In the first episode of Her First Trek, Katie Harben begins her journey through the legacy Star Trek shows. This week, she discusses the premiere episodes of The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager, with co-host Kyle West.
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What’s in this episode?
Let Us Introduce Ourselves
“You are Her,” said Kyle West to Katie Harben, as they introduced themselves.
Katie said that she suddenly feels a lot of pressure.
She thinks that Kyle makes her sound like a celebrity. Kyle said she IS a celebrity.
Kyle said that the pressure of having Blast Shield! A Star Trek: Lower Decks Podcast recorded, edited, and released, within 72 hours of a new episode airing [on CBS All Access] was incredibly challenging.
He was keen to continue doing a regular show with Katie, which they could both take their time with. This led to a conversation with Holosuite Media’s owner, Steve Roberts, who approved Kyle’s idea of a show charting Katie’s first-time viewing of the old Trek shows.
HER FIRST TREK – A STAR TREK REVIEW PODCAST was born.
Kyle said that he’s waiting for Katie to cash in something in return for her agreeing to this huge commitment.
She replied, saying he should take it as an indication that she’s in it for the long haul with him.
Katie also confirmed that, unlike several months earlier, she’s now not entirely against the idea of her and Kyle’s wedding being Star Trek-themed.
This is a Big Risk
After having educated Katie on good television series’, and good production values, Kyle was concerned that trying to show her old Star Trek shows might not go down very well.
When he first began dating Katie, Kyle was horrified at the size of her TV. He said that the screen was smaller than a microwave door.
Katie had never seen a television as big as Kyle’s. He calls her (his TV) Sally, and she means everything to him.
As listeners already know, Kyle said, Katie has seen the new Star Trek shows, as well as Star Trek: Enterprise. So, in this podcast series, they would be focusing on The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.
Each episode of HER FIRST TREK will focus on multiple episodes across those four shows.
Kyle confirmed that, this week, they will be discussing the following episodes:
Star Trek: The Original Series – “Where No Man Has Gone Before”
Star Trek: The Next Generation – “Encounter at Farpoint”
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – “Emissary”
Star Trek: Voyager – “Caretaker”
Where to Begin?
Kyle said that he had wanted to start with the first-ever episode of Star Trek that was made; “The Cage”.
He was concerned that this would not be a good starting point, so decided to go with Trek’s second pilot, “Where No Man Has Gone Before”.
He said that after this episode, they would go back to “The Man Trap”, which was the first episode of Star Trek that actually aired, and then watch in release order.
Kyle told Katie that this episode was the one that successfully got Star Trek a green light to enter full production. “I can believe that,” said Katie.
The [First] Moment of Truth
After describing the plot of the episode, Kyle asked Katie to tell the listeners what she thought of the episode.
She said that she was “in two minds”. She enjoyed the storyline, describing it as “so good”, and admired the bravery to kill off Gary Mitchell at the end.
However, she found it very difficult to accept the visuals of the show, given its age. She struggled to accept that it took place after Enterprise and Discovery.
The low production values took her out of the show, from time to time.
Kyle said that Katie should close her eyes, and just mentally accept the story taking place in the same universe. Production values don’t need to matter.
She loved the acting, and thought Kirk was great.
Kyle said that he forgets just how good William Shatner’s work was on Star Trek.
Katie didn’t feel that Spock fit with what she knows about Vulcans. Kyle agreed, said that it’s early days, and Nimoy had yet to define what a Vulcan was.
Kirk Fu is a hit!
The end fight sequence was Katie’s favourite part. She said she didn’t notice the stunt doubles, like Kyle did.
Her Final Thoughts on “Where No Man Has Gone Before?”
Katie thought that the story was great, but wasn’t invested in the Captain Kirk and Gary Mitchell friendship.
“Kinda old, but we’re sticking with it.” Said Katie, of Star Trek: The Original Series. “For the stories.” She added.
100 Years Later…
Next, they discussed the Star Trek: The Next Generation premiere episode, “Encounter at Farpoint.” Kyle quickly summarised the full plot of the episode.
“45 minutes of television, can take one hour and thirty minutes to watch,” said Kyle, when describing how hard it is to watch TV shows when you have children.
Katie joked that Kyle’s father warned her about how rough the first seasons of TNG were, just as Kyle had.
She confirmed that she really enjoyed the episode, much to her surprise. She thought it may be due to her familiarity with Picard, Riker, Troi and Data from Star Trek: Picard.
“I’d never considered the fact that you might view this as a prequel to Star Trek: Picard,” said Kyle, about Katie’s approach to the show.
Katie liked Picard’s character in Star Trek: Picard, but was even more impressed by how he was in this episode.
She said she would want to serve under him.
If she hadn’t seen Star Trek: Picard first, Katie didn’t think she would have enjoyed Captain Picard in this episode as much.
Katie had been really excited to see the Enterprise D separate its main hull from its sauce section.
She said that Kyle needed to stop putting so much on “D” when referring to TNG’s Enterprise. The innuendo makes her laugh.
Wrap it Up
“I like all the stuff, where they’re visiting planets and meeting different people,” said Katie, when discussing her enjoyment of Encounter at Farpoint.
Said she hates a cliffhanger, prefers standalone stories. Prefers things to be wrapped up. Kyle said that was good advice for many parts of life.
She liked how the aliens were reunited at the end, and how they were holding tentacles.
Kyle suggested that it may have been a sex scene, knowing Gene Roddenberry’s reputation.
The D Crew
Katie was surprised to hear that Q will be back. She really enjoyed his character.
“I like Deanna,” revealed Katie. As a linguist, she was stressed by Deanna’s accent, but is now warming to her voice.
“She’s really just a loudmouthed Brit,” said Kyle, about Marina Sirtis.
Katie wants to get to meet more of the Bridge crew, and wonders what is going on with the sexual tension between Captain Picard and Doctor Crusher.
“Hold up!” Remembering Data, Katie said that the android is her favourite TNG character, so far.
Her Final Thoughts on “Encounter at Farpoint”
“F*** yeah!” Katie enjoyed this one.
She admitted that she preferred the premiere of The Next Generation to that of The Original Series, partly due to the better production values and style.
Enter: Deep Space Nine
Kyle ran through the plot for the first episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, “Emissary”.
“It wasn’t my favourite one,” Katie told Kyle.
He wondered if having to watch it in two sessions was problematic, as it ruined the buildup for her.
Kyle revealed that the day after watching this, he searched for some Sisko memes online, and fell into a “black hole” of Star Trek memes.
Katie wasn’t fussed by Sisko. She feels bad for him, but doesn’t understand Kyle’s love for the character.
Kyle said that Sisko becomes a badass, and that Katie has to give him time.
Let’s Not Dwell
One favourite moment of Katie’s was when Sisko went to Bajor, and met Kai Opaka.
The frosty scene between Sisko and Picard was “kind of badass of Sisko,” but both agreed that Sisko did go over the line into becoming unprofessional.
After Katie went silent when Kyle asked her which characters had made the best impression, Kyle was devastated.
Finally, she said she liked Odo, but was not fond of Kira Nerys.
Her Final Thoughts on “Emissary”
Katie said she wasn’t fussed, but will give it “a bit longer”.
She’s taking Kyle at his word, when he promises that the show becomes great.
After hearing so much criticism, Kyle called Katie out for always watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and said she will give Deep Space Nine as much time as it needs.
Katie took on the responsibility of recapping the plot from the Star Trek: Voyager premiere, “Caretaker”. She was challenged to do so in less than sixty seconds.
Her final time was one minute and thirteen seconds.
Kyle joked that they’d still be doing the description, had he been doing it. He suggested that Katie take charge of that, in future.
Oh My God!
“Did you just say you were wrong?” Kyle was speechless, when Katie admitted that she was wrong about the Star Trek shows.
They are nothing like the other things she watches, but she’s realised she enjoys them.
A Good Captain
Katie liked Janeway, a lot. Struggled to get over the fact it was the same actress who played Red, in Orange Is The New Black.
She found Janeway relatable.
Kyle described Kate Mulgrew’s performance, at times, as “sublime.”
Although he’d never considered Tom Paris a hunk, as described by Katie, Kyle admitted he could see the appeal.
They both agreed that Paris was “a bit rapey” with female characters, in this episode. Katie said she would have slapped him, had he behaved the way with her, that he did with Stotti.
Kyle felt that, despite this being the first show with a female lead character, the first 20 minutes focused entirely on “the male bad boy,” showing everything from Paris’ perspective.
Katie put it down to Paris being the audience eyes, as the cast and ship were introduced.
Katie was horrified to find out that in his second year of studies, Kyle had a 29% attendance rate in his Film & TV Studies class.
He claimed that he fixed this, once called up on it.
Katie’s had much greater success in her Media Studies class.
Not a Tuvok Fan
T’Pol is Kyle’s favourite Vulcan in Star Trek. He has never been a fan of Tuvok.
Katie wondered what the general fan consensus is of Tuvok. Kyle had no idea, joking that he tries to stay away from Voyager fans.
He’s hopeful that this rewatch of Star Trek: Voyager will give him a new appreciation for the Tuvok character.
She’s a She
Katie was a fan of the USS Voyager, particularly the Bridge.
Destination Star Trek 2020 had been set to have Voyager’s Bridge available for photoshoots, Kyle said. They both hoped to see it in 2021, instead.
A Long Journey
Kyle liked how alien Neelix is, but Katie wasn’t particularly fussed on him.
He implied that, if she wasn’t a Neelix fan, she’s got a long journey ahead of her with the show.
Piss Off, Chakotay
Always a fan of Chakotay, Kyle couldn’t understand why he’d had such a big enjoyment of the character.
He said he spent the whole episode moaning, and then broke his leg.
Her Final Thoughts on “Caretaker”
Katie said she is easily pleased, which Kyle disputed. She clarified that she meant with regard to TV.
She enjoyed “Caretaker” a lot, but could rank it against the other pilot episodes.
Kyle asked which show she was most excited to see the next episode of. The answer? Voyager!
“Throw it out of the window,” said Kyle, on the topic of hopes for serialised storytelling in Star Trek: Voyager.