Back in 2013 I made a video about my favorite Star Trek podcasts. At the time, podcasts were a pretty new obsession for me. I LOVE THEM! I also listen to a number of Disney fan podcasts all about my favorite theme park. 🙂 But getting back to Trek podcasts, a year after I made that youtube video, I went back and edited the show notes / blog entry to include a couple newly discovered podcasts. Well, now it’s 2015 and once again I’ve discovered some new favorites. Maybe I should start a tradition– the 3rd annual Best Trek Podcasts List- by @themikejones (or rather, what I listen to on the subway nowadays)!
1. Mission Log: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast Each week hosts Ken Ray and John Champion (@) discuss one episode of Trek searching for messages, morals, & meanings. They started a few years ago with the original series and have slowly worked their way thru the canon. Currently they are in season 2 of TNG. Ken and John do a really great job of objectively analyzing the show asking the same question as me– does it hold up? The show is also a great source of trivia as they provide a behind the scenes look at the creatives who wrote, directed and produced each episode. Last year they joined the trek.fm podcast network. More on them later.
2. Trek Geeks This is the newest podcast on the list. I only recently discovered Bill (@TrekGeekBill) & Dan’s (@) brainchild which has quickly become a fixture of my ipod playlist. Not only do they have a refreshing excitement for Star Trek but they are also getting AMAZING guests on the show! Nana Visitor, Richard Hatch, Todd Haberkorn & Larry Nemecek to name a few have all been on the show. Bill & Dan are naturals putting their guests at ease and prompting fascinating conversation. I especially love their dedication to the fan series Star Trek Continues— which might be the most excited Trek project currently in production.
3. Earl Grey dedicated entirely to Star Trek The Next Generation. Hosts Phillip Gilfus (@), Darren Moser (@), and Daniel Proulx (@) take a fun casual look at the show that revitalized and helped make Star Trek the phenomenon it is today. These guys have a real passion for TNG and it comes thru on their show. The more you listen to it, the more you’ll enjoy it as there are number of inside and running jokes to make you chuckle. But all kidding aside, Earl Grey makes me think on and reminisce about a show that was such an important part of the young life. I grew up watching Star Trek The Next Generation and Earl Grey is like having a beer with friends who ‘get that’. Know what I mean?
4. Standard Orbit This is trek.fm’s show dedicated to Star Trek: The Original Series and it’s by far the best show on that topic that I have found. Hosts Drew Stewart (@) & Mike Schindler (@ ) take an analytical and details look at the show both on and off screen. They have lots of fun with specials guests like blogger @FirstTimeTrek and author Preston Neal Jones most recently. If I have any criticism of Standard Orbit, it can be a bit dry- depending on the topic. I would say it’s more thought provoking than entertaining (not that the two concepts are totally independent of one another). The same can be said of Star Trek itself. Trek is at its best when it makes us think and challenges our preconceived notions about ourselves.
5. The The Journey! I feel they need an exclamation point in the title because hosts Tristan Riddell (@) & Charlynn Schmiedt (@) are so excited about Voyager! In their show, they take a weekly look at various aspects of my favorite captain’s journey. The most refreshing thing about TTJ is their undying love for Voyager. They can acknowledge the problems with the show while maintaining their infectious affection for it. I don’t know anyone who knows Voyager as well as these two podcasters. But if you don’t know Voyager, you might fight TTJ a little alienating. Still, it makes me smile every time. 🙂
6. The Tricorder Transmissions The description on their website covers it so well: “Hosts Craig (@) & Jeff (@) provide a running commentary for every episode of Star Trek : The Original Series. While on a mission to discover which episodes they view as essential watching, they also explore the careers of the stars, writers and directors of the enduring sci-fi classic.” I don’t listen to TTT as often as the others on the list simply because the running commentary style doesn’t lend itself to a subway commute. However, when I have time on a relaxing afternoon it’s nice to pop on TTT and put on TOS on Netflix. It’s like having fun DVD commentary for my favorite show! Or rather, it’s like watching the show with friends. 🙂
7. Continuing Mission comes in at the bottom of the list simply because I’m just now starting to listen to it. This is a very excited time in the Star Trek fandom world. I think a combination of technology becoming cheaper, the rise of crowdfunding and of social media have created a world where the fans are empowered to take the reins of the franchise and make their own Star Trek! There are some really great Fan movies and series out there– so many that I should write a whole blog about them soon. Host Christopher Jones (@cbryanjones) takes us into the world of fan films in this podcast series. 🙂