Captain's Log: Star Trek Features Articles in Audio


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September 2012
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Know what away teams damn near always carry? Tricorders for scannin’! Phasers for stunnin’! Communicators for squawkin’! Sometimes they even pack specialized tools for more potent self-defense. Know what away teams almost never carry, though? PADDs. The forgettable, un-sung heroes of the Star Trek universe.

Before 2010, anyone—even the more casual Trek fan—could be forgiven for forgetting what a PADD is. The devices represent the futuristic equivalent of a clipboard: a utilitarian, information-carrying slate no more remarkable to the citizens of the Federation than a cling-film sketch pad to us. At one time PADDs might have taken the crown of Star Trek’s Most Unremarkable Prop. That is, until humanity built a slew of more-capable devices… three centuries early.

Let’s take a look at the PADDs of today and the apps available to Trek-ify your mobile life. 

Direct download: cl-024.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

The fictional universe of Star Trek represents one possible future. That future has been assembled by numerous writers over the course of 45 years, six television series, and eleven feature films. When dealing with such a long span of time, so many contributors, and the evolving nature of society, it’s only natural that elements of this universe will change, stories will contradict one another, and early ambiguities will be filled in by later treks. Yet there is a prevailing feeling that every subsequent incarnation of Star Trek must adhere to its predecessors without fail. And when it doesn’t, the deviation can set off a firestorm within fandom. Let’s take a closer look at the fine line that writers walk and at some of the moments that have been labeled “rewriting Trek.”

Direct download: cl-023.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

Most people I’ve talked to would call finding the top five Star Trek: Voyager episodes a game of Boggle. “Shake the episodes and just pick five. They’re all the same level of garbage.” But there are a few, like myself, who look at Voyager and see classic SF adventure that has more to offer than just a rainbow-colored lizard chef. So here are my picks for the five best episodes.

Direct download: cl-022.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

William T. Riker always wanted his own command. It was his Number One priority—in terms of his career anyway. It’s hard to imagine the allure of the captain’s chair winning out over Minuet, Etana Jol, or certainly Deanna Troi. Yes, Riker’s love of women has been well documented over the years, but there is one other thread that ran through all of TNG: Riker’s desire to one day command his own ship. Fortunately, in the end, he didn’t have to choose. He got his ship and his Imzadi, too. But the road to that final destination was a long and winding one. Let’s take a look at just how that fourth pip landed on Riker’s collar to stay.

Direct download: cl-021.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

Troi and Riker. Paris and Torres. Worf and Dax. Janeway and Chakotay. Wait. Janeway and Chakotay? Yes… sort of. It’s the relationship that’s been the topic of an endless stream of discussion—and fan fiction—since the mid-1990s. If many viewers had been writing the scripts, Voyager’s two most senior officers would have been more than just colleagues on the bridge. But there were many reasons why the relationship never came to be. Voyager Editor Charlynn Schmiedt takes a look at the romantic tension that ran through seven seasons of life in the Delta Quadrant.

Direct download: cl-020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

We often hear scientists throwing around the fashionable statement that any alien civilization is going to be far advanced beyond our own. Such civilizations, they say, could be millions of years ahead of us. But what does it mean for a civilization to be a million years old? In this Captain’s Log we’ll examine an established method for classifying civilizations and find out where we are, where we’re headed, and just how far ahead of us those like the Iconians or that ancient humanoid played by Salome Jens may be.

Direct download: cl-019.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

If there is one truth in this universe, it’s that Star Trek fans want communicators. They really do! And software developers, electronic engineers, and corporate product designers have all responded to the call from Trekkies around the world to “make my cell phone a communicator!” There have been some false starts along the way, but now that technology has made that very thing possible two decades of repressed demand has resulted in an explosion of apps, custom props, and, yes—a “Star Trek phone” or two. Let’s take a look at the history of the cell phones progression toward communicator status, and what’s available out there to Trek-ify your mobile life.

Direct download: cl-018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT