Podcasts: The final audio frontier. Though Gene Rodenberry created a world centuries far-flung into the future, his utopian universe was not able to predict how popular this audio medium would become even decades later. Nor could he have seen how much Star Trek would become a pop culture giant, to the point that a slew of podcasts have been produced about the franchise, multiplying like Tribbles. We have scrounged through them all to give you the 9 best Star Trek podcasts, in alphabetical order, to listen to, ranging from news to analysis to interviews. List, engage!
Daily Star Trek News
It’s only fitting we start with a podcast that releases episodes the most frequently. As the title implies, “Daily Star Trek News” records every weekday, catching Trekkies up with the latest news in all things Star Trek. Host Alison Pitt, previously of the “Priority One” podcast, works tirelessly to bring intel from the Trek frontlines, dishing on everything from casting rumors of new shows to looking back on previous episodes and characters. She has also covered adjacent properties like The Orville and Galaxy Quest, and even has a dedicated segment called “Star Trek Stories,” where fans can share what this out-of-this-world franchise means to them.
Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast
Unfortunately, “Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast” has had its pod jettisoned into space, closing its audio doors in 2018. But the podcast is still a great listen for fans, even if it is through the backlog. Film critic and StarTrek.com columnist Jordan Hoffman was the captain of the ship on its two-year mission, as he brought hour-long installments every week that featured both recaps of Star Trek: Discovery, as well as interviews. The latter included talks with Trek actors, as well as roundtable discussions on several big-picture themes for the franchise.
The Greatest Generation
If you’ve spent years searching for the nexus of Star Trek and dick jokes, look no further than “The Greatest Generation!” The long-running podcast started simple: Hosts Adam Pranika and Benjamin Ahr Harisson are “two guys a little bit embarrassed to have a Star Trek podcast,” reviewing Star Trek: The Next Generation one episode at a time. But that small runabout concept turned into a starship-sized comedy podcast. Having reviewed TNG and Deep Space 9 and now into Voyager, and building out a repertoire of bits along the way, “The Greatest Generation” proves that our love of Star Trek can also allow us to poke fun at it once in a while.
Like the podcast just discussed, “Mission Log” has a simple, well, mission. Starting from the pilot episode of The Original Series, they go one episode and series at a time through the franchise. It’s a journey that’s taken them currently to the end of Deep Space Nine, with plenty of deep dives and analysis along the way. The podcast was co-created by Gene Roddenberry’s son Rod, and the man himself will occasionally pop in to provide some interviews, as well as access to some of Star Trek‘s most legendary performers, including Armin Shimerman, Walter Koenig and George Takei.
The Ready Room
“The Ready Room” recently celebrated a decade in the captain’s chair as one of the most preeminent Star Trek podcasts. Though the show now puts out episodes on a much more infrequent rate than the others, its concept makes it very unique. Like a spore-driven ship, “The Ready Room” hops through Trek space and time, recapping random episodes of the show across all five series. While the idea may be enough to make your head spin, the conceit succeeds on keeping content fresh. While other recap podcasts can get bogged down in covering some of the slower or lesser quality parts of Trek (looking at you, Enterprise…), host C. Bryan Jones and crew are able to skim a little off the top of each series while keeping things lively and exciting.
Star Trek: The Pod Directive
While “Star Trek: The Pod Directive” is the newest kid on the block, it’s the only one that can claim the title of the “official” Star Trek podcast. That’s because it’s the only show sponsored by “big Trek,” sanctioned to discuss the 50+ year legacy of the franchise. Hosted by Trekkies Tawny Newsome — who plays headstrong Ensign Beckett Mariner in Star Treks: Lower Decks — and BoJack Horseman‘s Paul F. Tompkins, the duo interview various celebrities who are fans of boldly going where no one has gone before. The guests have ran the gamut of disciplines, from actors like Ben Stiller to authors like Reza Aslan and even to politicians like Stacey Abrams.
The Trek Files
Despite what the punny title may suggest, “The Trek Files” is not a look at all of the alien species across Star Trek. Rather, it’s a fascinating deep dive into the history of the franchise, spanning back to the ’60s. Every week, “Dr. Trek,” aka Larry Nemecek, combs over a document dug up from Trek’s past, everything from memos being circulated to story proposals to letters written from the desk of Gene Roddenberry himself. While it’s the action on screen that has kept us invested in Star Trek after all these years, the adventures of the crews behind the shows can sometimes be even more eventful than the escapades of the crews on the shows. “The Trek Files” is a firsthand display of that, unearthing a time capsule to see how our favorite shows were made.
Unlike the podcasts above, “Trek Geeks” does not focus on episode recaps or interviews (though it certainly contains plenty of both). Instead, hosts Dan Davidson and Bill Smith opt for a more casual discussion of the franchise they love so much. Many episodes are focused around specifics topics, themes and characters, as they get into the macro of Star Trek more than the micro. It’s a great opportunity to take a (war)bird’s eye view of the franchise, while also having the freedom to jump around without getting into too much minutiae. And their work has inspired an entire podcast network of Trek-based shows, including “Deep Space Pride,” which focuses on LGBTQIA+ issues, and “SyFy Sistas,” which highlights Black science fiction.
Women at Warp
For a while, there was a stereotype that Trekkies, and sci-fi fans at large, were wholly nerdy men. “Women at Warp” is here to change your preconceptions in more ways than one. Using a panel of seven rotating hosts, the group explores Star Trek from a feminist perspective, giving their takes on the franchise from an intersectional lens. The podcast gets into plenty of thematic topics, including the sexualization of women and body inclusivity. And they even take a step out of Trek to discuss real-world issues, including ideal behavior at conventions.
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