It’s easy for a fan to learn about their favorite actors and directors in the 21st Century. Almost all onscreen “Star Trek” family members have some kind of social media presence — on Twitter, Instagram, or even Facebook. The one glaring exception is Chris Pine, who is not on any of those platforms.
Fans can reach out to their favorite actors on social media, but because of the deluge of questions and requests that the well-known and famous endure, it’s unlikely that the star will respond personally. This can be a problem, as many fans have questions about their favorite “Star Trek” shows and films, which members of the media do not think to ask. And frequently, if an actor is asked to do a series of interviews, the media asks the same questions repeatedly.
So to know a little bit more about what goes on behind the scenes of classic Trek movies or the new shows which are currently airing by relying on social media or the ‘same old questions’ can be frustrating.
‘To Boldly Ask…’ Teaser Trailer
To fix this problem is the aim of a new video podcast show, which Heavy’s own Ian Spelling will host. A noted “Star Trek” journalist with over 30 years of experience in the industry, Spelling will shed new light on the characters, production, actors, writers, and behind-the-scenes secrets often overlooked. This new video podcast series, “To Boldly Ask…” will launch on July 23, 2022, at 5 p.m. EST.
Heavy spoke with Spelling about his newest venture into Trek journalism. We asked him why “To Boldly Ask…” stands out from the many other available podcasts and shows.
“The goal is to ask questions that the guest is never, or at least rarely, asked,” said Spelling. “It’s an exciting challenge. And then there’s a show and tell section, where I’ll ask our guests to show Trek-related items from their personal effects. It can be a photo or a script or a prop or an action figure, and that will trigger interesting, fresh anecdotes.”
Spelling said his first guest will be the great Jonathan Frakes, who fans knew as Commander William T. Riker of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” In recent years, Frakes has been working behind the camera on many Trek shows as a director. But fans can’t seem to get enough of his character. Riker returned for Season 1 of “Star Trek: Picard,” “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” and will be a prominent player for the third and final season of “Picard.”
Frakes: The Director
Frakes is no stranger to Spelling, as the journalist has interviewed the star many times, including a recent interview for Heavy. It turns out that even though Spelling and Frakes go way back, there was a lot of new ground uncovered during their conversation.
“Jonathan is an old friend, and he loved the idea of helping me and the Companion launch a new venture,” said Spelling. “I think he got a kick out of it and appreciated the opportunity to talk about things that are out of the ordinary for him. It was an hour of real conversation, with a lot of laughs and a number of deeply personal comments about his life and career.”
While Spelling has interviewed some of the biggest stars in the “Star Trek” pantheon, including Gene Roddenberry, “To Boldly Ask…” is a new challenge for him. Instead of talking on the phone, Spelling will be on camera with Frakes, sharing some of the spotlight during the “To Boldly Ask…” show.
Ian Spelling hosting a ‘Deep Space Nine’ Conversation in Vegas
“It’s funny… I’ve spent most of my career doing interviews in person or over the phone,” said Spelling. “So, in a way, Zoom is the new phone interview. Zoom is a great hybrid. You can conduct interviews remotely, from the comfort of your own home, but make actual eye contact, which really helps create a bit of intimacy in a conversation.”
Spelling said Episode 1 with Frakes was just the start of what he hopes will be a long series of great interviews. And, since Spelling is friends with dozens of Trek stars, the conversations will undoubtedly be unique and exciting.
”Jonathan’s episode is the pilot, and the second episode is in the works,” said Spelling. “We’ve got some great ideas for subsequent ‘To Boldly Ask…’ interviewees. We’re hoping to have on the show a mix of big names and people with unique connections to the ‘Star Trek’ franchise.”
For more information about the “To Boldly Ask…” show, visit The Companion’s website. The Companion is a science fiction membership website and app, which includes livestream events and original fandom analysis.
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