My favorite nerd-culture (not grown on a petri dish) is provided by the The Incomparable podcast network. The main podcast spun off an orbiting array of other podcasts, including the The Incomparable Game Show. Which isn’t a show, but a feed of similarly themed game shows. Counter Clockwise, however, isn’t really a game, but just go with it. Each panelist presents a question to the group, and they take turns answering. It’s a mirror version of the popular tech podcast Dan Moren, and Jason Snell do for Relay FM’s podcast network.
The first one was a Star Wars one — which is fine, if you’re into that sort of thing. Their second episode is about Star Trek. Yay! (Throws shiny, space-confetti.)
Readers may recall a similar post about The Incomparable, and Star Trek from ages past, and then, only in legend.
Dan Moren’s question is pretty straight-forward, but difficult to answer since it’s easy to be torn between several characters. Dan jokes, “Which one’s your favorite child?”
- David Loehr: Jean-Luc Picard
- Jason Snell: Leonard “Bones” McCoy
- Scott McNulty: Worf
- Dan Moren: Benjamin Sisko
While it’s hard to extricate the character from the actor, Jason Snell has complimentary things to say about both De Forest Kelly’s performance, and Karl Urban’s
I’m torn between Spock, and Data. The characters have many similarities, but some key differences in their personal struggles. There are two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation that stick out in my mind from when I was in my formative years: Hero Worship and The Measure of a Man.
Hero Worship is a flawed episode, and it’s hard to really get into it when you view it now, but it left an impression. Here was this kid that felt all alone, and isolated. He didn’t want to feel that way, and he looked up to Data as someone he could model himself after. This spoke to me.
As much as it pains me, I’d pick Data over Spock. If only Jason Snell had invoked The Phil Hartman Rule to save me from this choice.
David’s topic is, of course, very writery.
- Jason Snell: Kirstie Alley’s Savvik, as originally written. Also considered:
- Kelsey Grammar’s captain from the end of “Cause and Effect” exploring the universe as a fish-out-of-water.
- The people thawed out at the end of “The Neutral Zone” for another fish-out-of-water story.
- Dr. Bruce Maddox’s quest to make new androids.
- Baseball. For … something.
- Scott McNulty: “Conspiracy” ending with the homing beacon to other little parasites out in the far reaches of the galaxy.
- Dan Moren: “Yesterday’s Enterprise” - to get to know more about that alternate reality version of Starfleet.
- Get to know more about Boothby.
- David Loehr: Explore any interaction between “Mirror Mirror” Spock mind-melding with McCoy, and Spock mind-melding with McCoy in Star Trek II.
Great choices. (Except baseball.) If I had to pick one, I’d go with exploring the unidentified Dyson Sphere from “Relics”. It’s a giant shell world, the size of a solar system, built by a civilization that abandoned it. Like so many things in Star Trek, we never, ever hear of it ever again.
Jason longs for a series, and asks the panel what kind of series they want.
- Scott McNulty: Firefly.
- Dan Moren: A show about Section 31, particularly in the J.J. Abrams universe, where it needs to be rebuilt. Espionage — cloak, and dagger.
- David Loehr: Star Trek: Continuum — an anthology series with a few episodes to tell specific stories spread throughout Star Trek’s chronology (chronologies). Particularly if it was with the Netflix model with 8-10 episodes set here, and there.
- Jason riffs on David’s suggestion with the opportunities to bring in the J.J. movie cast for guest spots here, and there.
- Jason Snell: He has two, but it’s really three.
- A series set in the original series era, with the costumes, and designs, of the era.
- A series set in the J.J. Abrams universe, with the costumes, and designs, of that rethought era.
- Inspired by John Scalzi, and similar books about discovering something surprising on a planet, and uncovers a mystery.
I’ve been thinking about Star Trek series ideas since TNG. I’ll spare you all the iterations I’ve gone through and present only two:
- Set post Voyager, but incorporating the “adjusted” timeline of the J.J. movies. It’s like TNG in overall format, a ship exploring the galaxy without a constant threat, but there are serialized arcs, like DS9. The real change is that it isn’t a rehashing of TNG scripts, it will return to creatively thinking of the morality issues that we face in the present day, viewed through the lens of science fiction. I want to go to subjects that were taboo for the previous producers to consider handling. There will also be a guy that kisses another guy, because that shit just needs to happen.
- Like the first example, but the format would divide the season up into segments all telling the same story. This is similar to David’s Star Trek: Continuum pitch, but more like viewing overlapping events through the eyes of several alien cultures. This view at the same event through characters we can sympathize with will let us look at all angles, and not just the noble Federation scolding aliens every week. Layers of perception and drama. Every season is a new event to dissect.
Scott McNulty steals Dan’s question from the previous Star Wars show.
- Dan Moren: The USS Defiant.
- Runabouts. “It’s like the compact car of the Star Trek universe. You don’t need, like, an SUV-Enterprise-thing. It’s like a Honda Fit.”
- David Loehr: “Ditto” (He means The Defiant, not the runabouts, thank god.)
- Jason Snell: The classic Klingon battlecruiser (the D7) “as best seen, probably, in The Motion Picture” (that’s the K’t’inga, but same deal as the D7).
- Excelsior as a runner-up.
- Scott McNulty: D’Deridex Class Romulan Warbird.
These were all very good choices, except for Dan’s runabouts. I mean, really? Any vehicle? Runabouts? They’re so unexciting, and wimpy, that the role they filled was mostly replaced by the ship he picked as his primary choice.
Anyway, my pick is a little difficult, so I’m going to do the multiple-pick trick of saying a bunch of things I’ve considered:
- The Enterprise NCC-1701-D. I have a fondness for this comfy, fabric-covered, kid-safe, holodeck-filled ship. It doesn’t look good from all angles, and some of it is a bit dated.
- The Nebula Class is very similar to the Galaxy Class, but it’s much more compact. The first one we see, is the USS Phoenix, which has a funky AWAC pod. I much prefer the style represented by the USS Sutherland, and it’s arrowhead pod.
- The New Orleans Class Kyushu is barely seen onscreen as a battle-damaged wreck, but if you were the kind of person that looked online at ships from the Battle of Wolf 359, and their reconstructions, then you probably liked the idea of it. It’s swept back nacelle pylons were great.
- The Enterprise E is a slicker design than the above, but it’s not as “friendly”.
- The Akira Class was a great ship, but then Enterprise came out and aped the design, and now every time I look at an Akira Class, I think of that incredibly disappointing show.
- The Jem’Hadar Battleship - I’m a size queen.
In the end, I’ve got to go with the Enterprise D. It narrowly beats out the Sutherland, because it has a better bridge. They always say that kitchens and baths sell real estate, but in Star Trek, it’s about the bridge. Should have sprung for wood railings, Sutherland.
- David Loehr: Command.
- Jason Snell: Command, but probably winds up in Engineering.
- Scott McNulty: Wants to be in Command, thinks he would be in Ops.
- Dan Moren: Engineering.
I’d want to wear a nice, soothing teal. Probably ship’s counsellor. I most likely wouldn’t pass any tests, and be one of those civilians with the onesies that never fit right in the crotch.
The bonus on the bonus is the Bonus Track with excerpts from the recording session for the episode. It’s mostly about people that are having computer problems.