The Ready Room: A Star Trek Podcast
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

205: Disco Vulcan Zombies

Impulse.

Some things never go out of style. Take zombies, for instance. They’re wildly popular on 21st-century Earth, and they can be found in the 22nd-century Expanse as well. But what happens when you mix the living dead with logic? That’s what Archer and the crew of the Enterprise had to find out when they stumbled upon a zombified Vulcan crew in “Impulse.”

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined by Mike Morrison, Dennis Castello, and Phillip Gilfus to discuss this horror story from Enterprise’s third season. We explore the Trellium-D conundrum, Jolene Blalock’s portrayal of a Vulcan losing control, parallels to DS9’s “Empok Nor,” and the importance of the coda that almost wasn’t. We also discuss the episodes’s amazing visuals and ponder the design of Starfleet’s 22nd-century hospital garb.

Plus, in our news segment, we look at details of the next Star Trek series as revealed by executive producer and showrunner Bryan Fuller, and we share our thoughts on Rihanna’s “Sledgehammer” and the use of non-orchestral music in Star Trek.

News
Bryan Fuller Reveals Star Trek 2017 Details (00:04:53)
Rihanna’s “Sledgehammer” and Star Trek Beyond (00:29:26)
Sponsor: The Eaglemoss Official Star Trek Starships Collection (00:34:45)

Feature: Impulse
Synopsis and Initial Thoughts (00:39:21)
Vulcan Zombies (00:48:17)
Jolene’s Portrayal (00:54:39)
The Trellium-D Conundrum (00:59:26)
B-Plot Padding (01:09:39)
Parallels to “Empok Nor” (01:16:42)
A Nightmare Coda (01:26:24)
The Visuals (01:31:12)
Final Thoughts (01:37:12)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Mike Morrison

Guests
Dennis Castello 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) Tim Robertson (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Will Nguyen (Content Manager)

Direct download: trr-205.mp3
Category:Enterprise -- posted at: 6:34pm MST

204: Galileo’s Lizard

Distant Origin.

Dinosaurs may have been smarter than we think. Some of them may still be. That’s because they live in space and fly around in ships based on technology 65 million years more advanced than that of Starfleet. When that asteroid headed for Earth all those years ago, these hadrosaurs said sayonara to the planet’s mammals.

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined by Zachary Fruhling and Aaron Harvey to discuss one of Voyager’s most unusual stories, “Distant Origin.” Does the science work? Does it even matter? We follow Voth scientists Gegen and Veer as they put together a galaxy-spanning puzzle made of 47 pieces. We discuss how the story parallels Galileo, Star Trek’s evolutionary arrow, the holodeck as a scientific instrument, the mating rituals of mammals, and more.

Plus, in our news segment, we debate the new name for the JJ Abrams rendition of Star Trek and take a look at the newly refurbished USS Enterprise model, now back on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

News
The Kelvin Timeline (00:03:30)
The Enterprise Returns to the Smithsonian (00:13:05)
Sponsor: The Eaglemoss Official Star Trek Starships Collection (00:21:26)

Feature: Distant Origin
Synopsis and Initial Thoughts (00:26:40)
The Science (00:38:06)
Leaving Home (00:44:46)
An Evolutionary Direction (00:49:29)
Technological Advancement (00:51:59)
Galileo’s Lizard (01:00:00)
The Design and Creative Elements (01:13:10)
The Holodeck as a Scientific Tool (01:20:30)
Final Thoughts (01:24:51)
Closing (01:32:13)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Zachary Fruhling

Guest
Aaron Harvey

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) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Will Nguyen (Content Manager)

Direct download: trr-204.mp3
Category:Voyager -- posted at: 5:20am MST

203: The Orb of These Things Happen

Things Past.

We know that Odo has a colored past. He held the post of security chief under the regime of Gul Dukat during the occupation of Bajor. As an outsider, he would seem to be the ideal candidate to protect the Bajorans from unchecked Cardassian brutality. But while he sees himself as the voice of justice, a strict adherence to policy can lead to wrong decisions. That’s what happened when he allowed three innocent Bajorans to be executed on his watch.

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined Mike Schindler, Mike Morrison, and Brandon-Shea Mutala to discuss the delayed aftermath of that event in the episode “Things Past.” It’s a unique semi-flashback story that puts Odo in the shoes of one of the executed men—along with Sisko and Garak. Join us as we discuss Odo’s choices, how DS9 builds its mythology, Quark during the Occupation, Kira’s powerful moment, and much more.

Plus, in our news segment, we discuss the writing team for the new Star Trek television series as well as the many flavors of Star Trek Beyond that are headed to theaters—including IMAX, IMAX Laser, Dolby Cinema, and the very unique Barco Escape.

News
The Star Trek 2017 Writing Team (00:03:05)
The Various Star Trek Beyond Film Formats (00:17:02)

Feature: Things Past
Synopsis and Initial Thoughts (00:28:24)
A Glimpse of Terok Nor (00:37:27)
Building the Mythology (00:41:49)
Who’s Talking to Whom? (00:45:39)
All in My Head? (00:59:12)
A Time Travel Workaround (01:09:00)
Effectively Kira (01:20:15)
Dukat Behaving Nicely (01:28:00)
Final Thoughts (01:30:59)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Mike Schindler

Guests
Mike Morrison and Brandon-Shea Mutala

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) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Will Nguyen (Content Manager)

Direct download: trr-203.mp3
Category:Deep Space Nine -- posted at: 5:30am 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

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

200: Five Years and Counting

Reflecting on The Ready Room and Star Trek.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since the first episode of The Ready Room. Born of disaster, this show has evolved into a gathering place for the hosts of the network that grew up around it. The Trek.fm network has become an important part of the daily routine for many Star Trek fans, but there was a time when there was no network. There was just this show. So as we reach another milestone—200 episodes—we take a break from our usual format to quietly mark the occasion with a good friend who has been part of The Ready Room almost since the beginning: Larry Nemecek.

But first, we start with a bit of the history behind both The Ready Room and the network …

Chapters
The History of The Ready Room (00:00:00)
Larry Beams In (00:26:47)
Where Was the Franchise in 2011? (00:39:38)
Where We Are Now (00:54:31)
Star Trek’s Return to TV (01:02:25)
Five Years of The Ready Room (01:18:03)
The Changing Media Landscape (01:37:47)
Fandom Triumphs (01:50:05)
The Direction of the New Series (02:00:59)
Final Thoughts (02:16:22)

Host
C Bryan Jones

Guest
Larry Nemecek

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) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Will Nguyen (Content Manager)

Direct download: trr-200.mp3
Category:Special Features -- posted at: 8:00am MST

199: The Search for Pineapple

Silent Enemy.

Most aliens in Star Trek are presented in terms that the human mind can understand. The Klingons, the Romulans, even the Borg. We can make sense of their actions and motives. But in reality, new life that we meet out in space will have a lot less in common with us. Enterprise attempted to address this truth midway through its first season in “Silent Enemy,” which pitted our crew against beings that only CGI could create—and who never spoke a word.

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined by Zachary Fruhling, Brandon-Shea Mutala, and Dennis Castello to discuss this episode that includes not an alien mystery, but also a culinary one. Join us as we talk about the true nature of Malcolm Reed, Captain Archer’s decision to tuck tail and run, the real reason the Enterprise needed phase cannons to be installed, and, of course, the infamous B-story: the search for Malcolm’s favorite food.

In our news segment, we discuss a new collection of the classic James Blish TOS novelizations, the results of the Strange New Worlds short story contest, and Simon Pegg’s thoughts on the foundation of Star Trek.

News
Barnes & Noble Release “The Classic Episodes” Anthology (00:04:00)
Simon Pegg on the Foundation of Star Trek (00:11:07)
2016 Strange New World Winners Announced (00:23:41)

Feature: Silent Enemy
Synopsis and Initial Thoughts (00:30:46)
Aliens Unknown (00:43:09)
Tucking Tail (00:52:37)
The Search for Pineapple (01:05:17)
Direction, Visuals, and Sound (01:23:52)
Final Thoughts (01:38:18)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Zachary Fruhling

Guests
Brandon-Shea Mutala and Dennis Castello

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) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Will Nguyen (Content Manager)

Direct download: trr-199.mp3
Category:Enterprise -- posted at: 7:24am MST

198: Procreation TED Talk

Someone to Watch Over Me.

When you live on a starship, you get to know your neighbors. Sometimes you get to know them well. Especially if you’re Seven of Nine and you’re taking an interest in interpersonal relations. Armed with Borg implants and 24th-century Starfleet technology, gathering data is easy. The only problem is that some of your subjects may not want to be part of the study.

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined by Charlynn Schmiedt, Zachary Fruhling, and Phillip Gilfus to discuss “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Join us for the Dance of Conception as the Doctor teaches Seven how to land a date, sweep him off his feet … and break his arm … all while mastering the art of small talk. We also delve into the potential of a Doctor-Seven relationship, what happens when you leave Neelix in charge of caring for diplomats, and the exploits of Leisure Suit Kadi.

In our news segment, we discuss Star Trek: The Animated Series coming to Blu-ray, supposed pre-production photos from the new series, and we debate the StarTrek.com poll that asked which was the best Star Trek relationship.

News
Star Trek: The Animated Series coming to Blu-ray (00:03:06)
Star Trek 2017 pre-production photos? (00:11:51)
Poll: Which was the best Star Trek romance? (00:26:24)

Feature: Someone to Watch Over Me
Synopsis and Initial Thoughts (00:31:29)
The Setup: Peeping Seven (00:41:28)
The B’Elanna-Seven Relationship (00:44:16)
Lessons In Love (00:48:24)
The Doctor’s Motivations (01:00:09)
Tom Paris: Audience Surrogate (01:05:35)
The Most Awkward Date Ever (01:09:26)
Leisure Suit Kadi (01:19:01)
The Doctor-Seven Relationship (01:25:59)
Final Thoughts (01:34:59)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Charlynn Schmiedt

Guests
Phillip Gilfus 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-198.mp3
Category:Voyager -- posted at: 5:30am MST

197: Life with the Safeties On

It’s Only a Paper Moon.

Events in Star Trek—even tragic ones—rarely have lasting consequences. Deep Space Nine changed that with arcs that took place during the Dominion War. In particular, in the final season, Nog’s injuries in battle led to a deep exploration of the lasting impact of a single moment in time—and they did it with the usual DS9 mix of serious commentary and humor.

In this episode of The Ready Room, we’re joined by Zachary Fruhling and Matthew Rushing to discuss Nog’s retreat to the holosuite, his struggle to come to terms with the physical and emotional damage of his experiences in “The Siege of AR-558,” and the counseling tag-team of Ezri Dax and Vic Fontaine who brought him back to reality.

In our news segment, we discuss additional shooting (reported as reshoots by most media) for Star Trek Beyond, a special agreement between CBS and Paramount that dictated a six-month post-film waiting period for Star Trek’s return to TV, and Rod Roddenberry joining the new series as Executive Producer.

News
Star Trek Beyond Reshoots (00:04:19)
CBS-Paramount Agreement (00:12:44)
Rod Roddenberry EP (00:26:24)

Feature: It’s Only a Paper Moon
Synopsis and Initial Thoughts (00:34:46)
Nog’s PTSD (00:45:49)
Counselor Ezri (00:56:25)
Counselor Vic (01:09:15)
The Original Concept (01:24:26)
The Literary Universe Connection (01:36:21)
Final Thoughts (01:37:27)
Listener Feedback and Closing (01:44:54)

Hosts
C Bryan Jones and Zachary Fruhling

Guest
Matthew Rushing

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-197.mp3
Category:Deep Space Nine -- posted at: 5:30am MST