Standard Orbit: A Star Trek Original Series Podcast (Character Analysis)
118: A Red Shirt Commodore?

The Commodores of The Original Series.

Several episodes in The Original Series introduced a few high-ranking and "intrusive" characters that shared one commonality: the rank of Commodore. From the Ahab-esque Matt Decker in The Doomsday Machine, to Robert Wesley who was in charge of the M-5 Multitronic System proceedings in The Ultimate Computer, to Commodore Stone who moderated the legal proceedings in Court Martial and several more; the Commodores were an authoritative, bureaucratic and at times overbearing extension of Starfleet Command.

The Commodores added an additional layer of dramatic effect in The Original Series as they were usually at odds with Captain Kirk, Mr, Spock and the ongoing Five Year Mission of the U.S.S. Enterprise. They were akin to the overbearing and controlling "authority figure" that Kirk, Spock and others had to struggle against and overcome; a dynamic to which many younger viewers in the late 1960's related. In the end, the Commodore rank never extended past The Original Series save a few minor references in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Welcome to Standard Orbit (00:01:00)
And now … The Commodores! (00:01:49)
The Origins of the Rank and Title (00:02:26)
The Doomsday Decker (00:04:55)
The Multitronic Wesley (00:11:20)
A Red Shirt Commodore? (00:17:26)
Mental Projection Mendez (00:22:37)
Common Commodores (00:27:32)
The Disappearance of the Rank after TOS (00:34:34)
Hailing Frequencies Open (00:40:00)
Stump Mr. AtoZ (00:42:14)
Our Final Thoughts and Thank You (00:43:30)

Jeffrey Harlan and Ken Tripp

C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer), Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer), Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer), Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer), Ken Tripp (Editor and Associate Producer), Renee Roberts (Associate Producer), Richard Rutledge (Associate Producer), Richard Marquez (Production Manager), Will Nguyen (Content Manager)

Direct download: so-118.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 6:00am MST

55: Should Have Been The B Plot

Nyota Uhura.

Of all the characters in The Original Series, probably none was more underutilized than Uhura. In this episode of Standard Orbit, Mike and Drew talk about the communications officer of the original Enterprise who could have been so much more had times been different. It seems that Uhura was just filling a seat that needed to be filled on the bridge. Was this a matter of race, or just of her not being one of the three main characters? Find out what we think of how Uhura was used, and how more plots should have rightly focused on her.



Drew Stewart and Mike Schindler


Editor and Producer

Drew Stewart


Associate Producers

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Meet Nyota (1:40)

Uhura in The Original Series (5:27)

Uhura in The Movies (14:26)

Uhura in The JJ-Verse (23:08)

Closing (29:18)


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Direct download: so-055.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 6:00am MST

48: Sulu 2 The Rescue

Hikaru Sulu.

Few characters in Star Trek experience actual advancement in their careers. Even fewer of them go through as many random jobs to get there as Hikaru Sulu. In this episode of Standard Orbit, Mike and Drew take a close look at Mr. Sulu, the head of astrosciences turned botanist turned helmsman turned starship captain. We talk about his many adventures on the Enterprise, how he got his own command, and how awesome of a captain he must have been.

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Sulu Finds His Place in TOS (2:02)
Sulu Pilots around TOS (8:51)
Casting Sulu (12:55)
Sulu In The Movies (15:02)
Sulu In The Two-Way Mirror Universe (27:48)
Closing (34:41)

Direct download: so-048.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 7:30am MST

46: Work Together As a T

Spock in Command.

When Kirk is away, the crew will play Captain. What does Kirk try to teach his first officer when he's out of service? Does it take two passionate individuals to balance out the logical one? Does Spock use the lessons he learns under Kirk’s captaincy to make the right decisions to save his crew? Listen and find out in this episode of Standard Orbit as Mike and Drew discuss the idea of Spock in command of the Enterprise and examine instances where Spock is thrown into command, whether he wants to be or not.

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No Galileo Seven This Time (1:33)
Gamesters of Triskellion (2:43)
The Tholian Web (12:32)
The Wrath of Khan (22:47)
The Undiscovered Country (31:51)
The Other Spock (34:16)
Closing (36:32)

Direct download: so-046.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 3:00am MST

42: The Steve Lyons of Star Trek

Pavel Chekov.

Some people have to struggle to fit in, especially if they're young and new to the crew. In this episode of Standard Orbit, Mike and Drew talk about poor Chekov and what he went through on the Enterprise. Unlucky at most things, Chekov finds himself in multiple positions around the ship, never really finding his place. Is he the Enterprise utility player, or a jack of all trades, master of none?


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Introducing Chekov (1:30)

Unlucky at Love (5:15)

Unlucky at Casting (7:49)

Unlucky at Everything (10:24)

Jack of All Trades (19:23)

Unlucky at Being in TNG (25:03)

Oh Yeah, Generations (28:37)

Closing (29:10)

Direct download: so-042.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 8:00am MST

28: I Am Not DeForest Kelley

Dr. McCoy with Larry Nemecek.

If Kirk was the meat and Spock was the potatoes, then Leonard McCoy was the grumpy broth that held them all together. Now, finally, the good doctor is getting his due. In this episode of Standard Orbit, Drew and Mike are joined again by Larry Nemecek to discuss the original Enterprise’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. McCoy. We find out why Larry loves him so, share our favorite Bones scenes, and reveal how McCoy is finally getting the fan base he deserved from the beginning.

Direct download: so-ep28.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

25: It’s That Mustache

Montgomery Scott.

Every ship needs an engineer, and every engineer wishes they were a miracle worker like Scotty. In this episode of Standard Orbit, Mike and Drew discuss the always faithful Montgomery Scott. We cover him across the ages and parallel universes, with and without mustache, even comparing him to a Xenomorph from Alien for some reason. Find out all about the redshirt who defies all odds!

Direct download: so-025.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

Janice Rand.

From the very beginning, there were big plans for Kirk's yeoman. Unfortunately, few of them came to be. In this episode of Standard Orbit, Mike and Drew discuss Janice Rand, why she was awesome, how she could have been more awesome, and how she continued to be awesome even after she left the show. Also, find out how Janice was a physical manifestation of the crew and how that affected her relationship with Kirk.

Direct download: so-013.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

Talking Spock with Dave Rossi.

Mr. Spock may be one of the most intriguing characters in Star Trek. Two natures always battling. Logic vs emotion. What is that makes this character so special that pretty much all of the franchise is based on him? Mike and Drew are joined again by Dave Rossi (Visual Effects Producer for Star Trek Remastered) to talk Spock. Would the franchise have survived without Spock? Would Kirk? Was Spock's presence necessary in the latest movies? Plus, find out what Mike has engraved on his wedding band!

Direct download: so-007.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 8:00pm MST