Contact Picard can be seen in this episode.

In our new segment we find out what kind of parade Shatner will be leading in Canada, how he and Kate Mulgrew love to jab each other at conventions, and what happens on a starship bridge when you stabilize it.

Direct download: trr-144.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 3:57am MST

138: The Raid Reference

Starship Mine.

Life and death situations and small talk go together like Picard and Earl Grey, Troi and chocolate, or Geordi and PowerPoint presentations. Right? Well, they do in “Starship Mine,” a sixth season TNG episode that features a never-before-heard-of particle, a horse saddle, and possibly the most annoying commander in Starfleet. But "Starship Mine" is much more than a bad party with The Hutch. It's also Die Hard in Space.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Darren Moser, Mike Schindler, and Max Hegel to discuss Morgan Gendel's second TNG outing, how it uses the Die Hard framework without imitating it, the difference between trilithium and trilithium resin (hint: there may not be any), and why it may be a better episode than Gendel's more famous episode "The Inner Light."

In our news segment, we read a letter from one Captain James T. Kirk to a Captain James Kirk in the US Navy, find out what award the Boston chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has for Leonard Nimoy, Oculus Rift's virtual trip to the USS Voyager bridge, and colliding timelines that combine Q and Guinan with the Abramsverse.

Direct download: trr-138.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

133: A Secret Fascination with Trains

Emergence.

One of the stated missions of the Enterprise is to seek out new forms of life, and over the course of seven years Picard and his crew encountered a number of unusual ones. From the exocomps to the Crystalline Entity to Gomtuu, TNG showed us that life comes in many flavors. But perhaps the most unexpected discovery came near the very end of the series when the Enterprise itself began to come alive.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by the Earl Grey crew of Darren Moser, Phillip Gilfus, and Daniel Proulx to discuss the antepenultimate episode of The Next Generation, "Emergence," Troi's gig as a ship counselor (literally!), what Brannon Braga described as an attempt to create the ultimate holodeck story, the tag-team PowerPoint prowess of Data and Geordi, and Beverly's secret fascination with the Orient Express.

In our news segment we discuss the trailers for TNG Season Six and "Chain of Command" on Blu-ray, the collaboration between IDW and Harlan Ellison to bring the original script for "The City On the Edge of Forever" to comics, and we remember TNG's Lt. Commander Daren, Australian actress Wendy Hughes.

Direct download: trr-133.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- 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

111: Bird-of-Prey Selfies

A Matter of Honor.

One way that TNG showed us the passage of time was to bring together the Federation and Klingons as allies—at least uneasy ones. It was a great opportunity to delve into cross-cultural issues, and that's what they did when Riker became an exchange student aboard the Klingon vessel Pagh. In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Phillip Gilfus, Daniel Proulx, and Darren Moser to find out why Picard envies Riker, how to roll up Klingon stereotypes and diversity into one episode, and why being lactose intolerant may not be a good condition to have when serving in the KDF.

In our news segment we remember author A.C. Crispin, find out how Dayton Ward plans to use Paramount's Into Darkness Blu-ray scheme for his next novel, examine the "Unification" feature-length trailer, try to figure out what Star Trek: Terran is, and field more Questions from the Fleet—this time what we would create as the next TV series. And, of course, mark the 47th birthday of our beloved franchise.

Direct download: trr-111.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

105: Broccoli's Cytherian Adventure

The Nth Degree.

Following the success of “Hollow Pursuits” in TNG’s third season, the writers began looking for a way to bring Dwight Schultz back to reprise the role of Barclay. But they wanted it to be a meaningful return, and so the search began for just the right story that would do justice to the character. The end results was a tale that would see a socially challenged man transformed into a braniac. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Daniel Proulx and Phillip Gilfus to discuss the return of Barclay in “The Nth Degree” as well as his portrayal later on in the series and on Voyager.

In our news segment we look at Voyager toys and collectibles from over the years, Hallmark’s 2014 ornament lineup, critique the final cover art for the Blu-ray and DVD releases of Star Trek Into Darkness, and remember the first Klingon seen in Star Trek—Victor Lundin—who passed away at the age of 83. We also explain why putting a Horta on your Christmas tree may not be the best idea.

Direct download: trr-105.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

99: Shooter McGavin on the Enterprise-C

Yesterday’s Enterprise.

When it comes to creative work, you often don’t realize that you’re doing something special until much later on when you have time to breathe and look back. And that was the case with “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” which had one of the most convoluted writing histories of any episode. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Charlynn Schmiedt, Michael Fisher, and Daniel Proulx to discuss the Enterprise-C’s journey to the future, Guinan’s feels, Tasha 2.0, and the rest of the magic that came together to create one of the all-time fan favorites. We also reveal, for the first time ever, what actually goes on in Cetacean Ops.

In news we look at a brand new collection of scale replicas of Star Trek ships from Eaglemoss, take a walk down memory lane with Star Trek: The Original Topps Trading Cards Book, uncork some Star Trek wine from Vinport, and burn our retinae by looking at deleted scenes from “Evolution.” Plus, we put out a call for the next great card battle game. 

Direct download: trr-099.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

92: Carpe Diem... Basically

The Inner Light.

Every once in a while Star Trek hits on a story that is just great science fiction, a story that works even if all the elements unique to the series are removed. That’s what Morgan Gendel delivered in his touching story about Picard’s life as a man named Kamin on the planet Kataan. “The Inner Light” won TNG one of its two Hugo Awards, and for good reason. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Colin Higgins, Matthew Rushing, and Charlynn Schmiedt to discuss this fan favourite, what it reveals about the inner workings of Picard’s mind, and the many layers of family and society that make up the 25 minutes of unconsciousness that saw a lifetime pass for Jean Luc.

In news we reflect on First Contact Day and the likelihood of real-life first contact by 2063, discuss Scott Bakula’s comments about the possible fifth season of Enterprise on Netflix, William Shatner and the Texas Lottery, a 3-D version of the Russian Star Trek Into Darkness trailer, a sneak peak at the recording of the Into Darkness score with composer Michael Giacchino, get excited about Alice Eve and the audiobook version of the movie novelisation, and we share our thoughts on Countdown to Darkness #4 and how it sets up the movie. Plus, we reveal why Tuvok might be wearing a kimono in the near future. 

Direct download: trr-092.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

87: Can We Please Reactivate the Defendant?

The Measure of a Man.

Does Data have rights? This is the central question asked in Melinda Snodgrass’s classic courtroom drama “The Measure of a Man.” But beyond the fate of Data himself, the real question is how artificial life will be treated in the future. Though it may sound like science fiction, it’s a decision we will someday have to make in the real world. The difficulty of the issue was presented brilliantly more than two decades ago by TNG, and the uncertainty of its message still rings true today.

In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by renowned Star Trek historian Larry Nemecek to discuss “The Measure of a Man,” the ethical questions it raises, and how the extended cut on Blu-ray—which adds 13 minutes—makes this episode even better.

In news we look at the upcoming re-release of The Next Generation on DVD, two awards given to La-La Land Records, the unofficial Star Trek Into Darkness poster designed by Matt Ferguson (plus a few more bits of news and rumours about the film), and we debate which Starfleet doctor is the most skilled.

Direct download: trr-087.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

82: A Squint Away From Success

Second Chances.

What could possibly be better than Riker? Two Rikers, of course! Regardless of the scientifically questionable accident that created two copies of the nautical-bearded one, the discovery of a William Riker from eight years in the past set up a surprisingly deep story that challenged Troi’s faith in her decisions. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by our Managing Editor Charlynn Schmiedt, Literary Treks host Matthew Rushing, and Riker-disciple Michael Fisher to discuss “Second Chances,” how the passage of time changes people and their paths, romanticising the past, and why nothing can stack up to Riker’s vibe.  

In news we discuss possible Blu-ray plans for The Animated Series, a new book about the story of Filmation, Creation’s TNG reunion and grand slam, new toys from Diamond Select, and we share our thoughts on the surprising story found in the first issue of Countdown to Darkness.

Direct download: trr-082.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

76: Smearing the Hot Chocolate

Q Who.

By the end of TNG’s first season, the writers wanted to unveil a new enemy that would do for this new show what the Klingons had done for the original. But the roll-out, intended for “The Neutral Zone,” didn’t quite happen and we had to wait until halfway through the second season to meet the menace that would come to define much of modern Star Trek: The Borg. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by our Managing Editor Charlynn Schmiedt and our TOS Editor Drew Stewart to discuss the story that introduced the Drone, the Cube, and the mysterious double-claw self defense posture.

In news we cover Greg’s experience at the TNG Season Two theatrical event, Jonathan Frakes and LeVar Burton on Attack Of the Show, the decommissioning of the aircraft carrier Enterprise, and the official synopsis for Star Trek Into Darkness, including our theory on who the actual villain is—and it’s not who you think.

Direct download: trr-076.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

70: Measured Degrees of Aloofness

Lower Decks.

As The Next Generation wrapped up its TV run with the season of family—also known as Season 7—we finally got to see the inner workings of the Enterprise crew in the episode “Lower Decks.” It was a glimpse into the daily lives of the people Q would refer to as Picard’s Little Minions. It also marked the return of a familiar face—Sito Jaxa—and revealed the circumstances of her ultimate demise. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by our Managing Editor Charlynn Schmiedt, Dork Trek’s Ben McCormick, and Michael Fisher to discuss “Lower Decks,” the process of crew evaluations, and how to get a service job on a cruise ship… we mean starship.

In news we cover the remastered Star Trek: Generations soundtrack from GNP Crescendo, Syfy UK’s plans to air TNG in HD, the Star Trek Online Azure Nebula Rescue event, and some movie news and rumours—including the great Facebook hoax. Plus we determine which one of us is Garak and which is Quark.

Direct download: trr-070.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

65: Trent's Glass Ceiling

Angel One.

Early TNG maintained a heavy TOS flavor despite the new ship and new crew. Heavy-handed black-and-white commentary wrapped stories over which Gene Roddenberry still had full control. One such script attempted to address gender inequality by forcing the crew into negotiations with a matriarchal society. It seems like a good idea. But does it work? In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Down In Front’s Brian Finifter and Trek.fm Managing Editor Charlynn Schmiedt to discuss the first-season TNG episode “Angel One.”

In news we remember Lance LeGault and look at the ThinkGeek bat’leth letter opener, an inflatable adult chair for Starfleet officers like you, Star Trek cookie cutters, and a new jazz album that brings familiar sounds from the final frontier. We also discuss the future of holodeck-style gaming and the StarTrek.com poll that makes a Starfleet captain your parent. Plus, we explain why, as a Starfleet officer, you really should be wearing sunglasses at all times.

Direct download: trr-065.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

55: Poor Dumb Picard

Tapestry.

“I told you. You’re dead. This is the afterlife. And I’m God.” Every day we make decisions that change the direction of our lives. It’s easy to look back and question the choices we’ve made, thinking that a different turn may have led to a better path. In the case of Captain Picard, an ill-advised bar fight with Nausicaans on Starbase Earhart left him without his natural heart. Despite this, his career moved forward and it was nothing more than a youthful mistake—until some diplomats got their Lenarians in a wad. At that moment, thirty years later, Picard dies thanks to his artificial heart. After that, compliments of Q, we get to see young Picard relive his days as an ensign—acting recklessly and unsuccessfully chasing skirts. Poor Dumb Picard. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Down In Front’s Brian Finifter and Trek.fm Voyager editor Charlynn Schmiedt to discuss this trip down memory lane in the sixth-season TNG episode “Tapestry.” 

In news we cover the addition of international theatrical screenings for the TNG Season One Blu-ray release and a new line of women’s Star Trek apparel from Ashley Eckstein and Her Universe. We also give our first impressions of IDW’s latest Star Trek Ongoing story “Return of the Archons” and add a few more adjectives to our Star Trek 2013 Villain White Board in movie news and rumors.

Direct download: trr-055.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

49: Geordi's V-Chip

Cause and Effect.

We’ve all been there. Something happens and we are overcome with nIb’poH, the feeling that we’ve done the same thing before; and we don’t mean last Tuesday. It’s what we humans calls déjà vu. Only with déjà vu it only seems that events have happened before. This was not the case when the Enterprise-D became trapped in a temporal causality loop while exploring the Typhon Expanse. For Picard and his crew, they really were experiencing the same events over and over. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Tristan Riddell and Michael Fisher as we discuss the thin script that became one of TNG’s most classic tales: “Cause and Effect.”

In news we cover big changes at the Nashville and Philly cons, TNG theatrical screenings and Blu-ray bonus material details, the ultimate release of the Star Trek: The Motion Picture soundtrack, an illustrated history of the Federation, new Trek jewelry from Vulcan Tourism, Star Trek 2013 shooting in Iceland, and action figures flying through space.

Direct download: trr-049.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

42: Today Is a Good Day to Dye

Sins of the Father.

Despite an early insistence that Original Series races not be used on The Next Generation, the Klingons became an integral part of TNG, and later DS9. This was of course due in part to Michael Dorn’s portrayal of Worf, but there is more to it than just that. By maturing the character of Worf and the show itself, the writers truly brought the Klingon culture to life. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Larry Nemecek to discuss the episode where it all started: “Sins of the Father.”

In news we cover IDW’s Redshirt contest (we have a winner!), the delay in Star Trek Ongoing #7, Patrick Stewart hosting the Peabody Awards, Leonard Nimoy on The Big Bang Theory, Geek Nation Tours, Vintage Movie Posters, and Movie News and Rumors. Plus, Greg gets locked in a broom closet. 

Direct download: trr-042.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

36: Group Clicking

Schisms.

When season six of The Next Generation rolled around we started to get some seriously creepy stories, thanks largely to the influence of Brannon Braga. One of the creepiest of the bunch was “Schisms,” in which solanogen-based fish monks began kidnapping Enterprise crew members in their sleep and using them for bizarre medical experiments. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Larry Nemecek as we discuss the episode “Schisms” as well as Brannon Braga’s influence on Star Trek from late TNG forward.

In news we cover Hollywood Collectibles’ 1:4 Scale Kirk Statue, Greg Cox’s new TOS-era novel The Rings of Time, the lack of social networking in the Star Trek future, the Spring 2012 issue of Star Trek Magazine (and the future of the publication), and our first impressions of the TNG “The Next Level” Blu-ray. And we also recast the missing 13 seconds from “Sins of the Father” with younger actors. 

Direct download: trr-036.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

31: Brought to You by Brylcreem

The Bonding.

Few writers played a larger role in shaping modern Star Trek than Ronald D. Moore, but his first foray into Roddenberry’s universe came in the form of a spec script that was turned into the early third-season episode “The Bonding.” It’s a story that is often forgotten, but one that offers the first glimpses of the cerebral, introspective, and philosophical stories that came to define The Next Generation. In this episode of The Ready Room we discuss “The Bonding” and a number of issues that are addressed in the episode including the practice of carrying families on starships, coping with the inevitability of death when exploring the unknown, and why children in Star Trek look like little adults. We also explain the apparently extremely simplistic Klingon ritual known as The Bonding.

In news we cover the third trailer for the TNG Remastered project, George Takei’s casting on Celebrity Apprentice, the new Bandai “Next Phase” expansion set for the Star Trek Deck Building Game, the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain in the next movie, and we preview the final two tracks from Five Year Mission’s Year Two. Plus we reveal yet another of our 1,000 rejected plots for Star Trek IV. 

Direct download: trr-031.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

21: Docile Surrender Monkey

TNG Season Two.

After completing a successful first season The Next Generation continued to find its identity in season two despite a number of potential setbacks. The departure of Gates McFadden as Dr. Crusher, a writers strike in Hollywood, and continuing struggles to emerge from the shadow of TOS put this new Star Trek series to the test. In this episode of The Ready Room we discuss the good and the bad of TNG’s second season, and how it set up the greatness to come. In news we look at the Comikaze Expo, new names added to the roster for Star Trek Las Vegas 2012, Star Trek: The Exhibition at the St. Louis Science Center, Star Trek’s spookiest moments, and the state of Star Trek fiction and the Enterprise novels about the Romulan War. 

Direct download: trr-021.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

15: Growing the Beard

The Best of Both Worlds.

It was the turning point for The Next Generation and perhaps for all of modern Star Trek. The season-three finale left fans wondering for the entire summer of 1990 whether Picard was returning or whether Riker was the show’s new lead. It also brought us one of the greatest villains ever—the Borg. In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Brian Finifter of Down In Front to discuss “The Best of Both Worlds” and how it changed the course of the franchise.

In our news segment we discuss new developments surrounding the remastering of TNG on Blu-ray, Marina Sirtis's new role as the Wicked Queen, play with Diamond Select's retro Picard and Borg figures, find out about Star Trek Online's plans to go free-to-play, step inside a real-life sickbay, explore the possibility of silicon-based life, hear from the remaining TOS cast on Star Trek’s 45th anniversary, and reveal the results of our poll “Which villain’s name do you most want to shout in battle?”

Direct download: trr-015.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

5: Get Off My Bridge!

Encounter at Farpoint.

When Star Trek returned to television on September 28, 1987, no one knew for sure if this experiment was going to work. Could you really capture lightning in a bottle twice? While the ship still carried the same name, the cast was completely different—and the actors relatively unknown. What's more, the show was syndicated. That doesn't seem like a big deal now, but at the time it was unusual and not known as a recipe for success. In this episode of The Ready Room hosts Christopher Jones and Greg Harbin discuss "Encounter at Farpoint," which turned out to be the seed for all but 86 of the episodes and films in the world's most expansive science fiction franchise. 

In our news segment we wish a happy birthday to J.J. Abrams, say our farewells to composer Fred Steiner, tune in to Michael Giacchino as he talks to Collider about scoring Star Trek, find out what Simon Pegg has to say about Star Trek and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, find out more about the new Abramsverse comic series as The Comic Book Resources interviews IDW Chief Creative Officer Chris Ryall, turn the pages of a new Star Trek Trivia Book, and discuss the trailer of William Shatner's new documentary "The Captains."

Direct download: trr-005.mp3
Category:The Next Generation -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

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