Season 5, Episode 8 “The Royale” (TNG) with Alison Pitt

It’s a dark and stormy night and we’re breaking the bank at “The Royale”!

Podcaster and Daily Star Trek News host Alison Pitt joins the show this week to discuss an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that takes a break from utopian space science fiction to play a little craps. When Riker and his away team step through a mysterious revolving door, they find themselves trapped in a living pulp novel. Now, they’ll have to find a way to escape the Royale or they’ll end up as dead as the bellboy!

One of the benefits of a weekly format is that it lets Star Trek expand beyond its premise and explore storytelling in other genres and formats. “The Royale” is great not only because it’s incredibly fun, but also because it allows a storied franchise like Star Trek to sample from and comment on other forms of pop literature. On this episode, we talk about the merits of genre fiction, the tensions behind-the-scenes that sparked creativity on early TNG, why Trek should “go funny” more often, the way holodeck and fantasy episodes bring metafictional elements to the franchise, and Trek’s strategy for turning young viewers into life-long fans.

We also discuss the thin distinctions between pulp and sci-fi, solving Fermat’s Last Theorem, uplifting fan voices, missing “silly” episodes, Texas the serial killer, having a “comedy guy/girl” on your staff, cribbing from “2001”, the perils of first contact, “fixing” your die, a human terrarium, googling “playwrights -shakespeare”, Captain Picard using audible, Pulaski is Riker’s new mom, Chief Quip Officer, Alison talks about how Star Trek Online makes a meal out of Trek canon, and Aaron has an idea for a “Royale” sequel series!

When the train comes in, EVERYBODY rides!

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Listen to “Season 5, Episode 8 “The Royale” (TNG) with Alison Pitt” on Spreaker.

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