If you had told me when I first fell in love with Star Trek that I’d one day be hosting its official podcast I’d have said, “Why are you making up strange words?” But if you then explained that a podcast was like a radio show available on demand, and could be about any topic imaginable (like a replicator!) for stories, my heart would have glowed brighter than than Dr. McCoy’s blinding light chamber from the end of “Operation: Annihilate!”
So it is with great pride that, after last week’s sneak peek at an “Episode Zero,” the folks at Play.it and I unleash the first three episodes of Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast.
The concept behind Engage is to (ahem) engage with all levels of Star Trek fans. We want the hardcore devotees as well as the newcomers who maybe only know the recent films, or are anticipating the release of next year’s new show on CBS All Access. While we’re still very much in our “first season,” acclimating our impulse engines before we cruise at warp speed, the first few episodes, I hope, speak to this philosophy.
It was an absolute thrill to have a broad conversation with pop culture mainstay “Weird Al” Yankovic, one of America’s most lovably dorktacular celebrity figures. I’ll be honest: he and I didn’t talk about Star Trek all that much! But it was fascinating to hear how the franchise has intersected with his career over the years, and to get a little insight into his life on the road.
In a much different vein is a conversation I had with Adam Nimoy, taped when he was in New York to debut his documentary For The Love of Spock at the Tribeca Film Festival. In addition to talking about the making of this touching tribute to his late father Leonard, he tells some surprising stories I’d never heard before, like the weird connection between his dad and the Grateful Dead.
But Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast isn’t always going to be about celebrity guests. Nor is it only going to be only about breaking news in the Star Trek world, like convention announcements or updates on the 2017 show. (Although we do hope to provide you with both.) I want the show to be about the fans – about the love we have for this franchise and the late-night conversations we have about the big ideas and detailed minutiae that make Star Trek something so many of us have loved for years.
To that end, as you listen to these opening episodes, I absolutely need your feedback as we guide this thing out of spacedock. There are as many ways to contact me as there are stars in the galaxy, but best is to “Like” and then leave a comment on the show’s official Facebook page. I will see each comment there and plan to respond to as many as possible. As a New Yorker, I spend a lot of time on trains or in the back of taxis fiddling about with my phone. Similarly, I can be reached on Twitter at @JHoffman and love zinging back and forth, especially when I’m supposed to be doing other work. You can also leave a comment on our iTunes page and leave a star rating. It only goes up to 5 stars, but please invent a way to hack into iTunes to give me a rating of 12 stars. I’d definitely appreciate that.This is the best time in decades to be a Star Trek fan. Star Trek Beyond hits theaters in mere weeks and we ought to have more concrete news about the new show soon thereafter. There are events happening from Seattle to New York to Las Vegas to England to celebrate the 50th anniversary, and I’ll be at as many of them as possible, with my microphone in hand. I hope to Engage with you!
Jordan Hoffman is a writer, critic and lapsed filmmaker living in New York City. His work can also be seen on Film.com, ScreenCrush and Badass Digest. On his BLOG, Jordan has reviewed all 727 Trek episodes and films, most of the comics and some of the novels.
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