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