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The Beige and The Bold

The Beige and The Bold

By VanVelding
VanVelding, a lifelong Star Trek fan, and Derek, a first-time viewer, watch Star Trek: The Next Generation episode-by-episode as you watch along.
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It's a pretty cool Doctor Crusher story that effectively packs a lot into it. Remember how rushed "The Chase" was? I feel like "Suspicions" moves at a similar pace but uses a framing device to make it actually work. It's too bad we never see the scientists again, but who knows? Maybe this technology will be useful again some day. I want to thank this week's and last week's guest Jack, who was a lot of fun to work with. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most  podcasting platforms. New episodes are usually posted on Sunday nights  at 9:00 PM CST.
March 2, 2021
Frame of Mind
It's all corrections for this one. That's boring, so imagine reading this in Robert Stack's Unsolved Mysteries voice. My reference to Supernatural actor Jensen Ackles' constantly deepening voice was abandoned early in the episode, but that happened, and it was weird. It's Paramount+, not CBS All-Access anymore. I have seen a Philip K. Dick book including the Philip K. Dick story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale." Haven't read it. Pico de gallo is the chopped onion, tomato, and pepper thing. There is no corn in it. That Babylon 5 episode was "A View from the Gallery," not "A View from Downbelow." The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes are usually posted on Sunday nights at 9:00 PM CST.
February 15, 2021
For a pretty sedate episode, we've got a lot going on here. Folks kid a lot about TNG being more about administrative issues instead of high-stakes space action, and Lessons is definitely that. It focuses on one character, Picard, and it's bizarre we don't even get a character arc. It's packed with stuff, but stuff that doesn't seem to take us anywhere in the end. It might be the worst good episode of the series. Is that why no one talks about this episode ever? My guest this week is Anna, who was a joy to record with. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes are usually posted on Sunday nights at 9:00 PM CST.
February 4, 2021
The Chase
Unedited, slightly incoherent, and mostly redundant, The Beige and The Bold Solo Sessions are episodes where I run through a show all on my own. The Chase is one of those episodes we all just collectively forget. Not because its epicly bad, but because it's epicly mediocre. I'm already forgetting it. It's an episode that defies being written to media. Witnessing Star Trek improv every time this episode gets queued would be more memorable than actually watching it again. You might recognize the tragically mis-used Norman Lloyd as Doctor Daniel Auschlander from St. Elsewhere, which is a solid danged series. He does good work with Galen, what there is of Galen anyway. The dude is 106 as of posting. Not Galen. Galen is dead. Questions of canon have been on my mind lately. Do we ignore this episode because it's directly contradicted by later Star Trek? I mean, we-go-back-to-the-origins-of-life-on-Earth-and-do-not-see-Salome-Jens contradicted. It gets hard canceled. In THIS VERY SERIES. Do we ignore the episode or just bad (relevant) parts of it? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes are usually posted on Sunday nights  at 9:00 PM CST.
January 18, 2021
Rightful Heir
Worf meets Klingon Jesus, who's changed a lot since he fought Kirk and Abraham Lincoln on the rock guy planet. The episode is better than I remembered and I'm glad I could watch it with Grym, who is a fan of the Klingons.  "Rightful Heir" is a cool combination of science, religion, and Klingon politics. Does Trek even handle religion this well again until Deep Space Nine? My guest this week is Grym, who doesn't have a project he's working on, but who loves Wyrd Games' Malifaux.  The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes are usually posted on Sunday nights at 9:00 PM CST.
January 6, 2021
Starship Mine
I don't feel like there's a lot of depth to plumb here. It's "Die Hard on a starship." It's competently executed, but lacks real stakes and apes the original's character beats instead of making up ones that fit Star Trek.  I dunno. Who should've gotten this? Worf, as he murders his way through twice as many mooks, going "You know how I said I'd kill you last? I lied" while holding a guy in front of an approaching baryon field. Geordi? Who's doing all this with his engineering knowledge plus he's having visor problems and--who knows--has a history with the main thief? Doctor Crusher who can spin kick and hypospray folks into next week at a 0.8 Worfs, but also has to find a way to save them from the sweep? Anyone else? My guest this week is Dr. Izixs from Watchers of Tomorrow, which also watches old Star Trek and sci-fi stuff and talks about it. You can find Watchers of Tomorrow at: The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes are usually posted on Sunday nights at 9:00 PM CST.
December 3, 2020
The November Update
There's not much to say Derek is leaving. He's going to record "All Good Things" with me, but it won't go up until the end of the series. Until then we've got guests and solo session. Get me at if you'd like to be a guest.
November 16, 2020
Birthright, Part II
What happens when the only solution for peace is having sex with an enemy prisoner of war when she knows the only hope of survival is reciprocating your crappy, emotionally-stunted advances? The fact that I can point to two women this applies to in this situation is a little ewww. I'm being a little unfair. Birthright is actually one of season six's many underrated gems. One thing I like about late-season TNG is that it swings for the fences. It misses more than it hits, but those hits are pretty good and the misses impress you with their candle ghosts. I mean, "confidence." The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes are posted on Sunday nights at 9:00 PM CST.
November 2, 2020
Birthright, Pt 1
Derek is actually pretty right about the trend in TNG two-parters, which is kind of embarrassing and kind of makin' me proud. Granted, I only have so many, "pride in my son" moments left as Derek's 'Trek cred comes to rival my own. Would Jaglom Shrek is the only Yridian we've met and he'd still be the worst if we met a Yridian corpse in a decaying orbit around a gas giant comprised primarily of farts. What I'm saying is that the Shrek children's book was written in 1990, so he wasn't even the best Shrek in popular media. Is Data's story good or not? I say 'no' because it undermines Data's growth. It is well-structured and works with the themes of this episode though. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes are posted on Sunday nights at 9:00 PM CST.
October 28, 2020
I know it's a classic, but can we agree that this TNG run has revealed a few hidden gems and a bit too much fool's gold? Look, is old Picard too impulsive or not impulsive enough? Is he altering his character or just a few actions that young Picard is going to retroactively justify? Given that Picard straight up chooses to DIE rather than not be a Starfleet Captain, what's up with later episodes pretending that he might have become an archaeologist?  I feel like if our lesson is clear then that's fine, but I don't see any message here about coming terms with your past action that isn't just a status quo bias. "You're comfortable in the world your flaws made, so isn't it better to live in this world built on your sin because it's easier?" It sounds insane! I think Derek nails it; learn from your past, but don't regret or idealize it. Most importantly: Did he or did he not crack a yo-mama joke to a Nausican? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most  podcasting platforms. New episodes are posted on Sunday nights  at 9:00 PM CST.
October 12, 2020
Face of the Enemy
It's a good Troi episode, listeners. The premise is insane, but who gives a crap because it serves a good story. And honestly, anyone who can't get over that has decided not to get over it. Like a lot of TNG's best episodes, there isn't much more to add.  It does lack a 'moral core' because it's all driven by Troi's desire to survive, but if we were to add a moral choice to it, what would that look like? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes usually go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
September 28, 2020
Ship in a Bottle
This starts a period of The Beige and The Bold where some episodes include Derek and me, and others include a special guest co-host instead of Derek. This week's special guest co-host is Brady Hendricks of The City Within the Walls Podcast. We talk about Moriarty, holodeck programming, and Inception. Brady raises a good question: After everything we've been through with Barclay, do we trust him with the holodeck? He's familiar with it, but is he too familiar with it? You can check out The City Within the Walls Podcast on itunes: The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most  podcasting platforms. New episodes usually go live on Sunday nights at  10:00 PM CST.
September 10, 2020
Chain of Command, Pt II
Chain of Command, Pt II is one of the best episodes of the series. We get payoff on our construction of Jellico and the Cardassians in that we see the almost self-destructive need for control that runs through both. And I'm done with my defense of Jellico. Obviously, the narrative is against him, but I don't think that's reason enough to scuttle him. I'm a "death of the author" guy. A story can make a character that's a laudable person even while it's trying to undermine them morally. "Paradise Lost" is the example that's easiest to call up.  But Jellico brings nothing to the table. If you're a person who is pleased by the exercise of power on behalf of your ingroup, you might admire his hard line on the Cardassians, but Picard is just as capable of doing that and he didn't put all of his skill points into "raging as--jerkhole." Am I too down on US culture here? Can I flog my own culture over Guantanamo Bay, then flog them slightly harder because they didn't listen to Star Trek? Except, instead of flogging, it's whipping the brickwork of the wall around their estate with a wet noodle.  More clearly: is Star Trek any good if it makes people excited over starship aesthetics, camp plots, and the finer points of the history of the Star Trek Universe instead of making them outraged over their country's immoral behavior? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes usually go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
July 6, 2020
Chain of Command, Pt I
Like many of my opinions on Star Trek: The Next Generation, my opinion of Captain Jellico, specifically, has come full circle. I wish there was some nuance in his character, but he's just gratuitously aggro. No conflict with the Cardassians was so imminent that he couldn't just let Riker finish a sentence. Granted, our leads burrow into their roles as planets orbiting Captain Picard instead of breaking out as their own independent characters, so both of our bike tires are flat this time. It turns out the nerd fraternity is Lambda Lambda Lambda, which was actually a fraternity for black students that within the fictional "Revenge of the Nerds" universe allowed the nerds to use it. Really, the harping I do about Star Trek losing its ideological way reaches its climax here. I know other people (and me. Actually, most me) gripe a lot about Star Trek: Picard, but STP is really a natural extension of the changes in Star Trek most clearly seen in "Chain of Command." I mean, is there any context in which "Starfleet does covert ops and does them badly" doesn't leave us pretty far from the space where we started? And are there any merits to that deeper space? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes usually go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
June 30, 2020
The Quality of Life
I was pleasantly surprised by this episode. I don't think I'd seen it since it originally aired. There are flaws in it, especially how they test for sentience, but I don't remember the story being this compelling. There are so few instances of Riker having good leadership moments in later seasons that this one where he knuckles down ends up being one of the better ones? Should the exocomps have come back? What if they're sentient, but non-sapient? With neither a drive to reproduce nor aspirational intelligence? Is it moral to create beings strictly for labor, even if it's labor they enjoy? What happens when the particle fountain is completed? Do you ship them across known space for another project despite the fact that it's less efficient than creating new exocomps locally and painlessly switching the old ones off?  How mentally undeveloped do your synthetic slaves have to be before it's moral to create and use them for your own ends? It's a deep question that's worth asking if your Star Trek series is almost entirely premised on it. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most  podcasting platforms. New episodes usually go live on Sunday nights at  10:00 PM CST.
June 24, 2020
A Fistful of Datas
It continues the proud tradition of TNG episodes using the holodeck and an improbable technical issue to fully commit themselves to genre episodes. I mean, maybe not "proud." It's got a ton great ideas: Data being a bunch of different dudes, Worf spending quality time with Alexander, Troi being cool and into Westerns. It just doesn't really get there with the plot and the Trek-ness of it. I mean, if we're not going to let Troi light some dudes up, then let Worf replace all the guns with bat'leths, y'know? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes usually go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
June 16, 2020
We're back on track and it's just Derek and me all the way through the halfway point of the season and the start of the Deep Space Nine series. We talk about Amanda Rogers' bland taste in men, the yikes factor of turning Doctor Crusher into a dog, and what is the deal with the Q even? It's an episode that's all over the place and the last thing we care about the fate of some character we just met and will never see again. Sorry, I guess that's a spoiler for Voyager when Amanda Rogers and all of the questions she raises are ignored. Honestly, that's to Voyager's credit because it did all of this better. "Voyager did all of this better" is a red flag in terms of episode quality, but welcome to season six! *Evil madman laughter* The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes usually go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
June 9, 2020
The Road to Deep Space Nine ends in a place we didn't expect at a time we never considered. It's like Agincourt, Appomattox, or AR-558. I don't really know what else to say. Here's the link to, which has a little more about the various Trek organizations which are donating: and the original reddit post: The ACLU: East Of The River Mutual Aid Fund: Black Lives Matter: ActBlue Page for a Collection of Organizations: The Beige and The Bold is a podcast that talks about Star Trek. You can reach out to me on twitter @vanvelding or on blogspot at
June 5, 2020
The Road to Deep Space Nine continues as I struggle through the bewildering house which Unsolved Mysteries made. I am legitimately struggling to understand how this episode came out before both "Fire in the Sky" and "The X-Files." Nimoy hosted "In Search of..." in 1977, so that's not a proximate cause. Am I too mean here? About stories where there's always *some* way to win? Obviously, you can't have a series where ALL of our heroes' actions are doomed to fail, but certainly, there's something to be said for acknowledging when bold action just won't work. When resistance is--oh wait. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
June 1, 2020
It's important in crossovers that we make sure that the characters from different worlds don't automatically know each other are protagonists. I think a lot of fans would accept that, but it wouldn't be earned. What is cool is throwing characters together in a situation that's so dire that folks are willing to throw in with anyone who isn't trying to kill them right now. I am interested in seeing the Picard throughline replaced with a Worf throughline. Worf being, I dunno, a nerd for weapons systems of this era, as these are the guys who the Klingons considered formidable foes. And Scotty's all, "you couldn't tell that by talking to them" and Worf gives that smirk he gives sometimes. That'd be great, right? Any older character could really fill those roles though. Maybe the issue is that Geordi isn't defined by being an engineer or an aspiring officer so Scotty can't interact satisfyingly interact with him on those levels. Again, we get an (ostensible) Geordi episode that doesn't tell us about Geordi. Could we have had Scotty have a different A-plot with another, non-Picard, non-Data character? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
May 26, 2020
Man of the People
*Uploads podcast on The Road to DS9* *Runs back to the episode on Netflix and kicks it with each line* HOW! IS HE! A MAN! OF! THE PEOPLE!? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
May 18, 2020
Realm of Fear
The Road to DS9 continues and I think it's one of those roads where it gets longer every time you take a step on it. There's this yin and yang to The Beige and The Bold. A balance. A comme ci, and a comme ça, if you get what I'm saying. What I'm saying is...enjoy this solo episode. Also, when I say "crazy" here, I mean it in a way that we accept Barclay has a host of problems but we still accept him. The problem in his first appearance wasn't really his problems, but everyone else on the ship being unable to work around them. And now, despite everything I say about "Realm of Fear," Barclay isn't any less anxious, really; the crew of the Enterprise--and I hope the viewer at home--has learned to accept that about him. But I say a lot of stuff in here, so maybe forget me? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
May 11, 2020
Time's Arrow, Pt II
There's so much stuff this episode wants to do that I feel we aren't spending the time to do it well.  We do have fun though. It's an enjoyable episode, even if it loses focus on our central theme of...wait, what's our central theme again? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
May 4, 2020
Time's Arrow, Part I
There's no better benchmark of TNG's slide from "not so cerebral, but still serious" show to "situation drama" show than the season five closer, "Time's Arrow."  It's a fun show, but it's clearly lost so many, er, ferrets that it's stopped altogether looking for its lost ferrets. Where's Riker coming from? Where's the 'only Data can do this'-to-'now we can do this' thread of logic? Where's the cultural traction? Also, props to Derek for asking about holocommunicators before Star Trek figured out it could do holocommunicators. They were right about those bones though; the bones we have from more than 500 years ago were specially preserved, which makes sense because we'd have a lot of bones otherwise. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes (usually) go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM  CST. I've been having some computer problems lately and I apologize for the inconvenience.
April 29, 2020
The Inner Light
The Road to Deep Space Nine continues as I try to understand how Derek picked "The Next Phase" over "The Inner Light." I don't know why this episode works and I feel like it's down to an ineffable combination of pacing and acting.  Is it weird that this episode and Deep Space Nine's "Far Beyond the Stars" are considered among the best episodes of Star Trek DESPITE not being episodes which really function like Star Trek episodes? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
April 6, 2020
The Next Phase
This episode's path to glory was creating a good drama to distract us from the bad science or to make the science good, and therefore compelling and worth thinking about. All it really did was show that when you try hard for the Picard episodes and punt your Geordi/Ro episodes, the Geordi/Ro episodes will suck for completely non-mysterious reasons.  Also, with the mind-swapping episodes and the reverse aging episode (it's coming) and the hyper-aging episodes and the shrinking episode (it's coming) are there any broad, sci-fi ideas that Star Trek hasn't done that need to be unraveled as we do? I feel like there's gotta be a few. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
March 30, 2020
I, Borg
It's a classic, apparently.  It's weird how neither I nor Derek expected to see Hugh again. The...inertia of the series is pretty well-developed by this point. The less-obvious lesson you could draw from this episode is one about Doctor Crusher. Is it better for her to cooperate with an unethical, although perhaps justified, operation because she has the opportunity to soften that operation? Or is it preferable that she preserve her own moral cleanliness and walk away? I'm 100% sure what the correct thing to do in real life is. As a rule, at least. But damn, I'm trying to ask questions here, y'know? Because that "ShOuLd PiCaRD hAvE uSeD tHe CyBeRwEaPoN?" question is a non-starter. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
March 26, 2020
Imaginary Friend
This is the first episode of The Road to Deep Space Nine, where Derek and I pick up the pace and skip a few episodes of Derek's choice. You don't skip them; you get a solo adventure. I don't know how I mixed up "Peggy Sue Got Married," a 1986 Back-to-the-Future-by-way-of-Somewhere-in-Time drama with "Drop Dead Fred," a 1991 black comedy about an imaginary friend and psychological healing. I feel like Imaginary Friend is just a few degrees off from making sense, but nothing can redeem an episode where an obvious Troi speech is punted to Picard...for some reason. It's the misogyny, right? Can we agree on that? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
March 16, 2020
The Perfect Mate
I feel like doing an episode which accepted so many messed-up assumptions could have worked in service to so many other great ideas. Whats up with the male social push to engage the the performances which allow us the chance to engage in intercourse...but a woman? That's a great angle for an episode of Star Trek. What about the examination of traditional, Western ritual monogamy through marriage as viewed through a lens of a bona fide people-pleaser who DOESN'T have a convenient monogamy lock-down timer installed in her uterus? Not great, but still a concept worth examining. I was so looking forward to sharing this classic episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation with Derek, but the I watched it. I would apologize for Star Trek: Picard ruining my enjoyment of TNG, but your apologies should come from the STP production staff. I think it is the best option for us to just cut through this to get to Deep Space Nine. After all, it's not like watching a classic series like DS9 could disappoint. Surely. Right? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
March 9, 2020
Cost of Living
This could--nay SHOULD--be a straight-up dramatic episode, but instead we get metal parasites and two stories mated as smoothly as the gears in my truck's busted transmission. I know I talk a lot of trash about the novels, but surely in the novels Lwaxana and Alexander had a bit more of a relationship with each other. Granted, if they did Deep Space Nine would have been different. Also, props to Derek for calling out two or three episodes. Does the Thomas Riker episode count? Did I miss any? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
March 2, 2020
The First Duty
It's a pretty good Wesley episode. I get how if you already like Wesley, this may feel like a betrayal, but I also see how it could get people who haven't liked Wesley on-side. For whatever that's worth. I never realized Wesley was in two episodes in season five, zero in season six, and then another two in season seven. Not a bad average. Does it matter what Picard did? I mean, after watching Star Trek: Picard, I'm not sure if anything Picard has ever done has mattered. But is the noodle incident that Boothby helped him with important? Ostensibly, it could have caused his expulsion from the academy. Wesley got a dude killed, covered it up, and still wasn't expelled. The more I think about it, the more I want to know what happened because there's things I'm willing to forgive and things I'm not and it sounds like whatever Picard did was borderline. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST. Whenever I don't have to move to Louisiana, anyway.
February 25, 2020
Cause and Effect
It's an ironic title for an episode in which many things which happen don't cause anything because everyone is stuck in a time loop. Everything causes the destruction of the Enterprise until it causes it not to be destroyed. It's one of those solid episodes that shows TNG in its stride; characters we know, cool sci-fi concept, and a fun mystery. It's hard to say anything about an episode that's generally good. Well, it's hard to say anything except, "YOU HAD TIME TO DO BOTH!" The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most  podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM  CST. Mostly.
February 3, 2020
The Outcast
It's a heavy one that's got no time for a b-plot. Derek and I cover a LOT of "The Outcast"'s messages. Trans allegories, homosexual allegories, definitions of gender, societal callousness, social control, bullying...we didn't get deep on any one thing, but if there's something we didn't touch on, please let us know. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST. Mostly.
January 27, 2020
Worf and Crusher can carry an episode and while I think this episode generally gets stuck in the front of the middle of the pack when people think back on TNG, that's a shame. They've got good throughlines and McFadden and Dorn nail it. I'm glad that the series takes a look back at this episode in "Parallels." This is where I usually ask a question, but I can't think of too many that don't directly lead into workshopping policy on assisted suicide. How were your holidays? This is our first episode produced wholly in 2020 and I think it's pretty good. Also, I wanted to remind you all that I will be doing Picard when it comes out on Thursday and for non-Patreons, it will be going up as a bonus episode on the following Thursday. Stay tuned! The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
January 20, 2020
Power Play
It's a big action scene episode with no idea in it, but it's clever and tense and I had no idea what was going to happen next. Not every episode of Star Trek should be like this, but I'm glad we get these sometimes. I just love that Marina Sirtis and Brent Spiner get to do stuff like this that's so different than their regular characters. It's a shame that "Captain Schumar" has so much more character and presence than Troi does; it drives home how little Sirtis gets to work with. If Star Trek is going to be a series that's about action and big ideas and science, isn't ok cool if every so often it leans extra hard into one or two of those ideas and forgets one or two of them? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
January 13, 2020
Conundrum Deja Vu
Everything is kind of familiar in this one. Don't know why. MacDuff seems sketchy. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST
January 6, 2020
Heart of Stone, with Dr. Izixs
In memory of Aron Eisenberg and René Auberjonois, I'm watching an episode of Deep Space Nine as a one-off. It's a landmark episode and probably too good to watch on a lark, but it's clearly worth it. I'm watching this episode with my friend Dr. Izixs. He's a fellow Star Trek veteran and was kind enough to help me out with this. I'll say it, even though the character of Spock was a landmark, I sincerely believe that Odo was Star Trek's best outsider character. I don't think he ever completes his arc the way Spock does, but the depth afforded by The Dominion War and his relationship with Kira over seven years gives us a lot more depth with it. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST. You can find "Watchers of Tomorrow," Dr. Izixs' podcast at:
December 16, 2019
The Masterpiece Society
Do they ever get it right? Someone else who has watched the whole series; do they ever get it right by Geordi? I'm thinking and I can't come up with even one episode in this series where they do it. Maybe season three's "The Enemy"? Anyway, "The Masterpiece Society" is a fun little episode, even if it lacks some action and the romance doesn't work and the science is shaky. This season has so many good episodes that being lackluster is damning in comparison. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
December 9, 2019
As a warning, this episode is about sexual assault and we discuss sexual assault. This episode is like a version of Star Trek created by xenophobes, bigots, and nativists, using sexual assault as a way to vilify The Other. From the fear and hesitance of the crew to the fact that the answer was accusing the alien newcomers to how Worf gets to beat up a guy and Picard is too sensitive to actually take reasonable actions against the Ullians. Forget your doubts about The Animated Series and Season 2's "Unnatural Selection," any Star Trek episode set in the Bizarro Universe--"Violations," "The Alternative Factor"--shouldn't be canon. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
December 2, 2019
Hero Worship
It's another workhorse episode with a lot heart and some good ideas that doesn't really get its due.  Anyway, I know the novels probably do more with him, but Timothy Vico probably gets thrown on the pile of forgotten kids with Barash and Jeremy Aster. Is that better than the fates of Lal and Ian Troi? Is it better storytelling? I've been watching The Good Place lately and it's a show that keeps a lot of unimportant details and times unexplored. There's a lot of room for fanfiction in there is what I'm saying and maybe these kid-piles have a similar potential for letting the audiences write their own ends--or continuing adventures--for these kids. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM  CST.
November 26, 2019
New Ground
We picked a heck of a week to make jokes about war crimes. In that we allow our cast to be flawed, we have to make them into 20th Century people, which includes a set of 20th Century social assumptions. Could we have this series without flawed characters? Could our main cast just be a Greek chorus to frame the adventures of other, flawed people from other planets? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
November 18, 2019
17 to 01: The Undiscovered Country
As a capstone for The Original Series and its crew-- RAND IS BACK! This is her biggest role post-TOS and it's good to see her again. Also, a movie happens. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
November 11, 2019
A Matter of Time
Derek and I talk about redstone missiles, predestination paradoxes, and global warming a bit (It's real! We caused it! It's bad!). We get to see a Picard speech that doesn't get enough acclaim, either because the story almost immediately undercuts it or because it just doesn't work. Between the hair and the coat and the pocket-sized spaceship that can travel in time, the Rick Sanchez parallels jumped out at me on this one and I can't put them to bed. So I put out into the universe: "Berlinghoff and Wesley," written by Dan Harmon and Wil Wheaton. But seriously, how smart is "Rasmussen"? Is he faking it all or has he done some research? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
November 11, 2019
Unification, Pt II
I know it's "Grammaton Cleric," but I can' t just stop an episode to make pedantic corrections about 2002 cult films. There are TV shows from 1991 that require our full attention. What *does* happen here doesn't happen to any great effect and even Leonard Nimoy can' t save it from just being "meh." But Data did the Vulcan thing. That's cool. Hypothetically. The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
October 28, 2019
Unification, Pt I
Honestly, I'd feel more comfortable sending kids to Romulus. Spy kids. For an episode with Spock, there's not a lot of Spock. And speaking of Star Trek episodes without a lot of Star Trek, I also feel like we haven't gotten a strong idea or moral principle lately. Derek and I are just crackin' jokes instead of engaging in some elevated discourse because...we're just not seeing any. Is that fair for the first stretch of Season 5 or are we just getting complacent? I'm sorry if we are; we're stretching for the meatier content. I refuse to apologize for my Brooks and Dunn references. The  Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most  podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
October 21, 2019
The Game
The big irony of this episode is how quick people are to chalk this one up as another story where Wesley saves the ship but it's actually another episode where the writers press the "Data" button and the goal is to summon the android who can do anything so he can solve everything.  Saying this is another episode where Wesley saves the ship is like saying any silver-age Superman story is one where Jimmy saves the day because he has the supersonic watch. Anyway, is this episode prescient about World of Warcraft just because its writers were poking at a Nintendo like it was the danged Monolith? The episode about technology giving us stimulation without any benefit--or worse, harm--seems incredibly broad and yet it's very specifically applicable to the world we live in 30 years later. The applicability of its lesson requires us to perceive these things as dangers before its message about their dangers are applicable so I still feel like it's irrelevant. Am I overthinking this tepid, tepid story? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
October 14, 2019
Riker: Can save Earth. Riker's legs: Can save the Enterprise. Does it work though? Does Troi's throughline work? Are her stakes real? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
October 7, 2019
Silicon Avatar
*Turns number under the sign that says "Days since android racism" to 0* We reintroduce the Crystalline Entity, then shatter it quite expertly this week.
September 30, 2019
Ensign Ro
I'm amazed that Picard's stupid jacket didn't immediately torpedo this sensitive diplomatic mission. But I'm glad we got Ro out of all of this. And Deep Space Nine. I didn't realize how the Iran/Iraq War and the Soviet/Afghan war ran almost contemporaneously for almost the entirety of the 80's. Lockerbie was in '88 and I was way off with the Beirut barracks bombing happening in '83, almost eight years before this episode.  Still though, what could this series could have done with its main characters to make them more interesting, even if they were a bit more flawed? And I don't mean flawed as in 'poorly written.' I mean flawed in a way that made them more nuanced characters. Give Doctor Crusher a hat?
September 23, 2019
I don't know why Picard has this stupid jacket because it's stupid.  The Tamarians are pretty cool guys and it's implied that they're comparable in technological ability to The Federation. Are the Children of Tama another large, star-spanning polity which influences and is influenced by its neighbors? My personal model of Star Trek has been that these types of heterogeneous entities are the only type which can achieve a certain level of stellar progress before they collapse.  It was off-camera, but does our chanting for Riker to put Picard into danger because it supports the value Picard puts on peace resemble the principle I often put forward that Picard putting the Enterprise in danger is acceptable because he does so for the moral principles his crew--civilian and Starfleet alike--believe in? The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most  podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM  CST.
September 16, 2019
Redemption, Part II
We're getting right back into it. Nonsense Data storylines. Tasha Yar baby mama drama. Worf being a huge nerd. The gang is all here, except for Doctor Pulaski. We often talk about how this show transcends its limitations and it does not do that here. I'd say that this was as good a galaxy-spanning political drama could get within the confines of Star Trek: The Next Generation except for the fact that they burned four scenes on a Data story instead of doing anything with Worf. Man, if only Star Trek could do galaxy-spanning politics centered on Worf that would make him a pivotal player who--*clink* The Beige and The Bold is hosted on Anchor and is available on most podcasting platforms. New episodes go live on Sunday nights at 10:00 PM CST.
September 9, 2019
Season 4 Supplemental
We’ve come so far, and got so far, but in the end…it was really, really far. I don’t have a head for lyrics.   We look forward, I talk a bit about ruts versus grooves and Derek speculates on Season Five.  We’re considering a number of changes for when we get back from the hiatus. I’m going to be studying the production stuff more thoroughly than I have been. I’ll be digging a bit deeper on guest stars, and I’ll try to come up with a few more format-disrupting ideas to mix things up.   I think we’ve got a small, but dedicated fan base. Are there any ideas you all have? I’m wide open for pitches. Contact me here, on my twitter @VanVelding, or on any other platform you can find me.
September 8, 2019
Solo Session: Black Mirror's USS Callister
Unedited, slightly incoherent, and mostly redundant, The Beige and The Bold Solo Sessions are episodes where I run through a show without Derek.  To break tradition somewhat I’m going to be watching the much-touted episode of Black Mirror, “USS Callister.”  I watched “Bandersnatch” before and was a bit disappointed. I’ll be honest: Black Mirror has been nothing if not consistent for me. Are these episodes really the best the series has to offer? I keep hearing good things, but I’m not interested in a pointless, techno-scare circle-jerk.
September 8, 2019
Redemption, Part I
I feel strongly that “Shut up, Toral” should replace “Shut up, Wesley” as one of TNG’s bedrock memes. I get that he’s a victim in all of these power games to some extent and that he has mentors who refuse to help him understand his situation because they’re using him as a means unto an end.   But shut up, Toral.   I’ll try to make fewer “Game of Thrones” jokes in part two, I swear, but while “Redemption” is an oft-overlooked episode, it laid down so much that Deep Space Nine did structurally and canonically.   It’s more than just a prototype for another series, it’s a clever way to tie in several (relatively) long-running plot threads into a conflict that has stakes for our characters and the larger world.   For those of you who don’t know the story about Denise Crosby’s reappearance: clone, doppleganger, or long lost twin? Place your bets!
September 8, 2019
In Theory
I wanted to go deeper on impostor syndrome in relationships, but we covered it well enough. What I can’t get over is the B-plot here.   I’m sorry, “the bull**** plot here.” On the one hand, I’m angry the space/time bubbles aren’t explained better, on the other I’d be furious if they wasted time on doing that. It’s no “garbage scow that’s immune to physics,” but it’s a terrible plotline.   It’s gotta be top ten worst, right?
September 8, 2019
The Mind's Eye
“The Mind’s Eye” is a pretty straightforward episode. There’s not a big idea and or real character moment. Things happen in it, but they’re good things that drive a clear, well-developed plot.   It turns out that triangulation is really complicated. To the point that there’s also a thing called trilateration, which I don’t have time to read the wiki on. I haven’t really read up on them, but I’m willing to believe any number of data points Lieutenant Commander Data needs to find a signal source . I feel like we skipped over how Geordi’s visor is a negative here. I think it’s fair game that the differences of the crew are sometimes drawbacks. Troi losing her telepathy in “The Loss” and Data being controlled in “Brothers” are both instances that spring to mind.   Derek’s episode pitch for a story where the senior staff is constantly implicated but not investigated for crimes is a lot like TOS’ “The Enemy Within.”
September 8, 2019
The Host
We’re back after a little break with a classic episode.   There’s a lot to unpack with this one, and even if the lesson seems lost on some of the production staff, we try to stay focused on the most culturally relevant takeaway.   Also, it was Tiresias. He was apparently a dick to some mating snakes and Hera made him a woman as punishment.   I’ve made my fair share of "Trill are different" jokes, but is it a big deal that the Trill, like the Cardassians, vary a bit from their original introduction? Even Spock added/changed details the Vulcan people as we learned more about him.
September 8, 2019
The Drumhead
We lost the tape.   We’ve got so many twists and turns in the reasoning behind this one. Ironically, this was recorded at the height of the fervor over the Mueller Investigation and so there’s a lot to uncover in terms of “what makes an investigation legitimate”? We could have gotten deeper into it, but like most of TNG’s good episodes, there’s a lot to discuss.   I guess, to get a bit political, it is weird how much the warnings about villains appearing to be good people has turned policies intended for the common good are turned into some kind of clandestine, slippery slope conspiracy. Are any of the moral lessons of Star Trek actually useful if they have to have the words, “but be reasonable” appended to them?
September 8, 2019
This one got me thinking about Star Trek and fanfiction. I don’t judge Star Trek fanfiction, mainly because I make improvisational Star Trek fanfiction every week with my friend Derek under the presumption it will amuse other people. Also because Star Trek’s ability to inspire people is part of its strength.  And yet… I feel like there’s a transition from when a show is true to its premise and fights hard to establish its characters to when it feels established enough to take itself less seriously.  TNG goes from “Symbiosis” to “Qpid.” Deep Space Nine goes from “If Wishes Were Horses” to “Badda Bing Badda Bang.” Buffy: the Vampire Slayer eventually makes that musical episode.   Even shows that are comedic or tongue in cheek seem to do it. Scrubs went from having a very serious core with humor around it to the sitcom it celebrated not being in “My Life in Four Colors.” Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, already tongue-in-cheek, eventually threw up its hands and recast its entire cast as its own production staff in “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Hercules” and “For Those of You Just Joining Us…”   Maybe I’m cherry-picking. Law and Order is on its billionth, tonally-even season. Firefly seemed to consistently have fun with itself. There are definitely anime series which start light, but buckle down–the one with Vash the Stampede comes to mind.   Who knows? Maybe I’m just finding patterns in the static.
September 8, 2019
The Nth Degree
It’s another Barclay episode. It’s great to see the range of Dwight Schultz, even if our leads get warped a bit to make it work. Is it necessary for shows to have bad guys and good guys? Is it necessary just for episodic shows like The Next Generation?
September 7, 2019
Identity Crisis
Honestly, “Identity Crisis” is so solid it’s hard to talk about. In retrospect, we spend a lot of time nitpicking here, but at least we didn’t talk about using Troi more.   The thing about “Identity Crisis” is that it’s an episode which has some of the series’ most intriguing unanswered questions. I don’t mean that in terms of not explaining motivations which stretch our understanding of how the universe works (“Why did they do that?”), but instead it asks us to build on the universe with the implications of its story (“What kind of life form would reproduce like this?”).   Speculation from the hip is that a once-sentient species wanted to hide themselves. It’s frustrating that The Next Generation almost completely abandons the incredibly common phenomenon of advanced, destroyed civilizations. You see hints of that in “Future Imperfect” and “The Last Outpost,” with Barash being the last of his people and the T’kon Empire being destroyed, but it’s still very rare.   There’s another one of my Pax Americana rants in there, I’m sure, but the idea that these people made themselves into invisible monsters to preserve their peoples’…??? in the face of…??? tickles all of my cool story senses
September 7, 2019
Night Terrors
There are so many thing this episode does almost right. I mean, I love it. It’s the kind of ensemble show Star Trek: the Next Generation can be and that is when it’s at its best.   Maybe it’s just me, but as I get older I see a more paternalistic/authoritarian ideology behind the love of Picard. He’s the sort of morally pure authority figure that justifies his position as the Enterprise’s “ultimate decider.” Even his open leadership style is an example of him allowing others to speak.   I see the obvious advantages of having a single person making executive decisions in crises. I also get having someone decide what is and isn’t a fruitful avenue of solving a problem before it’s a crisis. It’s only when an episode feels so right because it gets out from under that that I feel something’s amiss with the status quo.   Am I on to something here? Is there a quieter message at play about the link between moral purity and power in Captain Picard? And to a lesser extent, Data?
September 7, 2019
Galaxy's Child
Sometimes, a story–whether it’s a movie, a book, or an episode of television–is so bad you don’t know where to start. Sometimes it so so bad that you can start at the start and ride it all the way through to the end.   If that wasn’t clear, “Galaxy’s Child” is one of those stories. When the episode literally says the lesson, but then rewards a character for refusing to learn that lesson, your Aesop is broken.   I can’t think of an episode of The Next Generation where the illustrated lesson is more at odds with the actual words people are saying. Sure, some episodes contradict later episodes–“Journey’s End” and Insurrection pitting obedience versus principal, “Sarek” and “All Good Things” confronting aging versus respect, and “The Price” versus literally any episode where Riker is a petulant child because Troi is getting some.   Guernica is the Spanish town where Francisco Franco bombed civilians with German help in 1937, just prior to WWII. Picasso famously painted a mural of it.
September 7, 2019
First Contact
What I’m trying to say is that we appreciate Lanel’s initiative and drive. They are virtues, and they’re rare ones. Just not virtues in a biblical sense, I guess.   We gloss over a lot of this episode and that’s probably because it’s such a solid, meat-and-potatoes episode. It covers the balance of conservative and progressive thought, mass hysteria, and the problems that we as a people face with the possibility of encountering extraterrestrial intelligence.   Also, I don’t mean to dismiss all unexplained phenomenon out of hand. I remember something about lights over Mexico City in 2017 that were apparently rare rocks with negatively-charged oxygen pairs breaking down to release electricity that could create plasma.   I mean, I generally understand those physics, but I’m 75% sure Tommy Lee Jones used that line in one of the Men In Black movies. Regardless, I’m sure that the same way straight people miss LGBT news because they aren’t reading it, there’s got to be a lot of mysterious news I miss because I don’t read it. Please feel free to enlighten me.
September 7, 2019
It’s a solid episode and we’re being mean. It’s not “about” anything in the Star Trek sense.  We don’t have a debate about whether Data’s loyalty to Picard is based on its own merits or obedience to the chain of command.  We don’t discuss the ramifications of keeping the existence of a dangerous planet hidden, of how Starfleet can’t keep this secret, or of how Ensign Jeffers on Deck 21 won’t consent to have his memories wiped and will hide a note in a bulkhead.   I believe Derek was talking about Elrond, who probably has a stronger brand than Gowron (RIP). Also, my comment about getting “them off of their tractors” is a reference to Futurama’s jab at Hollywood’s underestimation of Middle America, not a jab at Middle America.   But is this the limit of Patrick Stewart’s acting or is this just excellent bad-acting?
September 7, 2019
Devil's Due
No surprise this one was a reworked Phase II story, which I’m surprised that I–having read the Phase II scripts–didn’t catch. It makes a lot of sense when you view this through the lens of The Original Series. Or maybe just through the lens of TOS’ lowered expectations.   Making legal quibbles might be criticizing deck chair colors on a sinking ship, but that’s my specialty. They call “jury trials” “jury trials,” but they call “judge trials” just “trials" or "bench trials." That’s my only point–THEY HAD A JAG OFFICER IN SEASON TWO!   This episode isn’t bad, it’s just goofy nonsense that’s not really goofy enough. It’s a good concept too–this is basically the plot of Watchmen a thousand years on, with sleight-of-hand instead of a giant, exploding, telepathic squid.   Of all the takes, “Devil’s Due” is the least cynical, but they’re based on a reality of our own actions. Does global warming reflect poorly on humanity, or just our most powerful members?   Reminding you that if you’re listening to a Star Trek podcast you are–statistically–one of those members.   Also, Constantin Stanislavsky was a real actor, Stella Adler was a real lady, and Garnav is made up, so exactly what we thought.   Link to the opening credits of “Dawn of the Dead”:   And link to Mitchell and Webb’s “Remain Indoors”:  
September 7, 2019
The Wounded
It's a good 'un. I don't really know what else we could say?
September 7, 2019
Guest Episode: The Wounded
It’s a Chief O’Brien episode about passion and reason and pain and understanding. It cuts to the quick because the pain from Bob Gunton as Captain Maxwell is very grounded. It’s a weighty episode and it works.   While TNG has flirted with continuity before, “The Wounded” feels like a moment where it really begins to spread the black wings of “Last time, on Star Trek,” and commits the franchise to creating The TNG Era of Star Trek. Or am I being dramatic?   Also, I was 100% wrong about the ending of X-Men sharing a line with this one. Close, but no cigar.   This week’s guest host is John, the host of Trek Profiles Podcast. You can find him on Twitter as @TrekProfiles. Trek Profiles can be found on its website,   The alternate episode with Derek goes up next week.
September 7, 2019
Data's Day
Derek and I finally do Data's Day. It's a heck of an episode that has so much of what it is that people love about TNG.
September 7, 2019
Guest Episode: Data's Day
It’s finally “Data Has Feelings but The Writers Won’t Acknowledge It: The Episode.”   “Data’s Day” is such a good slice of life episode. There’s the phenomenon where some folks who grew up with The Next Generation credit it for being a family to them when their upbringings didn’t give them a family. No episode shows that as well as this one.   I gripe about continuity, then turn around and demand better characterization. I think “Data’s Day” beautifully exemplifies how those two things, when they’re done well, go together. The touches that include things like Worf shopping for a wedding gift before he starts work in the morning show us good things about Worf’s character and about how the Enterprise works.   We learn the Enterprise’s shift rotations and I know it’s only here to support the literal day-in-the-life perspective of this story, but I like it. Does it really matter though? Does this minutiae make TNG better or is it just an indulgent scene for nerds, providing content which neither tells a story nor enriches the viewer, but exists just to provide visceral satisfaction?   This week’s guest host is Shauna, from the Bunny Trails Podcast. You can find her on Twitter as @BunnyTrailsPod and on the podcast’s Patreon: You can find the Bunny Trails Podcast on many platforms, including iTunes:   The alternate episode with Derek will go up next week.
September 6, 2019
We’re finally out of the war and Star Trek: Discovery has set a completely different tone with Science Officer Douchenozzle, Engineer Barzan Lady, and Captain Cool Dad.   Derek and I both were hoping for a season with a little more focus than the last, but it looks like Captain Cool Dad was right, “if you don’t get your expectations up, you can’t be disappointed.” On the other hand, we give the complete absence of first-Klingon-in-Starfleet Voq nineteen Klingon chromosomes out of twenty three.   Are we asking too much of this show? I feel like I’m being very fair. Is Derek now a real Star Trek fan now that he’s saying new Star Trek Thing isn’t Star Trek? I’m so proud!   Season 2, Episode 1 of Star Trek: Discovery is  no longer on YouTube. It was here:  Don’t read the comments.
September 6, 2019
The Loss
We forgot to do this one a few weeks ago, but we’re up to speed now.  Derek and I talk about the trinity of wasted potential in this episode, say a few words about its merits, remind everyone that Guinan has a Schlorblax in psychology, and pitch the greatest episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation since Season 8.   We’ve talked before about the fine line between remembering that Geordi is disabled and basing his character on it. Is wanting him to play a larger part of that episode leaning on that second half? I didn’t feel that way during the episode, but on reflection I’m having second thoughts.   Next week: CBS put the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery’s second season, “Brother,” up on YouTube for free, so we’re calling an audible and doing that one. We’ll get to “Devil’s Due” in time. “Brother” is the first episode of Discovery for both of us, so wish us luck.
September 6, 2019
Final Mission
I know a lot of these episodes are just delivery mechanisms for Patrick Stewart to give a speech, but we need to aim a little higher than “Final Mission.” We deserved–   Wil Wheaton deserved more than a flimsy B-plot separating him from the Enterprise while he went through the motions of an A-plot until Patrick Stewart could act a goodbye at him.   And then, after decades of Star Trek trying to use real physics, they ignore Newton’s First Law to make one story happen and use magical bullshit for the other one.   I get angrier about this episode the more I think about it. What makes me consistently, clearly, irrationally angry is that this episode introduces Boothby, a character that other nerds obsess over to the point that I’m ready to burn shit down.   Scale of one to ten, how infuriating is “Final Mission”?
September 6, 2019
Future Imperfect
In talking with Derek, he says that nothing happens in this episode. Given the multi-tiered nature of this story and its fiction-within-fiction, is it fair to mention that there’s a third layer where none of Star Trek actually happens?   If Borash came up again, would this story be more relevant?  I have a healthy disdain for continuity, but I think he’s right. Even when the literal events don’t happen, Star Trek usually shows us an idea, or a character, or a moral paradigm that are real.  The ideas are real, as Benny Russell might point out. In that “Future Imperfect” doesn’t have those ideas or paradigms, and in that it barely has any characterization of Riker or Borash, there’s nothing relevant about this except for a few dramatic turns and a fun look at possible futures for our crew.
September 6, 2019
Guest Episode: Future Imperfect
Man, Riker’s head is kind of terrifying. Or maybe I should say that the way the writers picture us picturing the inside of Riker’s head is terrifying.   Kuhan’s website is and he can also be found on Twitter at  The alternate episode with Derek is here:
September 6, 2019
Derek and I talk about the one where Worf learns that he is a dad and Picard chooses, admittedly by default, the new Chancellor of the Klingon High Council.
September 6, 2019
Guest Episode: Reunion
This episode is a little different: Worf gets a kid. It changes a lot of things and it’s really scary for everyone, but luckily, it’s forgotten by the next episode.   I gripe about post-Season 2 TNG, but I feel like this one really hit all the goalposts for being intelligent, emotional, action-packed, and having a science fiction idea buried in there (someone’s arm, specifically).   I assume could K’Ehleyr have survived? Should Alexander have stayed around? For being such a big deal, there are no actual consequences for the immediate future.   Jay Donks is this week’s guest host. You can find him on Twitter as @SimbadGaming and on his website, 
September 6, 2019
I usually bring up when TNG goes for some of the harder-edged stuff folks accuse it of never going for, but while this one has some real elbows out, it feels softer-edged than other instances and I don’t know why.   We need to stop catsuits and start bras. When Carrie Fisher died, lots of newspapers reported that she wanted her death reported as “drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra” because of a ridiculous conversation she had with George Lucas about there being no bras in Star Wars.   Wookiepedia says differently, of course:   Are we off in seeing the potential for class playing into the “chess vs poker” debate? Could 3D chess be a set of tools like a deck of cards and not one game, like conventional chess?
September 6, 2019
Remember Me
I don’t mean to seem ungrateful because no sooner do we start getting Troi doing her job than Wesley’s throughline starts unraveling. Really? “See past the numbers”?   Are the crew justified in assuming that everyone from Tau Alpha C is a Traveler? It always seemed like a really big jump. I get that it’s far away, but it seems like they’re adding dragons to a place on the map because they haven’t been there yet.
September 6, 2019
Suddenly Human
We don’t mention it in the episode, but I think the internal contradiction of xenophobia and taking alien babies is an internal contradiction that makes the Telarians a little more real. What it is that separates that from inconsistent characterization of an alien culture is something I can’t define.   This is definitely one of the weakest episodes of season four, but that conversation between Picard and Troi is a shining beacon of humor and characterization.   My one gripe is making Picard such a singular figure in Starfleet. Do you prefer Picard be a guy who’s ordinary but has worked hard to become a captain or do you want Picard to be someone who has dedicated himself singularly to becoming a Starfleet captain, to the exclusion of even having a normal childhood?   I guess I also skipped over saying explicitly that Jono was imagined by Tommy Westphall and that there’s a lot to unpack there. The Tommy Westphall Universe Hypothesis is detailed more under Tommy Westphall’s Wikipedia page.
September 5, 2019
Doctor Soong is the worst.
September 5, 2019
Can we count this as Star Trek’s first three-parter? It’s like the third part of the foundation that makes the most celebrated parts of the Star Trek franchise going forward. I rail against the continuity, but it’s clearly one of the parts of Trek that people look forward to.   They call up Wil Wheaton to do an acting exercise, Picard is cool as heck, and we learn that Worf apparently shares parents with Mike Warner. It’s a good ‘un.   “Captain Riker, Ambassador Picard”: Good idea or bad idea?
September 5, 2019
The Best of Both Worlds, Part II
We talk about the character work, Riker’s command decisions, and maneuver naming conditions. Some of that is really good and some of it is disappointing.   I don’t question it because it smooths the rough edges of the narrative, but Derek has a point about making Worf Riker’s executive officer instead of Shelby. Shelby’s great and all, but if something happened to Riker, you’d  want someone who knows the crew.   Also, we get the Borg queen presaged. I mean, insect queens don’t really issue commands as much as they act as a unique and hard-to-replace part of the colony’s biomachinery, but the point is a salient one. Is there a better, accessible analogy for the Borg than colonial insects?
September 5, 2019
Blood and Chrome: The Killers
All the murder doesn't work, so Reileen tries the revolutionary futuristic technique of ASKING HER BROTHER TO MAKE A CHOICE! Also, I'm looking forward to Altered Carbon, Season 2: Chronicles of Lizzy.
September 5, 2019
Blood and Chrome: Rage in Heaven
This mystery reveal is--I'll say it--perfect. It's good and confident and it deserves its confidence.  I mean, as far as Reileen's plans go...I feel I need to point out that they are...sub-optimal.
September 5, 2019
Blood and Chrome: Clash by Night
How is Ortega this not-smart? Maybe it explains why she lost her arm. Have I talked about Reileen's plans and how good they are?
September 5, 2019
Blood and Chrome: Nora Inu
I want to see the CTAC propaganda erotica. Not for personal reasons, as a purely academic interest. Reileen's plans continue to make no goddamned sense.
September 5, 2019
Blood and Chrome: Man With My Face
I wish it had been Ortega's mom.
September 5, 2019
Blood and Chrome: The Wrong Man
I didn't write blurbs for these episodes back when I made them and I barely remember them so I needed something for the blurb. But I also needed to know if I edited out the dirty words for Anchor, but the near-instant use of and oft-repetition of the phrase "pumpin' Ortega," fulfilled both of my needs.
September 5, 2019
Blood and Chrome: Force of Evil
Raaaaaaaaampage!!!   When you have a character who is a badass killing machine, you want to set up a scenario when they’re allowed to go all-out. Maybe not on the cogs in the wheel of an unjust system. The cogs Kovachs just gunned down in the corridors.   What’s interesting about media is that characters are rarely called upon to make the banal moral compromises most of us have to to pay rent. So when our dude starts killing every minimum wage worker and middle-manager trying to get by in a world run by disengaged Methuselahs it takes me a minute to realize we’re supposed to be rooting for him. Ew.   I’m also angry he only uses his gun’s retractable bullet thing once in this whole series. Like…what’s the point, man?
September 4, 2019
Blood and Chrome: In a Lonely Place
Two people fight to the death and I’m still fighting a hardcore case of yawns here. This episode’s central theme is that the wealthy are corrupt, but it can’t even draw a clear bead on that point and fire. It’s allegory that fails to link its allegory–the long life of the Methuselahs–with what it represents–obscene wealth and the detachment it brings.   Also, there aren’t enough frowny faces on the emoji menu of your keyboard to express my disappointment with the Kovachs-sleeps-with-Miriam plot. It just fizzles out and it’s not no one gives, a damn; it’s that Altered Carbon works so hard to inform us that someone would and then never pays that off.   Can I make it through seven more of these?  The video version of this episode can be found on YouTube at
September 4, 2019
Blood and Chrome: Fallen Angel
Man, does this title even work? In that everyone in this setting is pretty damn fallen, it’s not really–oooh, it’s probably about the girl who fell into the lake from the cloud layer and died.   I’m doing these solo now and I’m doing my best. I have a lot of questions and a lot of speculation. Is Abboud having sex with Ortega’s mom?  …other questions.   The mystery itself is going to plod along and I expect it will unfurl alongside the setting.  The video version of this episode can be found on YouTube:
September 4, 2019
Blood and Chrome: Out of the Past
During our break, The Beige and The Bold is going to watch Netflix’s Altered Carbon, a ten part series which explores a future world in which human consciousness can be reduced to an electronic signal and stored in devices called a stack. In an inversion of our usual roles, Derek has seen Altered Carbon and I have not.   We cover a lot of stuff and I freely admit I’m one of those guys who’s a bit prickly when they’re not on familiar ground. My initial impression of Altered Carbon is that it has a lot of potential and is a fine show, but is so eager about telling its story that it sometimes forgets the basics.   Time will tell if I’m wrong.   A video version of this episode can be found on You Tube:
September 4, 2019
Season 3 Supplemental
We get right into it in this season’s supplemental, rolling from the season three finale right into:   -The Question   -Season 3 versus Seasons 1 and 2.   -What we’re doing during the interregnum.   -YouTube, sound quality, iTunes, and listener feedback.   -Characters and characterization.   I’m serious about podcast recommendations. Maybe I’m a bad participant in the podcasting community because I listen to Writing Excuses and…nothing else. Given that my music playlist is getting a bit stale, I’m wide open for suggestions.  Anything else we’re missing though? We do this casually, but we would like to improve.  Also, there will be a brief–odd–mini-series of Altered Carbon for the next four weeks. Then we’ll start season four.
September 3, 2019
Solo Session: Yesterday's Enterprise
It’s weird for me to say right out of the box that something is overrated and then to laud it for forty minutes, but there we are. If nothing else, it’s a satisfying episode, like a Saturday afternoon earned after a particularly hard week. It’s a lot of reward, not for anything unpleasant, but it’s gratifying, like a pizza after a strict diet.   I’m not trying to make the rest of The Next Generation sound like a chore; it’s just that it’s a responsible, restrained show that’s got all kinds of ideology and knowledge that are the bran and vegetables of television so the episodes where it can be equally smart and high-minded but also indulge in canon and action scenes feel very, very, very, earned.
September 3, 2019
The Best of Both Worlds, Part I
It's done.  It's hard to say anything about what might be–as a Deep Space  Nine fan–the greatest multi-part Star Trek story ever told. Star Trek:  The Next Generation is creating something here.
September 3, 2019
We're finally to the really forgettable episode where they find a guy whose whole species seems to be on the verge of becoming Q or whatever for no danged reason and we never see them again when...a glowing race of supermen seems significant. Maybe they all died.
September 3, 2019
Ménage à Troi
Planetary security, diplomatic incidents, and transporter protocols are just a few things that utterly baffle us about this episode. Like…are there not telepaths on Space E-Lance?   I know it’s a ‘fun’ episode, but it’s nonsense.   Is there a difference between the words “nice” and “good”? Is Daimon Tog a bad person who is nice? Can we separate a pleasant exterior from a malicious interior? Can I load these questions any heavier?
September 3, 2019
Derek’s 80/40/40 joke was really good and I missed it. I’m not sure what else there is to say here.   Was there another way to slip some elements of TOS into the series? I feel like this series quickly forgets the lessons of this episode later, but it is a good one.
September 3, 2019
The Most Toys
This is another one of Season 3’s signature solid episodes. I think it’s a bit underrated by the fan base, honestly. Maybe because the stylistic choices are so bold it gets cringey for some folks. Honestly, this thing gets high marks for me for conflict, villain, universe building, continuity, and characterization. It tells us so many things about all of the working parts in it that the worst criticism I can give it is that it’s not longer.   The auction house I was thinking of was Christie’s. I don’t feel bad for blanking; I mean, who uses Christie’s when eBay exists?   Before every episode, Derek and I warm up a bit and do some planning–that’s where I get the SoundCloud teasers from. Part of the discussion for this episode was about serialized series versus episodic series. This is a smart, self-contained episode that would lose a lot of momentum if these Data/Fajo scenes only happened once per episode over three or four episodes or if we filled those same episodes with failed escape attempts. On the other hand, the concept of Data’s death is big enough that we should see its effects on the Enterprise.   I dunno, it seems like TNG and DS9 balanced the serialized/episodic divide much, much better than Voyager and (or so I’ve heard) Discovery.  This is a good episode to demonstrate that, right?   “Sarek” trailer:   The SoundCloud:
September 3, 2019
Hollow Pursuits
My main complaint with Barclay is that he’s overrated. But that only comes because he’s vulnerable in a way that no main character could be. My main complaint isn’t with the fandom, but with the cultural limitations of the 1990’s. I guess that’s a recurring theme.   “Look behind you,” stretches back at least to Cu Chulainn, the mythical hero of Ireland. It’s an old, old trick.   It’s really frustrating to see the main cast be so bad at basic leadership. It’s not just about them, but about the setting and the philosophy behind it. What could they have changed to keep this episode essentially intact but to still functional?
September 3, 2019
Tin Man
Y’know, when I say an episode is boring, I don’t mean “it’s so boring, I’d edit it and then totally forget to post it,” but that’s what happened.   I’d apologize for our weird digression into class structure but honestly, what else is happening in this episode? What’s your favorite class, listener? The humble proletariat? The reactionary bourgeoisie? The redoubtable bürger?
September 2, 2019
Captain's Holiday
We compare Riker vacations to Picard vacations, gush about Vash, and also there some time travel there…just because?   Vash seems like such an outside-of-the box perfect fit for Picard. I’d be curious about other such fits for members of the crew. I would not put K’Ehylar in that place for Worf. They have dynamite chemistry, but she borders on whatever a Klingon version of a manic pixie dream girl is. I’d be interested in seeing the “Vash” for the rest of the crew.
September 2, 2019
This one’s got Libertarian jokes and pacifist jokes in it because we are both fair and balanced and neither Libertarians nor pacifists. “Allegiance” isn’t bad; it just fails to be inspiring and is another in a long line of episodes that are about Picard, but don’t need to be.   I also have to apologize because it was only during editing that I realized I missed a long line of “you might be a Libertarian if…” jokes. I’m sure we’ll get to them.   Finally, I want to introduce everyone to my son, Applied Research VanVelding, and my daughter, Doctoral Thesis VanVelding. They’re great kids and my hopes for them in the future are modest. Really, naming your kid ‘fighter’ in a martial society works, but it would be hilarious to see a more modern/post-modern culture do it. Maybe the diversification of labor keeps us from doing it, but we could still go for D&D classes, right?
September 2, 2019
Sins of the Father
Weeeeeeeaaaaaabbbbb.   It’s good to see Worf successfully engaging with his heritage in a way that his progenitor character, Spock, never did. It’s weird that, in retrospect, Worf is the number three or number four character for development and storylines in this series. I approve.   Also, Riker should have been the cha’DIch.
September 2, 2019
The Offspring
That Andorian looks like The Great friggin’ Gazoo. Data is a great dad. Beverly in grade school was whatever Mean Girls look like in the 24th Century.   Where are we on Worf needing a permission slip to give birth to Klingon Jesus?   Also, I swear we recorded this over a month before any actual famous people blamed prescription drugs on saying racist things.
September 2, 2019
Yesterday's Enterprise
In the "Skin of Evil" versus "Yesterday's Enterprise" war, I am firmly in the "Skin of Evil" camp. "Yesterday's Enterprise" is a fun little romp through continuity with the giant 'Member Portal, but let's save it for a really big episode. He's also the dad from SLC Punk.
September 2, 2019
A Matter of Perspective
So we’re a bit offended here and maybe just bored enough to make up a B-plot where Worf and Geordi are trying to complete space’s most insane scavenger hunt.   Roshamon was directed by Kurosawa, but I was only correct because I am too much an unwashed pleb to know a second Japanese director. It’s a classic example of answer by accident, I assure you I am a buffoon.   We understand how the Tanugans’ legal system is a bit unfair, but it still feels like Starfleet closed ranks around Riker and his alleged murder with an unsettling quickness. Why couldn’t Picard have just been, y’know, in the right here for extradition? Why didn’t we examine Federation Law and space law in more depth? Why couldn’t we even work a mention in edgewise about state v federal power, or at least one where federal officials aren’t inherently personally involved in the conflict?  I'd like to add that you guys are lucky we didn’t record this episode with the same commentary repeated three times, but with different attitudes.  But don't worry; I'd stake my honor on us never doing one episode multiple times for its own sake. The flaw with Star Trek (and maybe television of its era) is that it can’t give its protagonists real, intentional flaws. What happens is that we search for humanizing flaws from less-than-perfect writing and sorta crack open this implicit pretense of characters. Modern demands for high-resolution characters take the old 4:3 characters and stretch them into 16:9 frames. That’s part of why we’re so hard on Commander Riker, I think.   Also, these four episodes–“A Matter of Perspective,” “The Offspring,” “Sins of the Father,” and–not so much but it’s in the sequence–“Yesterday’s Enterprise” seem to mark a turning point where the staff of The Next Generation gave up on Riker as a protagonist and started focusing on Picard.   Riker’s flaws had always been easily redeemable with a bit of maturity and seasoning. All they would have had to have done was to execute the most basic–and I can’t emphasize that enough *BASIC*–character arc to make Riker likable. Instead, he gets thrown on the pile with Geordi and Troi where he’s occasionally trotted out for episodes where we’re reminded of exactly which wheelhouse he’s confined to.
September 2, 2019
Deja Q
I can’t believe this episode has a moral after all.
September 2, 2019
The High Ground
Unspoken emotions in a relationship we don’t ship, a stock villain with one quirk and a paper-thin idea behind him, relevant technology we’ll never see again, and a sociopolitical conflict that gets The Federation’s fingers slick with blood just by touching it that we never see or hear from again. This episode has everything.   I don’t think I completed my thought on the IRA. I have a layperson’s knowledge of The Troubles and despite being acquainted with Britain’s history of imperialism and oppression, a sympathetic view of the IRA is far enough outside of my scope that I’m skeptical of it. It’s something I’m not educated on and which is far beyond the scope of the research I do for The Beige and The Bold.   Derek’s second guessing of tactics towards the gun-wielding kid at the end seems like criticism for criticism’s sake? It feels like it’d be easy if we followed his advice–if the cops jumped a child from behind to wrestle a gun away from him–to argue with equal fervor that it was foolish because the kid might have gotten a shot off. Am I being sensitive about the critical light Derek is here to shine on this series? Or this a gratuitous reach for a ‘well actually’?
September 2, 2019
The Hunted
We talk about Angosian architecture, re-using actors, and how everyone expects the Picard Speech to support them until it doesn’t. Also, we bemoan the lack of kids these days being unable to artfully turn an authoritarian invocation of the Prime Directive.   There’s so much to unpack with the Angosian leadership wanting Danar to put their arms down before negotiating. I know the analogy is veterans and their mistreatment, specifically the treatment of Vietnam veterans, which was a larger issue back in the late eighties/early nineties.   There’s also–with the reservations and the call to disarm before negotiation–a parallel with Native American treatment in the United States. I wish we had a little more time to look into the realpolitik of the disarmament of minority groups, but I guess that’s what the comments section is for.
September 2, 2019
The Defector
There have been good episodes of TNG up until now. But I strongly feel like The Defector is our first Hot Damn episode of TNG. It’s not ‘every frame a painting’ good, but it’s a lean 45 minutes of television and it’s gripping. There’s no personal tsuris about–I don’t know–Troi grappling with drug use or Crusher having trouble at home. There’s no lagniappe drama; there’s no small, personal bullshit or character arc that Jarok’s mission folds neatly into.   Again, I kinda freewheel about what I’m going to call “VanVelding’s Starfleet TOE,” which I think I hit on just enough to quiet the voices. I’m not going crazy when I expect the Enterprise to have a home port and to be assigned to the command of an admiral, right?   The book that Derek is referring to is the one, I think, Picard and Wesley talked about in “Samaritan Snare.” It included the work of American philosopher William James.
September 2, 2019
The Vengeance Factor
I would have liked a musical cooking montage where Riker bonds with Yuta. This episode needs an additional Riker/Yuta scene and improvements on the ones its already got. I like the dimensions of Acamarian society, but it comes at a cost of the heart of this episode, which IS Yuta.   The idea of having Riker’s emotional investment in folks get the viewer emotionally invested is a good one, but the execution is often a bit too romantically focused. It comes off forced and shallow. That’s probably because I’m a homosexual man. On an earnest level, I hope it works better on straight dudes.   Does it?
September 2, 2019
The Price
50 Shades of Grey (1989) I’m still stuck in this thing where I’m kinda obsessed with how aware the writers were of the size of Devinoni Ral’s terribleness. I feel like they wanted us to think of him as appealing and then suddenly realize he’s terrible for reasons they couldn’t articulate, but I have a hard time believing they could be that bad at writing. On the other hand, the alternative is that they knew he was terrible and made Troi an idiot.
September 2, 2019
The Enemy
Should the Romulan they found have had some well-buried desire to live? Oh yeah. Derek was even right about Worf reading between the lines on that one. Alas.   Still though, I really like this episode because it’s good to have a Geordi episode which lacks a certain level of…romantic complexity.
September 2, 2019
Booby Trap
I feel like this episode has really lost itself, despite having Guinan pitch the lesson across the plate in the first fifteen minutes. I complain about Star Trek fans not really getting characters and I will continue to do so.
August 27, 2019
The Bonding
It's a ghost-powered plot. I understand the ghosts are necessary, but I wish the team had had the time/skill to think of something better.  Derek and I definitely get into the awfulness of Troi not being used more here. Literally, Picard and children do not mix.
August 27, 2019
Who Watches the Watchers
Derek is an atheist guys. And change your plasma filter every 2000 hours or else you might reintroduce religion to a primitive civilization.
August 27, 2019
The Survivors
We like this. It’s a good one. The sidelining of Troi is at least an acknowledgement of how useful she could–hypothetically-be. As depressing as it is, it’s something. It’s also notable for using Worf a little more than we’ve come to expect.   I do kinda want, “When you least expect it, the Breen will be important,” on a t-shirt.
August 27, 2019
The Ensigns of Command
I think Derek’s most charitable laugh in the history of this series happens early in this episode.   Also, we’re offering a $1000 reward for official Paramount Pictures concept work regarding Data’s D:\.
August 27, 2019
Good Wesley episode? Good Wesley episode? Good Wesley episode? Aaah, I’m sure it is. Sadly, I think this marks a dropoff in the number of eccentric Great Man Scientists we see in Star Trek. They still come around, but they’re more rare. I’ll miss all you lil’ Rick Sanchezes. I’ll miss all y’all.   We’ll get back to making fun of Doctor Crusher’s parenting skills in time. In time. Right now, I’m going to celebrate Troi having a handful of scenes.   Also, I know the sound quality is bad. I honestly don’t know why. If it’s too bad, go ahead and tell me. I’m not leaning towards rerecording, but I’d hop over that line with a gentle push.
August 27, 2019
Season 2 Supplemental
IT’S BEEN A LONG ROAD.   You’ll have to excuse the audio. Derek and I started this conversation over a friendly game of Stellaris and the topic of Tarantino’s Trek came up and we started recording…without headphones. Both of us. Sorry.   We’re finally done with Season Two and while I feel really good about Season 3–yes, Riker gets his redemption–I would like to do something like Season One’s Skreliosis or Season Two’s marathon. I’m open to suggestions. We’d even be willing to have some guests.   I also wanna say that–and maybe it’s because I’m listening to the Enterprise intro for no reason–we’ve been doing this for three years and it’s been great.   Thanks for listening.
August 27, 2019
Shades of Gray
Just like all the emotional parts of my relationships, my only contribution is, “Let’s get this over with.” I think I missed a great opportunity for a Data/infallible/space pope joke here.
August 27, 2019
Peak Performance
It's a great episode and we have a lot of fun and the Riker-scene-inducing Ferengi are actually completely useless and break our flow. But it's fun.
August 27, 2019
The Emissary
It's a straight. Pulaski's got a straight. Picard loses a bet to Riker and he's gonna be angry at Worf for a long time I bet.
August 27, 2019
I’m convinced Picard liked Dixon Hill as a kid and slowly fell out of love with them as he grew older. You can’t trust nostalgia Jean-Luc.   This week’s episode is “Manhunt.”
August 27, 2019
Up the Long Ladder
One day, we will stop fencing over the nature of Riker and Troi’s relationship. Today is not that day.  Also, the Hellghast are from the Killzone video game.   It’s hard to say, “I’d rather watch a 40-minute anti-abortion allegory than watch this episode,” but I’d mean it. Every time. How many other, actually productive, directions could this thing have gone into?
August 24, 2019
Samaritan Snare
Man, this is a great episode about Picard and Wesley and NOTHING ELSE.  My experiences with handed-down wisdom probably aren’t singular, but they aren’t universal either.  Ah, being Southern.   *Sigh*   Will Riker continues being a bit disappointing. He’s getting offered commands left and right and episodes like this make him seem not ready at all for them. Not at all. I wonder if there’s another Will Riker around that they keep recommending for commands and the offers keep ending up in this Will Riker’s mailbox or something.   I don’t know if it’s conceited that I want “I live an alternative lifestyle of austere bachelorhood” on a t-shirt.
August 24, 2019
Q Who?
I’m holding onto this “Q is a benign, albeit adversarial, guide for humanity” idea for as long as I can.  Sometime in Season 3 if I remember correctly.  I think I was wrong about the number of Borg episodes in The Next  Generation. I think it’s six, including this one.  The Borg cast a big  shadow over the series though, especially season three. I knock Voyager  for running them into the ground, but what could have been a better  villain for Voyager? Could you have made anything as iconic as the Borg  when Voyager was on the air?
August 24, 2019
Pen Pals
What can we say about Pen Pals? What CAN'T we say about it?
August 24, 2019
The Icarus Factor
OH MY GOD. The Melbourne WAS a punk-ass extra ship! I mean, spoilers, but Derek called the USS Melbourne’s fate.   In other news Star Trek is full of daddy issues and Derek’s pulling me over to the “Story arc or no, Pulaski is a dick” camp.
August 24, 2019
Time Squared
Some things about canon just don’t sit right. They irritate us like grains of sand in the mouth of an oyster. This is our pearl: the notion that Deanna Troi hates her job and is intentionally useless.   Also Worf’s incessant cry of, “mobiusmobiusmobiusmobiusmobiusmobiusmobiusmobiusmobius.”
August 24, 2019
The Royale
Isn’t it cool how this episode…um…has actors…and those actors just say all of these things that are things? It forces us to ask so many deep questions like “ew?” and “what?” and “no, where’s the real episode?”   Did I come down on Derek too hard on calling them “lasers”? I mean we decontruct elements, calling Data a “robot” and phasers “guns” because those are the story elements they represent. Is “lasers” too far a departure?   I said “Will and Grace” when I meant the much more obscure “Hope & Gloria.” The 90’s had its naming conventions and stuck to them.
August 24, 2019
We pick this one apart, but it’s a good one. Maybe we’re hard on it because it’s an action episode with a few action-y one-liners. It uses the ensemble well and gets the fundamentals of the story well. It’s a good one, but not so great we gotta give it respect.   I’m glad the Iconians get revisited one time, although I would have preferred a catchall ancient civilization that handles those stories the same way Q incorporates (most) of the omnipotent being stories.
August 23, 2019
The Dauphin
We missed a lot of opportunities here. Salia’s ability to shapeshift seems like an apt (if accidental) transgender analogy. At which point in the relationship should that come up? Wesley’s reaction works for both cases. Admittedly, we came down pretty hard on him.  I think Derek said “alt-right,” like, four times.  On the other hand, IS Salia a manic pixie dream girl? I dismissed it out of hand because I bought into Derek’s question as an either/or. This perfect woman who exists free of her own baggage to help Wesley out with his because she’s composed of infinite patience and love? I think the MPDG exists because some writers create the woman they would have liked when they were younger. To Salia’s credit, she does have her own issues and she and Wesley tangle each other up in a way that feels more real.  I think we all agree that she needed more characterization.  This is the first of six streaming episodes, which we streamed on Twitch back in September. I hope you all enjoyed and if you wanted another stream, let me know.
August 23, 2019
Measure of a Man
It’s hard to work with good episodes and despite what I said last week, Measure of a Man is probably the best of Season 2. But Derek does what he does best and cuts through my blind adulation.  This is what we’re here for.   I mean, Derek is probably not great at poker, but we’re on the same page here. #LouvoisingIt
August 23, 2019
A Matter of Honor
It’s a good one? The premise is sound. The acting is good. The action is a tiny bit contrived, but I forgive it.   I’m kidding about the Data/Microsoft bit; we all know Data is an Android.  Is this the best episode of the second season? I personally love the upcoming “Peak Performance,” but I know I’m biased.  Also, those Klingon lawyers and chefs are in Deep Space Nine.  Sorry about the sound quality; there’s a mic issue with these episodes that builds on my already subpar enunciation. Working on it.
August 23, 2019
Unnatural Selection
Pulaski continues to be a bit of a dick and it’s weird with the kids-as-adults and it’s ignorant of evolution in general. Otherwise okay episode?  Also, gene-freaks, shapeshifting crewman, and missed potential for Riker’s character.  The quote I was thinking of was “the soft bigotry of low expectations” from George W. Bush’s speech to the NAACP in 2000.
August 23, 2019
The Schizoid Man
I hope you enjoy talk about emotionally dependent geese and series from 1966 which aren’t Star Trek.   Schizoid personality disorder is a real disorder characterized by social isolation, reduced sex drive, and limited emotional range.  That somewhat describes Ira Graves, but I feel personally called out.  Regardless, I’ll take Alexa over Ira Graves as the ghost in the machine any day.   …and look, just watch The Prisoner, okay?
August 23, 2019
Loud as a Whisper
Riva is bad at everything and not very likable. I feel maybe the Enterprise left him on that planet as acceptable losses.  Marvel with us as Troi’s usefulness:potential ratio reaches a new low. In fact, can we make that a thing? Can we call it a “Troi Number”?   This is also the 1,542nd time I’ve made this exact Batman reference. We’ve got nine more episodes in the can due to editing bottlenecks, but from this point forward I am forbidden from talking about Batman.   I didn’t mention it in the episode, but if this episode was made today, I think we would’ve wasted five minutes learning about the aliens who are fighting and their planet and that would have been a real waste.
August 23, 2019
The Outrageous Okona
Okona is a mary sue, from the series that inspired the first mary sue. But through Derek’s eyes, even the most mundane second season episodes are exciting.   At some point we’re going to get past the bizarre work schedules of Starfleet crew members and Troi’s usefulness, but today is not that day (and tomorrow isn’t looking too good either).
August 23, 2019
Elementary, Dear Data
This week we talk about actors and accents, the lost plot of Data’s sapience, and how Jean-Luc Picard would totally kill a guy.   Is Picard a good leader right now? We make fun of his standing orders and how well the crew is trained, but are we being too hard on him? Was it just that they couldn’t write these episodes to improve the crew’s abilities or do the folks on the Enterprise have to be poorly trained for these stories to work?
August 23, 2019
Where Silence Has Lease
The actual narrative is so short here, I wish for a better B-plot. I feel we learn nothing, the crew learns nothing, and nothing actually happens. It’s just a bunch of filmmakers asking if they’ve blown our minds yet.  We’ve had worse stories, but nothing that’s really felt so amateurish.   Speaking of amateurs, on September 10th Derek and I will be streaming as we watch six episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Dauphin,” “Contagion,” “The Royale,” “Time Squared,” “The Icarus Factor,” and “Pen Pals.” I tried to get the biggest streak of bad episodes possible.  Stream will start at 9:00 AM central time and will feature stills from the episode with audio from Derek and myself. We’ll be at:
August 23, 2019
The Child
I would love to visit spreadsheet planet. It would accomplish more than this episode.   In this episode, I forgot what the name of my website was. Was it It’s not. I also mixed up “The Omen,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” and “Eraserhead.” But I did not mix up how much I love potatoes though.   Also, shout-out to listener and commenter Skiltao who pitched the idea of a “Skin of Evil”/”Conspiracy”/”The Child” three-parter which would have given us the kind of through-line and body horror that would’ve done some of these episodes some justice.
August 23, 2019
Season 1 Supplemental
Season 2 is going to be better. End of.
August 23, 2019
Solo Session: The Child
Unedited, slightly incoherent, and mostly redundant, The Beige and The Bold Solo Sessions are episodes where I run through a show without Derek. Are archetypes bad? No. Are tropes bad? No. Is it bad to give them more depth? No. Especially when that depth excuses the use of tropes. 
August 23, 2019
Solo Session: Skin of Evil
Unedited, slightly incoherent, and mostly redundant, The Beige and The Bold Solo Sessions are episodes where I run through a show without Derek. Looks like Yar and Worf are having a scene together...*singing* one last time *singing*. Kickboxer (1989) had Jean-Claude Van Damme was followed by Kickboxer II  (1991) was with Sasha Mitchell. This episode was made in 1988, so it predates the Kickboxer series.
August 23, 2019
Solo Session: The Drumhead
Unedited, slightly incoherent, and mostly redundant, The Beige and The Bold Solo Sessions are episodes where I run through a show without Derek. THIS mother-president! Lemme tell ya, it's February of 2017 and I am sick of this fella.
August 23, 2019
Solo Session: Datalore
Unedited, slightly incoherent, and mostly redundant, The Beige and The Bold Solo Sessions are episodes where I run through a show without Derek. Ok, Lore isn't that deep, but then Data isn't either. Y'know, all respect to Brent Spiner, who takes so much of Data and Lore and makes them work.
August 23, 2019
Solo Session: Hide and Q
Unedited, slightly incoherent, and mostly redundant, The Beige and The Bold Solo Sessions are episodes where I run through a show without Derek. We learn a little bit about Yar's character that won't ever come back to have any negative consequences.
August 23, 2019
Solo Session: Justice
Unedited, slightly incoherent, and mostly redundant, The Beige and The Bold Solo Sessions are episodes where I run through a show without Derek. Can I "oof" this one? I already "oof"ed "Code of Honor"? Damn.
August 23, 2019
Solo Session: The Lonely Among Us
Unedited, slightly incoherent, and mostly redundant, The Beige and The Bold Solo Sessions are episodes where I run through a show without Derek. Y'all are sleeping on this episode. Have a blanket. This one is worth sleeping on.
August 23, 2019
Solo Session: Where No One Has Gone Before
Unedited, slightly incoherent, and mostly redundant, The Beige and The Bold Solo Sessions are episodes where I run through a show without Derek. I go on, for the first time perhaps, about the relationship between Geordi and Yar and I wish both would have gotten more time for each other and with Picard.  "This is happening" is something that I feel a lot while watching this episode. You've gotta ground yourself.
August 23, 2019
The Neutral Zone
We're back! We will be back for the Season Two Supplemental, then for Season Three after a short break.
August 20, 2019
And so our journeys have brought you, poor listener, to discussion of the Shatnerverse.  First, Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens were the ghostwriters/collaborators/spinning-crap-into-clay-ers of the Shatnerverse. Michael Jan Friedman is one person who also wrote Star Trek books, but didn’t write these ASCII-compatible abortions so they’re in the clear.  I apologize for besmirching your good name, sir.   While we’re talking about Star Trek novel writers; Diane Duane is fantastic and Peter David is pretty cool. Duane wrote “Spock’s World,” and “Rihannsu,” which got frequently ripped off in TNG.  David wrote “New Frontier,” which used a lot of characters, from the show, including Commander Shel–  We’ll get to it.   Also Victor Milan wrote for both Star Trek and Battletech, so there’s a factoid for your next nerd party. 
August 20, 2019
We'll Always Have Paris
I do kinda wanna see monthly issues of “Time and Bull****” now. I’d expect articles like, ‘This Android Just Disproved Scientific Consensus…Again,’ ‘Telepathy: What the Hell, Man?’ and ‘Lecture Series – Would You Rather: Jim Kirk’s Career or Introductory Temporal Mechanics.’   There’s a single diamond in this rough that’s a flaw in Picard’s self-image and this episode could not care less about it. I’m furious about a missed opportunity to deconstruct Jean-Luc Picard.   The fencing thing Derek is referencing is–I think–Choi vs Baldini in 2012. 
August 20, 2019
Skin of Evil
Underneath it all, “Skin of Evil” is a pretty straightforward episode. Again, I don’t know if authorial intent can be used to condemn a story that plays well, especially when it’s presaging internet phenomena in the earliest days of the Internet.  Literally, the late eighties and early nineties were the years that the Internet was transitioning from research/military networks to public, commercial networks.   And Derek was right about the IRC thing. I don’t know why I thought it was “IIRC” and not “IRC.” Also, the Charles Bronson films I was thinking of were the “Death Wish” series. Marina Sirtis was in the third one. I mentioned “The Executioner” or something which is a book series. The mix-up was because my dad loves both. 
August 20, 2019
Derek and I watch "Symbiosis" again, except this time to  make fun of pharma-douche Martin Skireli. Regular episodes of the  podcast continue next week with "We'll Always Have Paris."   We do not endorse punching any particular persons in the face. Any  expressed desires to punch people--in their smug faces or otherwise--are  figurative expressions of mankind's collective disappointment and  frustration, not literal and not to be interpreted as a call to action.   Specifically the action of extralegally pistoning your fist into the  soft, punchable face of bad people who deserve to be punched.  We are not  endorsing that. 
August 20, 2019
We largely gloss over the conflation of junkies with addicts, the characterization of the Onarian culture, Frakes’ electrocuted acting, and the Picard/Crusher Prime Directive Elevator Ride of Logic-Bro Condescension.  So much to unpack and we focused on the Brekkian’s slit-condom chic.   Also, the guy from Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman was Horace, not Lowell. Don’t wanna get the Quinnhead fandom mad at me.  “Symbiosis” is good for it’s time, but it feels a bit lacking. Deep Space Nine–coin drop–covered this all pretty well in “The Wire.” Were there other drug episodes in Star Trek that cover this better?  
August 20, 2019
The Arsenal of Freedom
Our talk about tropes, blocking, and narrative foibles is all pretty pedestrian for an extraordinary episode. Also Beverly Crusher’s credit score.   We do gloss over the dangers of shortsighted capitalism and militarism that underlie this whole thing. We also skip the arbitrary disdain the audience is supposed to feel about the folks of Minos dealing arms to both sides in a war.  Am I supposed to be outraged that they’re not taking sides in a war? I mean, I watch this show about the Prime Directive…  
August 20, 2019
Heart of Glory
This episode was cursed. We had to record it twice and we still had recording issues. Ironic that it’s one of–if not the–best episode of Season One. Thanks for bearing with us, y’all.   It’s Antares, not Ares. Antares is butts. I apologize for forgetting that, crew of the Ares.   When I was a kid the Klingon death yell was cringey has heck. As I grew up and it was revisited over time, it faded into the background of Klingon culture. Is it the open, bare showing of emotion that makes it cringey? The whole-hearted dedication to something weird?  I dunno. 
August 20, 2019
Coming of Age
This one is really great about the strong ingroup/outgroup perspective of television and how it feeds an action/methodical work paradigm that eventually makes the main characters the infallible, victory-through-action doers of things that are morally flawless and beset by inferiors.   But certainly, there’s no cultural consequence of that being pumped over the airwaves for decades.  Certainly.   Apparently, Denise Crosby is Bing Crosby’s granddaughter, but that’s a whole capital-“T” Thing.  Night Court did not have a spin-off, though it shared two characters–Bailiff “Bull” Shannon and Judge Margaret W. Wilbur (played by Florence Stanley)–with “My Two Dads.” 
August 20, 2019
Home Soil
This week we talk about actors and accents, the lost plot of Data’s sapience, and how Jean-Luc Picard would totally kill a guy.  Is Picard a good leader right now?  We make fun of his standing orders and how well the crew is trained, but are we being too hard on him? Was it just that they couldn’t write these episodes to improve the crew’s abilities or do the folks on the Enterprise have to be poorly trained for these stories to work? 
August 20, 2019
When the Bough Breaks
I said “Univac” instead of “Multivac” here. Univac is a real computer, but Multivac was a famous supercomputer from a series of short stories by Issac Asimov. Specifically, I was referencing “All the Troubles of the World.” I don’t know if I have to say this, but they’re good reads.   The lack of Aldean culture is an unspoken assumption of this episode, but then The Federation doesn’t have much culture either. Is culture a reflection of cultural strife? Do broken hearts, historically fictitious murderers, and creeping social capgras delusion define the biggest sources of conflict for folks in the US?   Imagination has to play a part in culture, but people in Star Trek can’t be sci-fi nerds imagining their future because they are the future, but if a people don’t have a need to imagine a better future, what do they imagine? 
August 20, 2019
Too Short a Season
 PROFESSOR X IS NOT TELEKINETIC. I AM STRUGGLING ALONGSIDE YOU, LISTENER.   Slavoj Žižek is Slovenian political commentator. And I was serious about June Shannon; you don’t see people from the Honey Boo Boo clan on television because television prefers to show them as figures to be laughed at. Women who are every bit as talented as Marina Sirtis are turned down for roles because they don’t look like Marina Sirtis did in 1987. I don’t know if that’s June Shannon individually, but Derek’s quick dismissal underscores my point, doesn’t it? 
August 20, 2019
I kinda missed that we never got the “whole crew goes on downtime and we see what they do as people” episode in the original series. Maybe in a lot of ways, that’s how “11001001” really separates itself from its predecessor. We constantly complain about the support cast not getting enough attention in TNG, but this is still light years ahead of where they started.   I don’t know when the easy-on-the-eyes set dressing for entertainment crosses into erotica or something harder, but I know it does and am interested in any related information, articles, perspectives you all may have. 
August 20, 2019
Angel One
The real struggle of the men in “Angel One” is that they’re not in power. That’s worth a whole discussion, but there’s too much happening in this episode to really dwell on that.   The awkward sex things you can blame on Derek and me (as opposed to early TNG being early TNG) is strictly the result of me trying to “yes and” Derek. Developing new skills is never easy. 
August 20, 2019
 What is Lore’s motivation? Is he in love with The Crystalline Entity? Did he initially admire it from afar before being convinced to start serially selling out humans? Also, who disassembled Lore in that tiny window between when he sold the colony out to The Crystalline Entity and when everyone was killed? Where was Data during all of this if we assume Data spent time active with the colonists?   So many questions.   Also Marc Okrand is the guy who wrote the Klingon Dictionary. Not Michael Okuda. 
August 20, 2019
The Big Goodbye
 In terms of enjoyment, “The Big Goodbye” is one of the most uneven episodes of the first season. Sure, “Code of Honor” is consistently bad and there are better episodes, but "The Big Goodbye" is just all over the place.
August 20, 2019
 Man, we messed up badly on this one. Auntie Mame was a novel before it was a movie, not a play. Gene Roddenberry’s right-hand man was Maurice Hurley, who hadn’t even joined the series at this point. Troi is empathic, not telepathic.   I think Derek even called Picard “Riker” somewhere in there.   Nailed that “Take On Me” reference though.  This is a fun episode that–new agey stuff aside–doesn’t let go of serious themes like social pressure, the adult/parent relationship, and ladies with cheese-grater abs.  I hope you forgive us of the shortcomings of this episode. As always, complaints can be directed to @vanvelding on Twitter. 
August 20, 2019
Hide and Q
 The streak of callbacks to TOS episodes continues. Naked Time and Naked Now is obvious, but there’s also Journey to Babel and Lonely Among Us and The Apple and Justice. Even next week’s episode is somewhat reminiscent of Amok Time.   But what about the Picard/Riker bromance? Most of Picard’s crew are hand-picked folks who are new to their position. Did he pick folks because they didn’t have that experience? It’s presumed he spent his time since the destruction of the Stargazer doing admin on Earth; was he grooming these kids?   All weird, Professor-X stuff aside, does the Picard/Riker implicit trust and respect thing work? Has it been sufficiently established? 
August 20, 2019
The Battle
So Wesley saves the ship for, like, the second of three times. This one seems perfectly organic and any perceptive crewman traveling between departments could have solved this. What we should really be complaining about his the trope where the ship is saved by some contrived coincidence instead of, y'know, competence.
August 19, 2019
How is the aryan planet that genocided their minorities NOT the worst planet in Season One?
August 19, 2019
The Lonely Among Us
Balm Sheeny? Walm Chreni? Weab O'Ryan? There's some good ideas in here, but I'm not sure where any of them are going. No one is. Not even the folks that wrote this. In a year's time, you won't even remember this episode happened.
August 19, 2019
Where No One Has Gone Before
That's just some bullshi--uh, "scientifically challenging conjecture about the nature of the universe as being based on happy thoughts and unicorn-based methane expulsions."
August 19, 2019
The Last Outpost
I love that The Next Generation continues the trend for long-lost alien civilizations whose ruins we tread respectfully upon until those ruins whip out laser and try to kill us and we're forced to reflect on--DAMN FERENGI!
August 19, 2019
Code of Honor
August 19, 2019
The Naked Now
I don't think I'm out of line when I say this episode, an early-series affair where the crew gets drunk with a ticking clock of an exploding stellar body and a junior member of the crew wreaks havoc, reminds me a little bit of "The Naked Time," an early-series affair where the crew gets drunk with a ticking clock of an exploding stellar body and a junior member of the crew wreaks havoc. I mean, apophenia, right?
August 19, 2019
Encounter at Farpoint, Part 2
What's great about this episode is how everything comes together. Are we hooked though? I think we're definitely buoyed by having seen "Contagion" first. 
August 19, 2019
Encounter at Farpoint, Part 1
There's so much happening here I don't know where to start. I think we end on a good note.
August 18, 2019
 Derek and I pick up where 17 to 01 leaves off as we start watching Star Trek: The Next Generation.  TNG isn’t as baffling to us as TOS. But all the same, we’re still  confused by the bathing suits, blush, and laptop computers of 1991. I chose to skip forward to “Conundrum” for a lot of reasons. One of  them is Commander MacDuff. His character is clearly a fizzle, but I remember him fondly. If anyone wants to share their fond MacDuff recollections, please do so in the comments. We’re covering TNG’s proper pilot episode, “Encounter at Farpoint, Part 1” next week.
August 18, 2019