Harry Van Gorkum
Ashley Victoria Robinson
ABOUT THE EPISODE
Klingon to your seat as the pod boldly goes in search of the best Star Trek Captain – the result could get some Trekkers in a twist. Dominic Keating, who appeared in all 98 episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise, as Lieutenant Malcolm Reed, shares stories from the bridge in between debating the merits of Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, Archer and co. In this episode, host Sandro Monetti reveals why meeting his childhood hero William Shatner wasn’t the out of this world experience he had hoped it would be, and returning guests Harry Van Gorkum and Ashley Victoria Robinson are back with a mission to seek out new laughs and civil interactions. It’s the final frontier in entertainment and at the end of this enterprising episode, the result of the public vote will reveal Who’s the Best Star Trek Captain. But will the choice be logical? Beam up the download and find out.
WHO’S THE BEST STAR TREK CAPTAIN GENE GENIUS – THE AMAZING LEGACY OF STAR TREK CREATOR GENE RODDENBERRY
by Sandro Monetti, host, Who’s the Best Podcast
As we celebrate Star Trek in the latest Who’s the Best podcast, I can’t help reflecting on how the space franchise’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, ranks as an out of this world figure – in every sense of the phrase.
There’s an asteroid named after him drifting around the galaxy, and a crater on Mars carries his name as well.
The sci-fi pioneer also became the first person “buried” in space when his ashes were blasted into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1992.
But his spirit lives on in his work and at a time when the world is so divided, Rodenberry’s Star Trek vision of utopia offers hope for a bright future where equality, peace and all good things are possible.
With his wonderful classic series which spawned so many spin-off shows and films, Gene has inspired generations to reach for the stars, or for the pen or to somehow otherwise fulfill their potential.
For me, this writer-creator-producer deserves a place alongside Jules Verne and HG Wells as one of the great imaginative storytellers of all time.
A former cop on the beat in Los Angeles until he got into television by submitting stories for police series Dragnet, he got Star Trek on the air after selling it to Desilu, the production company of sitcom star Lucille Ball.
It’s true that she originally thought the series was about celebrities performing for troops overseas – stars going on a trek – but when others in the company tried to pull the plug on the show early, Lucy took a closer look and played a crucial role in keeping it alive by fighting for Rodenberry and his vision.
That faith paid off in a big way – Star Trek was, is and shall always be a cultural phenomenon and the franchise has generated more than $10 billion in revenue.
Roddenberry’s genius is not in doubt. But over the years, the devoted fans – or Trekkers – have often debated the tricky Star Trek question before us today: who’s the best captain?
Is it Kirk – originally played by William Shatner and in the more recent movies by Chris Pine? Maybe you prefer Picard, soon to return in a new spin-off series, where he will again by played by Patrick Stewart. Perhaps it’s Sisko (Avery Brooks) from Deep Space Nine, the first female captain, Kate Mulgrew’s Janeway in Voyager, or Archer, played by Scott Bakula in Enterprise. There’s also the captains in latest Trek series Discovery to consider. The public vote at the end of the show certainly did not go the way I expected.
Among the guests joining me to discuss that very question were Dominic Keating who appeared in all 98 episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise as Lieutenant Malcom Reed and who, like all of the actors who have appeared on this podcast series, has a galaxy full of stories to tell. How fascinating and fun it was to hear Dominic recall his first professional job as part of a drag act. It’s been a long road getting from there to here (to quote the lyrics of the Enterprise theme song).
But that’s the wonder of Gene Rodenberry’s creation – Star Trek shows that anything is possible if you boldly go where no one has gone before.