Earl Grey 68: Secret Shipyards Are All The Rage

Nemesis.

Star Trek Nemesis is generally considered one of the weaker entries of The Next Generation feature films, as well as the entire Star Trek movie franchise. The story mixed together action sequences, the idea of "dark mirrors" for Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Lt. Cmdr. Data, and attempted to send off the Enterprise-Echaracters to their next stage of life (or death, in the case of one android). Daniel, Darren, and Phillip examine the multiple aspects that did not work in the film, what parts they enjoyed, and how this movie predicted the look and feel of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek into Darkness. Pour a glass of Romulan Ale or Chateau Picard, and join Earl Grey for Next Gen's final journey. 

Hosts
Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

Editor / Producer
Darren Moser

Production Manager
Richard Marquez
 
Content Coordinator
Will Nguyen

Chapters

Finale to TNG? (00:03:02)  
Issues (00:10:30)  
Deleted Scenes (00:22:25)  
TNG Movies (00:28:30)  
Being Positive (00:33:34)  
Conclusion (00:47:16)  

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Direct download: eg-068.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 11:54pm MST

Earl Grey 67: 500 Lt. Commanders Can't Be Wrong

TNG Ranks & Promotions. 

Star Trek has created a universe where Starfleet personnel have recognizable ranks and positions. The Next Generation promoted several characters and moved others to various ship positions, while at the same time left certain officers in the same rank through all seven seasons and four feature films. Darren, Daniel, and Phillip examine the career paths of the TNG crew, how the Starfleet promotion system on the Enterprise fits into the greater canon of the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th centuries, and discover a surprising conspiracy concerning those with full commander rank.

Hosts
Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

Editor / Producer
Darren Moser

Production Manager
Richard Marquez
 
Content Coordinator
Will Nguyen

Chapters

Geordi La Forge (00:04:00)  
The Red/Gold Shift (00:12:18)  
Worf (00:21:50)  
The Commander Paradox (00:27:00)  
Troi (00:38:15)  
O'Brien (00:44:17)  
Data (00:50:57)  
Closing (00:52:51)  

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Direct download: eg-067.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 5:39pm MST

Earl Grey 66: Prime DAREctive

Controversial Storylines.

Gene Roddenberry believed that Star Trek was a way to debate so-called "controversial" issues through the disguise of a futuristic setting. The Next Generation featured episodes that tackled the modern struggles of changing gender roles ("The Outcast," "Angel One," & "The Perfect Mate"), drug use ("Symbiosis"), terrorism ("The High Ground"), and the lifelong effects of war ("The Hunted"). The quality of these storylines ranged from thought-provoking to disappointing. Phillip, Darren, and Daniel discuss how the writers of TNG did not always provide the answers to these issues, but how they provided a platform to examine our society. We invite you to be a part of the controversy and listen to this latest Earl Grey.

Hosts
Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

Editor / Producer
Darren Moser

Production Manager
Richard Marquez
 
Content Coordinator
Will Nguyen
 

Chapters

Controversial Story-lines (00:04:18)  

The Outcast 5x17 (00:07:40)  

The High Ground 3x12 (00:17:13)  

Symbiosis 1x22 (00:26:14)  

The Perfect Mate 5x21 (00:34:37)  

Angel One 1x14 (00:42:45)  

The Hunted 3x11 (00:46:00)

Closing (00:52:48)  


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Direct download: eg-066.mp3
Category:Controversy -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

Earl Grey 65: The Fates Decree It

Women in TNG.

 

From the pilot "Encounter at Fairpoint," The Next Generation signaled that it wanted to update the way Star Trek would handle gender roles - it was no longer "where no man had gone before" but "where no one had gone before." The first season featured three female characters - Security Chief Tasha Yar, Counselor Deanna Troi, and Dr. Beverly Crusher. However, two of those three characters did not return in the second season. The full run of TNG and the feature films contain many female characters, both primary cast and guest stars, and created episodes that focused on women, from "The Child" to "The Perfect Mate." @FirstTimeTrek Andi VanderKolk joins Daniel, Darren, and Phillip to discuss the successes and disappointments in how women were portrayed in TNG.

 

Hosts

Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

 

Guests

Andi VanderKolk

 

Production Manager

Richard Marquez

 

Content Coordinator

Will Nguyen

 

Chapters

Is TNG Better in It's Portrayal of Women? (00:05:00)  

Where No ONE Has Gone Before (00:12:02)  

Tasha Yar (00:22:10)  

Deanna Troi (00:29:28)  

Ro Laren (00:34:10)  

Dr. Leah Brahms (00:36:30)  

Lal (00:41:00)  

Admiral Nechayev (00:46:21)  

Mae Jemison (00:50:20)  

Kathryn Janeway (00:53:27)  

Lwaxana Troi (00:57:58)  

Closing (01:02:22)  

 

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Direct download: eg-065.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 12:40am MST

Earl Grey 64: To Absent Friends

Death in TNG.

All good things must come to an end, and in The Next Generation, that means the deaths of many favorite (and perhaps not so favorite) characters. Mr. Data meets his demise in the final feature film Star Trek: Nemesis, the first security chief Tasha Yar dies a senseless death in the season one episode "Skin of Evil," and memorable guest star K'Ehleyr is murdered by Duras in "Reunion." These deaths affected our TNG characters and fans, leading to debates about whether these deaths served a purpose or whether they should have been avoided. Phillip, Darren, and Daniel discuss the end of these characters and others in this episode, asking how those deaths were treated, what was the aftermath, and what death teaches us about the dangers of exploring the final frontier.

Hosts
Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

Chapters

Data (00:03:20)
Yar (00:19:30)
K'Ehleyr (00:29:10)
Lt Hawk (00:36:54)
The Chorus (00:42:20)
Q Who Deaths (00:43:42)
The Bonding (00:49:50)
Final Thoughts (00:51:11)

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Direct download: eg-064.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 10:00pm MST

Earl Grey 63: Does Data Dream of Positronic Sheep

AI in the 24th Century.

Star Trek The Original Series is filled with the twenty-third century crew encountering robots, androids, and god-like computers. In the twenty-fourth century, artificial intelligence still surprises Starfleet's flagship, falling under the category of "new life and new civilizations."

In the episode of Earl Grey, Darren, Daniel, and Phillip discuss The Next Generation's episodes that feature Soong-type androids, Starfleet's computer systems (LCARS), holographic intelligence ("Elementary, Dear Data" and "Ship in a Bottle"), and machines that grow beyond their original programming ("Evolution" and "The Quality of Life"). What is the definition of life? How does artificial intelligence in TNG challenge that definition? Join us as we tackle these issues.

 

Hosts

Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, and Darren Moser

 

Editor and Producer

Darren Moser

 

Associate Producer

Will Nguyen

 

Chapters

Data: Encounter at Farpoint (00:03:09)

Lore: Brothers (00:06:45)

Lal: The Offspring (00:10:36)

The Computer: Emergence (00:17:00)

Minuet: 11001001  (00:25:51)

Moriarty: Ship in a Bottle (00:31:02)

Exocomps: Quality of Life (00:39:11)

Nanites: Evolution (00:44:31)

Closing (00:46:14)

 

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Direct download: eg-063.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 6:30am MST

Earl Grey 62: Armrest Cheat Sheet

Season Four Overview.

Viewers flocked to the season-four premiere of The Next Generation to see if the Enterprise-D would survive the Borg attack and whether Locutus of Borg versus Captain William T. Riker would mean the end of Jean-Luc Picard. The rest of the season introduced the family members of our crew ("Family," "Brothers," "Reunion"), saw Chief O'Brien get married ("Data's Day"), and Wesley Crusher finally moved on from the Federation flagship ("Final Mission").

In this episode of Earl Grey, Daniel, Phillip, and Darren discuss the introduction of the Cardassians, the expansion of the Klingon civil war arc (featuring Daniel's favorite shadowy Romulan), and what episodes made us laugh, think, and cry the most during the season that fully established TNG as a Star Trek incarnation with its own identity and success.

 

Hosts

Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, and Darren Moser

 

Editor and Producer

Darren Moser

 

Associate Producer

Will Nguyen

 

Chapters

The Best of Both Worlds (2:03)

Family (5:51)

Passing TOS (11:03)

Family Season? (16:51)

Wesley Leaving (21:03)

O'Brien (30:25)

Highlights of Season Four (33:37) 

Fun with Titles (38:58)

Q (44:20)

Final Thoughts (47:00)

Closing (52:03)

 

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Direct download: eg-062.mp3
Category:Season Overviews -- posted at: 6:00am MST

Earl Grey 61: VISOR Infomercial

Lost Plotlines.

There are times when an episode of The Next Generation causes a viewer to ask, "Hey, whatever happened to…?" TNG is sometimes criticized as being too episodic compared to more modern television shows thanks to characters, guest stars, and plotlines that would be introduced and then promptly disappear.

In this episode of Earl Grey, Phillip, Daniel, and Darren explore these vanishing acts, from Dr. Pulaski telling La Forge that she could give him ocular implants in "Loud As a Whisper" to a conclusion for Commander Sela in "Redemption" and "Unification" to the destructive effects of warp travel in "Force of Nature." Join us as we imagine the storylines that could have been if followed up on in later TNG, DS9, or Voyager.

 

Hosts

Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, and Darren Moser

 

Editor and Producer

Darren Moser

 

Associate Producers

Become one! Support Trek.fm and Earl Grey at the $25/month level or higher! Visit http://patreon.com/trekfm

 

Chapters

Geordi's Sight (4:00)

Sela (9:40)

Ambassador Tomalak (15:40)

Wesley (17:20)

Jeremy Aster (19:05)

Bynars (20:52)

Tin Man (24:55)

Conspiracy (28:46)

Ship In a Bottle (36:00)

Warp Speed Limit (41:00)

Q (43:16)

 

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Direct download: eg-061.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 11:33pm MST

Earl Grey 60: Save the Stardate

The Worf-Dax TNG Wedding Invitations.

We all remember the big wedding in Star Trek: Nemesis that finally united two characters who we saw fall in love throughout the years on TNG. But we would have loved to see our beloved TNG crew attend Lt. Commander Worf's wedding years prior in the Deep Space Nine episode "You Are Cordially Invited." The real-life limitations of budget, an existing storyline, and actor availability kept our favorite Klingon's friends and family from attending the ceremony. Nevertheless, in this episode of Earl Grey, we discuss who should have been sent calligraphy-engraved PADDs inviting them to attack Worf with painsticks at his bachelor party. From Worf's adopted parents and brother, to his closest friends on the Enterprise-E, to other people he encountered while serving under Picard, Darren, Daniel, and Phillip arrange the seating at the wedding reception to include those who would have enjoyed being part of Worf and Jadzia Dax saying, "I do."

 

Hosts

Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

 

Editor and Producer

Darren Moser

 

Associate Producers

Become one! Support Trek.fm and Earl Grey at the $25/month level or higher! Visit http://patreon.com/trekfm

 

Chapters

The Setting (5:13)

Where Were the TNG crew? (9:38)

Captain Picard/Riker (10:05)

Mr. & Mrs. Rozhenko (16:46)

Nikolai Rozhenko (20:44)

Kurn (21:32)

Jeremy Aster (22:06)

Dr. Pulaski (23:08)

Guinan (23:53)

Data (28:26)

K'Ehleyr (30:43)

Crossover Conundrum (32:02)

Alexander (33:56)

 

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Direct download: eg-060.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 6:00am MST

Earl Grey 59: The B, C, & D Team

Casting TNG with Larry Nemecek.

The familiar credits roll during every episode of The Next Generation. But how did our favorite actors get these timeless roles? And how close did other actors come to crewing the first version of Star Trek to take place in the 24th century? In this episode of Earl Grey, "Dr Trek" himself, Larry Nemecek, joins us to discuss casting The Next Generation. Darren, Phillip, and Daniel talk about how important it was to get "famous" names in Trek's second televised live-action incarnation, where each of the actors were in their careers in the mid 1980s, and how close Wesley came to being "Leslie" Crusher. Larry also reveals what actors lost out in being cast in the main roles and in what subsequent episodes they appeared in as guests, as well as which actor ended up being cast in a main role in a later Star Trek series. Get your glossy headshots ready, break a leg, and join us in discussing the casting process on TNG.

 

Hosts

Daniel Proulx, Phillip Gilfus, & Darren Moser

 

Guests

Larry Nemecek

 

Editor and Producer

Darren Moser

 

Associate Producers

Become one! Support Trek.fm and Earl Grey at the $25/month level or higher! Visit http://patreon.com/trekfm

 

Chapters

Patrick Stewart (3:07)

LeVar Burton (10:17)

Marina Sirtis / Denise Crosby (18:30)

Phillip Returns (24:08)

Wil Wheaton (25:10)

Gates McFadden (29:28)

Runner-up Choices (31:40)

Jonathan Frakes (33:55)

Big Names (35:15)

Brent Spiner (38:25)

Michael Dorn (43:15)

 

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Direct download: eg-059.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 12:28am MST

Earl Grey 58: Scarcity Scarcity Scarcity

Money.

There are many aspects of The Next Generation that put the "fiction" in "science fiction." One of those futuristic concepts that boggles the 21st-century viewer is imagining a world without money. What does it mean to live in a time when, as Captain Jean-Luc Picard explains in Star Trek: First Contact, "the acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives"? Does the existence of replicators and seemingly endless energy destroy any modern concept of economics?

In this episode of Earl Grey, Daniel, Darren, and Phillip attempt to suppress their Ferengi capitalistic instincts and try to explain how Federation society works without any identifiable currency. They also tackle how Starfleet exists in the same galaxy as other species who use latinum, leks, darseks, and other forms of money in their pursuit of trade agreements and resource exchange. Get your bitcoin account ready to accept Federation credits as Earl Grey tackles money—or the lack thereof—in the 24th century. 

 

Hosts

Phillip Gilfus, Daniel Proulx, and Darren Moser

 

Editor and Producer

Darren Moser

 

Associate Producers

Become one! Support Trek.fm and Earl Grey at the $25/month level or higher! Visit http://patreon.com/trekfm

 

Chapters

Money in TOS-TNG (4:02)

Federation Interactions with Species with Currency (13:17)

Menial Jobs (16:09)

Why Work? (29:16)

No Personal Wealth (40:02)

Is This Possible? (45:20)

 

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Direct download: eg-058.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am MST

Earl Grey 57: Kindle Comes From the Nautical Term...

Ship of the Line Book Review.

The power of Star Trek novels is that they can fill in the gaps of time periods set between the television series and the feature films. Noted Star Trek author Diane Carey did this—and more—in her 1997 novel Ship of the Line. This story tells the complete tale of Captain Morgan Bateson and the crew of the U.S.S. Bozeman, first introduced in the TNG episode "Cause and Effect."

In this first ever book review episode of Earl Grey, Darren, Daniel, and Phillip travel through three time periods: The untold time between Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; the events immediately following "Cause and Effect"; and what happened to the crew of the Enterprise-D after its destruction in Star Trek Generations. This book even briefly allows Jean-Luc Picard to observe the events in the TOS episodes "Balance of Terror" and "The Enemy Within." Old Klingon enemies, a familiar Cardassian interrogator, and Scotty, too, all make appearances in this literary adventure of The Next Generation crew that launches the maiden voyage of the NCC 1701-E.

 

Hosts

Phillip Gilfus, Daniel Proulx, and Darren Moser

 

Editor and Producer

Darren Moser

 

Associate Producers

Become one! Support Trek.fm and Earl Grey at the $25/month level or higher! Visit http://patreon.com/trekfm

 

Chapters

Perspective (3:20)

Plot 1: Morgan Bateson (21:13)

Plot 2: The Construction of the 1701-E (29:30)

Plot 3: Picard and the Medred Villages (48:33)

 

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Direct download: eg-057.mp3
Category:Books -- posted at: 7:00am MST

Earl Grey 56: The One Where Worf Goes to DS9

Worf with The Orb.

The idea of a Klingon serving in Starfleet may have struck some fans as heresy when Worf debuted in the 1987 TNG pilot "Encounter at Farpoint." However, as the journey of this Klingon unfolded, he became a fan favorite. Over the seven seasons of The Next Generation, as well as the feature films, Lieutenant Worf took his place as tactical officer of the Enterprise-D and continued to struggle with his dual identities resulting from being a Klingon who was raised by humans. Whether discovering a long-lost brother, a long-lost son, or a long-lost Klingon homeworld (with its own political turmoil and machinations), Worf helped viewers explore Klingon culture and expanded on what knew about this "warrior race" during the Captain Kirk's time.

In order to better understand this vital character, we're joined in this episode of Earl Grey by Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing, co-hosts of The Orb, to discuss the seeds of his story which continued on Deep Space Nine. So sharpen your teeth, grab your bat'leth, and join in the warrior fun. 

 

Hosts

Phillip Gilfus, Daniel Proulx, and Darren Moser

 

Guests

Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing

 

Editor and Producer

Darren Moser

 

Associate Producers

Become one! Support Trek.fm and Earl Grey at the $25/month level or higher! Visit http://patreon.com/trekfm

 

Chapters

Klingon on the Bridge?! (3:00)

Death of Tasha Yar (8:14)

A Good Day for Honor!....or not. (16:00)

Family Matters (24:20)

Connection to Picard (35:00)

Klingon Culture (42:15)

Worf in the Movies (49:13)

 

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Direct download: eg-056.mp3
Category:Characters -- posted at: 7:00am MST

Earl Grey 55: The Badmiral and the Fountain of Youth
Insurrection.

Star Trek: Insurrection was released on December 11, 1998, and reactions from fans of The Next Generation have been divided ever since. The third movie in the TNG franchise, following the popular Star Trek: First Contact, has been described as feeling like an authentic episode from the television series, while other fans view it as one of the least successful films in all of the Star Trek film franchise.

In this episode of Earl Grey, Phillip, Darren, and Daniel tackle the new technologies introduced in the film, the morality-play plot, and what their favorite crew should have been up to during the Dominion War. We also discuss whether the Troi/Riker relationship should have been advanced, if it made sense to have Worf in this outing, and why the Ba'ku seem to look exactly like humans. Feel the clock go backward, break out the mambo music, and come aboard the captain's yacht for the Earl Grey movie review of Star Trek: Insurrection.
 
Hosts
Phillip Gilfus, Daniel Proulx, and Darren Moser
 
Editor and Producer
Darren Moser
 
Associate Producers
Become one! Support Trek.fm and Earl Grey at the $25/month level or higher! Visit http://patreon.com/trekfm
 
Chapters
Worf Is Here (6:28)
Everyone Else Is Here (10:39)
New Technology (14:00)
The Story (18:27)
The Federation Council (25:00)
Effects on the Crew (28:15)
Staying Young (34:21)
Final Thoughts (41:47)
 
Support the Network!
Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm
 
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Direct download: eg-055.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 5:00am MST

Earl Grey 54: The Mystic Portal Awaits

Schisms Commentary.

Click. Click. Click. Click. There are not many episodes of The Next Generation that are considered to be scary, but "Schisms" is an alien abduction story that brings to mind the tone of The X-Files or a horror movie. Darren Moser, Daniel Proulx, and Phillip Gilfus kick off their second year of Earl Grey by providing their own episode commentary for "Schisms," the fifth episode of Season Six. Listeners can follow along to the commentary by queuing up their TNG Blu-rays, DVDs, or episode streaming service, or simply listen to this episode as a standalone podcast. Join the Earl Grey trio as they help Will Riker fight insomnia, wonder about malfunctions in Data's vision, and discover the secret behind the TNG writers' room.    

 

Hosts

Darren Moser, Daniel Proulx, & Phillip Gilfus

 

Editor and Producer

Darren Moser

 

Associate Producers

Become one! Support Trek.fm and Earl Grey at the $25/month level or higher! Visit patreon.com/trekfm

 

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Direct download: eg-054.mp3
Category:Commentaries -- posted at: 7:00am MST

Earl Grey 53: A Cellular Peptide Cake

Top Five Favorite Episodes.

Whenever fans of The Next Generation gather together, there is an inevitable discussion about which are the best episodes. Earl Grey marks their one-year anniversary by discussing each of the co-hosts five personal favorite episodes. The discussion includes fan favorites such as "Tapestry," the two-parter "The Best of Both Worlds," and the series finale "All Good Things..." as well as "Family," "Gambit, Parts 1 & 2," and "Lower Decks." Daniel Proulx, Darren Moser, and Phillip Gilfus celebrate their favorite Star Trek series and why they continue to spend every week discussing all things TNG.

 

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Chapters

Fifth Favorite

Darren: The Quality of Life (7:12)

Phillip: In Theory (11:17)

Daniel: Sarek (15:00)

 

Fourth Favorite

Darren: Starship Mine (21:00)

Phillip: Disaster (25:50)

Daniel: Tapestry (30:26)

 

Third Favorite

Darren: The Pegasus (35:10)

Phillip: Rascals (41:03)

Daniel: All Good Things... (43:52)

 

Second Favorite

Darren: Gambit (47:44)

Phillip: Deja Q (54:20)

Daniel: The Best of Both Worlds (56:52)

 

First Favorite

Darren: Yesterdays Enterprise (1:04:03)

Phillip: Family (1:11:07)

Daniel: Lower Decks (1:18:00)

Direct download: eg-053.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 7:30am MST

Earl Grey 52: Robbing the Kromulan Cradle

Romantic Guest Stars.

Every Star Trek series features guest stars who provide romance for our favorite characters. In this episode of Earl Grey, we discuss the non-Picard romances from The Next Generation. Whether you wanted Suzie Plakson's K'Ehleyr to appear more or thought Data was everyone's "magical boyfriend," Phillip, Darren, and Daniel follow their hearts in analyzing this series's romances. 

Direct download: eg-052.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 7:00am MST

Earl Grey 51: Pinstripes to Collars

Season Three Overview.

The third season of TNG introduced uniform collars, a promoted La Forge, the last full season for Wesley, welcomed back Dr. Crusher, and ended on the greatest cliffhanger in Star Trek television history. In this episode of Earl Grey, Darren, Daniel, and Phillip discuss why Season Three is their collective favorite out of all seven years of the series, how most episodes introduced storylines that would continue throughout TNG's television run (in addition to other Trek series and feature films), and how many times Riker smiles during other characters' embarrassing moments.

 

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Chapters

Opening Thoughts (2:18)

1 Evolution (4:42)

2 The Ensigns of Command (9:00)

3 The Survivors (11:25)

4 Who Watches the Watchers (14:14)

5 The Bonding (16:35)

6 Booby Trap (18:25)

7 The Enemy (22:00)

8 The Price (24:03)

9 The Vengeance Factor (27:09)

10 The Defector (28:04)

11 The Hunted (31:01)

12 The High Ground (33:26)

13 Deja Q (34:58)

14 A Matter of Perspective (39:07)

15 Yesterdays Enterprise (41:17)

16 The Offspring (45:21)

17 Sins of the Father (47:38)

18 Allegiance (51:28)

19 Captain's Holiday (54:43)

20 Tin Man (56:10)

21 Hollow Pursuits (58:40)

22 The Most Toys (1:00:00)

23 Sarek (1:02:37)

24 Menage a Troi (1:09:42)

25 Transfigurations (1:12:30)

26 The Best of Both Worlds - Part 1 (1:14:20)

Direct download: eg-051.mp3
Category:Season Overviews -- posted at: 4:22pm MST

Earl Grey 50: Y.O.K.O. You Only Klingon Once

Klingons on TNG.

From forehead ridges to bat'leths, from High Council politics to a Romulan-orchestrated civil war, the story of the Klingons was greatly expanded on The Next Generation. In this episode of Earl Grey, Daniel Proulx, Darren Moser, and Phillip Gilfus discuss how having a Klingon on the bridge led to a continuing exploration of the Klingon people and their society. We also examine reoccurring Klingon characters, story-lines, and what aspects of the Empire were expanded on in DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise.  

Direct download: eg-050.mp3
Category:Species Analysis -- posted at: 7:00am MST

Earl Grey 49: Beards, Sweaters, and Laser Eyes

Is TNG a Children's Show?

A lot of fans began their love of The Next Generation as children and continued their fandom into adulthood. In this episode of Earl Grey, Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx examine their TNG experiences as children versus as adults. Special guest Andi Vanderkolk, aka @FirstTimeTrek, provides a different perspective as someone who began watching the series as an adult. Join us as we find what aspects of TNG speak specifically to children and what concepts remain universal, despite any fan's age.

Direct download: eg-049.mp3
Category:Characters -- posted at: 4:00pm MST

Earl Grey 48: Forty Eight Minutes Remain

The Top 47 Things We Love About Trek, Part 2. 

The number 47 repeatedly comes up in The Next Generation, but since Star Trek is currently celebrating its 48th year, Earl Grey uses its 48th episode to continue our look at the 47 things we love about Trek. In part two of this round-robin discussion, Darren Moser, Daniel Proulx, and Phillip Gilfus complete their run through the 47 greatest aspects of Star Trek as they cover the role of female characters, specific episodes, the various series, ship model sets, and more.

 

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Chapters

36 Creating role models (PG) (1:12)

37 One Little Ship - DS9 (DM) (3:14)

38 The Movies! (DP) (5:05)

39 TOS - An exciting adventure (PG) (9:50)

40 Model Kits! (DM) (12:43)

41 Women of Trek (DP) (17:30)

42 DS9 - How today could be like if we tried (PG) (23:18)

43 Message In A Bottle (DM) (26:43)

44 Broken Bow (DP) (29:50)

45 VOY - How to best handle crisis (PG) (34:04)

46 Incorrect Next Week promos (DM) (36:01)

47 Future Trek (DP) (38:13)

Direct download: eg-048.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 2:00am MST

Earl Grey 47: Starfleet Code 47

The Top 47 Things We Love About Trek, Part 1. 

Most fans are aware of the reoccurrence of the number 47 in TNG and subsequent Star Trek series. Join us as Earl Grey celebrates its 47th episode—and the larger "47 conspiracy"—by listing the 47 things we believe make Star Trek a great television and movie franchise as it approaches its half-century mark. Darren Moser, Daniel Proulx, and Phillip Gilfus deliver a round-robin discussion of philosophy, ships, episodes, costumes, and more as they explain why they love all things Trek.

Direct download: eg-047.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 7:00am MST

Earl Grey 46: My Blu-ray Keeps Skipping This One

Most Forgettable TNG Episodes.

Even the most die-hard TNG fan may have trouble remembering the storylines for all 178 episodes that span the seven season of the television show. A good, bad, or mediocre episode can still come as a complete surprise when one does a rewatch of the series. In this episode of Earl Grey, Daniel Proulx, Darren Moser, and Phillip Gilfus do a round-robin style listing of the episodes they can barely remember from The Next Generation. See if you remember these stories that faded into the recesses of our minds. 

Direct download: eg-046.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 8:00am MST

Earl Grey 45: Decorative Useless Helmets

Cardassians on TNG.

Galor-class warships. The occupation of Bajor. The Demilitarized Zone. Marc Alaimo in the armor uniform. These aspects of the Cardassians are seen throughout Deep Space Nine, but they all originated on The Next Generation. In this week's episode of Earl Grey, Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx review all the TNG episodes featuring this species, how they rate as villains for the Enterprise-D crew, and whether the Cardassians stood on their own on TNG or were merely setup characters for future Deep Space Nine and Voyager storylines.

 

Chapters

First Impressions (3:30)

The Wounded 

Ensign Ro (16:23)

Chain of Command (21:40)

The Chase (28:10)

Parallels (30:08)

Lower Decks (31:20)

Journeys End (34:20)

Preemptive Strike (37:20)

Ranking (41:03)

Setup for DS9/VOY? (47:00)

Direct download: eg-045.mp3
Category:Species Analysis -- posted at: 7:00am MST

Earl Grey 44: No Bloody A, B, C, or JJ

Enterprise Ship Legacy List.

The Next Generation's legacy is that, through individual television episodes and feature films, it "filled in" the history of ships named Enterprise. In this episode of Earl Grey, Darren Moser, Daniel Proulx, and Phillip Gilfus give their individual rankings of all the Enterprises that have been seen throughout the entire Star Trek franchise. We cover favorites, ones we didn't like, and which should have been left in dry dock permanently. See if the choices agree your own ranking for all things Enterprise.

Direct download: eg-044.mp3
Category:Ships -- posted at: 7:00am MST

Earl Grey 43: What You Leave Behind

Lost Elements from TOS.

How much changes in the Star Trek universe in 100 years? When The Next Generation first aired in 1987, viewers discovered a new Enterprise, a new crew, as well as writers and producers who wanted to "update" several aspects of The Original Series. In this episode of Earl Grey, Daniel Proulx, Darren Moser, and Phillip Gilfus discuss which elements from TOS were purposefully avoided, and whether it was a mistake to "reinvent" Star Trek too much or if it helped TNG create its own unique identity as the newest Star Trek television series.

Direct download: eg-043.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 5:00am MST

Earl Grey 42: Skants Out the Airlock

Uniforms & Wardrobe in TNG

Fans may debate how much the TNG crew evolved over their many missions, but there is no question that their uniforms evolved from the initial television pilot "Encounter at Farpoint" to the last feature film, Star Trek: Nemesis. From the four kinds of Starfleet uniforms worn by the 24th-century Enterprise officers and crew to the surprisingly skimpy and full-of-ruffles civilian clothes, Phillip Gilfus, Daniel Proulx, and Darren Moser discuss skants, dress uniforms, and alien costumes in this fashion-forward episode of Earl Grey.

Direct download: eg-042.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 6:20am MST

Earl Grey 41: Leeeroy Starshippp

The 1701-E.

Following the destruction of the NCC-1701-D in Star Trek Generations, a new starship Enterprise was commissioned for the crew of The Next Generation. Featured in the final three TNG films—First Contact, Insurrection, and Nemesis—the Enterprise-E differs greatly from its Galaxy-class predecessor in both size and appearance, inside and out. In this episode of Earl Grey, Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx discuss the finer details of this Sovereign-class ship, including what they liked (and loved!), and why they wish we could have seen more of it.

Direct download: eg-041.mp3
Category:Ships -- posted at: 3:00am MST

Earl Grey 40: The Actual Counselor

Guinan.

During the TNG's second season, viewers were introduced to a new character who may have seemed more like the ship's counselor than Troi. Played by comedy superstar Whoopi Goldberg, the sage-like bartender Guinan provided the series with an outside perspective on Starfleet, the Enterprise, and our characters. In this episode of Earl Grey hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx talk all about Ten Forward and its insightful barkeep, who always has an ear to lend, and a pint to offer.

Direct download: eg-040.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 1:00am MST

Earl Grey 39: What Would Captain Picard Do?

Pen Pals Commentary.

The Prime Directive is a centerpiece of Star Trek storytelling, and in TNG's second season we get an early Prime Directive episode in "Pen Pals." A small girl on a dangerously volcanic planet contacts Data looking for help, and the crew must deal with the fallout of this unpredictable situation. In this episode of Earl Grey Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx bring you a commentary track for "Pen Pals" and discuss the many interesting ideas in this episode, which is generally not a fan favorite.

Direct download: eg-039.mp3
Category:Commentaries -- posted at: 8:00am MST

Earl Grey 38: You Will Never Be Captain

Divisional Shuffle.

What would happen if our favorite TNG characters belonged to other divisions? What if Data worked in security? What if Picard manned the science station? What if Riker sat at tactical? In this episode of Earl Grey hosts Phillip GIlfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx discuss what it might be like if our beloved Enterprise-D crew had their colors scrambled and danced the divisional shuffle. We touch on blue-shirt Picard from "Tapestry," Lieutenant Riker, and a technicolor Data. Don't get jealous, Wesley!

Direct download: eg-038.mp3
Category:Characters -- posted at: 11:29pm MST

Earl Grey 37: Flight of the Commodores

TNG Admirals.

From the initial zoom in to Picard on the Enterprise to the final zoom out from the poker table, Star Trek: The Next Generation consistently had Starfleet admirals as recurring and influential characters. More often than not, these admirals were a thorn in the side of the Enterprise crew, sending Picard on questionable missions, making unreasonable scheduling requests, and even dragging Riker into a cover-up of illegal experiments. In this episode of Earl Grey, hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx put on their best dress uniforms and blend into the admiralty. From cameos by familiar characters-turned-admiral—like McCoy and Janeway—to a movie all about a Badmiral, this is a very regal cup of Earl Grey.

Direct download: eg-037.mp3
Category:Starfleet -- posted at: 3:00am MST

Earl Grey 36: No Dating In The Workplace

Picard's Romances.

One of the first differences viewers noticed between Captain Picard and his legendary predecessor was his attitude towards love. While not as famous as Kirk's, Picard himself has an interesting and varied history with romance. In this episode of Earl Grey, hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx talk all things love as it relates to Jean Luc Picard. From his early relationships before the show even started, in episodes like "Tapestry" and "We'll Always Have Paris," to alternate future marriages with Beverly Crusher—and all flings in between—this week's cup of Earl Grey is extra hot.

Direct download: eg-036.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 2:30am MST

Earl Grey 35: Too Big To Fail
Saucer Separation
 
One unique aspects of The Next Generation was a relic of The Original Series, though one we never saw. It was something Gene Roddenberry had wanted to show but couldn't—a separating ship. Finally, in TNG's pilot episode "Encounter at Farpoint," we got to see just what it would look like for the Enterprise's saucer and hull to go their separate ways. In this episode of Earl Grey hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx talk about one ship becoming two. We cover all instances where saucer separation was used or even just mentioned. So come enjoy your weekly dose of Earl Grey, this time in two smaller cups!
Direct download: eg-035.mp3
Category:Ships -- posted at: 11:42pm MST

Earl Grey 34: All Teeth and No Bark

Ferengi

When The Next Generation premiered, many people were surprised to see a Klingon on the bridge of the Enterprise. With the Klingons no longer positioned as the enemy of the Federation, the writers had to bring in a new foe for the crew to battle. Thus the infamous Ferengi were born—and buried within a few short engagements. In this episode of Earl Grey, hew-mon hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx take a close look at the fearful Ferengi, from ships to lobes to laser whips.

Direct download: eg-034.mp3
Category:Species Analysis -- posted at: 3:00am MST

Earl Grey 33: Missing the Academy Bus

Wesley Crusher.

There are few characters on The Next Generation as "debated" as Wesley Crusher. Often criticized for simultaneously filling the young child role and super genius, many people found the character tough to accept. On this episode of Earl Grey, hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx delve into the character to see what they like, hate, and tolerate. From his pre-Starfleet days, to his numerous attempts at joining the academy, all the way to Star Trek Nemesis. So join us for this wunderkind-sized cup of Earl Grey!

Direct download: eg-033.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 8:20am MST

 Earl Grey 32: The Magnificent Seven

The Seven/Seven Challenge.

In each of season of The Next Generation, there are naturally community and fan favorites. In this week’s episode of Earl Grey, our hosts are given the challenge of choosing just a single episode—the one and only story they can’t live without—from each of TNG's seven seasons. Join hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx as they try their best to boil down each season into one forty-minute episode. If you could only choose one episode per season, which would it be?

Direct download: eg-032.mp3
Category:List Shows -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

Earl Grey 31: Shades of Earl Grey

Season Two Overview.

After the first season of The Next Generation premiered, it become clear that the show was successful enough to warrant further seasons. After dealing with cast changes, a writers' strike, and a now-famous beard, Season Two is a bit of an anomaly within TNG. In this episode of Earl Grey hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx discuss their favorite and least favorite episodes, character changes, and even the infamous "Shades of Grey" clip show.

Direct download: eg-031.mp3
Category:Season Overviews -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

Earl Grey 30: Who Watches the Justice

The Prime Directive.

One of the threads that is common to all Star Trek series is how we deal with the various species we encounter. Star Trek tried to address this through the Prime Directive, a rule that has served as the basis for countless stories over the years. In this episode of Earl Grey, hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx discuss how Starfleet's General Order 1 is handled on The Next Generation. From "Justice" to "Who Watches the Watchers," we explore what works and what doesn't. Do we agree with the actions of the characters in these episodes? Is it consistent with how the Prime Directive is normally portrayed? Join us and see if you agree.

Direct download: eg-030.mp3
Category:The Prime Directive -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

Earl Grey 29: Ferenginar One

Ships of TNG, Part 2.

The Next Generation introduced us to many ship designs that would be used in Star Trek for years to come. In this episode of Earl Grey, Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx bring you the second installment in our Ships of the Line series, TNG Edition. From Ferengi Marauders to Romulan Warbirds to Borg Cubes—and everything in between—we discuss the important alien ship designs that were encountered by Picard's Enterprise.

Direct download: eg-029.mp3
Category:Ships -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

Earl Grey 28: All Great Things

All Good Things…

It's the episode that was the ultimate sign-off for a show that grew from an iffy proposition that no one thought would succeed to one of the most influential dramas—science fiction or otherwise—of its time. "All Good Things…" brought the TNG story full circle by tying everything back to the pilot, "Encounter at Farpoint."

In this episode of Earl Grey, hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx discuss "All Good Things…" and how the series changed throughout the seven seasons of the show. We take a trip through time with the characters from before "Farpoint," past Voyager and beyond to find out what we enjoyed and what didn't work quite so well.

Direct download: eg-028.mp3
Category:Episode Discussions -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

 Earl Grey 27: King of the Blind Dates

Geordi La Forge.

In the first season of The Next Generation, we came to know a wise-cracking blind pilot named Geordi. But over the course of seven seasons he became much, much more than just a guy at the helm. In this episode of Earl Grey, hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx discuss the man who would finally stop the Enterprise-D's revolving door of chief engineers. We take a look at Geordi La Forge's career in Starfleet—from gold to red—as well as his VISOR and cybernetic enhancements, his strikeouts with the ladies, and more.

Direct download: eg-027.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

Earl Grey 26: Joy and Gratitude

Encounter at Farpoint.

After a 20-year absence on the small screen, Star Trek returned in 1987 with the two-hour pilot "Encounter at Farpoint." Though it was a drastic shift from what we had seen on TOS, it is often considered a weak pilot. In this episode of Earl Grey, hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx discuss Farpoint, what it establishes properly in-universe, as well as its shortcoming and our ideas to make it better. So join us as we sip that very first cup of Earl Grey.

Direct download: eg-026.mp3
Category:Episode Discussions -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

 Earl Grey 25: A Side of Broccoli

Hollow Pursuits Commentary.

Cliff Bole was one of the most prolific contributors to The Next Generation, having directed 25 episodes of the series. His recent passing is a great loss to the franchise, and in this episode of Earl Grey we take a moment to recognize his work through a commentary for "Hollow Pursuits." Join hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx as they take you through the very first appearance of Barclay, which is also one of Cliff Bole's finest moments on TNG.

Direct download: eg-025.mp3
Category:Commentaries -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

Earl Grey 24: HogQwarts

Q.

From the very first episode of The Next Generation to the very last, we were periodically visited by a very interesting character—the omnipotent Q. In a special episode of Earl Grey, Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx are joined by fellow Trek.fm hosts Tristan Riddell and Charlynn Schmiedt of To The Journey to discuss all things Q. We delve into the character as a villain vs. companion, his relationships with the crew, and our favorite Q moments. So join us for this excellent cup of Earl Grey with two scoops of To The Journey.

Direct download: eg-024.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

Earl Grey 23: Secret Garden of the Enterprise-E

First Contact.

After the release of Generations, TNG fans got their next dose of big screen adventure in 1996's First Contact. With an all new ship and uniforms, the crew is once again faced with an invasion by their biggest foe. In this episode of Earl Grey, hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx discuss this heavily praised film. From the Enterprise-E and Zefram Cochrane to the Borg and beyond. Prepare to be assimilated!

Direct download: eg-023.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

Earl Grey 22: Canon Locked

TNG Reboot.

While Star Trek fans eagerly await the franchise's return to the small screen, some have suggested this take the form of a Next Generation reboot. In this episode of Earl Grey, hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx discuss what a TNG reboot might look like. Should it be Prime Universe or Abramsverse? Should it take on a more serialized format? What are some of the possible storylines? We discuss all of these questions and more to decide wether or not we think a TNG reboot is a good idea. Oh… and what about casting?! 

Direct download: eg-022.mp3
Category:Reboot -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

Earl Grey 21: BA in Barberism

Civilians.

Throughout The Next Generation, we were occasionally introduced to characters who were not among Starfleet's best and brightest. These were average people who were onboard in some occupation not requiring graduation from the Academy, or who were brought onboard for an adventure. The civilians on The Next Generation are often overlooked characters, but in this episode of Earl Grey Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx discuss the bartenders and barbers, the teachers and passengers, and all of the other people we see who aren't wearing red, blue, or gold.

Direct download: eg-021.mp3
Category:Civilians -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

The Borg.

First introduced in the second-season episode "Q Who", the Borg grew to become one of Star Trek's scariest and most important villains. In this episode of Earl Grey, hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx talk about the Borg as portrayed on The Next Generation. We discuss how they evolved over the course of the series, the changes that took place, and compare how they were used on Voyager. We also explore various episodes that deal with development of the Borg as a credible—and maybe not always so credible—threat. So prepare to be assimilated!

Direct download: eg-020.mp3
Category:Borg -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

Earl Grey 19: Soulmates with Benefits

William T. Riker.

Commander Riker went through a long and interesting development process, from the beardless version in Season One all the way through to captain of the Titan at the end of Nemesis. In this episode of Earl Grey, hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx discuss the 24th-century ladies’ man and all around charming second-in-command, William T. Riker. From relationships to career aspirations and pitfalls, we discuss all aspects of the character. We also consider his future, and find out just what it is about him that we all like so much.

Direct download: eg-019.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

Earl Grey 18: Yar Who

Season One Recap.

Season One of The Next Generation is frequently maligned and considered inferior to most of Trek. However, not all is bad and in this episode of Earl Grey hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx talk about a few episodes that go against the preconceived notions of the first season. From “Where No One Has Gone Before” all the way through the penultimate episode “Conspiracy” and a few in between, the crew discusses some of the highlights of Season One and what makes some of the season not only worth watching, but a vital piece of Star Trek.

Direct download: eg-018.mp3
Category:Season Overviews -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

Missing 24th-century Technology.

When creating the technology used in Star Trek: The Next Generation, the creators had impressively good vision of what the future might bring. They were not perfect, however, and on this episode of Earl Grey hosts Phillip Gilfus, Darren Moser, and Daniel Proulx discuss the tech that seems to be missing—or at least used sparingly—in the 24th century. We take a look at more than a dozen types of technology ranging from seat belts to hypospray guns and more!

Direct download: eg-017.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

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