The future promised by “Star Trek” is one of a hopeful future. This better tomorrow separates Trek from other franchises. It frequently challenges the viewer to help make the current world more like what is experienced in Trek.
Now is one of those times.
Next Saturday, January 15, 2022, all fans of “Star Trek” are invited to join the first-of-its-kind online telethon, hosted by the TrekGeeks Podcast Network and Roddenberry Podcasts. The TrekGeeks podcast, which is hosted by Dan Davidson and Bill Smith, is a show which features interviews with the top Trek stars, reviews, and thoughts about the franchise’s glorious past and hopeful future. “Trek Talks” is an event that will raise awareness, funds, and food for the Hollywood Food Coalition.
Smith will tell you that he’s just happy to do his part in support of his good friend, John Billingsley. Trek fans will undoubtedly recognize Billingsley from his tour of duty aboard the NX-01 Enterprise. Phlox, the Denobulan Doctor, who was part of the Enterprise’s groundbreaking voyages, was portrayed by Billingsley.
Dr. Phlox from ‘Enterprise’
The Hollywood Food Coalition is a nonprofit organization operating in the Hollywood, Santa Monica, Los Angeles area, with the mission to serve a meal every night of the year. Billingsley serves on the board of directors for the Coalition and worked with Smith to organize the event.
Starting at 3 p.m. EST (which is Noon on the West Coast), fans can log in to the “Trek Talks” stream on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to listen to stars like Billingsley, Jonathan Frakes, Anthony Montgomery, Garrett Wang, Gates McFadden, Tony Todd, and many more, talk about their love of Trek and the franchise in general.
“Trek Talks” will also feature names of the folks who work behind the scenes who help make “Star Trek” what it is today. Folks like the Okudas, Rod Roddenberry, Brannon Braga, Kevin & Dan Hageman, and Olatunde Osunsanmi. Smith says that the mix of actors, writers, producers, and others was deliberate.
“We wanted to create an event that speaks to every interest in the fandom,” Smith told Heavy in a recent interview. “Everybody loves ‘Star Trek’ that is going to be watching this.
“But we wanted to have writers because we know that there are many fans who love the writing of ‘Star Trek,’” said Smith. “We wanted to have directors talk about their various styles. There are so many people who contribute to the wealth and legacy of ‘Star Trek’ that we thought it was important to have the type of conversation that included everybody.”
Billingsley agreed and added that the event will also give the panelists a chance to boost the charitable groups they are working with. He called it “Trektavism” and noted that all of the causes fit nicely into the core values of “Star Trek.”
“As much as this event is a fundraiser for the Hollywood Food Coalition, it’s also a chance for our community to come together and say ‘there may be ways for us to all collaborate more effectively,’” said Billingsley who is currently the president of the Coalition.
Billingsley said that this fundraiser was able to happen after the success of the Trek Geeks’ collaboration with Frakes last year. The podcast and “Commander Riker” teamed up to raise funds and awareness for Feeding America. Smith and Davidson spoke with Frakes during the lead-up to the event, which you can listen to here.
Frakes and ‘Feeding America’ Event
Smith said that he and Davidson originally supposed “Trek Talks” could be an “Enterprise” reunion for charity. It was Billingsley who came to the table with the telethon idea.
“So many people have volunteered their time and their voices,” said Smith. “It’s been almost an overwhelming experience.”
Billingsley urged all Trek fans who want to do something good and have a “boisterous” time to join the show Saturday, January 15, 2022.
“To me, it’s about what you can do in your community and what you can do to give back out in the world,” said Billingsley. “Because that, to me [is how] you build that wonderful universe that we all want to live in.”
CORRECTION: We erroneously had two dates in the article for the event. The correct date is Saturday, January 15, 2022. We apologize for the error.