I regularly listen to a few podcasts, and since it’s not easy to find interesting and well made ones, why not recommend some of those here on the blog? I started with You Must Remember This some time ago, and today’s post is dedicated to…
InvestiGates is the title of the podcast just launched by Gates McFadden, who among other things played Dr. Beverly Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation. So far, only a few episodes have come out, but they are one better than the other and I decided that I couldn’t wait any longer before recommending it to my blog readers in case there was someone who might like it. Well, it’s pretty clear that Star Trek is an important part of this blog, isn’t it?
What is InvestiGates about? It’s about life, cinema, music, sport… The format is very simple: Gates invites her friends and chats with them amiably for an hour or more, with the conversation covering the most varied topics and often entering into quite intimate and private territories. To give you an idea of the tone of the conversations, the first guests were Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Brent Spiner, and Wil Wheaton, his space son Wesley Crusher in TNG, son of Beverly.
Gates has such strong friendships with these people that she doesn’t hesitate to ask questions that delve into the most intimate parts of their lives. And so here comes the story of Jonathan Frakes’s father, a scholar and university professor with a phobia of travel, for example. And LeVar Burton’s childhood spent in Sacramento where there’s now a public park with a free library named after him. And of course Wil Wheaton talked about his stormy relationship with his parents (and with his brother, but luckily not with his sister)! And the families of both Brent and Gates come from Eastern Europe, I didn’t know that!
Clearly, by exploring all these personal themes, Gates also reveals a lot about her past, her passions, and her tastes. And so, among other things, I discovered that she choreographed Labyrinth, the 1986 masterpiece by Jim Henson where she’s credited as Cheryl McFadden!
These people have accompanied me (thanks to Star Trek) for at least 25 years and hearing their personal stories and anecdotes is really something special for me. More generally, however, I believe that these chats between these amazing friends has a value that goes beyond nostalgia or the morbid curiosity to know more about Hollywood stars. They’re fine, intelligent people, and there are many moments in the first episodes of InvestiGates that made me think deeply about serious themes, including parenthood, since I became a father two years ago and every day I deal with the joy of being one as well as with the many difficulties that come with the job, it would be stupid to deny that. Ciao!