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The Greatest Generation seems to have the decided drop on all the Star Trek podcasts out there. Wade Bowen concedes that and freely accepts operating among the many on the internet undercard with his Deep Space 9 Episodes, Rules of Acquisition Podcast. “I feel like we’re the poor kids at the camp, and they are the rich ones on the other side of the lake,” says Bowen. But that probably better suits his trio’s delving into the franchise’s underbelly on the outskirts of Federation Space.
“If Star Trek is about Gene Roddenberry’s vision, Deep Space Nine blurs it,” say Bowen. “The question that is always coming up is how do you uphold these principals when you’re faced with a lot more grey area.”
Otherwise, his introduction to Star Trek in the 80s and 90s adhered strictly to the Prime Directive. “I watched the entire original series, thought it was an accomplishment after seeing all the movies and watched The Next Generation every week with my family,” says Bowen.
This left him firmly onboard as Deep Space Nine premiered and found itself situated next to an important wormhole. “I was really excited when the pilot launched,” says Bowen who shares the Rules of Acquisition feed with midwesterners James Nolen and Hugh Crawford.
The long story arc that episode one intoned also appealed, but the first few seasons turned out to be more a black hole than a intriguing gateway. “I quickly lost interest,” says Bowen - especially as the outpost changed course for “alien of the week Star Trek.”
Riker’s Beard equals Sisko’s Head
But things did come back around and take the long view, which draws parallel to Riker’s beard on the Next Generation. Signaling the real emergence of that show, says Bowen, “We say the same thing about Sisko. Is this an episode where he’s without the shaved head?”
The new shine amounted to his first real experience with must-see, event television, but he doesn’t completely dismiss the first two seasons. “Duet,” he says among a few others, “is one of the best Star Trek episodes of any. It’s an unabashed Holocaust allegory.”
But they pull no punches through that initial morass. “We’re not afraid to call out the show,” says the Brooklyn resident.
Currently bogged down in season two on their Deep Space 9 Episodes podcast, they move forward with a little uncertainty as the series will inevitably bends its arc toward the light. “We were wondering about how that will go ourselves,” he says.
On the other hand, all they need do is look to Duet. “The good episodes so far have definitely been rewarding to talk about,” he says.
Podcast is Defiant to Reach Season Four
The honor will really be there’s as season four approaches for docking. “When Worf joins the cast with the Defiant, it changes the whole dynamic,” says Bowen.
In turn, war with the Dominion plays right into the beloved character’s strength. “It makes the series more rough and tumble,” says Bowen who works as a digital archivist for a large media company.
However, Worf wasn’t the only thing to fall from the sky and spin the series into a higher orbit. “A lot of the writers came over from TNG,” he says. “It’s no coincidence that this was when people start talking about how great the show was.”
This leaves them with some “very lively discussion and a “pretty good little viewership.” But Quark’s Rules of Acquisition definitely don’t apply to the discourse. “It would be nice to make some money,” he accepts the limitations.
They’re in the black nonetheless. “James is my best friend from high school, and we really hadn’t talked for ten years,” he says. “We reconnected and this is our reason for hanging out.”
None of them broadcasting from their parents’ basement, they triangulate among family life and jobs like the rest of us. The occupants of DS9 know the feeling. The station is falling apart, they infringe on Cardassian Space and the Prime Directive not so seamlessly applying,” he concludes, “There’s not always good solutions and the crew manages with what they have.”