The Ready Room: A Star Trek Podcast
146: We've All Done the Scarecrow

Death Wish.

When Voyager premiered, it seemed a given that the fan-favorite Q would turn up on the series. But the producers were cautious in using John de Lancie’s character yet again. As loved as Q was, he always ran the risk of being a one-verse song played over and over—a danger highlighted by his single appearance on Deep Space Nine. The door to Q’s return was finally opened by an unexpected hand, that of Michael Piller’s son, Shawn. Having overheard his dad pondering the problem, he began pitching the idea that became “Death Wish.” And from this idea grew one of the most poignant Q episodes in all of Star Trek.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Charlynn Schmiedt, Suzanne Abbott, and Scott Hertzog of The SciFi Diner to discuss how Q's character grew through this story that tackles some very difficult and divisive issues, including assisted suicide, treatment of prisoners, and the rights of individuals versus the good of society.

In our news segment we take a look at Cross Cult's new covers for Kirsten Beyer's Full Circle and Unworthy, discuss how Data may have gotten his Federation citizenship (as described by "The Measure of a Man" writer Melinda Snodgrass), and ponder a proposed perfect RetKHAN to Star Trek Into Darkness.

Direct download: trr-146.mp3
Category:Voyager -- posted at: 1:56am MDT

145: Visions from an Alien God


When we visited Deep Space 9 for the very first time, Picard made it clear to Sisko that his mission was to do everything, short of violating the Prime Directive, to prepare Bajor for admission into the Federation. It took five seasons, but finally Bajor's petition was approved and the ceremony was set to take place—at least until the Emissary began having visions. After becoming obsessed with ancient Bajoran symbols, Captain Sisko found the lengendary city of B'hala, lost for 20 millennia, in a matter of days. Along the way he saw past, present, and future as one, drew the ire of Starfleet, and stopped Bajor from signing on the dotted line.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by John Mills, Alice Baker, and Daniel Handlin to discuss the fifth-season episode "Rapture," Sisko's gradual acceptance of his role in the Bajoran religion, Starfleet's discomfort with having a captain walk amongst an alien society as a god, get a rare glimpse into a not (fully) evil Kai Winn, and ponder why admirals can't act.

In our news segment we take a look a NASA's warp ship design concept, the IXS Enterprise, visit the Mirror Universe with Star Trek Continues, and explore the Enterprise-D 8 bits at a time.

Direct download: trr-145.mp3
Category:Deep Space Nine -- posted at: 4:11am MDT

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 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