Co-hosts Robert Meyer Burnett and Mike Bawden talk about the upcoming debut of ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’, recent casting announcements for the series, what to expect from Dr. Strange, and the passing of comics legend Neal Adams.

Something strange this way comes.

by Mike Bawden

We catch up with writer-producer-director Robert Meyer Burnett while he was on the road to do The John Campea Show today.

It’s going to be a “strange” week in the world of genre entertainment: Star Trek: Strange New Worlds debuts on Thursday and the sequel to Dr. Strange appears in theaters (in all dimensions as far as we know) on Friday.

Rob and I have a fairly robust conversation about the obstacles ST:SNW must overcome to be viewed as a true Trek-cess by long-time fans and, I have to admit, I’m a bit more optimistic about the show’s chances than Rob. But the discussion is fair and, I think, insightful.

You can listen to it here …

Listen to “What a strange week it’s going to be in the PGS (#018)” on Spreaker.

I think Rob and I come at ‘Strange New Worlds’ from slightly different trajectories. I’m the first to admit, I’m nowhere the die-hard, OG fan that Rob is. Although at my age, I do remember watching the original series while it was on NBC. Or, more precisely, I could only watch the first half of each show because my bedtime was at the half-hour mark, so I never got to see the end of any first-run episode.

At least not from the couch.

There were plenty of evenings when I’d sneak out of bed and army crawl to the top of the stairs leading down to the family room and I’d lay there, on my side, peering through a very small gap between the steps so I could watch the big, console TV at an impossible angle. Now, having kids of my own, I’m sure my dad and mom knew I was up there. But as long as I was quiet, we all played along with the ruse. I got to watch Mr. Spock (because at 7 or 8 years of age, there was little else I really cared about on the show) and then I’d trot off to bed when it ended to make sure I didn’t get caught staying up past bedtime.

So, yeah, I have a long-standing relationship with Star Trek. Especially the original series. But I’m still excited to see what they do with this new series when it comes out.

In my view, it seems as if the producers and showrunners of ST:SNW are unintentionally (or unwittingly) landing on some of the key points they missed with ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ and ‘Star Trek: Picard’ – and that will bring this new show much closer to what makes a science fiction television show of the “Star Trek” brand.

Specifically, they’re telling self-contained adventure stories that have to fit within the constraints of a traditional, hour-long drama (or close to). That means less time for handwringing and moralizing and a greater need on “showing” rather than “telling.” For those nu-Trek fans afraid of losing the social high ground if each character can’t have an elaborate, tragedy-filled and issue-relevant backstory, fear not. “Showing” diversity and teamwork in action rather than lecturing people about it is actually a more effective way of winning folks over to your cause.

Of course, RMB is right about one thing – bad writing can ruin everything. And given the track record of ST:Discovery and ST:Picard, I understand why he’s reluctant to sound a hopeful tone when discussing ST:SNW. Not me, though. I haven’t bothered myself with regular viewings of either Discovery or Picard because after watching the first few episodes of both, I figured they just weren’t for me. I didnt’ care about the characters and their convoluted storylines weren’t worth the effort.

I found other things to watch that were more of my liking. In general, those shows were well-written, well-acted, and visually marvelous. But they weren’t Star Trek.

For that matter, I didn’t consider Discovery or Picard to be Star Trek, either.

Strange New Worlds, though. I’ll give that a shot.

What do you think?

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I invite you to listen in on my weekday conversations with my friend and business partner, Robert Meyer Burnett, as we talk about the things we love: great movies, inspiring television programming, nostalgic genre entertainment, and pop culture.

This episode streamed on May 2, 2022.

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New podcasts added for PGS streams

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