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

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.



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 MDT

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 MDT

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—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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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 MDT

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,’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 MDT

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 MDT