Listening to Excelsior
Welcome to Star Trek: Excelsior. Whether you're a diehard Trekkie or completely new to the Star Trek universe, you're going to enjoy this show.
If you're not a regular consumer of radio drama, here is a step-by-step guide to enjoying this wonderful format in our overwhelmingly visual age:
- Put on some headphones. Turn them up. Block out the world.
- Turn on an episode of Excelsior.
- Turn off your computer monitor.
- Turn out the lights.
- Close your eyes.
Keep imagining until the end credits roll. You won't regret it.
Otherwise, I know there is one burning question on your mind:
Where do I start?
We recommend that new listeners start with one of our "showcase" episodes—shows that were written with new listeners in mind, which can be enjoyed on their own, without learning all the ins and outs of Excelsior lore, and which we feel represent some of our best efforts.
Our Season Four episode, "Guards! GET THEM!", was the first showcase episode we did, Chief Engineer Kestra J'naya beams aboard and learns the ropes (along with many new listeners!) while First Officer Alecz Lorhrok and Lt. Commander Neeva investigate a dancing plague in a medieval society. It's hard to think of a better representative starting point for new fans.
Our second showcase is "Tomorrow's Excelsior", our special episode celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek. This adventure is maybe not our most representative episode, but it is our favorite, as Captain Dovan and the crew of the Excelsior-C are hurled back in time... where they meet Captain Uhura, Captain Chekov, and the crew of the original Starship Excelsior! This episode was also the Season Four finale, and closed off some major plot threads, but you don't need to know all that to enjoy this episode.
Our third showcase episode is "A Day at the Park", which sees Captain Alcar Dovan and the crew visit an amusement park planet for a little R&R... but only until Captain Dovan rescues a young girl from kidnappers and they go on the run! "A Day at the Park" was written by a fan for a contest, and we were charmed from start to finish. We think you will be, too.
If you enjoy one of the showcases and want to listen to more, there are a few good places to start:
Season 4 is mostly standalone episodes (starting with "Guards! GET THEM!") featuring many of our favorite stories, and certainly our highest production values to date. Enjoy it! It's a season designed for new listeners! Just be sure to go back and listen to Seasons 1-3 before you move on to Season 5.
Season 3 was our biggest story arc, which shattered twenty years of Star Trek history and changed the whole universe for our characters. The first episode, "Every Good Captain Has Admiral Issues", does a good job bringing you up to speed on what you need to know, and we really hit our stride over the course of this season.
But, of course, many of our fans want to experience the story the way it was intended, and start listening with Season 1 onward. We were still learning how to make an audio drama in the first and second seasons—and it shows!—but they were a lot of fun, told a good story, and laid the groundwork for what the show later became. Just don't be shocked that it's a lot rougher than our showcase episodes... and feel free to skip ahead if you're just not enjoying yourself!
P.S. There is also an unaired pilot sitting in our vault, called "...There You Are". It's enjoyable, but probably only if you're already an Excelsior fan—and nothing in it is essential for appreciating future episodes.