Earl Grey 96: Not So Wacky Doodle

Chaos on the Bridge.

Star Trek on television again? What a wacky-doodle idea! 

So begins the documentary "William Shatner Presents: Chaos on the Bridge" that interviews all the major players involved in the creation of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Shatner interviews the studio presidents, executives, producers, writers, and actors involved in making TNG and charts the story of the first three seasons of the television series. The film concentrates on the late Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and his interactions in making Next Gen possible, interspersed with a country twang soundtrack and illustrations that depict those interactions from 1986 to 1990.   

Darren, Phillip, and Daniel review the documentary itself and discuss their reactions to Shatner's interviews. They discuss Roddenberry's approach to Star Trek, how other people affected that vision for good and ill, and how all the "behind the scenes" conflict contributed to what we saw on screen from "Encounter at Farpoint" to "The Best of Both Worlds, Part I." So ante up with your poker chips, get our your banjo, and join Earl Grey as they discuss "Chaos on the Bridge."  

Hosts
Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

Editor / Producer
Darren Moser

Executive Producers
Norman C. Lao, Matthew Rushing, & C Bryan Jones

Production Manager
Richard Marquez
 
Content Manager

Will Nguyen


Chapters

The Right Captain For The Job (00:02:57)
Roasting Gene Roddenberry (00:16:14)
A DS9 Gotee Actually (00:21:26)
The Best of Both Worlds (00:38:13)
1 to 5 (00:47:51)
Closing (00:57:52)

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Direct download: eg-096.mp3
Category:Art -- posted at: 12:53am MST

Earl Grey 95: awayteamnospace

Echoes from the Past.

When it comes to Star Trek-based video games, there are many hits, misses, and self-destructs. In 1994, Star Trek: The Next Generation came to the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo (SNES) video game consoles. Daniel, Darren, and Phillip fire up their Sega Genesis emulators and discuss the game play of "Echoes from the Past." From the graphics, bridge mechanics, "awayteam" adventures, ship battles, and solving puzzle after endless puzzle, this game captures many TNG elements, including a storyline that resembles the season six episode "The Chase." 

Earl Grey also discusses the game's music, what could have been improved, and how it compares to its sister game, SNES' "Future's Past." They also debate how it compares to 21st century Trek-based games, whether "Echoes from the Past" is a "must play" for die-hard Next Gen-ers, and why the tactical station on the NCC-1701-D needs to be in a different spot. Fire up your emulators, meet Captain Picard in his darkened ready room, and join this episode about Sega Genesis' "Echoes from the Past."
 

Hosts
Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

Editor / Producer
Darren Moser

Executive Producers
Norman C. Lao, Matthew Rushing, & C Bryan Jones

Production Manager
Richard Marquez
 
Content Manager

Will Nguyen


Chapters

Overview (00:10:02)

Story (00:30:06)

Game (00:43:22)

Final Thoughts (00:53:11)


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Twitter: @trekfm
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Direct download: eg-095.mp3
Category:Game -- posted at: 11:45pm MST

Earl Grey 94: The Fire In Which We Burn

Ageing in TNG.

The writers of The Next Generation, despite being mostly young men, crafted several stories that tackle the nature of growing older. Phillip, Darren, and Daniel analyze how the movies and television episodes treat the issue of ageing in the 24th century. The inaugural TNG film, Star Trek: Generations, features Captain James T. Kirk dealing with life transitions (and death), Captain Jean-Luc Picard struggling with issues of family and mortality, and the antagonist Dr. Tolian Soran sacrificing entire planets to kill the "predator" of time. The third film, Star Trek: Insurrection, is centrally focused on the idea of a "fountain of youth," and theEnterprise-E crew, as well as the Son'a and Baku, react to "growing younger" in different ways. 

The Earl Grey trio also examine such episodes as "Half a Life" and "Relics" which pose questions about the treatment of older people in society. There are also the story-lines in "Rascals" that deal with "lost youth," with both Ensign Ro and Picard struggling with the consequences of a second childhood. Along with "Too Short a Season," this episode talks about bad "old age" make-up, being considered middle age on alien planets, and how certain scripts could have been improved.       

Hosts
Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

Editor / Producer
Darren Moser

Executive Producers
Norman C. Lao, Matthew Rushing, & C Bryan Jones

Production Manager
Richard Marquez
 
Content Manager

Will Nguyen


Chapters

Generations (00:03:41)
Insurrection (00:18:24)
Half a Life (00:32:42)
Too Short a Season (00:41:57)
Rascals (00:45:26)
Relics (00:48:48)
Unification (00:57:21)
The Offspring (00:59:46)

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Twitter: @trekfm
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Direct download: eg-094.mp3
Category:Starfleet -- posted at: 11:25pm MST

Earl Grey 93: Port Side Rules Starboard Drools

Single Use Sets.

The U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701-D, is one of the largest starships in 24th century Starfleet. It makes sense that viewers only got to see certain sections of the ship during its seven years on television. In this episode, Darren, Daniel, and Phillip go through the various parts of the ship (and re-dressed sets) that were only rarely seen. From the seldom used battle bridge (with its accompanying Ensign Miles O'Brien action figure) to the torpedo bay featured in the episode "In Theory," these sets were used as other ship rooms throughout TNG and other Star Trekincarnations. The trio also explore the sensor maintenance room ("Lonely Among Us"), the warp nacelle interior ("Eye of the Beholder"), the planetary sciences lab ("Pen Pals"), and the gymnasium, which was often used for patri-combat purposes ("The Icarus Factor").  

This tour of one-off locations also includes the docking port seen in "11001001" and the battle bridge access turbolift. Earl Grey ends up discovering a ship-wide rivalry that literally splits the ship into half, causing all to choose a side. Join this episode for the "blink and you miss it" parts of our favorite Galaxy-class starship as the once used sets of Next Gen are discussed.

Hosts
Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

Editor / Producer
Darren Moser

Executive Producers
Norman C. Lao, Matthew Rushing, & C Bryan Jones

Production Manager
Richard Marquez
 
Content Manager

Will Nguyen


Chapters

Battle Bridge (00:03:41)
Redress (00:10:20)
Torpedo Bay (00:16:57)
Sensor Maintenance (00:21:41)
Warp Nacelle (00:25:47)
Competition (00:30:39)
Planetary Sciences Lab (00:38:12)
Gymnasium (00:40:22)
Docking Port (00:51:53)
Emergency Turbolift to Battlebridge (00:54:47)

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Direct download: eg-093.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 10:36pm MST

Earl Grey 92: Judge, Jury and ExeQutioner

The Trial.

Star Trek: The Next Generation is one of the few Trek series to begin and end with the same story - being put on trial by Judge Q. "Encounter at Farpoint" inaugurates the seven seasons of TNG on television with the accusation that humanity is a "dangerous, savage, child race." While the two-hour pilot attempts to refute that charge, the missions of the Enterprise-D can be seen through the lens of those accusations. The finale of "All Good Things..." sees Judge Q telling Captain Jean-Luc Picard that the trial never reached a verdict ... until now, and that humanity is found guilty of being "inferior." Once again, the Next Gen crew must solve a puzzle, one that spans three different time periods, in order to prove that humanity has indeed evolved.

Daniel, Darren, and Phillip join the jury in examining how Q's trial informs what we learn from our favorite Trek series. Do we believe this crew best represents 24th Century humanity? And does humanity simply refer to Terrans or to all of the flagship crew, from andriods to Klingons to Betazoids? Are the "criminal" accusations the same or different in both the pilot and the series finale? Earl Greydeliberates on a verdict of humanity's fate in this episode spanning the entire television run of TNG.
 

Hosts
Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

Editor / Producer
Darren Moser

Executive Producers
Norman C. Lao, Matthew Rushing, & C Bryan Jones

Production Manager
Richard Marquez
 
Content Manager

Will Nguyen


Chapters

The Trial (00:07:02)
Judge, Jury and ExeQutioner (00:11:04)
TNG Bookends (00:32:32)
Closing Arguments (00:45:39)

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Direct download: eg-092.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 1:09am MST

Earl Grey 91: Fake It 'Til You Make It

Command Styles.

When it comes to command, Captain Jean-Luc Picard is the pinnacle of Starfleet captains. However, many times in The Next Generation, Picard and his first officer Will Riker turn over command to other members of their crew. Phillip, Daniel, and Darren analyze the command styles of the other personnel who sat in the center seat of the U.S.S. Enterprise, and other starships, during various missions. 

They study second officer Lt. Commander Data's command tenure on both theEnterprise and the Sutherland ("Redemption, Part 2" and "Gambit, Parts 1 and 2"), Commander Beverly Crusher's time in the captain's chair ("Descent, Parts 1 and 2" and "All Good Things..."), Lt. Commander Deanna Troi's turn in command ("Disaster"), and Lieutenant junior grade Geordi LaForge's time as acting captain ("Arsenal of Freedom"). Earl Grey also discusses that other captain of theEnterprise-D, Captain Edward Jellico ("Chain of Command, Parts 1 and 2"). 

How did these commanders handle people? What challenges did many of them overcome as first time captains? How many of them consulted Livingston for advice in the ready room? Put on your red shirt so you can tug on it, as Earl Greydiscusses the command styles in TNG.

Hosts
Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

Editor / Producer
Darren Moser

Executive Producers
Norman C. Lao, Matthew Rushing, & C Bryan Jones

Production Manager
Richard Marquez
 
Content Manager

Will Nguyen


Chapters

Data (Second Officer) (00:03:50)
Beverly Crusher (Commander)  (00:18:36)
Deanna Troi (Lt Commander/Commander) (00:24:57)
Geordi La Forge (Lt. Jr. Grade/Lt/Lt Commander) (00:32:02)
Edward Jellico (Captain) (00:38:02)
Final Thoughts (00:48:38)

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Direct download: eg-091.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 12:02am MST

Earl Grey 90: The Fandom Experience

The Fandom Experience.

When it comes to experiencing the different levels of fandom of The Next Generation, it's safe to say that "the sky's the limit." Darren, Phillip, and Daniel explore the various ways of expressing TNG and general Star Trek fandom. They talk cosplaying (even including wearing a blue shirt!), attending Trek/general scifi & comic conventions, and what it's like to be members of a fan association like Starfleet International (www.sfi.org). Darren and Phillip share their personal SFI experiences, including the various types of chapters and methods of membership.

Earl Grey also discusses their own Trek game experiences, including the trio playing Star Trek Scene-It, the Last Unicorn version of a TNG tabletop role-playing game, #BridgeMates, and Star Trek: The Next Generation Interactive VCR Board Game: A Klingon Challenge. They also speculate on what the official Earl Grey fan club would look like, what it would be called, and imagine their Mirror Universe Star Wars podcast.  So grab that Starfleet uniform from the closet, purchase your con ticket, and update your Next Gen RPG character sheet as Earl Grey tackles the fandom experience. 

Hosts
Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

Editor / Producer
Darren Moser

Executive Producers
Norman C. Lao, Matthew Rushing, & C Bryan Jones

Production Manager
Richard Marquez
 
Content Manager

Will Nguyen


Chapters
Why Cosplay? (00:05:00)

Morph Suit (00:12:32)
Starfleet International (00:15:07)
USS GYGAX (00:23:07)
Star Trek Games (00:25:32)
EG TNG RPG (00:30:44)
Star Trek Scene It (00:35:45)
ST:TNGIVBG:AKC (00:36:42)
Good Ship Lollypop (00:42:53)
Final Thoughts (00:49:20)
 
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Direct download: eg-090.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 7:14pm MST

Earl Grey 89: Who's Scotty?

The Original Series as Prerequisite. 

Viewers of The Next Generation started watching at different points in their Trek fandom -- for some, it was their first exposure to Star Trek, while other "legacy" Trekkies came to it after The Original Series and movies featuring Captain James T. Kirk and his crew. Guest co-host Andi VanderKolk, aka @FirstTimeTrek, joins Daniel, Darren, and Phillip in discussing how knowledge of TOS enhances the TNG viewing experience. 

Earl Grey explores whether it makes a difference if you discovered the character of Ambassador Sarek in the Next Gen episode "Sarek" without first seeing TOS "Journey to Babel." Does the appearance of Scotty ("Relics") and Spock ("Unification, Parts 1 and 2") have meaning without first experiencing the adventures of the NCC-1701 (no bloody A, B, C, or D!). We discuss "copy and paste" episodes like "The Naked Now" compared to "The Naked Time," and the use of Star Trek: Phase II scripts in TNG. Grab your copy of the 1966-1969 series, and explore how TOS is a required prerequisite for TNG.

Hosts
Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

Guest
Andi VanderKolk

Editor / Producer
Darren Moser

Executive Producers
Norman C. Lao, Matthew Rushing, & C Bryan Jones

Production Manager
Richard Marquez
 
Content Manager
Will Nguyen

Chapters

How Important is Knowing the Backstory? (00:08:32)
McCoy on Encounter at Farpoint (00:17:22)
Scotty / Relics (00:22:08)
Spock / Sarek (00:30:44)
The Naked Now (00:48:23)
Where No One Has Gone Before (00:53:44)
The Child (00:55:20)
Devils Due (00:56:20)
TNG handling TOS (01:03:32)
Closing (01:06:43)

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Direct download: eg-089.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 1:13am MST

Earl Grey 88: The Minstrel Boy

War in TNG.

Just as in contemporary times, war can take many forms. Star Trek: The Next Generation did not feature a primary war akin to those stories featured in Deep Space Nine or Enterprise, however many enemies confronted Captain Picard and his crew. The Romulan Empire posed a continuing threat to the United Federation of Planets that stood on the brink of war ("The Defector"), the results of the off-screen Cardassian War became a source of many episodes ("The Wounded," "Chain of Command, Parts 1 and 2," "Journey's End," and "Preemptive Strike"), and the Borg presented a new form of warfare heretofore unknown to the 24th Century ("I, Borg" and "Descent, Parts 1 and 2"). 

Phillip, Daniel, and Darren explore whether there are modern parallels to the "post-Wolf 359" era of TNG, how its combat/conflict compares to other Trek series, and how the serious potential for galactic war was continuously tackled by the flagship U.S.S. Enterprise. Come sing a mournful ballad of "The Minstrel Boy" and join Earl Grey as they discuss the role of war in Next Gen.

Hosts
Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

Editor / Producer
Darren Moser

Production Manager
Richard Marquez
 
Content Manager
Will Nguyen
 
Send us your feedback!
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Direct download: eg-088.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 12:49am MST

Earl Grey 87: OUTATIME

Time Travel.

Time travel and Star Trek go hand-in-glove, so it was no surprise that The Next Generation crew had several "timey-wimey" adventures in its seven years on television and in the feature films. Darren, Daniel, and Phillip go "OUTATIME" in this episode, exploring episodes including "Timescape," "Cause and Effect," "Time Squared," "Time's Arrow, Parts 1 and 2," and Star Trek: First Contact

The Earl Grey trio break down all the times Captain Jean-Luc Picard would have been visited by the laugh-a-minute members of the Federation's Temporal Investigations unit with TNG's experiences with time loops, temporal anomalies, and Q's TARDIS-like powers. Prepare to experience a "Quantum Leap" of traveling across the space-time continuum with the Enterprise-D 's "Excellent Adventure" as they try to avoid predestination-paradoxes, and enjoy this episode about TNG and time travel.

Hosts
Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

Editor / Producer
Darren Moser

Production Manager
Richard Marquez
 
Content Manager
Will Nguyen

Chapters

Cause and Effect (00:02:07)
Time Squared (00:05:07)
We'll Always Have Paris (00:10:21)
Yesterday's Enterprise (00:15:26)
2 (00:22:25)
Times Arrow (00:24:21)
First Contact (00:29:15)
All Good Things (00:34:52)
3 (00:39:38)
Timescape (00:41:22)
Captains Holiday (00:47:03)
Star Trek: Interactive VCR Board Game / A Klingon Challenge (00:48:13)
A Matter of Time (00:50:24)
Tapestry (00:51:49)
Firstborn (00:52:58)
4 (00:55:03)
Final Thoughts (00:56:22)
Closing (01:01:37)

Send us your feedback!
Twitter: @trekfm
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Direct download: eg-087.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 9:57pm MST



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