Earl Grey 110: The Shift Key Is Your Friend

A Final Unity.

The mission of creating a good game based on Star Trek: The Next Generation has been a continuous hit-or-miss enterprise. However, few games can boast the voice talents of the original TNG actors. In 1995, game developer Spectrum HoloByte and publisher MicroProse released "A Final Unity," for both DOS and Macintosh computers. The Enterprise-D faced Romul-, er, Garidian warbirds, went on various away missions, and had Captain Jean-Luc Picard deal with an ultimate moral question concerning power.

Daniel, Darren, and Phillip fire up their boot disks in this episode and talk about playing "A Final Unity." The trio discusses gameplay (both the regular and "quick" versions), the game's story, solving puzzles, the graphics, and how our favorite TNG crewmembers are used by players. The trio explain the accuracy of Commander Riker leaning on the bridge, the game mechanics of yesteryear, and why Daniel holds a game secret more powerful than anything the Chodak have to offer. Join Earl Grey as they enter the world of Next Gen gaming and discuss the 1995 release, "A Final Unity."   

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
Gameplay (00:23:21)
Story (00:29:29)
Episode References (00:46:26)
TNG GAMES PART 2 (00:52:20)
What if? (00:54:55)
Final Thoughts (00:59:59)

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Direct download: eg-110.mp3
Category:Game -- posted at: 5:06am MDT

Earl Grey 109: He Hasn't Watched That One

BridgeMates.

Bridge officers get to know each other after years of service together, forming friendships, just like Data and Geordi La Forge's, that last a lifetime. But how well do they really know each other? That question is put to the test again with the now famous Star Trek: The Next Generation based-game, "BridgeMates." Phillip Gilfus plays game show host in a three-round competition (plus bonus round!) that places co-hosts Darren Moser and Daniel Proulx against the co-hosts of the sister Trek.fm podcast Standard Orbit, Drew Stewart and Mike Schindler. 

The two teams must answer TNG-based questions and see if they can correctly match the same answer that their co-host gives. Will the Next Genexperts Darren and Daniel redeem their reputations and finally win? Or will The Original Series duo of Drew and Mike use Kirk's fighting techniques and Spock's logic to carry the day? Join this fun-filled crossover podcast game show that asks the question, "How well do you know your #BridgeMates?"

Hosts
Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

Guests

Drew Stewart & Mike Schindler

Editor / Producer
Darren Moser

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

Production Manager
Richard Marquez
 
Content Manager
Will Nguyen

Chapters
Round 1 (00:04:06)
Round 2 (00:17:16)
Round 3 (00:32:01)
Bonus Round (00:54:19)

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Direct download: eg-109.mp3
Category:bridgemates -- posted at: 7:10am MDT

Earl Grey 108: Warp Pipe to Movie World

TV vs. Movie Picard. 

The transition from the small screen of a television series to the big screen of movies was done by the actors/characters of The Original Series and The Next Generation. Kirk and his enterprising crew had the benefit of years passing before they reprised their roles on the big screen, while Next Gen had a few weeks. In this episode of Earl Grey, Daniel, Darren, and Phillip discuss the differences between Captain Jean-Luc Picard during his seven seasons of the television series versus his portrayal in the four Next Gen feature films. 

There is a fan opinion that "movie Picard" is more action hero than diplomat. The trio take a second glance at "TV Picard's" characteristics and what made him our favorite captain. Earl Grey then examines the trials and tribulations that Picard went through in Generations, First Contact, Insurrection, and Nemesis. They debate whether there were "off-character moments" in these films or whether the character was simply evolving through the decades. So finish your workout at the gym, grab a phaser rifle, and join Earl Grey as they look for any differences between TV v. Movie Picard. 

Hosts
Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

Editor / Producer
Darren Moser

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

Associate Producer
Stephen Boyd

Production Manager
Richard Marquez
 
Content Manager

Will Nguyen


Chapters
Opening Remarks (00:05:50)
TV Picard Points (00:09:28)
Movie Picard Points (00:18:44)
The Change (00:25:16)
Case Studies Swap (00:43:32)
Homeward Bound (00:48:48)
Final Thoughts (00:52:38)

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Direct download: eg-108.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 8:00am MDT

Earl Grey 107: The Riker Mifflin Paper Company

Family.

The writers of Star Trek: The Next Generation created dramatic backstories for the crew of the Federation's flagship. Many of the TNG characters dealt early in their lives with the loss of one or both parents, conflicts and grudges with parents and siblings, and other unresolved issues that are addressed later in specific episodes. Daniel, Darren, and Phillip look at the family origins for Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his officers, examining the "daddy" and "mommy" issues for each characters, and how their familial background led them to become they people they are.

Earl Grey also examines how the Enterprise-D crew came together as a family of their own choosing. The trio looks at what role each person played in this new "family structure," as well as the behind-the-scenes "family" relationship of the Next Gen actors. They discuss how The Next Generation actors are the closest of all the other series' crew, and how that translates to their on screen portrayals and what tone it sets for fans. So gather around with your fellow TNG brothers and sisters, and join in this family affair, as Earl Grey discusses the family aspect to Next Gen. 

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
Picard (00:10:23)
Riker 00:18:24)
Data  (00:20:23)
Worf (00:23:29)
Dr. Crusher  (00:26:39)
Troi (00:27:38) 
Geordi (00:29:00)
Wesley Crusher (00:30:22)
Yar (00:32:22)
Character Backgrounds (00:37:41)
The Office (00:40:23)
Favorites (00:46:30)
Behind the Scenes (00:56:40)

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Direct download: eg-107.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 5:51am MDT

Earl Grey 106: B.C. Before Chip

Emotion Chip.

A central character struggle in Star Trek: The Next Generation is Lieutenant Commander's Data's lack of emotions. Our favorite android experienced life on the U.S.S. Enterprise-D but was constantly challenged in his attempt to relate to emotional humanoid life forms. Phillip, Daniel, and Darren look at the flagship's second officer's "pre-emotion chip" existence and ask: Did Data actually already have the capacity for emotion? Did he evolve over those seven years, experiencing emotional states?

Earl Grey also examines the ever-changing look and features of Dr. Noonian Soong's emotion chip, introduced in the fourth season episode "Brothers." They discuss its appearance in "Descent, Parts 1 and 2," and the chip's installation during the inaugural TNG film, Star Trek: Generations. The trio asks whether "emotional" Data in the film was done well and how fans received that portrayal. They also look at the emotion chip's cameos and various "upgraded" features in the other three feature films. So "stop it, stop it, stop it!", open up your mind, and listen to this episode (which may overload your neural net), analyzing Data's emotion chip.

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 B.C. (Before Chip) - Seasons 1-3 (00:03:46)
Brothers (00:18:02)
Descent (00:31:00)
Generations (00:47:37)
First Contact thru Nemesis (01:00:04)
Final Thoughts (01:12:40)

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Direct download: eg-106.mp3
Category:Characters -- posted at: 1:01am MDT

Earl Grey 105: Snakebot: The Great Librarian

"Masks" Rewrite.

The seventh, and last, season of The Next Generation is not often listed as the best year of the Enterprise-D crew. It features great, bad, and "meh" episodes. Darren, Daniel, and Phillip take one of those "meh" efforts - "Masks," an episode that is considered an "okay" episode and rewrite it. They decide what elements worked, like Captain Jean-Luc Picard "geeking out" over archaeology and the overall mystery of the alien probe, and seek out what elements didn't work, e.g., Brent Spiner playing every single character and then some, as well as the "on the cheap" effects. 

The trio also incorporates new elements, characters, and story twists, using original ideas, as well as aspects from other TNG stories, including the other Star Trek. Their new "spec script" includes a memorable guest star that may remain a fan favorite for a long time. So join the other children in the clay room, forget all about the sun and moon, and join Earl Grey are they re-write the Next Gen episode "Masks."

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

A plot / B plot (00:10:31)
Recap so far (00:32:30)
Ending (00:45:14)
Summary (00:55:25)

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Direct download: eg-105.mp3
Category:Episode Discussions -- posted at: 11:16pm MDT

Earl Grey 104: The Great and Powerful Kevin

Q-like Beings.

Captain James T. Kirk and the NCC-1701 crew were not that impressed with aliens posing as "gods," from Apollo to Vaal. However, it turns out that, a generation (or so) later, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the NCC-1701-D encounter just as many awesome creatures. Q sets the standard in "Encounter at Farpoint," but The Next Generation features other "new life" that seems beyond human understanding. 

In this episode, Daniel, Darren, and Phillip look at the Q-like beings of TNG. From Nagilum and his magic maze ("Where Silence Has Lease") to the Edo Guardian (#Justice!), the Enterprise-D was forced to look at the galaxy in an entirely new way. Earl Grey also examines The Traveler ("Where No One Has Gone Before," et. al.), The Great and Powerful Kevin ("The Survivors"), and even Mr. Green Screen, John Doe ("Transfigurations"). The number of "light beings" is added up in this episode, leading the Next Gen trio wondering why there was not a Blu-Ray fan disc release of "The Light Beings of Next Gen." So get ready to raise your consciousness, move beyond your corporeal being, and join Earl Grey as they discuss the Q-like beings in The Next Generation. 

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

Carry Over from TOS (00:03:29)
The Q in the Room (00:11:29)
Favorites/Least Favorites (00:17:17)
Mortals viewed as gods (00:50:07)
Final Thoughts (01:03:55)

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Direct download: eg-104.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 12:14am MDT

Earl Grey 103: TNG is the Daily Show

TNG's 24th Century Legacy.

The creators of The Original Series had a second chance at modifying the Star Trek universe with Star Trek: The Next Generation. Those changes in approach, tone, characters, and philosophy "updated" the Trek universe, creating a 24th Century for the two subsequent series, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Phillip, Daniel, and Darren examine the two "Enterprise-less" television series thru the lens of TNG's legacy. 

Earl Grey goes through early DS9 (pre-USS Defiant/Worf), the rest of DS9, and all of VOY, exploring characters, species, story lines, and approaches to Trek. Whether charting Next Gen characters who lived on in other series, e.g., the O'Briens, Worf, Nick Loca-...Paris, or how the spirit of Picard and Company can be seen, the Earl Grey trio honor the unique approaches of Sisko and Janeway's crews while seeing how all three series manage to live in the same 24th Century universe. So update your uniform, get used to small quarters, and join this episode that examines TNG's 24th Century legacy. 

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

DS9 Part 1 (Season 1-3ish) (00:04:16)
DS9 Part 2 (season 3ish-7) (00:25:40)
VOY - TNG Lite? (00:37:05)
Final Thoughts (00:55:10)

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Direct download: eg-103.mp3
Category:Starfleet -- posted at: 10:32pm MDT

Earl Grey 102: Emergency Power to Analogy Generators

Beverly Crusher.

The pilot episode of The Next Generation, "Encounter at Farpoint," introduced the newest doctor of the U.S.S. Enterprise - Dr. Beverly Crusher, a widow and single mother. Throughout the first season, viewers saw this woman cure diseases, have an "interesting" relationship with her old friend Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and raise her ship-saving son, Wesley. And then she disappeared for season two. However, Dr. Crusher's return in season three, and her constant presence through the end of TNG and the four feature films, showed an in-depth character that Darren, Daniel, and Phillip analyze in this episode.

Earl Grey focuses on the (good) Crusher-centric episodes like "Remember Me," "Ethics," "Suspicions," and "Attached," discussing how Beverly came across as funny, professional, and an "in-charge" Starfleet commander. They also examine Dr. Crusher's relationships with other characters, her many artistic hobbies, and her many turns in the captain's chair. So put on your blue coat, put a hypospray in your pocket just in case, and listen to Earl Grey's character profile of Dr. Beverly Crusher.

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

Establishing the CMO (00:05:06)
Remember Me 4x5 (00:10:31)
Ethics 5x16 (00:12:42)
Suspicions 6x22 (00:20:11)
Decent 6x26 (00:22:54)
Attached 7x8 (00:24:05)
Hobbies (00:30:32)
Season 2 (00:36:20)
Mother (00:40:43)
Final Thoughts (00:47:20)

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Direct download: eg-102.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 5:16am MDT

Earl Grey 101: Number One Dad

Rascals Commentary.

On its face, the plot of the seventh episode of The Next Generation's sixth season sounds ridiculous: Captain Picard, Ensign Ro, Guinan, and Keiko O'Brien are turned into children and must re-take control of the Enterprise-D from the Ferengi. However, this fun-filled episode remains a fan favorite (though it also has its detractors). 

Daniel, Darren, and Phillip provide commentary for this episode, complimenting the outstanding work of the children actors portraying our TNG characters. From the Ro Laren sub-plot of her tragic childhood to Jean-Luc's struggle with losing command to Alexander Rozhenko  & friends helping to defeat the surprisingly evil Ferengi, this episode features many takeaways. Daniel also reveals why this episode is the pinpoint for Chief O'Brien leaving the Federation's flagship for Deep Space Nine. So re-learn to brush your hair, get your boys/girls-sized Starfleet uniform and become a "Number One" fan with this commentary of "Rascals."   

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

Commentary Start (00:04:30)

Send us your feedback!
Twitter: @trekfm
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Direct download: eg-101.mp3
Category:Commentaries -- posted at: 3:03pm MDT



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