Watch ‘Science Trek’ – New PBS Show Hosted By LeVar Burton

This week our regular science writer Kayla is attending an important science conference and learning important sciencey stuff, so instead of our regular science article, we bring you a new show airing this month on PBS, exploring the science of Star Trek, hosted by LeVar Burton on the set of the Enterprise D.


Science Trek

Science Trek is a new show airing this month on PBS stations which explores the intersection of science fact and science fiction, discussed using Star Trek as a hook (using many clips from various Star Trek episodes). Science Trek is hosted by Star Trek The Next Generation’s LeVar Burton, who was filmed on a recreation of the Enterprise D bridge (shot at Star Trek The Exhibition). The show features interviews with many notable scientists, including many from MIT (visit for more on that).

Here is a promo for the show

WATCH Science Trek
Science Trek is repeating on various PBS stations, so check your local listings. And you can watch the full show at YouTube in a six part playlist. It is not embeddable, so click the image below to launch the YouTube playlist in a new window.

CLICK to launch YouTube playlist in a new window


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PBS, the new Techno-babble central.

Actually that is pretty darned interesting. Thanks for sharing it.


Good concept!

Nice, although I’d love it if they’d once not only show the technological development and call it science but also talk about the social implications and ideas that Trek brought along with it, cause certainly one can call Sociology a science as well.

I know that this argument is sometimes not very well received, but I still think it’s valid, even when it’s clear that the idea of the Federation in particular is based on utopian ideals.

hahaha @ LeVar doing the Picard Maneuver at the very end!

TOS fonts and TNG sets and graphics meld together like oil and water. But the concept of the show is interesting.

I’ve loved the shows (I don’t remember whether they’re Discovery Channel or History) about Trek science, including ‘How William Shatner Changed the World.’ This sounds like something I can watch with my two sons. One of them has to build me a starship and a device to de-age me so I can enjoy it.

Maybe LeVar will take on the Gorn cannon while he’s at it…. or how the Kelvin’s turbolift can start out going in one direction and end up on its head…

Will this be on in the UK?

Is this a consolation prize for the crime of canceling Reading Rainbow?

You mean it wasn’t all changed by William Shatner alone? Others had a hand in it as well? Blasphemy!

If you don’t get that joke, I am referring to this:

I’m pretty darn excited for this.

@ 7

Fonts? I would assume that since the New Trek 2009 uses the old typeface- it’s more relevant. Besides the electronic bleed on the Next Gen Video generated logo/ type was pretty bad.

This is a great idea. Anything that hooks kids into science I am all for.

Question- LeVar says Trek has been around for over 43 years- when exactly is Trek’s “Born on date?” First filmed, first aired? First pilot day of shooting? First script/plot/synopsis of The Cage as it began on Roddenberry’s typewriter?

Is it official somewhere?

They must have filmed the opening/tags for this show while the ST LV Experience was still up to use the TNG bridge mock up set for their backdrop.

A wonderful concept. However I did see a simular programe on History ch. 2 month. Ago. Sadden because they rendered beaming impossible. Perhaps with Geordi hosting this Trek science documentary a 2nd opinion will be renderd. However me and my grandchildren will share this expierence together. Thanks aVar!

Anyone else think that the TNG movies should have had a bridge more like the TNG TV show? I found the new bridge to dark. If they ever make another TNG film, I hope they go back to the past and have the bridge look a little more like the TNG bridge. Not an exact replica, but more in that style. I think of the movies had kept a bit more of the original TNG look, they would have done better. The new STRA TREK proved that audiences like bright colors when it comes to TREK!

Kayla should be co-host!

Good to see LeVar on the bridge of the Enterprise again. I wonder… did he come up with the idea for this show?

I really hope they give a Trek movie to direct one day Preferablky a TNG film. I don’t care if its released in the Theatres, on TV, or a Direct-to-DVD release. LeVar… make it SO! :)

I would love for TNG to do another film. A Direct-to-DVD would probably be best, so not to confuse the masses at the multiplexes with the new TOS movies. Would Sir Patrick do a DVD movie though? I suppose he would if they paid him enough to do it.

The nice thing about DVD movies would be that it takes pressure off, in terms of how much they will make at the theaters, and the huge marketing costs for promotion.

DVD movies tend to have a built in audience, which TNG obviously does, so they will definitely sell well.. I say they should do 3 TNG movies (to complete the series), and have the 3rd film loosely tie into a new Trek series. That show could end up being Titan, or something completely new set in the 25th century.

As foe who should direct it, obvious choices would be LeVar and Jonathan Frakes.

#19 I totaly agree with you!

19 and 20

the dvd movie(s) itself should focus on the adventures of the TITAN and her captain and crew. that way Sir Patrick could play a smaller role if needed. I’d love to watch Captain Riker’s adventures.

I totally agree that a Titan DVD movie would rock. It would allow a realistic flexibility for which cast members show up. If they don’t want to, it’s ok… at least storywise. You really only must have Frakes and Sirtis. It’d be GREAT if Sir Patrick took a spin as Ambassador Picard. It’d be equally cool to have the whole gang back together, but sometimes that just doesn’t work out.

Check out the Babylon 5 DVD’s. (Some of the main actors have since died.) One’s great; one’s middlin’. You can see that the budget is limited, but that puts the focus on the characters and the storytelling.

Glad to see LeVar back on the air. And wow, that Enterprise D bridge is horrible. I’ve never gotten why all the exhibit bridges have been totally half-assed. It doesn’t even look like its lack of budget but just like the designers got the general idea and never bothered to look at a single TNG episode.

The Exhibition’s bridge looks better in other pictures, so I think the problem is lighting. The “designed” lighting for the Exhibition’s sets is for live viewing by the human eye. Television cameras need much more light, so to shoot these segments they added a lot more light, but it in no way resembles how the original bridge set was lit for filming because that setup would be very expensive to research and execute. Bad light can make a great set look horrible and good light can make a bad or plain set look awesome.

Looks like Levar is going back to his Roots…….

OK, I’m watching the first episode. It’s good… but, it’s also obvious how little the writers know about Trek-no-babble. They confuse the communicator with the universal translator and say that Capt. Pike can only “blink once or twice.” I kinda would expect LeVar to correct some of this… but, maybe it’s not in his contract.

I used to complain about the halfassed bridges too but the cost of building and then moving them would drive up costs and eventually would raise ticket prices.

#16, I agree, I think the reason I think Generations is the best TNG Film is because it is the only one the truly felt like TNG, probrably because of the Enterprise -D and the colorfull uniforms,

I think a TITAN DVD movie would be great, but it wouldn’t bring in the money that a TNG movie would bring in. It makes more sence to do a DVD as a genuine TNG movie. Of course, the TITAN could easily feature in any TNG film, so you are not really losing out on Titan adventures. Best bet is to do two TNG films that focus on Titan and Enterprise working together (a war threat: Dominion returns; or an all out BORG invasion; or an all new threat.)

Titan seems better suited to a tv show, in my opinion. It has a built in audience, so Paramount would be smart to do it. You also get popular Trek characters from the past.

TNG movies do make more sense. Much easier to package them later on with future movie boxsets of the TOS and TNG movies. That alone should help with the films making money, as movie boxsets are always popular with Star trek fans.

I also agree with the poster who said they should make three dvd movies. I do think the final film should feature Q. LeVar and Frakes could each direct one, and maybe have Nicolas Myers (Wrath of Khan) direct the final film.

This aired last month…I watched it on my PBS Station like 2-3 weeks ago. It was pretty cool.

Yeh that star trek:the exhibition bridge that levar is on sucks–the lv experience bridge was much better–just makes me want the experience back again-sigh—

#31 Yup, they’ve been playing this on PBS for the past month or so. It definitely is a great program, but certainly not enough to dole out $60 for a 1 hour dvd.

I love programs like this. Can’t wait.


Aahh, I love PBS! I watch that channel quite a lot, actually. I’ve got to check this out.

That bridge looks like crap. I think I’d prefer bluescreened shots of the real TNG bridge to that…thing.

#37 Yeah it doesn’t look all that great compared to the series’ bridge. It’s too bad they destroyed the only bridge in “Generations” when they could have sent it to the Smithsonian Museum while using a “duplicate” bridge for the movie. Oh well! Perhaps someone somewhere decides to build their own version for a fan film…

Friggin’ SWEET!

science of trek

29> I think a TITAN DVD movie would be great, but it wouldn’t bring in the money that a TNG movie would bring in.

If they were to do something, I could see them doing a double-barrelled title (i.e., Star Trek: The Next Generation – Titan) for exactly that reason. I don’t think they could really do a “proper” TNG DVD movie – the sets have gone and it would be easier to build new than recreate, Stewart and Spiner have both said they don’t want to do any more for various reasons, and some of the other cast may or may not be willing to do it. Setting it on the Titan would thus (as others here have said) allow more flexibility of both cast and sets.

I think they shrunk Levar down and placed him on a Playmates action figure bridge from 1993?

There’s a show currently on the Science Channel that does this, but isn’t limited to Trek.

It’s hosted by theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku. Personally, I don’t like the guy cause he states a lot of theory as fact.

Thanks Anthony. That’s actually how I found out about it. I just wanted to make people aware who maybe stumbled on this article and don’t regularly read Thanks for posting the link!

Can science one day do a brain transplant like Dr. Frankenstein? If the brain have memory enzymes can they transfer your memory into another brain or one’s memory transfer to a man made brain like that of the movie Avatar?