PoliTreks: A Star Trek Podcast-logo

PoliTreks: A Star Trek Podcast

Arts & Culture Podcasts

PoliTreks! Barry DeFord and Shashank Avvaru talk politics, religion, and society around the replicator. Along with special guests, we choose to Boldly Go straight into the social, political, and sometimes spiritual underpinnings at the core of Star Trek. In this podcast, we aim to seek out new perspectives, and discover the ways Trek - past and present - can help us better understand the world as it is, and us as we are. We travel at warp speed through worlds, timelines, and dimensions with one mission: make sense of our reality!

PoliTreks! Barry DeFord and Shashank Avvaru talk politics, religion, and society around the replicator. Along with special guests, we choose to Boldly Go straight into the social, political, and sometimes spiritual underpinnings at the core of Star Trek. In this podcast, we aim to seek out new perspectives, and discover the ways Trek - past and present - can help us better understand the world as it is, and us as we are. We travel at warp speed through worlds, timelines, and dimensions with one mission: make sense of our reality!

Location:

United States

Description:

PoliTreks! Barry DeFord and Shashank Avvaru talk politics, religion, and society around the replicator. Along with special guests, we choose to Boldly Go straight into the social, political, and sometimes spiritual underpinnings at the core of Star Trek. In this podcast, we aim to seek out new perspectives, and discover the ways Trek - past and present - can help us better understand the world as it is, and us as we are. We travel at warp speed through worlds, timelines, and dimensions with one mission: make sense of our reality!

Twitter:

@politreks

Language:

English


Episodes

040 - Diseases in Star Trek, Part II

9/22/2021
PoliTreks closes out the discussion on diseases in Star Trek with guest host Che. They discuss the DS9 episodes Babel, Quickening, the Enterprise episode Stigma, and the Voyager episode Scientific Method. What did you think of this episode? Please let us know about your thoughts by writing to us at @politreks on Twitter or by sending us an e-mail to politrekspodcast@gmail.com!

Duration:01:32:04

039 - Diseases in Star Trek: Part 1

5/6/2021
While much of the developed world begins a slow path toward recovery from COVID-19, the disease has taken a toll of near apocalyptic proportions on our co-host Shashank's homeland of India. With that as our backdrop, he and Barry take a look at the diseases in Star Trek. Some are physical, some mental, some flavor of the week, some that stretch across seasons, but all of them are thought provoking and discussion worthy. What did you think of this episode? Please let us know about your...

Duration:01:04:51

038 - POLI TREK: INSURRECTION

1/22/2021
Co-hosts Barry and Shashank return to PoliTreks after an extended hiatus. They discuss their reasons for being away and jump straight to the main topic - the terrorist attack on the US Capitol. On January 6th, the US Capitol, the citadel of American Democracy, was attacked and almost succumbed to a fascist mob. Terrorism and fascistic governments in Star Trek, the extraordinary evil nature of such an act from a Trek perspective and more are brought up along with thoughts about democracy's...

Duration:01:01:20

037 - Indigenous Representation in Star Trek

6/9/2020
PoliTreks is back with a very candid interview with our friend Bryson to talk about representation of Indigenous People throughout the life of Star Trek. Bryson brings his perspective as a member of the Mi’kmaq (*Pronounced Mig-maw) People of the east coast of Canada and the USA. We lay criticism where it is due, all while speaking about context and considering the social make-up of the time. Episode-wise, we cover the two major first entries (Paradise Syndrome - TOS; Journey’s End - TNG),...

Duration:01:13:49

036 - Engaging with Star Trek: Picard - Broken Pieces

3/29/2020
PoliTreks returns for the continuing analysis/review series of each episode of Star Trek: Picard! Shashank and a guest host break down in detail every scene of the episode, discuss easter eggs, overall themes and metaphors. In this episode, Shashank, who is doing this episode by himself and stuck in quarantine, much like Crusher who is left all by herself on the Enterprise, wondering if something is wrong with her or the universe, tries to make sense of the Broken Pieces of Picard. A...

Duration:00:31:54

035 - Engaging with Star Trek: Picard - Nepenthe

3/25/2020
PoliTreks returns for the continuing analysis/review series of each episode of Star Trek: Picard! Shashank and a guest host break down in detail every scene of the episode, discuss easter eggs, overall themes and metaphors. Shashank is not happy about this episode but to balance out with positive vibes, Sara from Rewind joins him on this spatial transporter escape to a heavenly planet. The complex philosophy of a pacifist hunter, the end of the road for Hugh, the return of Troi and Riker...

Duration:01:40:59

034 - Interview with Amrit Kaur from Short Treks: Ask Not

3/17/2020
Barry and Shashank get to chat with the talented and engaging Amrit Kaur, Indian-Canadian Actor who played Cadet Thira Sidhu in Star Trek: Short Treks - Ask Not! We delve into Amrit's career as an actor, writer, and activist, getting to know her inspirations, other projects, and what may be in store for her in the future! We discuss many topics that range from feminism to being an Indian-Canadian actor in the arts, landing roles, creating stories, and sending messages.

Duration:01:14:13

033 - Engaging with Star Trek: Picard - The Impossible Box

3/5/2020
PoliTreks returns for the continuing analysis/review series of each episode of Star Trek: Picard! Shashank and a guest host break down in detail every scene of the episode, discuss easter eggs, overall themes and metaphors. To unlock the mystery box that is episode 6 "The Impossible Box", John Krikorian of Trek Profiles guides Shashank through the Zhal Makh! The theme of Pinocchio, Borg assimilation and PTSD, understanding the Zhal Makh and more come up in our discussion.

Duration:01:46:40

032 - Engaging with Star Trek: Picard - Stardust City Rag

2/26/2020
PoliTreks returns for the continuing analysis/review series of each episode of Star Trek: Picard! Shashank and guest host Aly Martinez break down in detail every scene of the episode, discuss easter eggs, overall themes and metaphors. Accompanying Shashank on this exciting journey to Freecloud for the discussion of "Stardust City Rag" is the co-host of Literary Treks, Bruce Gibson! Addiction in Star Trek, Seven of Nine and the Fenris Rangers, that opening scene, that closing scene and more...

Duration:01:33:28

031 - Engaging with Star Trek: Picard - Absolute Candor

2/19/2020
PoliTreks is back again with another installment of the Engaging with Star Trek Picard series. This time on the Artifact Grey Zone operating table is episode 4, Absolute Candor. Joining Shashank for this dissection is Jenn Tift, co-host of Snap Trek! Together, Shashank and Jenn break down in detail every scene of the episode, discuss easter eggs, overall themes, metaphors and lament the continuing absence of Number One. Female warrior nuns in history, the return of Seven Of Nine, the...

Duration:01:33:47

030 - Engaging with Star Trek: Picard - The End Is The Beginning

2/12/2020
PoliTreks returns for the continuing analysis/review series of each episode of Star Trek: Picard! Shashank and guest host Aly Martinez break down in detail every scene of the episode, discuss easter eggs, overall themes, metaphors and lament the continuing absence of Number One. The End Is The Beginning marks the return of Hugh and Shashank couldn't be more happy that Hugh has returned. He also couldn't be more jealous of Jonath Del Arco's rugged good looks. Thankfully, Aly keeps things in...

Duration:01:59:58

029 - Engaging with STAR TREK: PICARD - Maps and Legends

2/5/2020
In this episode Shashank dives right into a discussion/review/analysis/gleeful screaming of "Maps and Legends", episode 2 of Star Trek: Picard. Joining him to share the excitement and to keep him in line is the delightful Aly Martinez! Shashank and Aly, his Who Is Trek co-host, elaborate on the episode's deeper themes and metaphors. Secret societies and espionage from our history, the usage of derogatory language like "plastic people", the evolution of Starfleet and the depressing lack of...

Duration:01:22:30

028 - Engaging with Star Trek PICARD - Part One: Remembrance

1/29/2020
In this episode Shashank breaks down some important news items that are ongoing, and some that we missed while we were gone. The Australian bush fires, the passing of Rene Auberjonois and more are discussed before jumping into the main topic: STAR TREK PICARD! Shashank struggles to get a review out for the pilot episode, Remembrance, in between excited fanboy cheering. The importance of a good PR campaign leading up to the show debut, comparisons to Blade Runner and Battlestar Galactica,...

Duration:01:08:34

27 - The PoliTreks of Star Trek: Beyond

10/30/2019
On this episode, Shashank and Barry dig into the essential characters that drive the plot. We spend a fair bit of time on the unique featured characters of Krall and Jayla. We also look at the conditions of the franchise when the movie was released, what it was responding to, and some of the pitfalls it succumbs to in its delivery. Call backs, self-reference, movie tropes, and cliche get a fair bit of time but as a deeper discussion of how Trek has always experimented with its storytelling...

Duration:01:10:27

Remembering Aron Eisenberg

9/29/2019
In this episode, Shashank and Barry react to the news of the great Aron Eisenberg's passing. This was recorded day-of, so there are some raw moments, however we delve into the lasting memory Aron and Nog, the beloved character he played will live on in our hearts.

Duration:00:57:42

26 - The PoliTreks of DSC:S2

9/4/2019
In this episode, Shashank and Barry discuss Star Trek Discovery: Season 2. We cover some of the main characters (Pike and Burnham especially), discussing their motivations and permutations, along with the stories told in this season and how they shape and connect to Trek as a whole. We take a constructive look at elements of the season that worked and may not have worked as well. This takes us through the concept of time travel, as often portrayed by Star Trek and how it matches up with...

Duration:01:16:09

25 - The PoliTreks of DSC S:1

7/31/2019
On this episode, Shashank and Barry discuss the political, historical, and social aspects of Season One of Discovery. On the news, we discuss a corruption scandal involving a government-appointed anti-corruption firm. Obvious connections to Cardassian tactics of deceit. The next news item is a farewell to Peter Allan Fields who passed away while we were on hiatus. Our main topic is a tad top-heavy as we get into the character of T'Kuvma, highlighting points of his opening speech and...

Duration:01:38:41

Special Announcement

7/9/2019
Join us as we announce our affiliation with the Trek Geeks Podcast Network with special guests Bill Smith & Dan Davidson!

Duration:00:16:00

24 - The PoliTreks Of: Star Trek (2009)

6/4/2019
In this Episode, Shashank and Barry take a deep dive into the great Kelvin Universe/JJ-verse/soft-reboot/Fast And Furious In Space movie Star Trek, released in 2009 after almost half a decade of no official Trek TV or cinema. We look at our relationship to the movie, cultural perception then and now, character portrayals (both compelling and uncanny), and how for some of us, brought Trek back into our lives in a big way.

Duration:01:33:21

23 - The PoliTreks Of: Into Darkness

4/26/2019
On this episode, Shashank and Barry look into the perhaps often maligned episode of the Kelvin Universe, Star Trek: Into Darkness. This movie is ambitious and revisits major characters from movies past. We discuss it all, it's social and political relevance and how ST:ID reflects its time period very succinctly.

Duration:01:14:03