George Takei on "David Tennant Does a Podcast with…"

This episode is from August, 2020. It’s a true gem; a terrific example of what podcasting can be when it capture two people having a terrific conversation.

(To be clear: Podcasting can be terrific when it is also many other things. But “conversation” is my wheelhouse, so that’s what I’m yammerin’ abou today.)

I think at the core, the show had a magnetic quality and that is what Gene Roddenberry infused into the show. I had a conversation with him very early in the game, and he told me that he felt that, television at that time was being wasted. Because the 1960s was a turbulent time in America. We had the civil rights movement coming to a head … we had the Vietnam war which was dividing the United States … then the Cold war [between] two great nuclear forces threatening each other with nuclear annhilation. None of that was being reflected on entertainment television. He thought that this powerful medium had so much potential and none of it was being used because it’s esssentially an advertising medium.

He tried to figure out a way to make those statements on television and he came up with the idea of using science fiction as a metaphor, taking this story out of our times, but essentially keeping those issues intact, and deal with the civil rights movement, the vietname war, or the cold war. The very setup of the show, the Starship Enterprise where all the stories took place, would be a metaphor for starship Earth, and the strength of the starship lay in its diversity. People of this planet, all coming together, not at war constantly— but coming together and working in concert to deal with those issues, and boldly going where no one had gone before.

~ George Takei, ~5’ from, George Takei by David Tennant Does a Podcast With… | Podchaser

A few things jump at me…

  • Tennant has clearly done a ton of research. But it comes out as pure curiosity; All Tennant doing a childlike, “I’m curious…”
  • You have to hear Takei describing his family being arrested at gun-point and interred by the United States at the outbreak of World War II. Executive Order 9066 is chilling.
  • There’s a magic that happens when two people from different cultures have a conversation coming from a place of curiosity and wonder. Scots and Americans often seem to click, and that’s very much the case in this podcast.

There’s probably more, but I’m still listening to it. :slight_smile:

There’s a lot more. :smiley:


@craig - Thanks for this link and the idea of Star Trek and the Enterprise as a metaphor for earth - this is good stuff!

Glad you’re yammerin’ about conversation and podcasting. I am coming to understand that’s my comfort level - just having an interesting conversation. I was fortunate last Saturday to have a really fun conversation with an indie filmmaker in New Delhi whose dad was (surprise to me) a film director for 35 years in Bombay. We had fun :earth_asia:

Thanks for the podcaster community!

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Open curiosity is very, very powerful.

I still think Gene Roddenberry’s genius is under-recognized, in part because he chose the sci-fi metaphor.

That said, I also think his genius is part of why Star Trek has endured and evolved as it has.

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I was at the Edinburgh Festival in 1992, it was an incidental thing around being there to take some exams.
I saw some Comedy and the Chinese State Circus but had no idea that George Takei and David Tennant were there.

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