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Masterpiece Science-Fiction Theater
64 minutes | Feb 24, 2022
StarTrek01.34–Post Season 1 Analysis Part 3: Diversity and Inclusivity
In this episode: This is an audio version of my essay, The Enterprise is not a White Space: why minority representation on Star Trek was so radical and risky in the 1960s. Much of American society, including genre TV and film, has historically been cordoned off into white spaces, which is a term coined by … Continue reading "StarTrek01.34–Post Season 1 Analysis Part 3: Diversity and Inclusivity"
31 minutes | Apr 18, 2020
StarTrek 01.33–Post Season 1 Analysis Part 2: World Building
In this episode: A complete analysis of World Building in Season One of Star Trek The Original Series: A Survey of all strange new worlds (30) and all new life forms and civilizations (25) A breakdown of categories for each, from barren desolate planets to advanced ones, and primitive aliens to evolved non-corporeals The State … Continue reading "StarTrek 01.33–Post Season 1 Analysis Part 2: World Building"
52 minutes | Jan 30, 2020
Star Trek 01.32–Post-Season 1 Analysis Part 1: Narrative Structure
In this episode: The first part of our post-season 1 analysis of Star Trek: The Original Series, with a focus on trends in narrative structure. Antagonist Type: There are more monster episodes than you might think, but the monsters and the villains are depicted in unconventional ways. Monster: 11/28 (39.2%) Villain: 9/28 (32.1%) Computer: 4/28 … Continue reading "Star Trek 01.32–Post-Season 1 Analysis Part 1: Narrative Structure"
31 minutes | Oct 3, 2019
StarTrek 01.31–Operation: Annihilate!
In this episode: an analysis of “Operation: Annihilate!” the last aired episode of Season One of Star Trek a fitting season finale (even though 60s TV did not really do those as we understand them) because it has a grand scale and important character development for all three leads–Kirk, Spock and McCoy–which is unusual a … Continue reading "StarTrek 01.31–Operation: Annihilate!"
56 minutes | Sep 2, 2019
StarTrek01.30–The City on the Edge of Forever
In this episode: An analysis of The City on the Edge of Forever: How the episode still lives up to the hype five decades later Edith Keillor voices Star Trek’s Mission Statement, and is a stand in for all Star Trek fans A comparison with Ellison’s script–the good, the bad and the ugly–especially Keillor, whom … Continue reading "StarTrek01.30–The City on the Edge of Forever"
31 minutes | Jun 22, 2019
StarTrek01.29–Errand of Mercy
In this episode: An analysis of Errand of Mercy. The origins of the Klingon culture–hint: another Vietnam-era analogy. The Klingon look–not just swarthy villain stereotypes NOTE: I did not address connections to Star Trek: Discovery in the podcast, due to time. But I have included quotes from the episode that speak how Kirk viewed the … Continue reading "StarTrek01.29–Errand of Mercy"
33 minutes | Mar 10, 2019
StarTrek01.28–The Devil in the Dark
In this episode: A literary analysis of The Devil in the Dark Everyone’s favorite silicone-based lifefrom, the Horta Roddenberry and his producers believed this episode provided Stark Trek with its organizing thesis about how to treat aliens and “the other” and the show, but I argue this thesis was marbled through the first season back … Continue reading "StarTrek01.28–The Devil in the Dark"
26 minutes | Jan 18, 2019
My initial throughs on Discovery’s second season premier, “Brother.” New and old characters on a new adventure. I also share some musings about where I think the season is headed thematically: the clash between secular society and religious faith. It may prove to be more controversial than a new Spock or the colors of the … Continue reading "Discovery005-Brother"
30 minutes | Jan 11, 2019
StarTrek01.27–This Side of Paradise
In this episode: This Side of Paradise a heavy sci-fi episode by TOS standards the third episode by Trek’s best woman writer, DC Fontana a counterpart to The Naked Time with strong Kirk and Spock character development A return to a major TOS theme: Life’s a bitch and you like it that way (ok, the … Continue reading "StarTrek01.27–This Side of Paradise"
45 minutes | Sep 8, 2018
StarTrek01.26–A Taste of Armageddon
In this episode: “A Taste of Armageddon” Another rare pure science-fiction Star Trek episode: a 500 year war waged by computers. While the Federation was first mentioned in “Arena” this episode is first to mention the full name: United Federation of Planets The message is not explicitly anti-war, but that if you are going to … Continue reading "StarTrek01.26–A Taste of Armageddon"
80 minutes | Aug 11, 2018
Space Seed: an episode that is not as good, and more problematic (#MeToo) than I remember it. Still a classic, but not a masterpiece. Excellent sci-fi elements: Most extreme and detailed “future history” Trek has ever attempted: Mid 1990s Eugenics Wars; a dictator from Northern India region (possibly a Sheikh), leading a band of genetic … Continue reading "StarTrek01.25–Space Seed"
54 minutes | Apr 30, 2018
StarTrek01.24–Third Quarter Analysis
In this episode, an analysis of the third quarter of Season 1 of Star Trek, where we cover the following episodes: The Menagerie Parts I and II Shore Leave The Squire of Gothos Arena The Alternative Factor Tomorrow is Yesterday The Return of the Archons We discuss narrative structure; science-fiction and technobabble elements; world building, … Continue reading "StarTrek01.24–Third Quarter Analysis"
56 minutes | Apr 3, 2018
Star Trek 01.23-Return of the Archons
In this podcast: The Return of the Archons One of Season One’s more science-fiction-y episodes, with many great Trekian themes Kirk talks a computer into frying its own circuits–not for the first or last time! One of Roddenberry’s top 10 episodes (of course he wrote it).
45 minutes | Mar 17, 2018
StarTrek01.22-Tomorrow Is Yesterday
In this podcast: The Star Trek franchise’s very first time-travel romp; sets the precedent for Trek’s mix of time travel and fish-out-of-water comedy; thoughts on why TOS’s long lasting narrative tropes need to be retired in the era of Star Trek: Discovery.
41 minutes | Mar 5, 2018
In this episode: The Alternative Factor, Star Trek’s first W.T.F episode. The plot is a mess, but it did give us one of TOS’s few strong female black guest roles, and that classic closing line… What of Lazarus…?
25 minutes | Jan 1, 2018
The X-Files 001) Late Season Mythology Plot Contrivances
In this podcast: Revisiting Season 8 of the X-Files, how Mulder was abducted and returned, then killed off and resurrected; how the mythology can convey great drama and pathos, but the ultimate end points and explanations ring hollow in late seasons.
63 minutes | Dec 22, 2017
004) Star Trek Discovery – Plot Contrivances or “is that all there is?”
In this podcast, a discussion of the narrative structure of the first half of season one. Serialized Frame with Stand Alone Episodes 1-2: Premier (Prologue) 3-5: Ripper Arc 6-8: Stand Alone Arc 9: Fall Finale (Chapter 1 Conclusion) Pacing Every episode has that fast-paced, must-defuse-the-bomb-in time segment: Pacing (ticking clock) Moral Decision Point Premier 1 … Continue reading "004) Star Trek Discovery – Plot Contrivances or “is that all there is?”"
44 minutes | Nov 28, 2017
20) Star Trek Season 1: “Arena”
In this podcast: An analysis of “Arena” with strong elements of science-fiction, theme, and world building (including the first mention of the Federation and Photon Torpedoes). Plus a major Star Trek: Discovery easter egg: how to watch “Arena” as a companion piece to Discovery’s two-part premier.
29 minutes | Oct 11, 2017
003) Star Trek Discovery-Lorca’s Wibble
In this podcast, my “not a fan, not not a fan” cohost Vince and I discuss the first three episodes of Discovery: Burnham’s No-Win Scenario Our hopes and predictions Vince’s impressive knowledge of Lord of the Ring and Harry Potter trivia
54 minutes | Oct 7, 2017
19) Star Trek Season 1: “The Squire of Gothos”
In this episode: A literary analysis of The Squire of Gothos, from Vietnam analogies to connections to Q. Two Star Trek: Discovery easter eggs the writers snuck into TOS 50 years before Discovery was created. Really.
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