Captain's Log: Star Trek Features Articles in Audio (general)


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September 2020
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Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of his Enterprise faced many villains including demi-god aliens, self-aware holodeck characters, and Data’s cat, Spot. But one of the reoccurring “baddies” of The Next Generation were those fashionistas of the 24th century: Starfleet admirals. Which begs the question: Do you sell your soul once you get promoted above that fourth pip? In this Captain's Log Phillip Gilfus takes us through the history of Starfleet's belt buckle-wearing top brass and how they've made life hard for our heroes. That's right. "Badmirals" are reporting for duty.

Direct download: cl-028.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm MDT

With Microsoft recently developing a basic “holo-desk” program that allows users to manipulate 3-D computer-generated objects, a second look has been given to Star Trek holodeck programs and their uses.  Whether holodecks were used for training, medical programs, sports and recreation, the re-creation of real-life characters, novels, childrens’ entertainment and learning, or even sex, the programs filled a need in starship crews’ lives. In this Captain’s Log we take a look at the those times when the holodeck was used well, those times when it wasn’t, and those moments that simply left you shaking your head.

Direct download: cl-027.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

When Voyager premiered in January 1995 it brought with it a bold new approach to Star Trek. By tossing aside the familiar surroundings and races of the Alpha Quadrant, the writers could unchain themselves from the 300+ hours of Star Trek that had come before. It was to be an opportunity to explore strange new worlds in a way not seen since the original five-year mission of Kirk and Spock. But something happened along the way, and where we ended up isn’t exactly where we thought we were going. In this Captain’s Log, Christopher Jones takes a critical look back at the series from the perspective of “Endgame.”

Direct download: cl-026.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

The first season of Voyager brought us a wide variety of stories as Janeway and her crew learned to deal with life in the Delta Quadrant. Some were hits and some were misses. In this Captain’s Log, Voyager Editor Charlynn Schmiedt takes a look at how the overall ratings stack up for Voyager’s initial outing.

Direct download: cl-025.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

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
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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

Captain Janeway went through quite a few hairstyles over the course of Voyager. Mulgrew has explained that the nervousness about her hair was more about the producers’ nervousness about putting a woman in the captain’s seat; and instead of admitting that issue they focused on perfecting her appearance. Here’s a look at the many styles that adorned Kathryn’s crown.

Direct download: cl-017.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm MDT

It has been ten years since the last episode of Star Trek: Voyager aired. With the exception of convention appearances, the world of Trek no longer consumes the cast’s lives. Here’s a look at what the actors and actresses behind the Voyager crew have been up to over the past decade.

Direct download: cl-016.mp3
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He is a beloved fan favorite, and he was also a favorite of his Star Trek co-stars. He was considered a quintessential Southern gentleman, and a selfless, intelligent actor. DeForest Kelley took the character of Dr. McCoy and made him his own. He developed McCoy from the ground up, and when you’re watching Bones be Bones, you’re watching Kelley be Kelley. Dr. McCoy is also a true Southern gentleman because of the man portraying him. Here are ten things you might not have known about our hero, De Kelley.

Direct download: cl-015.mp3
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Asking a fan to name the five best episodes of a Star Trek series is like asking Quark which Rules of Acquisition are the best. There are too many that lead to profit to choose just five. Neverthless, I’m going to set out to name five of the best episodes from DS9.

Direct download: cl-013.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm MDT

Asking a fan to name the five best episodes of a Star Trek series is like asking Barclay which holodeck program is the best escape from reality. There are too many good ones to choose just five. Neverthless, I’m going to set out to name five of the best episodes from TNG.

Direct download: cl-012.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm MDT

Asking a fan to name the five best episodes of a Star Trek series is like asking Troi which chocolate dessert she likes best. There are too many good ones to choose just five. Neverthless, I’m going to set out to name five of the best episodes from TOS.

Direct download: cl-011.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm MDT

“It brings a madness which rips away our veneer of civilization. It is the pon farr… the time of mating.” Fans of Star Trek: The Original Series are familiar with the episode “Amok Time,” which delves into Spock’s background and shows a never-before-seen Vulcan vulnerability. It’s a serious matter—a matter of biology. And what is being said here today, no outworlder must know. Vulcans do not even discuss it amongst themselves! So brace yourself, and send the kids to the other room.

Direct download: cl-010.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm MDT

Part role playing, part fan fiction, Twitterfic can be kind of a tough concept to wrap your head around until you’ve seen it in action. Though Twitterfic is not a game, the conventional description for what they do is “role play,” and it must be within 140 characters.

Direct download: cl-09.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm MDT

If there’s one distinct impression that Star Trek: Voyager left on the audience, it’s that perhaps the series should have been called Star Trek: Borg. But is this really true? Was Voyager really assimilated by the Borg? In this Captain’s Log we take a look at the Borg on Voyager and find out just to what extent their nanoprobes infiltrated this chapter in the Star Trek saga.

Direct download: cl-08.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm MDT

Wanna find out the truth? There’s an Orb for that. How about traveling back in time to meet your hero? There’s an Orb for that, too. In fact there are Orbs for all sorts of things you may want to do… if you’re Bajoran. One of the unique aspects of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was the inclusion of religion and spirituality. Here we take a look at the ten Orbs of the Prophets.

Direct download: cl-07.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm MDT