Episode Log: Death

Listen to Episode 119: Death

An unsettling confluence of tragedies inspired this week’s topic, as history marks three space-related anniversaries: the Apollo 1 launch pad fire on January 27, 1967; the Challenger explosion on January 28, 1986; and the Columbia explosion on February 1, 2003.

Apollo 1 astronauts Roger B. Chaffee, Edward H. White, and Virgil I. Grissom. Photo courtesy of NASA.

Apollo 1 Astronauts Roger B. Chaffee, Edward H. White, and Virgil I. Grissom. Photo courtesy of NASA.

Challenger astronauts  (back row) Ellison S. Onizuka, Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis, and Judy Resnik; (front row) Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, and Ron McNair. Photo courtesy of NASA.

The Challenger crew: (back row) Ellison S. Onizuka, Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis, and Judy Resnik; (front row) Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, and Ron McNair. Photo courtesy of NASA.

Columbia astronauts  Rick Husband, David Brown, Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla, Michael Anderson, William McCool, and Ilan Ramon. Photo courtesy of NASA.

The Columbia crew: Rick Husband, David Brown, Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla, Michael Anderson, William McCool, and Ilan Ramon. Photo courtesy of NASA.

In light of the real sacrifices made by these astronauts, the Starbase crew ponders the treatment of death within the fictionalized worlds of Trek and other genre fictions.

First, however, the Admiral blows off a bit more steam over the continuing Abramsgate saga. What is it this time? Abrams is now signed on to direct whatever new Star Wars movie will be coming down the pipeline. After he unequivocally stated he would not be directing the next Star Wars movie. Shocking that Abrams would lie to people, eh?

The Admiral then made the mistake of referencing one of the Bajoran’s favorite musical groups and she completely lost the gist of the conversation while this song played in her head:

Oh, those bad boys of hard rock. Those Toxic Twins. Those…woah. WTAF?


What the hell were we talking about? Oh yeah. Star Wars. And something about 3-D. And prequels. Or not. And how to bootleg 3-D movies. Or not.

Then more space talk. Iran. Iran so far away. Far enough to kickstart the American program again? Who knows?

Super Nick Cage and Amazon Wonder Woman? Emo teen Dawson’s Smallville. Arrow. CW fun. But, hey, Wonder Woman, eh?

Then comes the main event. How do some of our favorite genre shows handle (or avoid handling) death? Flippantly?


[P.S.–Want this shirt? Go see the Geeks.]

Futilely? Ham-fistedly? Snoringly? Lamely? Poignantly? Pointlessly? Eternally?

Assignment from the Admiral: Read this book. You’ll learn something valuable.

And on that note, we bid you adieu. And we salute the missing Kanadian and that animated hero Duck Dodgers with this festive one-two punch:

duck dodgers


Episode Log: We’re Back, Baby!!

Listen to Episode 118: We’re Back, Baby!!

The Admiral kicks things off with an explanation as to why this might or might not be a properly numbered episode, giving Ro cause to question his empathy for the Starbase’s OCD contingent.

[All listeners will be pleased to know that all “lost episodes” were properly retrieved and have already been posted…therefore, rejoice! This episode truly is Episode 118!]

The Admiral then shocks his crew by declaring that…he has read a book! An honest-to-goodness, paper-and-ink, checked-out-of-the-library book. The book in question? John Scalzi’s Redshirts. Listen as his book review devolves (as most discussions on the Starbase are wont to do) into talk of sweaty, sex-crazed aliens, before morphing into graphic novel talk from Ro…which was really just a rehash of a loopy lupine review already posted elsewhere.

Starbase 66: The International Polyglot Podcast!

More discourse on that ER doctor’s Disney movie, while the crew once more ponders if it would be at all possible to improve the prequels and Jar Jar. I think we know what the answer is. Oh yeah, Disney owns the Dark Side now. Or maybe the Dark Side has finally just reclaimed its long-lost Sith. We’re not quite sure. We do know that George Lucas might still be a questionable writer and director, but he’s now officially off-limits for life for this small act of kindness.

[Oh, and there’s also some obviously now outdated speak of Abrams douchery of old, which has now been replaced with Abrams douchery of new, specifically pertaining to switching franchise loyalty. The Bajoran wishes him godspeed and good riddance. May the Force be with him as he eviscerates someone else’s franchise.]

So what does the Disney purchase mean for the future of Star Wars? More movies? Post-quels? Will that television show finally happen? Are the other Disney princesses ready for this particular rabble-rouser?

Image courtesy of UPROXX

Image courtesy of UPROXX

The Admiral then puts to recording one of the most dangerous questions imaginable.

Hobbit speak ensues briefly before the Admiral drops this “special” surprise on Ro, which admittedly leads to a bit of confusion at first for the Bajoran. Things made exclusively for women and called something like “floral kiss” do not automatically make her think of netbooks. Just sayin’…

Will there even be a market for any netbooks anymore? Is it necessary to have a special PC for women? Why not? There’s a special Diet Dr. Pepper for dudes!

Hey, have you seen this? Now you have:

UNKK then launches into his list of things that he believes will become obsolete in 2013. What’s on the chopping block? What might survive the year, just in a diminished capacity? What might continue to flourish? What might make a rebound? What do the other crewmembers think? What do you think?

Ro follows up with some of the movies of 2013 that might actually lure the curmudgeonly crowd-hating Bajoran out into a theater to see. Lots to see, some to avoid (along with another one of those unexpected Admiral AdmissionsTM)…and one movie glaringly missing from her list. Guess which movie that would be…

There’s a stupid filter? Give it a go, yo!

And, in conclusion, we’ll just leave this clip to amuse you. Sempre vive, listeners!

Episode Log: Did Star Wars Ruin Science Fiction?

Listen to Episode 105: Did Star Wars Ruin Science Fiction?

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, George Lucas ruined the science fiction genre.

At least that’s the argument put forth by Canadian science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer in a lecture he gave in February 2008 (you can listen to this lecture in its entirety here).

Hyperbolic posturing aside, does Sawyer have a point? Has Lucas weakened the foundation of our beloved science fiction genre through his hackneyed attempts at telling the same story over and over and over again? Or are there darker forces driving Sawyer’s animosity toward The Bearded One and his fractured intergalactic fairytales?

This week. the Admiral and Ro are joined by that Nerd Hurdlelicious duo, Jakob and Mandi, to tackle this Death Star-sized topic. First, however, all involved parties take a moment to praise the generosity of musical maestro Steven Cogswell, both for the listening pleasure and awesome (and sometimes strangely random) gifts he bestows upon us.

The Admiral then confronts Ro about her recent dalliance with another podcast! Seems that those smexy Starbase men simply weren’t scratching the Bajoran’s “ancient Greek mythology in leather and brass” itch…so she found a place where she was more than welcome to “battle on” in high warrior princess style. if you’re dying to hear even more of the belligerent Bajoran, head on over to Episode 14 of The Televerse. And if you’d like to listen to more delicious discourse on what’s hot and what’s not in the television world, join Kate and Simon as they take their listeners on a weekly tour of the Televerse!

Of course, as punishment for her straying from the Starbase, Ro must then listen as the Admiral goes through a litany of recently announced casting choices for the sequel to that Trek abomination from a few years ago. Oh, and hey guyz!! It’s gonna be in teh 3-Dz!!!111!!!! You know, just in case you wondered what the Cloverfield monster looked like in 3-D. Because you know it’s going to be in this movie. Somewhere. It is, after all, a movie brought to us by J.J. Abrams, MMD. Just try not to look directly at the screen through all the bajillion lens flares.

However, with names like Peter Weller and Benedict Cummerbund on the roster, Ro has envisioned a possibility that might even entice her to see this sequel…