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New Podcast! Enterprising Individuals – “Star Trek Into Darkness, Part 2”

I am always thrilled to get a chance to talk about Star Trek with other fans, so I was thrilled at the invitation to join the wonderful Aaron Coker on Enterprising Individuals to talk about Star Trek Into Darkness. We split the discussion into two parts, and this is the second.

It seems safe to describe Star Trek Into Darkness as perhaps the most polarising and divisive of the Star Trek movies. However, it’s also the most interesting. It represents the culmination of efforts to turn Star Trek into a populist and accessible blockbuster franchise, but it also remains true to the spirit of the franchise. Star Trek Into Darkness is undeniably a blockbuster of the late Obama era, one preoccupied with the legacy of the War on Terror and fascinated by the loss of utopian innocence that seemed promised with the election of Obama. It’s also just a thrilling action spectacle with a broad appeal.

You can listen to the episode here, the first part of the discussion here, back episodes of the podcast here, click the link below or even listen directly.

New Podcast! Enterprising Individuals – “Star Trek Into Darkness, Part 1”

I am always thrilled to get a chance to talk about Star Trek with other fans, so I was thrilled at the invitation to join the wonderful Aaron Coker on Enterprising Individuals to talk about Star Trek Into Darkness. We split the discussion into two parts, and this is the first.

It seems safe to describe Star Trek Into Darkness as perhaps the most polarising and divisive of the Star Trek movies. However, it’s also the most interesting. It represents the culmination of efforts to turn Star Trek into a populist and accessible blockbuster franchise, but it also remains true to the spirit of the franchise. Star Trek Into Darkness is undeniably a blockbuster of the late Obama era, one preoccupied with the legacy of the War on Terror and fascinated by the loss of utopian innocence that seemed promised with the election of Obama. It’s also just a thrilling action spectacle with a broad appeal.

You can listen to the episode here, back episodes of the podcast here, click the link below or even listen directly.

New Escapist Video! “The Third Season of Lower Decks is Enjoyable, Old-Fashioned Star Trek”

I’m thrilled to be launching movie and television reviews on The Escapist. Over the coming weeks and months, I will be joining a set of contributors in adding these reviews to the channel. For the moment, I’m honoured to contribute a five-minute film review of the third season of Lower Decks, which is on Paramount Plus.

New Escapist Column! On How “Star Trek: Lower Decks” is Embracing Its Own Continuity…

I published a new piece at The Escapist last week. We’re doing a series of recaps and reviews of Star Trek: Lower Decks, which is streaming weekly on Paramount+ in the States and on Amazon Prime in the United Kingdom. The penultimate episode of the third season released last week, and it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the series.

With the end of the third season fast approaching, there is an interesting shift taking place in Lower Decks. The animated show is built around Star Trek fan services, driven and shaped by continuity references to earlier shows in the franchise, particularly those from the nineties. As the seasonw raps up, it is interesting to see Lower Decks embrace the idea of continuity itself. Trusted Sources is an episode that explores evolving Star Trek continuity from the early episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation to the final sweeping epic of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and finds continuity within Lower Decks.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Podcast! Rarely Going – “Star Trek: Lower Decks 3×09 – Trusted Sources”

I was delighted to join the wonderful Kurt North for an episode of the animated Star Trek podcast, Rarely Going.

Trusted Sources is the penultimate episode of the third season of Lower Decks. It is an episode that is obviously teeing up the season finale, but it is also an episode that is engaged with the idea of continuity. Lower Decks is a show built around references to past Star Trek shows, but the third season of the show has seen Lower Decks becoming just a little more comfortable in its own skin. Trusted Sources is an episode about how these seemingly episodic adventures can build and escalate to pay off in interesting ways.

You can listen directly to the episode below or by clicking here.

New Escapist Column! On the Appealing Fandom of “Star Trek: Lower Decks”…

I published a new piece at The Escapist last week. We’re doing a series of recaps and reviews of Star Trek: Lower Decks, which is streaming weekly on Paramount+ in the States and on Amazon Prime in the United Kingdom. The second episode of the third season released last week, and it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the series.

It’s very obvious that Lower Decks is being written by Star Trek fans, andthe show operates in a fairly comfortable register of trusting that its writers and audience know (and care) enough about the franchise that it can effectively race through familiar Star Trek tropes, turning the standard conventions of the franchise into a loving joyride. The Least Dangerous Game is a light episode, but a fun one. It is fast on its feet, and moves with enough charm that it never collapses under its own weight.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

303. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (#—)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, The 250 is a weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released Saturdays at 6pm GMT.

So this week, to mark its re-release in Irish and British cinemas, Nicholas Meyer’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Now supervising cadets at Starfleet Academy, Admiral James Tiberius Kirk finds himself reflecting on his mortality. A routine training mission provides an unlikely reckoning when genetically engineered superman Khan Noonien Singh escapes from his exile and vows revenge on Kirk as the man who marooned him. Kirk has lived his life on the assumption that there is no such thing as a no-win scenario, but that philosophy is about to be sorely tested.

At time of recording, it was not ranked on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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New Escapist Column! On the Strange Conservatism of “Star Trek: Lower Decks”…

I published a new piece at The Escapist this evening. We’re doing a series of recaps and reviews of Star Trek: Lower Decks, which is streaming weekly on Paramount+ in the States and on Amazon Prime in the United Kingdom. The first episode of the third season released this week, and it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the series.

There is something very interesting about how modern Star Trek treats the idea of Starfleet and the Federation as sacrosanct. It’s very different from how shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation or Star Trek: Deep Space Nine approached the idea of these authorities and institutions. It’s very strange to watch a television show in August 2022 that asks its black female protagonist to place her complete unwaivering trust in the system, and in particular in the judicial system.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On How “Strange New Worlds” Offers “Star Trek” by Way of “Alien”…

I published a new piece at The Escapist this evening. We’re doing a series of recaps and reviews of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, which is streaming weekly on Paramount+. The ninth and penultimate episode of the first season released this week, and it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the series.

All Those Who Wander is an interesting genre experiment, effectively providing an intersection between Star Trek and Alien. It’s an interesting approach, and very much in keeping with how the franchise has approached other iconic works of science-fiction. However, it also demonstrates the limitations of the approach taken by Strange New Worlds, which seems frustratingly uninterested in what it means to juxtapose the humanism of the Star Trek franchise with the bleak nihilism of the Alien franchise.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On How “Strange New Worlds” Reaches the Limits of Allegory…

I published a new piece at The Escapist this evening. We’re doing a series of recaps and reviews of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, which is streaming weekly on Paramount+. The seventh episode released this week, and it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the series.

The Serene Squall is an episode that demonstrates the limits of the old-fashioned allegorical-driven approach to Star Trek, particularly when it comes to treating aspects like race and gender as metaphor or allegory rather than simply as facets of existence. Recent spin-offs like Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard might have been uneven, but they made huge steps forward for the franchsie by acknowledging queer leads. In its attempt to nostalgically evoke nineties Star Trek, Strange New Worlds effectively pushes all of that back into the closet.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.