It’s A Small Galaxy After All…

Hello!  Your friendly neighbourhood trekker, Mike here.  I just had to write a quick blog entry about what a crazy small world it is.  So, when I’m not watching or podcasting about Star Trek I’m at my “day job”.  I’m a stage manager.  I’ve worked in live theatre for 20 years.  If you want to know more check out my professional website at  Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing actors in academic and professional settings.  A handful of those actors has gone on to have successful careers both on and off the stage.  That brings us back to Star Trek– a franchise that has a history of hiring actors with a strong theatre– and more specifically a strong Shakespeare background.  Patrick Stewart is was best known as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company before he put on his Starfleet uniform.

All those years of sitting on thrones in England with the Royal Shakespeare Company was nothing but preparation to sit in the captain’s chair on the Enterprise. – Patrick Stewart

Likewise, William Shatner trained at the Canadian National Repertory Theatre in Ottawa before working with Tyone Guthrie at the Stratford Festival.  Avery Brooks’s gained praise for his performance as Othello under director Michael Kahn at the Shakeapeare Theatre Company in DC.  A side note- I did an internship there but our time didn’t overlap. Kate Mulgrew trained with Stella Adler before playing roles like Desdamona and Hedda Gabler– as well as Captain Janeway. Mulgrew pointed out that classical theatre training is a huge asset to any actor who’s taking on the heightened language and themes presented in Star Trek.

That casting tradition is continuing in Star Trek Discovery and as luck would have it, I’ve worked with 3 of the new cast members.  Sonequa Martin Green earned her BFA in Acting from the University of Alabama.  I was there at the same time working on my MFA in Stage Management and I got work with Sonequa!  She played Mercutio the university’s production of Romeo & Juliet.  Our director, Seth Panich, cast Sonequa in the traditionally male role because he knew she had the chops to tackle the famous Queen Mab speech.  She blew me away on stage!  She’s a super talented artist and just a really great person.

A few years later I was hired to be a Stage Manager at The Juilliard School for their Drama Division’s third year Shakespeare Project.  The students in group 44 were preparing  Richard III As You Like It in rep.   Among them were soon to be Star Trek alums Mary Chieffo and Mary Wiseman.  Richard III was directed by veteran actor Harris Yulin, who Trekkies know as Aamin Marritza in the DS9 episode “Duet”.

Mary Chieffo played Queen Elizabeth in Yulin’s production of Richard III.  Meanwhile, Mary Wiseman stole the show in As You Like It.  I didn’t get the chance to really become close to either of these ladies.  They were very busy Juilliard students and I was just a staff member (not faculty).  But I do remember them both being very nice to me as I wrangled the rep schedule, costume fittings, and their class schedules.  🙂

I’m so happy that the creative minds behind Star Trek Discovery are hiring theatre people!  It really is a small business and I guess I’ve worked in it long enough that I’m now 6 degrees of separation (or less) to a lot of Trek actors.  I can’t begin to express how happy that makes me!!

Anyway, those are my random ramblings of the day. 🙂  – Mike Jones

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HFO Podcast Ep. #9 – TNG Rewatch: The Battle

startrekthenextgenerationthebattle.0302Back from a brief away mission, this week the HFO crew are tackling the next episode in the season one trek – THE BATTLE! We find the Enterprise crew reliving some of Picard’s early days in Starlet – whether he wants to or not! Featuring ANOTHER attempt at making the Ferengi the main antagonist, a mind control beach-ball shows up and starts making Picard think he’s going crazy. Well, he DOES have a headache after all. If everyone decides to listen to Wesley for once, then everything would be fine, right? BOLDLY GO!!!

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HFO Podcast Ep. #8 – TNG Rewatch: Justice

WDoOGxfBuckle up kiddos! We’re going to Sexy Fun Time Planet! This week, the HFO crew is joined by Tim O’Donnell to talk about “Justice”. The Edo are a fun-loving race of child-like horn dogs who make love at the drop of a hat… ANY hat. But beneath this veneer of sensual utopia, there is a dangerous system of law keeping it all in balance. When Wesley gets involved, you KNOW there’s going to be trouble. And with the Prime Directive being more of a guideline at this point in the series, the Enterprise crew may have a few tricks up their sleeves to figure this one out! Boldly Go!

Hailing Frequencies Open Podcast Episode

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HFO Podcast Ep. #7 – TNG Rewatch: Lonely Among Us

worf_is_shocked_by_creatureENGINEERING REPORT: Due to interference from a temporal anomaly, this episode is being released on the wrong star date. Back to our regularly scheduled hailing frequency patterns next time!

This Episode finds the HFO crew examining what it truly means to be lonely. If being lonely means awesome blue lightning effects, count us in! In LONELY AMONG US, the Enterprise is visited by a strange entity as it passes through a strange nebula on an urgent delegation mission. The crew is possessed one after the other, and one of the crew is accidentally killed? No worries, with a secondary plot line that far outshines the main plot (I mean, werewolf-dog-monkeys chasing down snake people through the decks of the Enterprise?!? C’mon! That’s gold!) this episode is ripe for the picking, our the intrepid crew of Hailing Frequencies Open will do their best to guide you through, with or without blue lightning!

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HFO Podcast Ep. #6 – TNG Rewatch: Where No Man Has Gone Before

Where-No-One-Has-Gone-BeforeThis week, the HFO crew boldly go where no one has gone before… because, well, that’s the title of this episode. We find our intrepid crew performing some “upgrades” to the warp drive. Wesley meets the Traveler, and d-bag Kosinski eats a heaping helping of humble pie. Will the Enterprise make it back from the far reaches of space in time for Picard to tell Wesley to ride shotgun on the bridge? Will the Traveler ever return? Will Kosinski ever shut up? All this and more on this episode of HAILING FREQUENCIES OPEN!

Hailing Frequencies Open Podcast Episode

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HFO Podcast Ep. #5 – TNG Rewatch: The Last Outpost

s1e5aThis week the HFO crew is all about finding the Ferengi! As the Enterprise-D crew is in pursuit of a Ferengi ship with stolen Federation goods, they encounter an energy-draining planet from a long-dead empire. Suspicions arise from both Starfleet and Ferengi sides, until an unexpected guest arrives and confronts the away teams who are already at each others throats, quite literally. What will the HFO crew have to say about this particular mission report? Mostly stuff about space dildos and bad makeup.

Hailing Frequencies Open Podcast Episode

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HFO Podcast Ep. #4 – TNG Rewatch: Code of Honor

star-trek-tng-code-of-honor-image-3The HFO crew has one of their toughest missions yet! Season 1 Episode 3 – Code of Honor is largely regarded as one of the worst TNG episodes of the series… Will our intrepid crew manage to wade through the not-so-subtle racist overtones and anti-feminist tropes around every corner? Will they laugh in the face of danger? Will they tell dad jokes? Will they impersonate Picard quite poorly? Find out and boldly go!

Hailing Frequencies Open Podcast Episode

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HFO Podcast Ep. #3 – TNG Rewatch: The Naked Now

02a3The crew of HFO are back and more naked than ever! In Episode 2, they encounter S1E2: THE NAKED NOW, and its going to their heads. While the Enterprise is observing a collapsing star, the away team encounters a science vessel where things have gone horribly and inexplicably wrong. Eventually, the crew begins to show signs of a strange intoxication and Wesley has control of the ship? Relevant to the TOS episode: THE NAKED TIME, the crew examine the relationship between these two episodes and the ideas behind them. Let’s boldly go!

Hailing Frequencies Open Podcast Episode

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HFO Podcast Ep. #1 – TNG Rewatch: Encounter At Farpoint


Hailing Frequencies Open – Episode 1

Hello world!  Our very first podcast episode is live now!


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Gender Swapping Star Trek TOS

The Women at Warp Podcast recently tackled a fascinating topic that got me thinking.  In Episode 49: “Would Kirk Wear a Mini Skirt?”  they re-cast the roles of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, etc with actresses from the 60’s.  Likewise with the roles of Uhura, Chapel, & Rand as men.  I thought I’d tackle this topic myself!

Kirk : Honor Blackmanmv5bmjexmdg4mdgwnf5bml5banbnxkftztywnta5nju2-_v1_uy317_cr540214317_al_

Maybe best known for the role of Pussy Galore in the James Bond film Goldfinger, Honor Blackman is a brilliant English actress who carries herself with gravitas and command.  She would be the perfect female Kirk, in my opinion.

Spock : Majel Barret 59976e57f9bebcee7a2d9c31a4bca8684d796e5c

This one is a bit of a cheat.  Majel Barret’s “Number One” character was in many ways a precursor to the emotionless Vulcan that Spock became.   Clearly, she could handle this role with ease.

McCoy : Barbara FeldmanBarbara Feldon

Best known as Agent 99 in the tv series Get Smart, Feldman’s comedic skills lend themselves to our favorite country doctor in space.  I’d also love to hear her say “He’s dead, Jane”.

Scotty : Judy Denchjudi_dench

Though not Scottish, I’m sure Dame Judy could handle the role of Scotty.  She has great comedic skills and her Shakespeare background would allow her to handle the elevated language of technobable.

Uhura : Brock Petersbrock_peters_1961

I mean, RIGHT?  Peters was years away from being a Star Trek actor in 1966, but he would fit right in on the bridge of the Enterprise.  For his audition tape I would direct you to Star Trek VI.

Sulu : Nancy Kwannancy-kwan

She’s best known for her portrayal of the title character in The World of Suzie Wong, but I know her from the film version of Flower Drum Song.  I have to admit, she MIGHT be the only Asian actress I really know from the 60’s.

Chekov : Yvonne Craigyvonnecraig5

Another Star Trek alum (Marta in “Whom Gods Destroy”), Craig is best known as TV’s Batgirl.  She’s cute, quirky and I bet she could do a fun Russian (though not accurate) Russian accent.  🙂

Nurse Chapel : Alan Aldaimgres

This one I stole from the Women at Warp.  Nurse Chapel was the hardest role to cast for me.  I think Alan Alda could handle it though.  Perhaps he’d pine after Majel Barret’s Spock.

Yeoman Rand : Burt Ward


Best known as Robin on the tv series Batman, Ward could be a great Yeoman Rand– heating up coffee with a phaser, bringing Honor Blackman her salad, etc.  His youthful innocence is perfect.

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