At various stages of TNG's development, the Enterprise's resident teen genius was going to be Leslie Crusher -- a girl. Anika and Liz wonder what it would have been like to have a girl STEM genius on television in 1987. Would she have been well-written? Would audiences have hated her as much as Wesley? Would she have inspired girls of our generation to become engineers? 

We also talk about similar characters and significant female characters in other media, including...

  • Doctor Who (Adric, Ace)
  • Star Wars (Leia, Padme, Rey)
  • Jupiter Ascending
  • The Hunger Games
  • every single version of Lost in Space, including the 2004 John Woo pilot starring Jayne Brook

See for more detailed show notes, including links to the production memos quoted.

We're joined by friend of the podcast Jules to discuss religion in Star Trek, and to interrogate the alleged secularism of the franchise.

You might know Jules as "the woman in the Captain Killy cosplay who asked Alex Kurtzman about the implications of erasing the Discovery crew from the record" at San Diego Comic Con -- and we talk about that, too. But by the end of this episode, you'll also know her as "the woman with elaborate and amazing headcanons about Worf's Seders".

Also covered: 

  • Blair Imani, the hijabi fan whose Geordi LaForge-inspired cosplay gave us the idea for this episode
  • Roddenberry's evolving beliefs
  • What else is lost if humanity "evolves beyond religion"?
  • Anika argues that all the TOS movies (including Generations) are full of overt religious themes
  • Liz defends Kai Winn, and we have a semi-related discussion about education on Deep Space 9
  • Discovery's depiction of religion, particularly in "New Eden" (which is Jules's cue to start drinking)
  • Con artists who claim to be deities
  • Q as the Jewish devil 
  • The false science versus religion dichotomy


You can find Jules on Twitter at @juleshastweets, and her DS9 rewatch blog at Check out for more detailed show notes and links to our social media.

We're talking about Enterprise -- specifically the first two seasons:

  • Our first encounters with the series, and why it wasn't a great introduction to Trek for Anika's eldest daughter
  • Liz unearthed her reviews on the Wayback Machine and was appalled by her attitude towards Jolene Blalock
  • In this house, we love and support T'Pol
  • Archer is the worst captain (but Anika loves him)
  • Trek for the George W Bush era (complete with off-topic anecdote about Liz bringing a cardboard Lucius Malfoy cutout to an anti-war protest for reasons that weren't clear even in 2003...)
  • We try not to swear on the pod, but Liz drops an F-bomb and a full rant about "Cogenitor"
  • We also talk about the stuff we actually liked, and not all of them are Andorians!

See for more detailed show notes, including a link to Liz's old review site and the return of the podcast sketch.

[At the end, we claim the next episode will be covering Trek news out of SDCC. That is, of course, a lie; we changed the order around. Like the Prophets of Bajor, we exist outside linear time.]

San Diego Comic Con 2019 was massive for Trekkies, and we're joined by guest Sam (she first appeared way back in ep 3!) to talk about everything. Including:

  • Star Trek: Picard - the trailer, the cameos, the new characters, everything. 
  • (There WILL be spoilers.)
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks - we are ... cautiously optimistic!
  • Star Trek: Discovery - well, we're still mad about the finale, but we're also experiencing a flicker of ... excitement? 

You can find Sam online at, and you can find show notes and credits at!

As requested by our Twitter followers, we're talking "Journey to Babel". Along the way:

  • We provide a recap for viewers who haven't watched "Journey" lately/ever
  • Liz attempts to say "pacificism"
  • Live headcanon construction
  • Considering "Journey to Babel" in the context of Discovery
  • Does Amanda buy into the Vulcan patriarchy?
  • Tellarites and Andorians and Vulcans, oh my!
  • Costume chat: Amanda wears the pants in this family (and the high heels and feather boas)

And finally, we have a NSFW digression about, ummmmmmmmmmm, some infamous 1970s cosplay.

Check out for more detailed show notes (including a link verifying the whole cosplay story).

We're talking about the Star Trek tie-ins of our formative years -- the ones we read until they fell apart. And it doesn't quite turn into a Diane Duane book club, but... 

Well. Novels we discuss in detail: 

  • The Romulan Way by Diane Duane
  • How Much For Just The Planet? by John M. Ford
  • Survivors by Jean Lorrah
  • The Pandora Principle by Carolyn Clowes
  • The Devil's Heart by Carmen Carter
  • Dark Mirror by Diane Duane (coming full circle!)

You don't need to be familiar with these novels to listen to the podcast! How Much For Just The Planet is a classic, but it's also out of print, and retailing for a couple of hundred dollars on Amazon Marketplace -- or, as it turns out, just a couple of bucks on eBay. (Treat yourself. It's amazing.)

We also talk about the different needs filled by tie-in novels versus fan fiction, and why more recent Star Trek fiction just isn't doing it for us. 

Problematic faves! Anika and a sliiiiiiiiiiightly hungover (yet award-winning) Liz discuss the characters we love, but can't entirely recommend without a caveat. Or many caveats. 

But first -- we have to define terms. How do you narrow it down when literally every single work of fiction, along with every single human who ever existed, is imperfect?


  • Yeoman Tonia Barrows of "Shore Leave" (TOS)
  • Captain Kathryn Janeway of THE ENTIRE SERIES OF VOYAGER have you heard of her?
  • T'Pring of of "Amok Time" (TOS) and Valeris  of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  • Gul Dukat of DS9 (the ultimate Problematic Fave Who Thinks He Is A Cinnamon Roll)
  • Seska of Voyager
  • L'Rell of Discovery

And along the way, we talk about fandom's attitudes towards characters who do terrible things or represent terrible ideas, fan fiction as a safe place to explore ideas which don't have a place in canon, and more!

It's our twentieth episode, and we're celebrating by getting totally self-indulgent. We talk about our childhood and adolescent experiences with Star Trek: discovering the series; discovering fandom; that time Anika was an awkward teenager at Alexander Siddig; Liz's mum's review of her early fan fiction...

We also talk about Anika introducing her daughters to Trek, and our hopes for Star Trek: Picard versus our fears for the fandom. And, because it's us, then we digress into Star Wars...

We want to hear your stories of #growinguptrekkie! Hit us up on Twitter (@antimatterpod) or Tumblr (antimatterpod), and use the hashtag. Discovered Star Trek as an adult? Hey, aren't we all still growing up in various ways? 

We're joined by special guest Caroline (aka rikerssexblouse) to discuss mothers in Star Trek

Anika ran the stats, and we talked about specific characters, including...

  • Beverly Crusher (TNG)
  • Lwaxana Troi (TNG, DS9)
  • Keiko O'Brien (TNG, DS9)
  • Ishka (DS9)
  • Samantha Wildman (VOY)
  • Winona Kirk (ST2009)
  • Tom Paris's mother (who didn't even get a name!) (VOY)
  • Miral Torres (VOY)
  • Amanda Grayson (TOS, ST2009, DSC)
  • Philippa Georgiou (DSC)
  • Gabrielle Burnham (DSC)

We also discussed recurring themes, such as...

  • mothers who don't get to parent their own children (Beverly Crusher, Samantha Wildman)
  • parenthood and career paths in a post-scarcity future
  • the complicated feminism of Jeri Taylor
  • D. C. Fontana and "Friday's Child" (TOS)
  • Cersei Lannister versus Philippa Georgiou -- redeeming monsters
  • bad mothers and bad fathers -- who does the audience forgive?

See for further notes and links. 

We're talking about Starfleet's admiralty!

  • Just how many Starfleet admirals are evil? Liz ran the numbers!
  • Why are so many admirals antagonistic, if not outright villains?
  • And what are the qualities which make a good admiral?
  • Apparently we have more sympathy for Admiral Norah Satie than most people
  • We're still pretty mad that Kat died
  • Anika proposes a game: which Star Trek characters should or definitely should not be admirals?
  • Career paths of the future: in a utopia where people are free to choose their paths achieving/not achieving flag rank shouldn't be the measure of a character's worth

Specific characters discussed: 

  • Patterson (VOY - "Relativity")
  • Hanson (TNG - "The Best of Both Worlds")
  • Haftel (TNG - "The Offspring)
  • Patar (DSC - "Project Daedalus")
  • Cornwell (DSC)
  • Satie (TNG - "The Drumhead")
  • Necheyev (TNG -- particularly the "Chain of Command" and "Descent" two-parters)
  • Janeway (VOY and Star Trek: Nemesis)
  • Kirk (TOS and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock)

Content note: We discuss the telepathic sexual assault of Deanna Troi in Star Trek: Nemesis for about sixty seconds, starting at around the 40 minute mark. 

See for more detailed show notes and links.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »