Mike takes the rough draft of his new “Bechdel Test”-esque thought experiment about media worldbuilding for a spin and tries to punch holes in it. Are our large shared universe worlds really as large and expansive as they appear to be, or is that just an illusion to hide something much smaller and more insular?
And in probably more depth and exhaustive detail than necessary, Mike talks about his love and fascination with J.R.R. Tolkien and his Middle-earth legendarium, and Sam gets the opportunity to talk more about Frank Herbert’s Dune than he’s ever done before on the show.
We continue our talk with Greg Hatcher and talk about how we’ve been falling out of love with modern pop culture franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Walking Dead, and why it’s totally healthy to just walk away.
Plus, we talk very briefly about Star Wars:the Rise of Skywalker, and how a toxic fanbase can not only poison your enjoyment of a pop culture property, but it can affect the decisions that producers make in a doomed attempt to please everyone, including the trolls and bigots.
Editor’s Note from Mike:After thinking about it for less than three seconds, Fascism definitely beats out Objectivism in the Bad Ideology Olympics. But Objectivism would still win a medal. Just wanted to correct that dumb mistake said in haste.
We sit down with the notoriously Trek-skeptical Sam Mulvey to give our first reactions to the first episode of Star Trek: Picard. Is it what we wanted, and have modern iterations of Trek changed so much — or have become so rigid — that they’re just not for us anymore?
We talk about fake click-bait pop culture new sites, the trend that the lead-ups to movie releases are now even longer than the Presidential election, and wonder why so many fans are seemingly unable or unwilling to see the humanity of robotic and android fictional characters.
Also, Mike makes a desperate attempt to convince Sam that the Fast and the Furious franchise is something he might enjoy.
In an episode calling back to us from the near past, we get a little nervous, excited and curious about the then-upcoming Star Trek: Picard. We dig a bit into Trek‘s enduring franchise, both its evolutions and how after almost two decades, is finally moving its timeline forward.
We try to figure out how Wonder Woman and Star Trek Beyond could have gone from very good to great, with the same third act change. We wonder which members of the “Next Generation” crew have the best managerial skills. And finally, we look at how modern audiences — and studios — don’t want to admit that they love inspirational movie heroes.
In the aftermath of our Deep Space Nine panel, we rejoin Michael Warbington and Siskoid to talk a little about the stuff we wish we had gotten a chance to mention.
We talk holographic club owner, Vic Fontaine. Is he the greatest creation of artificial intelligence in the Trek universe, topping even Data? How did the show tackle thorny topics like racism? And has the show been excluded from the recent wave of 1990s nostalgia?
Plus, we look ahead with a pair of Trek fans at the fact that both Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard are going somewhere that excites us: The future. Well, their future.