The Ready Room: A Star Trek Podcast
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.


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The Red Shirt Diaries premieres (3:06)

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

Support 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

155: The Jeffrey Combs of the '50s, '60s, and '70s

The Green Girl.

One of the most famous aliens in Star Trek is the Orion slave girl, and the most classic “green” moment comes from “The Cage,” compliments of Susan Oliver. The prolific star is best known to Star Trek fans for this role, yet her appearance in Star Trek is but a speck on the landscape of her career as an actress and director. In this episode of The Ready Room we take a break from our usual format as we're joined by Larry Nemecek and writer/director George Pappy to talk about his new documentary The Green Girl, which chronicles the life of Susan Oliver, her film and television work, attempts to break the glass ceiling for female directors, and more.

In our news segment we get a first-hand recap of the Geek Nation Tours trek to Las Vegas, discuss how recent awards and campaigns for Star Trek Continues and Star Trek: Axanar highlight the growing fan desire for new Trek, and assess the prospects for the remastering of Deep Space Nine and Voyager in light of some recent panels and interviews with those who might spearheads the projects.


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Geek Nation Tours recap (2:48)

Support on Patreon (17:27)

Star Trek Continues and Axanar drive fandom fever (19:46)

Prospects for DS9 and Voyager on Blu-ray (32:49)


Feature: The Green Girl

The Genesis of the Project (53:54)

Susan Oliver's Impact on Star Trek (1:03:19)

TV, Film, Stage, and a Blackballed Career (1:17:47)

Directing, Aviation, and More (1:24:19)

The Takeway (1:44:31)

Get the Documentary and Find Out More (1:51:16)

Closing (1:54:43)

Direct download: trr-155.mp3
Category:Documentaries -- posted at: 6:00am MST

154: Spock and [Redacted]: A Love Story

The Enterprise Incident.

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

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

In our news segment we debate the results of'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 MST

153: It's Not a Magic Pill

Dear Doctor.

In the vast majority of Star Trek episodes we know that our crews are being guided by Starfleet General Order One, or the Prime Directive. It’s Starfleet’s highest law and a framework for interactive with alien cultures. Captain Archer had no such directive to guide his actions, and the need for one became very obvious when a request for medical assistance led the NX-01 to the planet Valakis and an encounter with two sentient humanoid species sharing an unusual symbiotic relationship.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Tommy Kraft, Sebastian Prooth, and Eric Brasure to discuss the ethical dilemmas faced by Archer and Phlox, cultural understanding, when it is and isn't appropriate to "play God," the need for the Prime Directive, and why we miss Kellie Waymire.

In our news segment we discuss the idea of a Captain Worf television series now that a new video interview with Michael Dorn has surfaced, William Shatner's new documentary about the making of The Next Generation, Chaos On the Bridge, and thoughts on the DS9 finale from those who created it. 

Direct download: trr-153.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:15am MST

152: It's Handy to Have a Hologram

The Thaw.

Over the years Starfleet crews have faced off against a dizzying array of opponents. Mainstream baddies like Klingons, Romulans, and Borg are formidable but straightforward. Technical glitches like holodeck malfunctions or sentient silicon are also fairly routine. But what happens when your opponent isn’t something tangible but rather an emotion? We’ve gone on yellow alert against out own imaginations, but when the personification of Fear comes around it’s not quite so easy to just stop thinking about it. As the Clown said, when your only reality is an illusion, then illusion is reality.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Megan Calcote of Educating Geeks, Miles McLoughlin of The Scifi Diner, and Charlynn Schmiedt of To The Journey to discuss Voyager's encounter with Fear in the second-season episode "The Thaw," the mixed fan reception this episode has gotten over the years, the unique nature of the story and the visuals—including the Marvin Rush's inspiration as the director—the importance of having a hologram around, and how fear can both benefit and cripple us under different circumstances.

In our news segment we share our thoughts on the ten best Klingons as selected at One Trek Mind Live at Star Trek Las Vegas, recap convention cosplay, and discuss Brannon Braga's thoughts on Seven of Nine and her role on Voyager.


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Brannon Braga talks about Seven of Nine (2:41)

And the ten best Klingons are… (15:54)

Star Trek Las Vegas Cosplay recap (26:36)

Sponsor: Audible (37:08)


Feature: The Thaw

Intro and Synopsis (40:52)

Mixed Fan Reaction to a Crazy Clown (43:53)

Bringing Imagination to Life (50:12)

It's Handy to Have a Hologram (55:45)

The Nuances of a Holographic Janeway (1:04:23)

Overcoming Fear (1:12:28)

Creative Approaches to Fear (1:21:06)

Final Thoughts (1:27:49)

Closing and Feedback (1:35:35)

Direct download: trr-152.mp3
Category:Voyager -- posted at: 5:41am MST

151: Please Refrain From Using Your Imagination

If Wishes Were Horses.

Aliens appearing onboard a starship or space station is nothing new to Star Trek. But normally you expect to see a menace like Klingons, the Borg, or a woman in go-go boots and a bling belt—none of whom can spin straw into gold. As Terry J. Erdmann said in the DS9 Companion, “If Wishes Were Horses” could have been just another “mysterious-aliens-play-head-games-with-the-Star Trek-crew” story. Instead it morphed into a delightfully whimsical episode. Or did it?

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Megan Calcote, Von Glitschka, and John Mills to discuss the power of imagination, the demise of baseball, the challenges of working with space emus, the fantasy life of Julian Bashir, and, of course, Rumpelstiltskin.

In our news segment we share our thoughts on The Primate Directive, which is IDW's crossover between Star Trek and Planet of the Apes, comments by Benedict Cumberbatch and Zachary Quinto about Khan possibly appearing in the next film, and we discuss the results of's poll that asked fans to choose the saddest death scene in Star Trek.


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IDW's The Primate Directive combines Star Trek and Planet of the Apes (2:07)

And the saddest death scene in Star Trek is… (7:42)

Could Khan appear in the third Abramsverse Star Trek film? (23:31)

Sponsor: Audible (30:12)


Feature: If Wishes Were Horses

Initial Thoughts (34:09)

The Star Trek V Retcon (42:41)

Explorers on a Mission: Good Idea or Rehash? (45:09)

The Power of Imagination (52:36)

Who Were These Aliens Anyway? (1:01:10)

Quark, You Disgust Me! (1:05:00)

The Fantasy Life of Julian Bashir (1:12:26)

Expanded Baseball Mythology (1:22:41)

Running Short On Material (1:35:48)

Closing (1:40:40)

Direct download: trr-151.mp3
Category:Deep Space Nine -- posted at: 8:00am 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.



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.



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

Star Trek: Axanar teams of with 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

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 MST

147: Upsetting the Whole Percentage

The Communicator.

At the end of “A Piece of the Action,” Doctor McCoy reveals that he left his communicator behind in Oxmyx’s office. It’s essentially laughed off and the NCC-1701 continues on to its encounter with a giant space amoeba. Kirk says that, with that kind of technology, the Iotians might one day want a piece of the Federation’s action. But what might be the actual repercussions of such an accident? This is the question that Enterprise tries to answer in the second-season episode “The Communicator.” Like McCoy, Reed returns to the ship minus his gadget—only this time it isn’t brushed aside.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Mathieu Blondin and Sebastian Prooth to discuss Reed's little mistake, the consequences for him and Archer, the potential impact it had on an alien society, and whether or not Starfleet should be going undercover to mingle amongst the inhabitants of other worlds in the 22nd century (or at all). We also discuss "The Communicator" as an important episode on the road to the Prime Directive.

In our news segment we learn about the March 2015 release of TNG Season 8—in book form, discuss what we want to see in the next Star Trek film compared to a recent article on io9, and in Questions from the Fleet we delve into how best to grow the Star Trek franchise by looking at how marketing and merchandising has been handled over the years.



TNG Season 8 book coming in 2015 (2:55)

Star Trek 3 Wish List (11:19)

Sponsor: TrekFan (29:48) 

Questions from the Fleet: Marketing Star Trek (31:55)

Win Star Trek Blu-rays, Books, Ships, and more (41:33)

Sponsor: Audible (43:01)


Feature: The Communicator

Impressions of the Premise (48:28)

Rivas Jakara, Beta Edition (50:47)

Honey, I Cloaked My Hand (1:01:51)

Press-on Prosthetics (1:05:26)

Seeding the Prime Directive (1:07:00)

Taking Responsibility (1:18:20)

The Aftermath (1:22:56)

Final Thoughts (1:28:14)

Closing (1:34:00)

Direct download: trr-147.mp3
Category:Enterprise -- posted at: 7:57am MST