Casting The Next Generation by Trek fm

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.

Originally published as Earl Grey 59: The B, C & D Team.

Sarek by Trek fm

First introduced in “Journey to Babel,” Sarek of Vulcan is one of the best known characters from The Original Series, perhaps due primarily to his role in The Search for Spock and subsequent TOS films. Following McCoy’s cameo in “Encounter at Farpoint,” it took a while for familiar faces from Star Trek's past to return to the screen. Finally, in the TNG's third season, the wall between past and present began to come down as Spock's father came aboard Picard's Enterprise. Seeing Sarek shed tears at a musical performance and lose control of his emotions was a major advancement in making Vulcans more than just "logical," but making this happen wasn't as straightforward as one would think.

In this episode of The Ready Room, we're joined by Matthew Rushing, Larry Nemecek, and John Champion to discuss the episode "Sarek," how the evolution of the story showed continuing reservations on the part of Gene Roddenberry about connecting TOS and TNG even near the end of TNG's third season, as well as Sarek's place within the Star Trek universe and the battle to speak Spock's name on screen.

In our news segment, we debate which series deserved an additional season, io9's list of the Top 100 episodes, and play with Larami's classic Star Trek: The Motion Picture tie-in toys from 1979.

Originally published as The Ready Room 161: An Homage with a Capital H.

Robert Wise and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Commentary: Trek Stars 99) by Trek fm

In 1979, ten years after the cancellation of the original series, Star Trek made the jump to the big screen. In an effort to pull out all the stops, Paramount hired Oscar-winning director Robert Wise to helm Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The rest is history.

In this episode of Commentary: Trek Stars, Max and Mike are joined by Larry Nemecek to look at Wise's work on the film. We discuss Wise's place in film history, the atmosphere of fan culture leading up to the picture's release, and whether or not Wise was the right choice to direct the first Star Trek movie.

Originally published as Commentary: Trek Stars 99: Hey, It Ain't The Black Hole!

The Green Girl (The Ready Room 155) by Trek fm

One of the most famous aliens in Star Trek is the Orion slave girl, and the most classic “green” moment comes from “The Cage,” compliments of Susan Oliver. The prolific star is best known to Star Trek fans for this role, yet her appearance in Star Trek is but a speck on the landscape of her career as an actress and director. In this episode of The Ready Room we take a break from our usual format as we're joined by Larry Nemecek and writer/director George Pappy to talk about his new documentary The Green Girl, which chronicles the life of Susan Oliver, her film and television work, attempts to break the glass ceiling for female directors, and more.

In our news segment we get a first-hand recap of the Geek Nation Tours trek to Las Vegas, discuss how recent awards and campaigns for Star Trek Continues and Star Trek: Axanar highlight the growing fan desire for new Trek, and assess the prospects for the remastering of Deep Space Nine and Voyager in light of some recent panels and interviews with those who might spearheads the projects.

Originally published as The Ready Room 155: The Jeffrey Combs of the '50s, '60s, and '70s.

Casting Deep Space Nine, Part 2 (The Orb 62) by Trek fm

Choosing the actors who will bring new characters to life is one of the many creative challenges in launching a new Star Trek series. The process itself can change the nature of the roles, resulting in adjustments to name, the background story of a given character, and their relationship with others. In this episode of The Orb we bring you the second part of our two-part conversation with Larry Nemecek about the casting of Deep Space Nine and the evolution of the characters.

Originally published as The Orb 62: Action Barbie.

Casting Deep Space Nine, Part 1 (The Orb 61) by Trek fm

One of the many creative challenges in launching a new Star Trek series is casting. Finding the right actors to bring the characters to life takes time and careful consideration. And the process itself can change the nature of the roles, resulting in adjustments to name, ethnicity, background story, and in some cases requiring a completely new character to be created. In this episode of The Orb we're joined by Larry Nemecek for the first part of a two-part discussion about the casting of Deep Space Nine and the evolution of the characters.

Originally published as The Orb 61: Somehow the Goatee Finds You.

Stellar Cartography (Commentary: Trek Stars 83) by Trek fm

Last year saw the return of author Larry Nemecek to the world of Star Trek non-fiction with his second book, Stellar Cartography. Featuring maps by Ian Fullwood, Ali Reis, and Geoffrey Mandel, Nemecek's companion essays offer a comprehensive look at the history of the future.

In this episode of Commentary: Trek Stars, Mike and Max are joined by Larry for the second part of their two-part interview. We discuss the genesis of the book, the challenges of completing such an ambitious project in a short period of time, and how Larry made sense of the Dominion War. We also ponder how big a sector is.

Originally published as Commentary: Trek Stars 83: We Have a Man On the Inside.

The Next Generation Companion (Commentary: Trek Stars 82) by Trek fm

For over a decade, Larry Nemecek chronicled the making of Star Trek in the Next Generation era. But what about the making of the making of?

In this episode of Commentary: Trek Stars, Max and Mike are joined Larry himself to discuss his career as an author. In the first part of a two-part interview, he discusses his work on The Next Generation Companion, as well as his Voyager episode, "Prophecy," and other episode pitches which he wrote for Voyager. He also blows Max and Mike's minds with the history of Voyager's development.

Originally published as Commentary: Trek Stars 82: How Many Doll Heads Are in the Sink?

Casting Voyager (To The Journey 75) by Trek fm

1994 was an incredibly busy year for Star Trek. Upon the conclusion of TNG's seventh season, the cast and crew went straight into production for Star Trek Generations. On top of that and the third season of DS9, they were also starting production on Voyager. And, as many fans know, the fallout with Genevieve Bujold added uncertainty as to whether a woman would stay in the center seat, putting other character roles in jeopardy—on a production timeline that was already behind schedule. In this episode of To The Journey, Charlynn talks with guest Larry Nemecek about the crazy circumstances that surrounded the casting of Voyager. Who was a lock for their role? Who made it in at the last minute? Listen on and find out the answer to these questions and much more.

Originally published as To The Journey 75: Film Everything Without Janeway First.

The Romulan War (The Ready Room 141) by Trek fm

One of the most momentous conflicts in Federation history is also one of the most mysterious ones—at least for fandom. Of course Starfleet itself knows what happened, but the writers didn't give us a lot to work with over the years. First introduced in the Original Series episode "Balance of Terror," the Earth-Romulan War is the basis for centuries of animosity between these two powers. The details remained elusive and over the years bits and pieces came out through the various spinoff series, books, comics, and fan projects.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Larry Nemecek, Alec Peters, and Tommy Kraft to discuss this legendary war, its origins, the conflict, the aftermath, and how it has been retconned over time.

In our news segment we learn about Star Trek: The Exhibition's arrival at Mall of America, the fan art that became an actual book series in Star Trek: Seekers, how you can share some Romulan Ale with Larry, Roberto Orci's bid to direct the next film, and Teras Cassidy pops in for a Geek Nation Tours update.

Originally published as The Ready Room 141: As Green-Blooded As You Can Get.

Dr. Leonard McCoy (Standard Orbit 28) by Trek fm

If Kirk was the meat and Spock was the potatoes, then Leonard McCoy was the grumpy broth that held them all together. Now, finally, the good doctor is getting his due. In this episode of Standard Orbit, Drew and Mike are joined again by Larry Nemecek to discuss the original Enterprise’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. McCoy. We find out why Larry loves him so, share our favorite Bones scenes, and reveal how McCoy is finally getting the fan base he deserved from the beginning.

Originally published as Standard Orbit 28: I Am Not DeForest Kelley.

Star Trek Continues (Standard Orbit 27) by Trek fm

No one seems content with the 80 episodes of The Original Series that we ended up with. Everyone wants more, even if they have to make it themselves. In this episode of Standard Orbit, Mike and Drew are joined by Larry Nemecek to talk about Star Trek Continues and Larry's part in it. Find out more about how this continuation of TOS is being made, and even a bit about other fan projects you might never have heard of.

Originally published as Standard Orbit 27: Med Scanner Thumb Pivot.

Broken Bow (The Ready Room 136) by Trek fm

In 2001, Star Trek landed with great fanfare in a cornfield in Oklahoma. It was the launch of Enterprise, as the series was known for its first two seasons, and the pilot episode, "Broken Bow," was well received. Over the years, perceptions of the series have changed more than once. The story of "Broken Bow" and Enterprise is one of creative change, great promises mixed with missed opportunities, and a tug-o-war between studio and network.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Matt Miller, Jose Munoz, and Oklahoma native Larry Nemecek to discuss story elements of "Broken Bow" and go behind the scenes to learn about the activities surrounding the pilot episode and the creation of the series.

In our news segment we take a look at the full details of the TNG Season Six and "Chain of Command" Blu-ray extras, new faces added to Star Trek Las Vegas, some advice from Wil Wheaton to a young Star Trek fan being bullied in school, and some exciting news about Trek.fm and iTunes.

Originally published as The Ready Room 136: There Isn't Much Corn in Oklahoma.

Cliff Bole and Directing Star Trek (Commentary: Trek Stars 70) by Trek fm

Last month, the world lost legendary Star Trek director Cliff Bole, who helmed 42 hours of Trek—including 25 episodes of The Next Generation—more than anyone else in the show's history. Among those 25 was "The Best of Both Worlds," commonly considered to be the best TNG episode, and one of the best television episodes, of all time.

In this episode of Commentary: Trek Stars, Mike and Max kick off a new series looking at the work that Bole did in another beloved franchise, The X-Files. But first, we are joined by TNG expert Larry Nemecek to discuss Bole's work in Trek, his industry origins, his hits and misses, and his blue-collar approach to filmmaking. Larry also gives us a taste of what Bole was like as a person.

Originally published as Commentary: Trek Stars 70: Blue-Collar Directing.

Star Trek Continues Cast and Crew Panel (The Ready Room 132) by Trek fm

As any Star Trek fans knows, the original mission of the Enterprise 1701 was to span five years. Unfortunately, the television executives of the 1960s had other plans as Kirk and his crew sailed off into the darkness after just three seasons. But that doesn't mean the mission didn't continue. What happened after "Turnabout Intruder"? The independent series Star Trek Continues picks up where TOS left off, continuing the five-year mission by telling the stories we didn't see.

In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by some of the cast and crew of Star Trek Continues to talk about the creation of the series, the first two episodes—"Pilgrim of Eternity" and "Lolani"—and what their plans are for the future. Director Chris White and assistant director Chuck Huber fill us in on the production side while Larry Nemecek (Dr. McCoy) and Todd Haberkorn (Spock) talk about bringing iconic characters to the screen once again. Plus, a surprising number of characters from a galaxy far, far away drop by for a visit.

In our news segment we remember prolific Star Trek director Cliff Bole, find out how Robert Beltran is warming up to Star Trek fans on Twitter and Reddit, run down the Saturn Award nominations for Star Trek Into Darkness, and find out what Larry Nemecek has planned for his invasion of Jacksonville, Florida.

Originally published as The Ready Room 132: I Am Billy Yoda.

Enterprise Season Three (Warp Five 24) by Trek fm

Few aspects of Enterprise—and perhaps of Star Trek as a whole—have been more controversial than the show’s third season. The 26-episode arc is an outlier in a number of ways. It was the first (and only) time a season-long arc was attempted in Star Trek, and it also focuses on aliens and events with no connection to the rest of the franchise. Some fans love it. Some fans hate it.

In this episode of Warp Five we’re joined by Larry Nemecek to discuss the third season of Enterprise, the pressure from Les Moonves that Berman and Braga were under, the validity of the creative choices made and the roads not taken, and whether or not a more TOS-centric approach might have saved the show from cancellation. We also look at how the third season led creatively into the fourth, the goals of the writing staff—including Manny Coto and David A. Goodman—and we dive into a few of our favorite episodes from Season Three, including “Similitude” and “North Star.”

Originally published as Warp Five 24: The Gauntlet Thrown Down.

Ira Steven Behr and Star Trek (Commentary: Trek Stars 58) by Trek fm

During the third season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Michael Piller "stepped back" from his daily duties and handed the writing staff to his Number One—Ira Steven Behr. It was at this point that Deep Space Nine went from being a great show to being the best show. Ever. 

This week, we begin a new series looking at Behr's career as a showrunner. In Part 1, Max and Mike are joined by Larry Nemecek to look at Behr's work on Star Trek. We discuss his origins on The Next Generation, how Piller lured him back to work on Deep Space Nine, and how he predicted fans would appreciate the show in later years. We also talk about how baseball was responsible for the best of Trek.

Originally published as Commentary: Trek Stars 58: Ira-ocity.

The Catwalk (The Ready Room 119) by Trek fm

One of the goals in writing for any series is to tell stories that can’t be told anywhere else. With its early technology and proximity to our own time, Enterprise had an opportunity to put characters into situations that the other series couldn’t. One great example is the idea of a ship lost at sea facing a terrible storm, and this challenge of early exploration was examined in the second-season episode “The Catwalk.” In this episode of The Ready Room we’re joined by Matthew Rushing and Larry Nemecek to discuss “The Catwalk,” how the crew of the NX-01 had to adapt when their technology was not advanced enough to save them, and how tough circumstances brought the crew together. We also delve into Human-Vulcan relationships, the sexual tension between T’Pol and Archer (or lack thereof), the relationship between T’Pol and Trip, and how it all leads to Amanda and Sarek.

In news we find out about Armin Shimerman’s new film project, Diani & Devine Meet The Apocalypse, Kate Mulgrew’s plans to write her memoirs, J.G. Hertzler’s election to office in New York state, and we answer some Questions from the Fleet. We also preview two tracks from Five Year Mission’s upcoming album Year Three.

Originally published as The Ready Room 119: Neutronic Wave Mode.

Relics (The Ready Room 116) by Trek fm

Generations officially passed the baton from TOS to TNG on the big screen, but the relay began long before The Nexus swept away Kirk and Picard. Doctor McCoy appeared in "Encounter at Farpoint," Spock played a central role in "Unification," and Scotty was found hiding in a transporter buffer in "Relics." In this episode of The Ready Room we're joined by Larry Nemecek as well as Phillip Gilfus and Daniel Proulx from our TNG show Earl Grey to discuss the Enterprise-D's encounter with TOS's miracle worker, how Scotty serves as the true bridge between generations, and try to uncover where exactly Troi was the whole time a man from the past needed counselling.

In news we check in on the release date for the Enterprise Season Three Blu-rays, find out more about the behind-the-scenes creations of reunions and extras, discuss the TNG Season Five Blu-rays and the "Unification" feature release, and explore the chances of Star Trek returning to television soon—including the intertwined rights ownership between CBS and Paramount and the obstacles that Star Trek faces in making it back to the small screen. Plus, Larry gives us the lowdown on The Trekland Trunk.

Originally published as The Ready Room 116: The Dyson Sphere In the Room.

Previewing Stellar Cartography (Literary Treks 26) by Trek fm

It's been more than a decade since the last update to the Star Charts reference book, but thanks to Larry Nemecek and 47North fans will soon be able to get around the galaxy more efficiently than ever. In this episode of Literary Treks, Christopher Jones is joined by Larry to learn about the genesis of his new book Star Trek: Stellar Cartography, the process of creating it, and how Larry's career in mapping stars dates back to the 1980s. We also make sense of the Delphic Expanse and choreograph the Dominion War.

In our news segment we find out what Jeff Mariotte has to say about his forthcoming TOS novel Serpents In the Garden, what hints Greg Cox has dropped about No Time Like the Past, and IDW's latest Ongoing omnibus, Star Trek Volume 5, which collects Ongoing 17 through 20.

Originally published as Literary Treks 26: Cardassia Is In the Caribbean.