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Quackcast 653 - Star Treken

Ozoneocean at 12:00AM, Sept. 19, 2023

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Today we're talking about STAR TREK! Star Trek is a pretty influential piece of pop-culture. Most interesting to me is that it's a future that is NOT a dystopia. It's a large scale vision of a future world where everything is NOT terrible and collapsing in on itself. You can count those on one hand. It's worth talking about just because of that. Instead of taking the boring, tried and true dystopia route the creators of this world decided to explore a premise of “what happens when a world actually works?”.

Star Trek has had many versions, from the original series in the 1960s, to the animated 70s version, the movies, the 3 big series in the 1990s, the revival prequel series, and my personal fave: the animated “Lower Deck”s. Out of all Star Trek I've seen I have to say that The Next Generation, Voyager, and Lower Decks are my faves, along with the The Wrath of Khan. But Lower Decks really stands out as a classic because it pays homage to all of classic Star Trek as well as seamlessly updating the culture to today's political environment and being amazingly funny at the same time.

It is extremely rare for an IP to accomplish this. In almost every single case the creators will butcher the IP by changing everything, crapping all over the original incarnation and being super clunky and embarrassingly amateur with incorporating modern cultural ideals to do with things like gender equality, racial diversity, and sexuality. Lower Decks is as smooth as silk in that regard.

Which version of Star Trek is your fave?

This week Gunwallace has given us a theme inspired by The Spook Control - Starts off creepy then bursts into high speed, action oriented racing sounds, setting your pulse aflame and dangerously fast! Full on electronica.

Topics and shownotes


Featured comic:
FIRST BOYFRIEND Infamous Delinquent Kazuki -

Featured music:
The Spook Control - - by MSK314, rated E.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace -
Ozoneocean -
Tantz Aerine -
Banes -

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KAM at 1:43PM, Sept. 23, 2023

Galaxy Quest, considered by some to be the best Star Trek movie not called Star Trek. Captain Jack on Doctor Who can be seen as an omnisexual Captain Kirk. The 1970's sci-fi parody Quark had a lot of Star Trek refs. The original Saturday Night Live had a great sketch called, I believe, The Last Voyage of the Enterprise (Belushi did a great Kirk.)

Ozoneocean at 7:26AM, Sept. 23, 2023

I'd need info on Star Trek Homages, I only know The Orville really... Maybe Mass Effect is a bit of a homage.

Ozoneocean at 7:24AM, Sept. 23, 2023

No one liked the doctor who replaced Gates, Diana Muldaur, SHE was stiff XD. But interestingly I learned that Diana Muldaur was in the original series! Denise was really awful, truly. She DID return for an episode though.

bravo1102 at 3:05AM, Sept. 23, 2023

Hey maybe do a future quack cast about tributes and homages (as opposed to straight up fanfiction) After two of the comics nominated for Best Tribute are Star Trek homages.

bravo1102 at 3:02AM, Sept. 23, 2023

I wish I could go to cons, but I've had a lot of bad experiences with fans and frankly detest them. I outgrowled a few Klingon wannabes because after all I'm an Army tanker and we don't take kindly to posers. Also insulted a STar fleet "marines" cosplayer because he was an officer and I wanted to talk to the guy really in charge; the sergeant. I have made a splash by saying that Lower Decks is the Star Fleet service comedy (like McHale's Navy) that we've always needed.

bravo1102 at 2:54AM, Sept. 23, 2023

You do conflate Gates McFadden and Denise Crosby though. Dr. Crusher was dropped after the first season of TNG because she was so stiff. Denise Crosby left to pursue other things because she felt she wasn't getting anywhere and felt the show runners hated her. In fact her last episode she they demanded the combadge back as if to say "good riddance". As she was killed off they couldn't bring her back because she ended up a favorite. Dr. Crusher was brought back third season because she hadn't been killed. The actresses were treated badly for a lot of the run of TNG as the show runners were sexist as only men in the 1980s feminism backlash could be.

bravo1102 at 2:48AM, Sept. 23, 2023

Gosh, I must be like the only person who tried every iteration of ST and forced myself to give each series a chance. I must be some kind of trekker type. I even know the difference between trekker and trekkie. Ozoneocean is right about most stuff but being military myself the elite fleet nature of Star Fleet never bothered me. You have to remember nearly ALL the creators of the original series had military backgrounds. They were all veterans of WW2. It was very fresh in their mind. ST:TNG was speaking to the veterans too because of WW2, the Cold War and Vietnam. By the way Denise Crosby is the granddaughter of Bing just as Ethan Peck in ST:SNW is the grandson of Gregory Peck. The Westmore dynasty did makeup for the four series TNG to Enterprise. They go back to 1930s Hollywood. Lot of industry continuity.

KAM at 1:13PM, Sept. 20, 2023

Gunwallace - You should check out The Ensigns Podcast. It's a story from the POV of the two lowest ranking ensigns on the original Enterprise trying to make sense of all the crazy stuff the show gets into (at least at the beginning, then they developed their own story & focused less on a given week's episode.)

dpat57 at 11:55AM, Sept. 20, 2023

My phone ringtone is the Kirk vs. Spock fight music from AMOK TIME. Original Trek has guided me through life, whenever insurmountable obstacles stood before me I would ask myself, "What would Captain Kirk do?" And then I would attack using a double handed axe strike.

Gunwallace at 5:36PM, Sept. 19, 2023

Lower Decks actually takes its name from an episode of Next Gen, which focused on some young ensigns and how they were trying to get along in their early careers. It was a pretty decent episode, giving an insight into the people we usually just see being seat-fillers on the Bridge. That aspect of Trek always fascinates me. The people that must be standing at the ready, waiting for one of the senior crew to get up, then racing to sit in their spot. What are they doing before that? "Ensign Smith, how's your Minesweeper score?" "Oh, I've switched to Tetris, sir." "Well, finish up, I hear Commander Worf has to go launch some 'photon torpedoes' in the Little Klingon's room soon, so we'll need you to take his position at Ops while he flushes out those bad boys."

KAM at 2:58PM, Sept. 19, 2023

Trekboot - Take a deep, thoughtful, intelligent SF and let J.J. Abrams turn it into a mindless, summer popcorn blockbuster. Not terrible, but kind of like seeing a middle-age guy buy a sportscar and try to pretend he's still hip. Discovery - Crap. Picard - From everything I heard I figured I wouldn't like this so haven't seen it, not even the third season. I did see a clip on YouTube of the original cast on the Enterprise bridge & thought it was a cosplay by a local senior citizen group. Lower Decks - Saw the first episode and loved the NextGen style backgrounds. Hated the Rick & Morty style writing. Haven't seen any other Nu Trek offerings.

KAM at 2:53PM, Sept. 19, 2023

Classic Trek - A better, brighter future, but NOT a utopia. Humanity still had problems, but they were working to overcome them. A hopeful series. NextGen - Apparently Roddenberry decided that by the 24th century humanity was a utopia, which restricted what the writers could do, but they still managed to produce a good show. DS9 - While a good show, the darker, grim & gritty corner of the Star Trek universe felt at odds with the NextGen setting, probably would have fit in better in a ClassicTrek setting. Voyager - In some respects an anti-Trek show. Star Trek was about boldly going where no man had gone before, while Voyager was about getting the hell back home. Not terrible, but might have been better without being tied to Star Trek. Enterprise - Or as I call it, The Lunk-Headed Space Tourists. Awful series.

Banes at 2:47PM, Sept. 19, 2023

Start Wreckin’!

PaulEberhardt at 11:30AM, Sept. 19, 2023

It's also why I like Voyager least, in a way. In fact I have a love/hate relationship with that series: I appreciate that it raises the big question of how arrogant you have a right to be about your supposedly superior morals, but it's done too much with a wagging finger for my tastes. Also, I've had too many experiences with would-be Janeways in real life to ever really warm to her, so again I might have partly myself to blame.

PaulEberhardt at 10:49AM, Sept. 19, 2023

I love the original series in all its old school cold war inspired glory. It kind of stands apart for me. While it laid the foundations, I think it was TNG that really defined the Star Trek universe as a fully coherent thing. I like it much better as an adult than as the teenager I was when I first watched it, but my 90s favourite must be Deep Space 9 as the show that introduced some grit into the plots. You see, I appreciate Star Trek's effort to show a true, unadulterated utopia, but as a concept this kind of thing never really rings true with me, least of all when basically everyone we ever get to see is a member the military elite. It reminds me too much of propaganda designed to hide the cracks of an ideologically driven society to trust anything they say - even if I know it's just my own paranoia, which I've been assured is normal and everyone in the universe has got it these days.

Ozoneocean at 10:13AM, Sept. 19, 2023

@Jason Moon I onl saw that start of that series, it was called "Enterprise and it was a weird prequel that started after they canceled all the 1990s series. It had too much of a post 911 feel to it. I LOVED Farscape and thought it was amazing but it was doing its own thing. Trek didn't go dark and that was the good thing about Trek, These shows had their own thing and they did it well. What Trek specialised in was bigger stories, philosophy, implications and classic Scifi ideas. Farscape was better at gitty, grungy, dirty, up-close characterisation. BOTH were hopeless when they tried to do what the other did.

Ozoneocean at 10:08AM, Sept. 19, 2023

@marcorossi We talk about exactly that in the cast, hahaha! I mention all those points. Some people think of it as a military utopia. I disagree in that our vision of the world is from the perspective of those serving in the Federation forces, but that force doesn't make up all of humanity. It would be like making a modern TV show about Italy from the point of view of an Italian army force serving the UN in Africa - That would give you a very different viiew from an Italian civilian living in Italy.

Jason Moon at 7:10AM, Sept. 19, 2023

I was actually trying to watch a Star Trek episode the other night that came on a cable channel. The actor who played in Quantum Leap seemed to be the captain while these blonde brothers with ripped up clothes had taken over their ship. To be honest I have never been able to get into Star Trek because I've never related to the characters and the acting always seems corny. I think Farscape has richer characters in a more dark mysterious universe. I like the world building in Farscape where Star Trek always kinda bored me.

marcorossi at 2:09AM, Sept. 19, 2023

I have a strong emotional tie to the first serie, because I watched it as a kid, and liked Deep Space Nine, but for some reason I hated Riker in Next Generation, so I didn't like that serie. I think the optimism of Star Treck is a byproduct of the economic boom of the sixties. However, contrary to most people's perception, I always perceived Star Treck as a bit militaristic (all main characters are militars in the end). It seems to me it comes from the USA self image of being the good guys after WW2, so the "federation" is actually the USA (or NATO) in space, but without explaining exactly how the civilian world works (do they have still markets? is it a socialist utopia? It doesn't really come out in the series).

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