The Ready Room: A Star Trek Podcast (general)

Marking our 10th anniversary.

Many people say that time flies. Doctor Tolian Soran said that time is the fire in which we burn. Whichever you subscribe to, time moves forward and people—as well as their views—change. On May 31, 2011, we aired the first episode of The Ready Room. What began as a singular podcast hosted by two hew-mons—C Bryan Jones and Greg Harbin—evolved into the network and more than 30 shows.

In this episode of The Ready Room, airing on the 10th anniversary of the premiere, C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek,—who first appeared on the show in episode 2 during a segment about his documentary The Con of Wrath and then made his first full-length appearance in episode 19 to discuss the Star Trek pendulum—mark a decade of discussion by returning to the key topics of those early podcasts from 2011. We deep-dive into Star Trek's return to television—and how the prospects and probable format seemed in 2011 vs. what we actually got—as well as which way the fan pendulum is swinging today. We also talk about screen vs. visual canon, whether Star Trek is an historical piece, dealing with toxic fandom, the status of The Con of Wrath, and more.

C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek

C Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Renee Roberts (Associate Producer)

Direct download: trr-232.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:08am MDT


We all want to escape from our lives sometimes. What if you could really do it? What if you couldn’t remember the life you left behind? And what if it was all against your will? That’s what happens to the crew of the Starship Voyager in the seventh-season episode “Workforce.”

In this episode of The Ready Room, hosts C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek are joined by Kay Elizabeth Shaw of To The Journey and Bruce Gibson of Literary Treks to discuss this story of the Voyager crew’s other life as employees of a power facility on the planet Quarra.

In our extended news segment, Chris and Larry share their thoughts on the Star Trek: Discovery trailer presented at CBS upfronts, the international Netflix version of the trailer, the new look of the Klingons, and more.

Intro (00:00:00)
The Star Trek: Discovery Trailer (00:01:48)
Made for Upfronts (00:06:04)
The Kelvin Look (00:13:43)
Characters: Michael Burnham, Lt. Saru, and More (00:22:00)
The Klingons (00:34:02)
The Most Ambitious Star Trek Ever? (00:42:24)

Initial Thoughts (00:50:45)
Personality Parallels (00:58:08)
Backstories? (01:13:04)
Janeway and Jaffen (01:18:20)
A Meat By-product Tangent (01:24:18)
Emergency Command Hologram (01:28:07)
A Meandering Story? (01:30:55)
Final Thoughts (01:49:45)
Closing (02:08:28)

C Bryan Jones and Larry Nemecek

Kay Elizabeth Shaw and Bruce Gibson

C Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Renee Roberts (Associate Producer) Zachary Fruhling (Associate Producer) Sam Piassick (Associate Producer) Kay Elizabeth Shaw (Associate Producer) Tim Robertson (Associate Producer) David Shuford (Associate Producer) Joo Kim (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)

Direct download: trr-212.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:03am MDT

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 MDT

129: I'm a Reporter, Not a Doctor!

Message In a Bottle.

Ever since the Doctor got his hands on a 29th-century mobile holo-emitter, he had been itching for more away-mission action. And he finally got his chance to get far away from the ship—really far away—in the fourth-season episode “Message In a Bottle.” Thanks to Seven’s discovery of an abandoned alien relay network, the crew found a possible link to a Starfleet ship in the Alpha Quadrant; but only the Doctor could made the trip. Waiting for him on the other side of that network was Matthew from NewsRadio. Sounds like the perfect set up for an episode of Star Trek, right? In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Charlynn Schmiedt and Daniel Proulx to discuss this humorous Voyager outing, how it served the Doctor's character development, the technological eye candy it gave us, and how it served as a set-up for a number of far more serious storylines down the road.

In news we look at Scott Bakula's new starring role in the NCIS spinoff set in New Orleans, find out why Spock is riding a unicorn, try to figure out just what Commander Riker is selling in a bizarre YouTube video, check in on Star Trek Continues' second episode premiere, hear what Ronald D. Moore says about Trek returning to television, and take a look at the Star Trek (2009) Masterworks Edition Blu-ray that is coming to Europe.

Direct download: trr-129.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

128: Retconning Life

The Wire.

One of the most fascinating characters in Star Trek is the Cardassian tailor Garak. From the moment he was introduced in the second episode of DS9, “Past Prologue,” it was clear this was going to be a special character. There are many great episodes featuring him, but one the most telling is “The Wire,” a second-season episode focusing on his near death from a malfunctioning brain implant. Ironically, many fans disliked this episode when it first aired because they said they learned nothing new about Garak. In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by John Mills and Ben McCormick to discuss "The Wire," the interplay between Garak and Bashir, the messages about drug addiction, recovery, spying (it's not just for the Obsidian Order!), and what insights Garak's ever-changing stories offer into who he really is.

In news we find out about a deal to keep Star Trek on Amazon Prime, the 1st Annual L.A. Sci-Fest and its Star Trek connections, the fourth birthday of Star Trek Online, and Chris Pine's hopes for a darker Kirk in the next Star Trek film. Plus, we remember long-time Star Trek props master Joe Longo.

Direct download: trr-128.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

127: Wesley Crusher’s Magic Vortex

Remember Me.

Beverly Crusher was an underused character on The Next Generation. So much so that the few episodes in which she did play a leading role go largely forgotten—or are remembered for some other aspect or character’s part. Such is the case with the fourth-season episode “Remember Me,” a story that mixes science, philosophy, and perhaps a little romance, then swirls it around in a magic vortex created by Wesley Crusher. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Phillip Gilfus, Charlynn Schmiedt, and Tyler Johnson to discuss “Remember Me,” how it serves as part two of The Traveler Trilogy, how it feels more like a stage play than a television show, and how the behavior of the crew in Beverly’s alternate reality reflect her views of those around her—especially Picard.

In news we discuss Star Trek Into Darkness’s Oscar nomination for visual effects, the addition of the Next Generation cast to Star Trek Las Vegas 2014, a secretly filmed fan-made documentary from 1988, the next feature-length TNG Blu-ray release (hint: there are FOUR lights!), and at last the full details on the Enterprise Season 4 Blu-ray extras. Plus, we remember Filmation founder and Star Trek: The Animated Series director Hal Sutherland.

Direct download: trr-127.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

126: Fresh Ears In the Morning

Inside Amok Time with Marc Cushman.

One of the most famous afflictions in Star Trek is the pon farr—also known as the Vulcan Seven Year Itch. And one of the most famous episodes of TOS is the one that introduced us to the pon farr, “Amok Time.” We’ve discussed this episode on The Ready Room before in our show titled “All Roads Lead to Stonn.” But In this episode of The Ready Room we take an inside look at “Amok Time” with Marc Cushman, author of These Are the Voyages: TOS—The Definitive Guide to Gene Roddenberry's Original Television Masterpiece.

In news we discuss Scott Chambliss’s nomination for the Art Directors Guild Excellence In Production Design Award for his work on Star Trek Into Darkness, choose the best guest star from a Star Trek film, and find out why one North Carolina mayor is so upset over the resignation of a council member. We also remember three members of the Star Trek family who we lost since our last show, actors Joseph Ruskin and James Avery, and producer Marty Hornstein.

Direct download: trr-126.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

124: A License to Eff with Time


Time travel has always been a mainstay of Star Trek storytelling. Starting with “The Naked Time” on TOS all the way to “Storm Front” on Enterprise, our crews have brought us no fewer than 50 flavors of temporal treats. Voyager is tied with TNG for the most time travel outings, and half of these were named to Star Trek 101’s list of Ten Essential Voyager Episodes. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Charlynn Schmiedt, Tristan Riddell, and John Mills to discuss one of the most fun—and perhaps most confusing—of these, “Relativity.” From the episode’s start as a “Caretaker” prequel to the Minority Report twist, we debate the pacing, the writing, and revel in the fun of the 29th century.

In news we take a look at some new Voyager fine art prints from Generation Gallery, explore the 8-bit galaxy with Star Trek: Trexels, and discuss LeVar Burton’s support for AIDS research and the contest that lets you win lunch with LeVar. Plus we get an update on Larry Nemecek’s Trekland Trunk and preview “Wolf In the Fold” and “The Trouble With Tribbles” from Five Year Mission’s Year Three.

Direct download: trr-124.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

123: Sitting With the Dead

The Ship.

We don’t often see our DS9 heroes in bright sunlight nor do we see ships buried in the side of mountains. But early in the fifth season of Deep Space Nine we got both rolled up into one as part of a story that would deliver both a tough character moment for O’Brien and a tool the Federation would use late in the Dominion War. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Michael Fisher, Ben McCormick, and John Mills to discuss “The Ship,” the production challenges faced by the staff and the actors, the hits and misses of this story about a siege, flaring tempers, and death, the always unpredictable nature of the Vorta, and the pettiness of war.

In news we take some intriguing new Star Trek-themed Hot Wheels cars for a spin, share our thoughts on J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay—the two new writers for the next Abramsverse Star Trek film—and we jam out on the new Vulcan Harp iPad app. Plus, we preview “The Deadly Years” and “Obsession” from Five Year Mission’s Year Three.

Direct download: trr-123.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

122: They’ve Leflerized the World

The Game.

Robin Lefler only made two appearances on TNG, yet became a fan-favorite thanks to a charming performance by Ashley Judd in “The Game.” When Riker’s Risian escapades endangered the Enterprise—and indeed all of Starfleet—someone had to lay down the laws and put things right. So we’re all lucky Lefler was there. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by the crew of our TNG show Earl Grey—Daniel Proulx, Darren Moser, and Phillip Gilfus—to discuss the fifth season Next Generation episode, how Robin and Wesley make the perfect geek date, how the episode foreshadows technology addiction and the modern world of smartphone-gazing, the problem with Data’s off switch, why the crew is so happy to see Wesley back on the ship, and why Worf is so proud of his cake. Remember, he made it himself.

In news we discuss the TNG cast reunion that William Shatner will host at Destination Star Trek Germany, share our thoughts on the Star Trek: Renegades teaser trailer, and preview “Journal to Babel” and “Friday’s Child” from Five Year Mission’s Year Three. Plus, we answer Questions from the Fleet to choose the best starship design, and Larry Nemecek and Teras Cassidy pop in to talk about Geek Nation Tours.

Direct download: trr-122.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

121: For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched Spock’s Brain

Five Year Mission: Year Three.

At long last the wait is over. It’s been two years since Five Year Mission, the Indianapolis-based TOS tribute band, launched their sophomore effort, Year Two. Building on the great success of Year One, the second album highlighted the growth in sound and took FYM in new creative directions. So anticipation has been high for the band’s third album; and at last they’ve cleared all moorings. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Five Year Mission themselves for a preview of Year Three and find out how the album came together, how the process differed from the past, and what inspired the sound of each track. Plus, the band gives us live acoustic performances of four tracks: “The Gamesters of Triskelion,” “I, Mudd,” “Metamorphosis,” and “The Doomsday Machine.” We also get hints of what’s to come on Year Four, plus a “Spock’s Brain” EP and an apparent obsession over “For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky.”

In news we run down some great gift ideas for the Star Trek fan on your holiday shopping list and discuss the recent poll about favorite cliffhangers from the franchise.

Direct download: trr-121.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

120: Continuum Childcare

The Squire of Gothos.

Dealing with powerful aliens, computers, and the temper tantrums of children are all in a day’s work for Kirk and the Enterprise crew. But how about rolling them all into one? That’s what happened when the mysterious planet Gothos found its way into the path of the Enterprise—or vice versa—in the “The Squire of Gothos.” In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Charlynn Schmiedt, Drew Stewart, and John Mills to discuss Kirk’s run-in with the Paramount props department and General Trelane (retired), his assumption that a machine was behind all the tricks, the casting of William Campbell, and whether or not Trelane is a Q. We also choose the time periods that would be our own obsessions and uncover the true history of Earth’s salt vampire-infested past.

In news we check in on Syfy’s plans for a Thanksgiving-weekend Star Trek movie marathon, the release of Anthony Montgomery’s new film Chariot, full details on the Enterprise Season Three Blu-ray extras, and we preview two more tracks from Five Year Mission’s upcoming album Year Three. Plus, we remember Star Trek: The Motion Picture casting director Marvin Paige.

Direct download: trr-120.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

119: Neutronic Wave Mode

The Catwalk.

One of the goals in writing for any series is to tell stories that can’t be told anywhere else. With its early technology and proximity to our own time, Enterprise had an opportunity to put characters into situations that the other series couldn’t. One great example is the idea of a ship lost at sea facing a terrible storm, and this challenge of early exploration was examined in the second-season episode “The Catwalk.” In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Matthew Rushing and Larry Nemecek to discuss “The Catwalk,” how the crew of the NX-01 had to adapt when their technology was not advanced enough to save them, and how tough circumstances brought the crew together. We also delve into Human-Vulcan relationships, the sexual tension between T’Pol and Archer (or lack thereof), the relationship between T’Pol and Trip, and how it all leads to Amanda and Sarek.

In news we find out about Armin Shimerman’s new film project, Diani & Devine Meet The Apocalypse, Kate Mulgrew’s plans to write her memoirs, J.G. Hertzler’s election to office in New York state, and we answer some Questions from the Fleet. We also preview two tracks from Five Year Mission’s upcoming album Year Three.

Direct download: trr-119.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

84: Holographic American History Month

The Killing Game.

The introduction of the Hirogen to Voyager brought an interesting and formidable new foe to challenge Janeway and her crew. In their fourth appearance, these hunters put the Voyager crew through a series of holographic challenges culminating in a reenactment of World War II. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Charlynn Schmiedt to discuss “The Killing Game,” getting the cast out of makeup, Harry Kim’s Magical Morphing Power Grid, the ethical dilemma of giving the Hirogen Federation technology, and the serious philosophical debate about the paths of society that is hidden carefully at certain points in the story. Oh, and we also reflect upon Jeri Ryan’s lips.

In news we look at La-La Land Records’ new 4-CD collection of music from DS9, upcoming TNG Blu-rays, the Best of Both Worlds theatrical event, the Star Trek Into Darkness iPhone app, and what we learned from the Into Darkness Super Bowl spot. Plus, we reveal the true reason that Chase Masteron has been seen wearing headphones in recording studios recently.

Direct download: trr-084.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

60: Space Monkeys and Mimes

The Last Outpost.

When The Next Generation premiered the writers attempted to establish a new archenemy for the crew. Unfortunately, the introduction turned into a disaster. Reference to the Ferengi was made in the series pilot, but conflicting views on what this enemy should be like—and mindboggling choices by the director—turned what was meant to be fear and menance into comedic gold. It’s too bad, too, because the story that introduced the Ferengi had a lot of potential. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Charlynn Schmiedt to discuss “The Last Outpost,” where it succeeds in connecting with the best of Star Trek, and where it went terribly wrong.

In news we cover LeVar Burton’s gift to The Ready Room—an on-stage barrel roll—La-la Land Records’ upcoming 15-disc collection of TOS music, the CBS and Netflix renewal of Star Trek streaming, Larry Nemecek’s new “TREKLAND: On Speaker” interview collection, and Rod Roddenberry’s new podcast Mission Log. Plus our roving reporter Sara Van Cleve calls in live from Star Trek Las Vegas, and we debate what costume Greg should wear to next year’s con. 

Direct download: trr-060.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm MDT

54: Drinking Balok's Kool-Aid

The Corbomite Maneuver.

Think Kirk and the first thing that comes to mind just might be fisticuffs. While this may have been his first course of action in many cases, Kirk was also a thinking man. This important characteristic of leadership—and the one that came to define him in the long term—was on display from the very start of The Original Series in “The Corbomite Maneuver.” Sure, Kirk could have beamed over and pounded Balok into submission, but instead he outmaneuvered the threat to his ship intellectually. By changing the game from chess to poker, Kirk gained the upper hand—and he didn’t even have to resort to “phaser weapons.” As an added bonus, he got a glass of tranya for his efforts. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Charlynn Schmiedt and Drew Stewart to discuss “The Corbomite Maneuver” and the quick start out of the gates by TOS. 

In news we cover the latest Star Trek London developments, Leonard Nimoy discussing The Wrath of Khan at the LA Film Festival, Jonathan Frakes on the evolution of Riker, the updated Communicator iPhone app from CBS, cast changes on Star Trek: Phase II, new uses from Star Trek drinkware from GiftTrek.Net,and some movie news and rumors. Plus Greg pulls out his guitar and performs his new song “Balok’s Ballad.”

Direct download: trr-054.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm MDT

34: Borg School Dropouts


As a prequel series Enterprise had to perform a delicate balancing act. While on the one hand it had to serve as a lead-in to everything we knew from TOS onward, it also had to be entertaining and not be so rigidly locked into the vast canon of Star Trek as to cripple the writers. The appearance of the Borg on the series in the second season set off a firestorm even before the episode aired. The move is easily dismissed as an attempt by writers devoid of new ideas to grab a popular element from the 24th century for their own benefit. In reality, however, this was a case of Enterprise fulfilling its purpose of tying up loose ends from other series. In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Michael Fisher as we discuss the episode “Regeneration” and how it fits into the bigger Star Trek universe.

In news we cover Levar Burton receiving the Tufts University Eliot-Pearson Award, Patrick Stewart’s appearance on BBC “Hard Talk,” Scott Bakula signing on to Star Trek Las Vegas 2012, Jordan Hoffman’s One Trek Mind Top Tear-jerking Moments, and a bag full of movie news and rumors. Plus, we go where no dog has gone before. 

Direct download: trr-034.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT