Live Long and Prosper, Ali

Originally published at: Live Long and Prosper, Ali -

#172: SEASON FINALE! This is Ali’s last episode so we let him talk about whatever he wanted and of course, he chose Star Trek. Ali leads a discussion about what Star Trek means to us, how it has impacted our lives, and why it matters. We wrap up with a goodbye to Ali and a quick look at GT Radio in 2019.

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00:00:00 – Intro / Community Catch-Up

00:08:14 – Star Trek

00:53:04 – Promo

00:53:42 – Goodbye Ali

01:05:14 – Wrap-Up


Find us at | @GeekTherapy | Lara: @GeekTherapist | Lauren: @CHICKENDINOSAUR | Ali: @AliMattu | Josué: @JosueACardona

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“Star Trek made me gay, everybody.”

You’re not the only one, @Lara. We female Voyager fans like to joke that we’re all at least a little Janegay, lol. And I’ll never get over “Rejoined.” Jadzia and Lenara were beautiful and perfect and they deserved to be together… :sob:

I’d never actually heard about producers fearing bald Sisko would look too much like Picard, so that’s interesting… and kinda weird. What I have heard was that they didn’t want him looking like his character from a previous series. But Trek’s problem with bald leaders goes beyond Sisko.

Originally, Gene had envisioned a very hairy frenchman to play Picard, so when the other producers presented Patrick Stewart to Gene, his initial response was “I don’t want a bald man.” After sitting through a bunch of other auditions for the part, Gene finally agreed to the casting but insisted that Stewart wear a wig. It was actually a Paramount exec that told them to keep Stewart bald. In a later interview, Gene said of Picard’s baldness that, “by the 24th century, no one will care.” Which was awesome. But it wasn’t originally something he was open to.

Then Kate Mulgrew came along to play Captain Janeway, and they really put their foot down. “Absolutely not,” Berman told Mulgrew when she asked to go bald. “Ira keeps pushing us to let Sisko be a baldie, and I might just have to let that purple-bearded hippie have his way. So we’re giving you more hair than Kirk and Riker combined.”

Just kidding on that last one… partially.

In all seriousness, Mulgrew had her own problems with the producers regarding Janeway’s appearance. For one, Mulgrew had short hair, but the stylist couldn’t make it work for some strange reason (but like why??? her hair is gorgeous???), so producers made her wear extensions and then made a huge fuss about how to style it. Berman also made her wear boob pads (as he generally expected of Trek actresses) and high-heeled boots. Kate eventually had enough of that bs, and she talked Berman into loosing all those things and just letting her embody Janeway as she was.

On a different note, I appreciate your shout-out to the women of Trek fandom history. I’m proud to be part of a fan base that literally invented modern fandom. Those women created zines to exchange fanfic and fan art and commentary. They organized and mobilized to keep the original series on air long enough to qualify for syndication, which is where it gained most of its fame. They planned the first fan conventions. So much of what is considered central to fan culture today exists because female Trek fans created it. But that’s not often acknowledged, which is a shame considering how toxic fan communities (and even the content creators themselves) can be towards women. So thank you for saying that.

Anyway, Star Trek means a lot to me, so thanks for this episode. I loved it. I’m gonna miss you being on the show, Ali. LLAP. :vulcan_salute:

1 Like

Since we had this conversation I remembered that Transformers was also a huge influence on me becoming an engineer. I actually wanted to work with cars, that was my passion. My parents were very, very against it so I went with engineering. Transformers is very sci-fi and had toys I could tinker with as a child. I don’t remember having many Star Trek toys other than a couple of TNG action figures.