March 29, 2020 4:31 pm

Monday, Explore Science Fiction and Star Trek with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Zachary Quinto

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” One of the most famous quotes from one of the most famous characters in all of science fiction. And on this episode of StarTalk Radio, we sit down with the person who brought Mr. Spock back to the big screen: Zachary Quinto.

Paramount Pictures photo of Zachary Quinto’s Spock meeting Leonard Nimoy’s Spock in Star Trek (2009).

Zachary Quinto’s Spock meets Leonard Nimoy’s Spock in Star Trek (2009). Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Star Trek is in a league all its own when it comes to science fiction and it’s only right that we bring in the experts to investigate it all. Neil is joined in studio by comic co-host Chuck Nice and astrophysicist and StarTalk geek-in-chief Charles Liu, PhD, to discuss Neil’s interview with Zachary and explore the realm of science fiction. We start with Zachary’s background in classical theatre. We explore the Shakespearean aspects of Star Trek, and why Shakespeare appears in a lot of science fiction.

Find out about Zachary’s other roles in Heroes and In Search of… We discuss the process of “keeping to your rules” in science fiction and why Heroes is a major example of using “retroactive continuity.” This leads Neil to break down the famous Kessel Run from Star Wars.

Zachary shares his experiences of taking on the role of Mr. Spock. We discuss why Spock is such an iconic character. Discover more about Spock’s battle with his human essence and his Vulcan essence. We ponder the relationship between emotions and logic. You’ll hear about Zachary’s close relationship with Leonard Nimoy. Find out why Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk are seen as the perfect foils to each other.

Lastly, we dive into the storytelling process behind science fiction. We debate whether there should be a balance between morality tales and escapism. Charles tells us why you must consider the medium in which a story is being presented when critiquing it, like a TV show vs a feature film. All that, plus, Neil explains why science fiction is an important tool for us to know ourselves.

Please join us tomorrow for Science Fiction and Star Trek, with Zachary Quinto at 3pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re a StarTalk+ Patron or an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 3pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
-Ian Mullen

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