Incoming Transmission: Four MORE Podcasts for Trekkies
When I pitched a series of Star Trek podcast reviews for Warp Factor Trek, I wasn’t exactly sure what that would look like. After all, I’m not interested in writing ‘hot takes’ about anyone’s production because even the worst Star Trek podcast still falls into that ‘pizza and sex’ category (even when they’re bad, they’re still pretty good).
Plus, real people are making these programs, and they work hard to write, edit, and produce them. They’re proud of what they put out, and they should be! These shows are big-little labors of love fueled by fandom, passion & (occasionally) Patreon. I have no interest in tearing them down or blasting photon torpedoes of criticism and complaints in their direction. I just want to help people discover them. So, here’s hoping that you, like Captain Janeway, are “open to suggestions” rather than reviews.
To that end, here are four more pods that I think you should beam into your player…
These shows are hosted by “two guys with a Star Trek podcast who are just a little bit embarrassed to have a Star Trek podcast.” Adam Pranica and Ben Harrison recap episodes of Trek with a sharp, salty cadence and a confident, comic eye.
For the uninitiated, there are some cryptic, deep-cut, inside jokes that might be a bit intimidating or confusing. For example, fans of the podcast are called “F-O-Ds” or “Friends of DeSoto”, B’Elanna Torres is known as “BLT”, and minor Star Trek characters — like Edward Larkin and “Drunk [Jim] Shimoda” — get their own segments. There are lots of other, mostly unexplained, bits (like purposefully mispronouncing “sickbay” as “sicks bay,” which I initially heard as “6 bay”) that made me feel like an outsider.
But through regular listening, context clues, and this wiki, learning Adam and Ben’s jargon made me feel like I’d earned my membership in their not-so-secret club. And as I work my way through the extensive backlog of shows, it’s fun to hear how these bits came to be. Current SNW and Lower Decks episodes are reviewed on The Greatest Trek, and Adam and Ben riff on classic TNG, VOY, and DS9 on The Greatest Generation.
I’m not a fan of celebrity panels at sci-fi cons. There’s usually a long wait in a long line to get in. The featured actor or expert might not even get to say that much, depending on how many other people are on stage and how long-winded the moderator is. Plus, if it’s in a vast “Hall H”-size crowd, the possibility of actually getting to ask a question is less than Harry Kim’s chance of making lieutenant. That’s not what Open Pike Night is about.
On this pod, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be able to share your theories, thoughts, predictions, reactions, and revelations about Star Trek: Strange New Worlds by “taking the stage” on their show. I’ve been lucky enough to have been featured as a “caller” a few times, and it’s so cool to hear the hosts say my name and then play my question, which is sometimes even answered by a cast member or someone else involved in making SNW.
Stars like Christina Chong, Celia Rose Gooding, Bruce Horak, Dan Jeannotte, and even Captain Christopher Pike himself — Anson Mount — have been featured, along with some famous fans like author Andy Weir (The Martian, Project Hail Mary). They all show up to take your questions and give you a fun, and fan-focused show.
What if Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker III and Lieutenant Malcolm Reed of Enterprise NX-01 had a podcast? Well, they do, and it is not what you might expect. Star Trek: Enterprise actors Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating are joined by host Erica LaRose to talk about “Space, Time, Life & Star Trek” with the stars of Enterprise as well as cast and crew from the entire Star Trek Universe on The Shuttlepod Show.
These conversations are red meat for anyone who loves the nitty-gritty personal details from behind the scenes. I’ve learned so much about the people who played (and still play, in many cases) my favorite characters. On one of my favorite episodes, Robert Picardo (aka Voyager’s EMH) talks about his path to Trek, including a role on Kojak when he accidentally spit on Telly Savalas’ head! On an episode with Tim Russ (Voyager’s Tuvok), I learned he was almost cast as Geordi La Forge, and worked with Starfleet’s most famous Vulcan, Leonard Nimoy, in a college production of Caligula.
A million tiny, funny, sweet, serendipitous moments come to light during these interviews. I think that’s because there’s something about the space that Connor, Dominic, and Erica have created that allows their guests to really open up. It’s a wonderful show that gives the conversation room to breathe, which is so rare.
Cristian Fox has some feelings about Star Trek that he wants to get off his chest, and I’m so glad. In podcast form, Yelling About Star Trek is a simple, honest, homey show that he doesn’t overthink or overproduce. As a YouTube show, it’s a clean, punchy, well-lit primer on all things Trek.
Rather than a recap or a review of any one show, Cris tackles topics that span the franchise. For example, why the Enterprise-E is his favorite ship; things the Kelvin Timeline movies do better than Prime Trek; how he came out as a Trekkie; and why he thinks Captain Archer loves his dog more than Worf loves his son. More recently, Cris has focused on short explainer videos on his YouTube channel: What is a Phaser? Who is Riker? Hockey?
On his audio podcast (older episodes of which are regularly uploaded to his YouTube channel), his restrained rants are occasionally accompanied by some really personal stories, including how his own adoption is reflected in Trek. This and the fact that episodes are on the short side make Yelling About Star Trek worthy of a shout-out.
Is there a podcast you love that you’d like to see featured on Warp Factor Trek? Let me know! I’m @TVGuyGrayson on most of the socials!
Grayson Thagard is a sci-fi fan from the US who is currently looking for his next mission after a twenty-five-year career in cable news, where he wrote and produced for several national broadcasts, including Morning Express with Robin Meade. Grayson also managed social media for HLN (CNN’s sister network) and served on the team that created digital content for Investigation Discovery. Star Trek has been a part of his life since he watched Spock mind-meld with a ‘lasagna monster’ on The Original Series in syndication in the ’70s. More recently, Grayson can be heard reviewing “the Moopsie episode” of Lower Decks as a guest-host on the Let’s Talk About Treks podcast.