Podcast: All Access Star Trek Gets Phloxed With John Billingsley For Trek Talks 3, ‘Enterprise,’ And More

All Access Star Trek podcast episode 168 - TrekMovie - John Billingsley & Trek Talks 3

[Interview with John Billingsley starts at  23:35]

Anthony and Laurie start their last podcast of 2023 with the latest on the possible merger between Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery and how that could affect the Star Trek franchise, and some insight into the shelved Quentin Tarantino Star Trek movie, based on a new interview with its writer. They also discuss Michelle Yeoh’s update on prepping for the Section 31 TV movie event, the early success of Star Trek: Prodigy on Netflix, and what the producers have said they’d like to do if the show gets additional seasons. Then it’s their interview with Enterprise‘s John Billingsley, who has come by to talk about the upcoming Trek Talks benefit for the Hollywood Food Coalition: an all-day marathon of Star Trek panels on YouTube on January 13th. He also talks about the legacy of Enterprise, speculates on ways Phlox could return to the franchise, and discusses his career as a character actor and why being on the board of the Hollywood Food Coalition is so important to him.


Paramount Global Holding Merger Talks With Warner Bros. Discovery

Michelle Yeoh Talks Prepping For ‘Star Trek: Section 31’ Movie

‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Launches Into Kids Top 10 Ranking On Netflix [UPDATED]

‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Showrunners Tease Season 2 Surprises; Talk Plans For Season 3 And Beyond

Trek Talks 3

Hollywood Food Coalition

Trek Talks 1 and Trek Talks 2

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Great podcast as always. Billinglsey is a riot, looking forward to Trek Talks 3.

On Tarantino, I don’t buy him staying retired after “The Movie Critic.” Soderbergh said he was retiring from moviemaking and he was back at it in a year or two. Hayao Miyazaki has retired two or three times. Ridley Scott, who is 86, is in the middle of Gladiator II and is lining up his next project. Clint Eastwood is 93 and is directing a film right now.

Being creative is like an itch, eventually you get the urge to scratch.

Yeah, he takes himself way too seriously on the whole 10 movie thing. You would think he thinks he’s like a super important world figure like Theodore Roosevelt, who had to fulfill his promise not to run for a third term, and then regretted it for the rest of his life…lol

Memo to QT: Dude, like 17 people maybe care about your stupid 10 movie limit… just make movies and let go of the silly self important hubris.

I totally agree it’ll be hard for QT to resist the creative urge. That said, I think he’ll successfully delay a return for a while, while finding little loopholes: he’ll direct a TV series, co-direct or ghost-direct a movie or two, direct segments of other movies, and write screenplays for other directors.

Now that I think about it, directing streaming movies could be one way he gets around his ten-movie promise. He’ll claim streaming movies don’t count!

I like that!

Nice guy, but I am growing fatigued with all of these 70+ legacy actors “soft-campaigning” to be shoehorned into Kurtzman Trek series. Brent Spinner was the most extreme case — they found a shoe-horned way to cut him a check on every season of Picard, including a ridiculous role in S2. Mulgrew’s now went to that well twice, with 2 different versions of her character now on Prodigy (and don’t think she doesn’t get paid double for that, which is likely a drag on Prodigy’s budget).

Enough is enough!

They aren’t going to do a brand new show without legacy characters or nostalgia. Even Disco was afraid to not have Spock, Sarek, the Enterprise or Pike. They’ve been doing these nostalgia moments and callbacks since TNG. Not a single series was allowed to stand alone, not even Deep Space Nine.

Oh please. Deep Space Nine and Voyager stood on their OWN merits. New characters, new storylines. The nostalgia, references and legacy characters being shoehorned into modern Trek is 10x what those two shows did back in the day.

It’s so sad how you read things like “They aren’t going to do a brand new show without legacy characters or nostalgia”. I’m not arguing, you’re 100% right, but it’s sad how far Trek has fallen because fans have been trained to expect nostalgia plays every 5 minutes.

Oh please. Deep Space Nine and Voyager stood on their OWN merits. New characters, new storylines. The nostalgia, references and legacy characters being shoehorned into modern Trek is 10x what those two shows did back in the day.


Deep Space Nine kicked off with O’Brien and later got Worf full time.

Yes, it was largely its own thing, but even trek in the 90s was full of nostalgia as much as people will deny it or claim that “well it was different.”

You can argue that maybe they did it better (I don’t agree but there’s merit to the argument as a matter of taste), but you can’t really say they didn’t do it.

I disagree because nostalgia implies a love for a return to characters from the past as in years ago whereas both the characters and actors of Worf and O’Brien we’re in the same time line — both in Star Trek and in terms of the real timeline of those series being produced in the 1990s. That’s significantly different when you bring back characters/actors from decades ago — that’s what nostalgia is. For DS9 it was more like spinning off current characters from the core series to support a new series — that’s not nostalgia.

Yeah, nostalgia has an actual meaning. Using characters from a concurrently running show ain’t it.

The difference there being that earlier shows like TNG took a more measured approach with their nostalgia. Despite its numerous problems in that first season, at least TNG had the good sense to simply set it aboard a ship that carried a familiar name. No one had the last name of Kirk or Scott or Chekov, etc. They weren’t directly related to anyone we already knew.

Poor Michael Burnham, on the other hand, was immediately saddled with nostalgia. She couldn’t have been raised by just any alien family. No, it had to be THE Vulcan family. So she immediately came under fan audit, when we all should have been enjoying her as a standalone character with a unique back story that was free of these canonical distractions.

The difference there being that earlier shows like TNG took a more measured approach with their nostalgia. 


“Let’s all agree, todays Trek is worse than yesterdays trek!”

The quote you hear every ten years. “Get a life” was never more accurate.

Yeah, we’ll said!

Except for Michael Dorn joining DS9 most TNG era shows used the “nostalgia” factor sparingly and to build and expand the universe instead of making it smaller by making every character related to another. We knew the classical characters existed but we also had these excellent totally original characters like Sisko, Kira, Odo, Janeway etc… who built on what came before by not taking the easy way out by being related to one of the original characters. Star Wars is also making the same mistake by relating everything and everyone together. Its not that hard to create new characters, you just have to stick to your guns and get creative.

How is Worf becoming a character on a concurrently running show nostalgia?

I wouldn’t really say Billingsley is “campaigning.” He’s asked the same questions all the time. He’s just answering the questions. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Agreed, that’s why I called it “soft-campaigning.”

This comment is even more evidence you didn’t actually listen to the interview. He answered the question and got right back on topic. He spent less time talking about a return to Trek then I did typing this note.

You tell ‘em! I’m sure they’ll listen to you!

Will do ;-)

“ 70+ legacy actors”

Touchdown short.

I figured I’d better listen to the podcast before replying. Sure enough, he spent about twenty seconds answering the question about returning to Trek of the 60-70 minutes he had, and returned to the topics of the HFC and his time on Enterprise. To look at your comment, you’d think he’s just another whiney B lister spending all his time looking for more Trek work. To the contrary, he’s pretty open that he’s made his money (via Trek), is happy to give back, and generous with his praise for the people around him who help. I’m figuring you didn’t actually listen to this, Billingsly is one of the better interviews on this podcast. Kudos to Trekmovie for giving him the time.

The fact that Tarantino didn´t want his tenth film to be Star Trek tells me two things 1) he´s a bit ridiculous for getting hung up on that arbitrary number. 2) he isn´t much of an ST fan if he didn´t want that to be his last film. Why else get hung up on it?

No offense to Phlox of John but I´d rather have T´Pol guest star in SNW. She was one of the few good things about Enterprise.

He gave the most consistently good performance on Enterprise. (And I’ll preempt some of y’all and say it was an actual good performance, not a relative one.) I’d be down with it.