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The Trek Files: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast

Your weekly deep-dive into the archives of Roddenberry Entertainment, from the personal files of Gene Roddenberry. Each week, “Dr. Trek” himself, Larry Nemecek, and his guest host will take a behind-the-scenes look at documents that haven’t been viewed in decades—many being revealed publicly for the very first time!

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1-22 David Gerrold memo - No Tribbles At All - November 2, 1986

As Star Trek: The Next Generation was in its earliest days of development, one writer pitched the idea to return to a formula - and a character descendant - that had worked well for TOS. How would audiences in the '80s react to "Albania Jones"? What if he was played by Robin Williams? David Gerrold suggested one of their stronger comedy writers take a crack at it... himself! Read the complete document: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

16mins

19 Jun 2018

Rank #1

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2-04 Gene Roddenberry letter to Norman Felton - October 1965

Norman Felton had a hit on his hands with "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." when Gene Roddenberry reached out to him about possibly mentoring a young actor interested in directing - Leonard Nimoy. Gene and Norman sparred a little in this 1965 correspondence, and to give it some color we brought in U.N.C.L.E. expert Robert Short who also has quite a bit of Trek experience himself. Hailing frequencies are open... Open channel D. See the document: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

17mins

21 Aug 2018

Rank #2

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2-03 Star Trek Phase II meeting notes - August 3, 1977

With Paramount executives ready to push forward with a new Star Trek TV series, the braintrust held a meeting in August 1977 for a production update. Gene Roddenberry along with Gary Nardino, Michael Eisner and others kicked around story, budget and logistics ideas. Surprisingly, Gene was ready to go ahead without Spock until one executive argued that it wouldn't be Trek without him. Read the document: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

15mins

14 Aug 2018

Rank #3

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3-9 TNG Weapons and Tactics - January 30, 1987

Rick Sternbach comes back to The Trek Files to discuss his first TNG technical memo. How would the shields on the new Enterprise work? Rick lets us know how he balanced science and science fiction in the early days with plausible explanations for complex ideas. See the documents: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

20mins

16 Apr 2019

Rank #4

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1-03 Star Trek Lives Draft Introduction (January 1975)

When the rest of the world started to take Star Trek fandom seriously, Gene Roddenberry was asked to provide an introduction for the book "Star Trek Lives" in 1975. Here we present an early draft with many of Gene's thoughts on Trek fans and forward-looking comments about the state of mass media. See the document: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

16mins

6 Feb 2018

Rank #5

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3-6 The Counter-Clock Incident revised draft - July 31, 1974

The Trek Files welcomes back Fred Bronson this week to tell tales of writing for Star Trek: The Animated Series with his draft for "The Counter-Clock Incident" under then pen-name John Culver. Stick around for stories of visiting Nichelle Nichols' home plus crashing the TOS set! See the documents: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

28mins

26 Mar 2019

Rank #6

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4-12 10101001 first draft memo - October 1987

Andre Bormanis joins The Trek Files again to talk about the Bynars and keeping computer jargon believable in science fiction. Our document centers around the development of the TNG episode "11001001" (when it was known as "10101001"); elements that stayed like the holodeck and elements that were nixed like a visit from the Klingons! See the documents: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

21mins

26 Nov 2019

Rank #7

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2-07 Bob Justman holodeck memo - October 17, 1986

Bob Justman shares an idea with Gene Roddenberry for a potential new piece of hardware on the Enterprise. This week, The Trek Files welcomes back Paramount executive Dave Rossi to get to the bottom of the holodeck and how part of the inspiration comes from the sci-fi classic Soylent Green. See the document: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

13mins

11 Sep 2018

Rank #8

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1-04 TNG Conceptual Work (September 12, 1986)

What would Star Trek: The Next Generation look like without Gene Roddenberry? In 1986, Paramount lured Roddenberry into development by sharing a development document that looked nothing like what would eventually make it to TV a year later. Would you believe the USS Odyssey? With a Vulcan Captain? Who is actually inside the computer? Trek expert and Paramount executive Dave Rossi joins Larry this week to examine the Trek that never was. Read the original document here: http://www.facebook.com/thetrekfiles Support our sponsor: http://www.st-starships.com/thetrekfiles

19mins

13 Feb 2018

Rank #9

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4-9 Gene Roddenberry interview transcript - 1974

The transcript of an interview reveals so much more than merely the questions and answers within. In 1974, Steve Reed from the Atlanta-based magazine Pulse interviewed Gene Roddenberry, but it seems like Steve was a fan who saw the opportunity to get some insider information. What happens when the dog catches the car? Find out on this week's Trek Files. See the documents: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

19mins

5 Nov 2019

Rank #10

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4-11 Star Trek budget - April 17, 1967

Above the line, below the line, associates, executives, best boys and key grips... Here to demystify production jargon and logistics, we welcome back Star Trek Assistant Director Mike DeMerrit. What does a budget reveal about putting together a TV show in 1967, and how much did Star Trek really cost to produce relative to today? Find out inside The Trek Files. See the documents: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

22mins

19 Nov 2019

Rank #11

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3-4 Assignment Earth extras casting - January 5, 1968

This week, The Trek Files solves a mystery 50 years in the making. Ever since Gary Seven's cat "Isis" took human form in the episode "Assignment Earth," fans have wondered who it was on screen for just a few seconds. Rumors swirled, and as is often the case, they were wrong. Meet the newest member of the Trek family, April Tatro. See the documents: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

23mins

12 Mar 2019

Rank #12

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3-14 Sam Peeples notes on The Cage - April 1965

After NBC rejected Star Trek's first pilot "The Cage," Gene Roddenberry reached out to his friend (and later Trek contributor) Sam Peeples for notes that could possibly salvage the show. Sam offers up his ideas, and we have a TOS insider and friend of both, Dorothy Fontana, this week to discuss Peeples and Trek's early years. See the document: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

27mins

21 May 2019

Rank #13

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4-13 Star Trek production report 1977 - part 1

In late 1977, a new Star Trek series was coming along with sets being built, scripts written and actors being cast. Leonard Nimoy wouldn't return as Spock which meant a young Vulcan, Xon, would take his place. Recapping his first trip to Paramount studios in October, 1977, Xon himself, David Gautreaux, drops by The Trek Files to tell us the first part of the story. See the documents: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

26mins

3 Dec 2019

Rank #14

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1-13 Letter from DC Fontana to Star Trek Fans - August 22, 1972

In the fall of 1972, Dorothy Fontana sent out a letter for Star Trek fans who were hungry for any shred of information that would indicate a return of their favorite show to TV. A full year before The Animated Series debut, this letter catches everyone up on the latest news, which is to say, there is no news. Read the document: http://www.facebook.com/thetrekfiles

16mins

17 Apr 2018

Rank #15

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4-17 Picard-Crusher Relationship memo - November 1986

In the early days of The Next Generation, "Crusher" meant Wesley and his mother would likely have not been seen after the pilot episode. A memo from Bob Justman to Gene Roddenberry suggests ways to develop the boy's relationship with Picard and what might have been between the Captain and Beverly. See the documents: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

21mins

7 Jan 2020

Rank #16

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2-05 Leonard Maizlish letter to MaryLou Tamborello - July 1968

As early Star Trek fans were trading and collecting anything to do with the show, Gene Roddenberry's attorney was keeping a close watch over products that fell outside official bounds. In this correspondence from June and July 1968, Leonard Maizlish requests that a young fan in Chicago cease the sale of photo prints. That fan, MaryLou Tamborello, replies with a mix of awe, excitement and worry. See the documents: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

15mins

28 Aug 2018

Rank #17

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2-06 Gene Roddenberry correspondence with Robert Vaughn - 1965

Gene Roddenberry and Robert Vaughn had worked together on The Lieutenant, and in 1965 Vaughn was a mega-star with The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Vaughn invited Roddenberry to his performance of Hamlet, and in this episode of The Trek Files we welcome back Robert Short to connect the dots between U.N.C.L.E. and Trek, Solo and Shakespeare, and being a kid who snuck onto the Enterprise bridge! See the documents: http://facebook.com.thetrekfiles

26mins

4 Sep 2018

Rank #18

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2-08 Star Trek The Motion Picture Enterprise design art - 1978

The interior and exterior of the Enterprise got an overhaul for Star Trek The Motion Picture. In this episode of The Trek Files we welcome back Andrew Probert to discuss some of his contributions as well as some of the unused directions thought up by his design colleagues. See the documents: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

15mins

18 Sep 2018

Rank #19

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1-15 Gene Roddenberry's Favorite Star Trek Episodes - Early 1970s

Sometime in the early 1970s, Gene Roddenberry was asked to identify his favorite episodes of Star Trek. Simply indicated by dots of red ink, the list may be quite revealing about his own interests and his personal connection to the show he created. This week, Larry is joined by guest co-host Doug Drexler to shed some light on Gene's picks! Read the document: http://facebook.com/thetrekfiles

20mins

1 May 2018

Rank #20