Happy Star Trek Month, people! This month marks the 50th anniversary of my favorite thing in geekdom. Without Star Trek, I really would be a very different person. Maybe that sounds hyperbolic, but it’s true. I owe a lot to Star Trek in the way I think of the world, my political views, and my personal relationships.
My goal for this month is to have at least one Trek-related post a week, preferably more. For my first Trek-themed post, I’d like to talk about ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast.
I have listened to each one from the inception of the podcast and have been universally delighted. I recognize that a lot of fans are not always very critical or unbiased about their fandoms. While I do tend to be less critical of all things Trek, I still have my standards and quirks and things that make me twitch. I even have things that I expect my various fandoms to do better than everyone else, BECAUSE I hold them in such high esteem. So when I say that Engage has delighted me, it is because I’ve found it to be high caliber, thought provoking, and entertaining in the best ways.
The host, Jordan Hoffman, is clearly the biggest kind of Trekkie. I confess I didn’t know who he was until I started listening to the podcast. But I can’t really think of anyone else who would be better. He’s a film critic by trade, but it is clear he has a wealth of knowledge of the Trekverse that spans across the TV, film, and novel franchises. He can speak intelligently about all things Trek, and what gaps in knowledge he has, he admits to and he gets guests on the show who can help to fill in those gaps.
So far, all of the guests have been awesome as well. To be fair, I have not listened to all of the episodes. I just finished episode out of 18. What can I say? It’s not the only podcast I listen to and I can’t listen to them all day long. But like I said, all the guests have been terrific. Guests in the episodes I’ve listened to have included Weird Al Yankovic, Adam Nimoy, author Robb Pearlman (whose awesomely hilarious book Fun with Kirk and Spock graces my bookcases. Hey, that rhymes!), a CBS representative who talked about fan film legalities, real astronauts, other film critics, and the first cast guest, Uncle George himself!
Literally the only thing I don’t like about the podcast so far is the theme song. I don’t mind the sound bit parts of the captains and crew talking, but the music itself is, in my opinion, totally cheesy.
Things I would like to have happen on upcoming podcasts? I would LOVE for Jordan to get author Peter David on as a guest. He’s one of my very favorite Trek authors. It would be interesting to have someone like a soundtrack composer on, or some of the guest actors who did not have recurring roles but who were on more than once. And what about some basic fans? Someone, maybe, who got a story in one of the Strange New Worlds anthologies? I fit that description and I’m available to talk about Star Trek any time! 🙂
Overall, if you are at all a Trek fan, you’ll love Engage. If you aren’t a fan but are curious, or kinda like Trek but are a rational human being and aren’t a rabid fangirl or fanboy, or like other sci-fi but never paid no nevermind to Star Trek one way or another, you’ll enjoy it as well and should find it a good entrée into Trek culture.