Podcast: All Access Star Trek Finds Connections In This Week’s ‘Lower Decks’

All Access Star Trek podcast episode 162 - TrekMovie - Lower Decks "The Inner Fight"

[Lower Decks review starts at  4:51]

Anthony and Laurie give a quick recap on what’s happening with the SAG-AFTRA strike and how this year’s production disruption has impacted Star Trek. They then review the penultimate episode of Lower Decks season 4, “The Inner Fight,” talking about the episode as a standalone, as a reflection of the show itself, all the surprising connections to franchise lore, and what it means to be in Starfleet. The podcasters end with some thoughts on what to expect for Star Trek after next week’s season finale of Lower Decks and in the coming year.

Links:

Studios to Devote Another Week to Resolve SAG Strike or Give Up Until January | Exclusive [The Wrap]

Zachary Quinto talks SAG-AFTRA unity [Instagram]

Alex Kurtzman Gives ‘Section 31’ And ‘Academy’ Updates, Teases “Exciting” New Star Trek Projects

Photo of Nick Locarno on Admiral Paris’ desk from Star Trek: Voyager‘s “Pathfinder”

Chief O’Brien at Work

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I’d love to see you guys get another sit-down with Terry Matalas. Not about Picard or Legacy specifically, but since he is such a big ST fan, and he probably stays in touch with people at Paramount, I think it would be interesting to talk to him about the current state of ST, where it’s going, where maybe it should go, how much content there should be, what kind of content, keeping it on P+, licensed to others, CBS, etc. It seems we’re at an inflection point for ST, where the big money for any content is gone, but there is still value in capturing the fans’ interests. Should Paramount experiment with different genres in ST (procedural, medical, spy, etc.)? How about different media (TV, streaming, audio dramas, socials)?

Also, I think Nick Locarno’s jacket insignia was the Koolvord Starburst from “The First Duty”.

Interesting idea, although Terry might be limited in what he can say. But there’s something there for sure. Maybe we could pull an interesting group together.

It seems to me that the person having those kinds of high-level strategic discussions with Paramount would be Alex Kurtzman, not Terry.

This is a really great thought. The first thing it makes me think is that Paramount has no institutional knowledge for how to produce Star Trek at a lower price point with an eye towards profitability. It has always worked best as a TV program even on a compromised budget (that’s the medium it was devised for, after all), and I can’t help but feel that compromising the medium and compromising the budget compromises the whole Enterprise until it really just is a sticker slapped onto the side of a widget from the content factory.

Completely agree! I would love to have Matalas back and just talk about the state of the franchise and his thoughts on things. We know he can’t be overly negative or anything but Matalas comes off as a guy that enjoys most of it anyway, even TATV.

No I kid, no one likes TATV.

I would love to see different sides of Starfleet as well like a lawyer show, doctor etc. Section 31 with Adolf was going to be the spy genre side but the TV movie will have to do for now.

Episode Suggestion:

I realize this is a bit self-serving, but what about interviewing Star Trek and Star Trek-adjacent authors? There have been a lot of good books released this past year in the fiction realm, and some really interesting ones in the non-fiction realm (I am thinking of an edited volume by some colleagues I know).

Ha! Hi Jason! Thanks for the suggestion.

Heya! Have you reviewed The Animated Series in the past? I just watched a few episodes and enjoyed them. I’d love to hear you two review the series. I would also enjoy hearing you review your favorite episodes from the franchise as a whole. Lots of possibilities to satisfy my itch for your podcast!

We generally only review new episodes, but maybe there is a way to talk about the different series as a whole, although that’s been very well done by our pals at the Shuttle Pod. They’ve done great episodes on other series, on specific seasons, characters. etc. https://trekmovie.com/category/podcasts/shuttle-pod/

Nana Visitors Star Trek book is supposed to be landing next year. Maybe she’d be up for an interview on that?

YES! We have talked about it and she promised to come on the podcast when the book comes out.

Yay! Nana Visitor!!!

I feel the same way.

A review of Patrick Stewart’s book would be timely, and perhaps other recent books by other ST alums.

We review books on the site all the time! I’ll be reviewing Patrick’s book next week. Just finished it!

Whe Mariner mentioned Sito I half expected her to show up, that would have explained all the spoiler hype beforehand.

The logo on Locarnos jacket sort of looks like the formation Nova Squadron were aiming for in The first duty.

I wonder if the other Boimler will show up in the finale? They made a big deal about him joining Section 31 last season.

So here´s ideas for pod interviews during the great drought:
It would be amazing if you could get Alex Kurtzman on the pod.

Alex and Olatunde Osunsanmi were on a the Blerdgurl podcast a few years ago and that was a great conversation. So maybe Alex and/or Tunde or Michelle? Michelle about ending Disco and Tunde is involved with the Academy series.

Maybe invite Cirroc Lofton The Sisko Day in may?

The Okudas!

The author Charlie Jane Anders is a Star Trek fan, that could be an interesting conversation.

The logo/symbol on Nick’s jacket is the starburst. Took me a while to notice it but it’s a nice reference.

Was it just me that Mariner’s explanation of her self-destructive behaviors fell a little flat? It felt more like exposition rather than the heart that Mike had talked about. Perhaps because we never saw Sito and Mariner’s relationship so it was hard for me to feel the loss?

The explanation worked for me, but I can see how it comes off as telling rather than showing.

Up until this scene I was feeling a deep dislike for Mariner in this episode. She is usually one of my favorite Trek characters, and I was puzzled at why she was being written as a total [expletive deleted]. That scene clarified that behavior for me, and I appreciated the storytelling much more.

I very much enjoyed this. I especially liked the point that the four officers listed were all rogues.

A bunch of points:

There are of course many enlisted personnel below the rank of ensign, but for some reason (possibly because neither ensigns nor enlisted personnel wore any rank insignia in TOS, or because WOK gave the incorrect impression that all those people in jumpsuits were cadets) Star Trek fans have never seemed to recognize this. I thought having all the Lower Deckers as ensigns was a bit of a nod to this.

McMahan himself has said that the statue of O’Brien they showed on Lower Decks was modeled on the image from the Chief O’Brien at Work webcomic. He even guest-wrote a comic for them recently.

When you talked about characters not necessarily being good actors…of course, Billups grew up on a cosplaying planet, he may well be a better actor than most.

When you kept saying “hoodlums” I was thinking of the Sigma Iota II.

I wonder if Mudd’s was founded by Harry himself.

David Gerrold has a funny bit about uniforms without pockets that starts in the 1960’s and ends in the 1990’s. Apparently he had a scene in the original Trouble With Tribbles that involved putting something in a pocket and was told “They don’t have pockets in the future.” He asked, “So where do they put their money?” “They don’t have money, they have credits.” “Okay….”

Then thirty years later he appeared on the DS9 sequel and they gave him a uniform, and his son said, “Where are the pockets?” “They don’t have pockets in the future.” “So where do they put their space money?”

I have another guest suggestion. Kathryn Lyn is canon consultant for Lower Decks. Maybe her? And if SNW has one that would be interesting too!

Definitely! Especially for Lower Decks! She definitely earns her job for that show! 👍

When the strike ends, can you get Amanda Plummer as a guest? I just saw her Villainous Vadic feature on S3 Picard bluray and I find her fascinating as a human being.

I’d love to talk to her, but realistically, I don’t think it’s going to happen.

Here is an idea I think most people would love and connect back to this website initial roots but why not talk to Bob Orci and his original idea for the third Kelvin movie? Yes, I realize at this point there only seems to be about a dozen committed fans here to those movies these days; but I’m pretty certain everyone is still curious to know what his script entailed before the project was dropped for Beyond. Especially Nimoy’s and Shatner’s role in it.

Sadly Orci doesn’t come around here anymore and the Kelvin movies (or the movies in general) seem to be in a permanent holding pattern. But it would be fun to get him on the podcast to discuss it. I mean I don’t think it’s any kind of gag order to talk about it since pretty much the writers of cancelled projects like the Tarantino and the Hemsworth movies have now all diverged the initial premise about their movies since none of them are happening. And it’s been nine freaking years already!

Just an idea but I personally still would like to hear what his ideas were for it. It’s still surprising he hasn’t talked about it on a podcast somewhere.

I’m going to say something that is probably somewhat controversial for me but I don’t think Orci was that much of a hack. I know, a hot take! 😉

Out of that bunch of wannabe Trek producers making those movies, he truly came off the most authentic and understood the franchise; certainly more than JJ, Kurtzman and Lindeloff did. I think Orci probably had good ideas but got suffocated by Paramount and Abrams wanting to turn Trek into Marvel and Star Wars and didn’t really care how much it felt like actual Star Trek. If he was in charge I’m guessing Khan would’ve looked and acted like Khan at least. 🙄

I was pretty much over JJ verse after Star Trek Into Diarrhea came out but I was still curious to see what Orci could do with it as the head writer and director. Maybe it would’ve been more head scratching nonsense but I suspect we would’ve got an actual Star Trek story with a hint of intelligence and less supervillains trying to destroy planets.

I would be curious to hear more about his story too.

I actually agree about Orci, he was definitely the most passionate about Star Trek; just coming here to talk and interact with fans made that clear. In fact I’m only on TM because of Orci. I was on IMDB at the time when someone mentioned one of the writers from the first movie when it was still being made was taking questions about it here and of course I came at warp speed and been around ever since; although I just lurked for a long time. But I really only came here to read what Orci was saying about the movie. This was as far back as 2008.

And we’ve interacted a few times here over the years. I have my issue with those movies but I never questioned their hearts weren’t in the right place; but that’s life. He took so much heat over Khan and it wasn’t even his idea to put him in the movie; certainly not with the casting. But out of all the cancelled projects, his probably interested me the most outside of Noah Hawley’s movie. That’s another one it would be great for TM to talk to and interview.

Get Aaron Waltke, Mike McMahan or Terry Matalas back or anyone just associated with those shows who hasn’t been on the podcast yet and and just have them talk about Trek for an hour. It could be about their shows or the others I don’t care. It would be a fun time either way.

I would love to book Mike and give him our Star Trek questionnaire… actually, Terry hasn’t taken it either!

Perfect! 👍