Episode 16: Shore Leave

Star Trek Shore Leave

If you could visit a planet where all of your most intimate thoughts would be immediately made real, would that be a good thing?

In what is currently (and perhaps shockingly) our highest rated episode to date, the Enterprise crew experiences just such a place, for better or worse. Kirk struggles with a literal inner demon from his past, while Bones chases a white rabbit and Sulu fights a samurai. Zeroes and flocks of seagulls fly above, and a chained tiger wonders why his once glorious run at Ringling Brothers has taken such a s dramatic turn for the worse.

Is this the single best episode of the Original Series? Probably not. But after two shows discussing futuristic courtroom dramas, it was great to see the lighter side of Trek so beautifully and blatantly on display.

Do doctors ever peak? Do Vulcans have any imaginations at all? Could you defeat a mounted wax knight? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or send us an email at StarTrekQuest@gmail.com.

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Shore Leave Review

Episode 15: The Menagerie Parts 1 & 2

Star Trek The Menagerie

In our longest show to date, The TrekQuesters take on the mega-sized two-part episode, “The Menagerie.” Between swigs of tequila, Jack Daniels, and Soco & Coke, we managed to cover the Original Series only two-parter, the first ever Star Trek pilot, “The Cage,” AND the second J.J. Abrams Trek film, “Into Darkness.” We had some good laughs about Commodore Mendez’s possible illicit relationship with his secretary, Captain Pike’s blinking chair, green-skinned women, and pulsating alien heads. We also had a serious discussion about the relative merits of the new Trek films compared to the classic originals we (obviously) know and love so much.

If you’re up for over an hour of TrekQuesting goodness (1:16:50 to be exact), you’ll be rewarded with a roller coaster of deep thoughts. Example: When Captain Pike’s chair blinks again and again, is he trying to say “NO!”, or “Yes!” much more slowly? It’s hard to replicate that kind of entertaining banter, folks.

Apologies in advance to Mr. Stephen Hawkings. If you regularly listen to our show, we do reference your name without your permission. We hope you agree with our assessment that your 21st wheelchair kicks Pike’s 23rd century wheelchair in the ass. Hard.

Which version of Veena do you like best? Does no really mean no, even if it’s just one blink? Does J.J. Abrams have a freaking clue about what Star Trek is all about? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or send us an email at StarTrekQuest@gmail.com.

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Court Martial Review

Episode 14: Court Martial

Star Trek Court Martial

Kirk is falsely accused by a former friend, prosecuted by a former girlfriend, ridiculed by his fellow officers, and defended by a Luddite lawyer. Just another day at the office.

An interesting episode, this show is a classic mashup of sci-fi and a traditional courtroom drama. With the interesting character of Sam Cogley entering the Star Trek universe as Captain Kirk’s defending attorney, we find Kirk fighting for his professional career under the stress of losing one of his own crewmen. We also get to meet one of Kirk’s ex-flames (who apparently pushes Andy’s buttons).

With a classic Trek fight scene at the end, and perhaps the lamest prop in Trek history (the “white sound device”/microphone), this show gave us some great fodder for our discussion, which we hope you’ll enjoy half as much as we did.

Can you isolate a heart beat? Have you ever jettisoned your pod prematurely? Could you sabotage a starship with garden hoses? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or send us an email at StarTrekQuest@gmail.com.

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Court Martial Review

Episode 13: The Galileo Seven

Star Trek Galileo Seven

Captain Kirk orders most of his senior staff to fly a tiny shuttle straight into the heart of a quasar-like green cloud. What could possibly go wrong?

Scoring on the far low end of the TrekQuesters’ logic score, this episode nevertheless offers one of the original series most (unintentionally) hilarious moments: a giant spear cracking through a styrofoam space rock and glancing off the head of “dead” crewman. Why is a giant spear being chucked at a dead crewman? Because the giant fur-wearing humanoids who live on the planet make giant folsom-pointed spears. And when giant humanoids with giant spears live on planets in the middle of quasar-like clouds, they tend to be grumpy. And these particular humanoids are probably even grumpier than would be normally expected, seeing that their planet is seemingly otherwise devoid of life — which would tend to make the giant humanoids pretty hungry. Did I mention this show isn’t very logical?

It’s actually kinda funny that the episode that’s most focused on Spock’s dedication to logic surrounds a plot with so many illogical holes. Completely separated from Kirk for the first time, we see that Spock’s insistence on pure logic can really irritate his human colleagues. One of the other officers comes darn close to outright mutiny, and you’re left wondering how Kirk would react once he learned the full details of what happened during the Galileo’s little outing.

Can you recharge a spaceship with a gun? How long would you have waited for Yoeman Mears? Are you afraid of space giants? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or send us an email at StarTrekQuest@gmail.com.

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Conscience of the King Review

Episode 12: Conscience of the King

Star Trek Conscience of the King

A bloody knife, an iron mask, and a man with half a face make for an interesting start to this most literary of episodes. Actors acting about being actors always makes for an interesting plot, and this show does not disappoint.

Although profoundly illogical in many ways, The Conscience of the King remains a great example of why we love original Star Trek. At it’s best, ST:TOS is both great science fiction and good story telling in general. With belief firmly suspended, we see one man obsessed with revenge, another cursed by his past sins, and a daughter driven to madness to protect her father from harm. This episode doesn’t just quote Shakespeare, it brings some of his most tragic concepts emotionally to life. Add in some groovy 60s lounge music and a classically twisted Kirk romance, and you’ve got one of our favorite episodes so far.

Can you tell Hamlet from Macbeth? Have you ever drank poisoned milk? Do you know what Double Red Alert means? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or send us an email at StarTrekQuest@gmail.com.

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Conscience of the King Review

Episode 11: Miri

Star Trek Miri

Recorded on the summer solstice, this was definitely one of our stranger podcasts to date. The episode itself, centered around a pseudo-romantic relationship between Kirk and a supposed thirteen year-old, left the TrekQuesters feeling all queasy inside. Combined with possibly the worst sound quality ever recorded over the internet (thanks to Dad’s horrid audio setup), this show started bad and got progressively worse.

The only upside? A great blooper reel. In fact, I was tempted to delete the actual episode discussion and leave ONLY the bloopers. Yes, this show is that bad. But for anyone willing to push through the crackling microphones and the discussion of Yoeman Rand’s purple scab-ridden legs, you’ll be rewarded with our funniest moments yet. At least, we think we’re funny — so much so all four of us were literally in tears.

Have you ever lost your tricycle? Would you date a 300-year-old-thirteen-year-old? Will Kirk ever stop his BLAH-BLAH-BLAH? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or send us an email at StarTrekQuest@gmail.com.

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Miri Review

Epsiode 10: Dagger of the Mind

Star Trek Dagger of the Mind

On this special birthday episode, Kevin celebrates his 39th while the TrekQuesters welcome Andy, one of their oldest and best friends, to the show.

Andy picked an interesting episode for his virgin podcasting experience. Between the “penal colony” jokes, the stoned asylum inmates, and the various forms of hypnotic suggestions, we barely knew what to think of this show.

For the second week in a row, we’ve got a galaxy-reknowned scientist who turns out to be on an evil quest to control mankind. Last week, the scientist wanted to turn everyone into androids. This time, he wants to turn everyone into mindless stoners. Which path would you prefer?

Of course, at the heart of the story is Dr. Helen Noel. For the second week straight, Kirk gets to kiss the girl, and boy does he like it. Although Dr. Noel didn’t drive the same hotness scores as Andrea, she put on a good showing for the TrekQuesters, particularly when “escaping” through the woman-sized ventilation shaft.

Of course, Kirk’s kiss has nothing on Spock’s first mindmeld, when he gets a little too up close and personal for Andy’s tastes.

Would you like Spock to meld your mind? Could you survive inside a giant drug canister? Are all scientists completely insane? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or send us an email at StarTrekQuest@gmail.com.

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Dagger of the Mind Review

Episode 9: What are Little Girls Made Of?

Star Trek What are Little Girls Made Of

How did this generally ridiculous episode earn multiple five star ratings? One word: Andrea.

Fair warning: This episode contains some adult language. We were tempted to edit out all the questionable bits, but realized that would mean deleting half the show. If you are of a sensitive nature, consider skipping this episode.

That said, we had a blast talking about one of the more, ahem, creative episodes in the Star Trek franchise. Creative plot devices. Creative female costumes. Creative alien make-up. Creative paper mache stalagmites. And creative use of a somewhat humanoid-shaped green blob.

Once again, William Shatner is asked to push his acting skills to the limits by playing both Kirk and Kirk’s android double (you know, the one who doesn’t eat). With an ensemble of interesting cast members — Dr. Corby, the giant alien android Ruk, Cordby’s “assistant” Andrea, and a very sketchy Dr. Brown, there’s a lot to take in. In fact, there are so many laughable moments in this show that it’s hard to remember the show actually has a pretty deep theme — the universal yet unfulfillable quest for perfection and immortality. Of course, Sherry Jackson comes darn close to perfection in her blue and black costume, but I digress…

Does “X” really mark the spot? Could you create a robot from green jello? Have you ever heard someone with a deeper voice than Ruk? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or send us an email at StarTrekQuest@gmail.com.

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What are Little Girls Made Of Review

Episode 8: Balance of Terror

Star Trek Balance of Terror

It’s a classic World War 2 tale of a destroyer hunting an enemy sub…IN SPACE!!!

Discussing perhaps the best episode to date, the TrekQuesters dive deep into the murky celestial waters of space combat while celebrating the arrival of the Romulans into the Star Trek universe. Yes, the Romulans must have had warp drive, and yes, it’s darn strange that a plasma bolt can travel at warp 10, but even these Spock-defying bouts of illogic can’t ruin this action-filled sci-fi tale.

With an intense cat-and-mouse pursuit as the background, an over-arching theme exploring bigotry, and the death of a groom-to-be on his would-be wedding day, this is Star Trek at its most serious level. Still, The TrekQuesters found plenty of opportunities to cite some of the funnier aspects of the show, whether the writers meant them to be or not.

Have you ever built a model of the Bird of Prey? Do you wear a helmet to hide your lack of pointed ears? Have you ever fought a war with an enemy that no one’s ever seen? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or send us an email at StarTrekQuest@gmail.com.

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The Naked Time Star Trek Episode Review

Episode 7: Charlie X

Charlie X

When a hormone-filled teenaged boy beams aboard the Enterprise, strange things start happening. What kind of strange things, you ask? How about Kirk strutting around in skin tight red gym pants with coordinating black socks. Or Uhura gagging while Spock plays a mute space harp. Or a young crew-women turning into a lizard. Or Yoeman Rand donning a pink lingerie smock. Strange enough for you yet?

This episode’s thesis is clear: pubescent testosterone and absolute power don’t mix very well. Kinda like Captain Kirk’s red pants and black socks.

Would you like to peruse the Enterprise’s entertainment tape library? Do you know how to do a Kirk roll? Have you ever wanted to turn someone into a newt? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or send us an email at StarTrekQuest@gmail.com.

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Charlie X Star Trek Episode Review