Editor’s note: Does It Fly? releases new episodes Fridays through Den of Geek, YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and DoesItFlyPod.com.

After pioneering the future of science fiction on television for decades, Roddenberry Entertainment digs into the real-world science behind pop culture’s most iconic conceits, vehicles, and gadgets with the original video podcast series Does It Fly?. Hosted by noted astrophysicist and science educator Hakeem Oluseyi and television host, actor, and pop culture enthusiast Tamara Krinsky, the show examines devices from the most beloved sci-fi movies and shows, explaining the theoretical science behind them and if they’d actually function properly outside of the comforts of fiction.

To commemorate First Contact Day, the pivotal date where humanity first met intelligent life from another world, as depicted in the classic 1996 movie Star Trek: First Contact, the inaugural episode of the podcast focuses on if Star Trek’s transporter could theoretically work. Speaking from their complementary professional backgrounds, areas of expertise, and Star Trek fandom, Oluseyi brings in the solid scientific theory and Krinsky frames it all with her encyclopedic knowledge of the geekiest pop culture franchises.

The transporter has been a staple for Star Trek ever since The Original Series debuted in 1966. The device is capable of teleporting solid objects and living organisms from one point to another, in most cases, safely and in a matter of seconds. Though the backstory behind the transporter has been revealed in Star Trek: Enterprise, along with its evolving technical limitations of the technology across the different generations of Starfleet explored in the various series and movies, the actual science behind it comes into question on the podcast. 

Oluseyi packs the discussion with plenty of actual science in how the transporter works but keeps the information accessible for those who might not be as familiar with the math and science involved in calculating its viability. Oluseyi lays out the various technical challenges transporter technology would face, including the potential data storage requirements and how to maintain fidelity in converting living organic matter into energy and back to its normal state. Krinsky draws from her own extensive knowledge of Star Trek, citing specific key instances where further context about the operational capabilities of the transporter are revealed and behind-the-scenes history from the production.

As the two debunk some of the fictional science to make these devices work, Oluseyi and Krinsky make it very clear that the application of real-world science does not diminish their love and appreciation for Star Trek and the other shows and movies they examine on the podcast. And even though Oluseyi has his own skepticism about the viability of creating a functioning transporter, he excitedly declares he would try out the transporter himself – after at least a few other people try it first.

Every episode of Does It Fly? revolves around the title question: Does the pop culture device in question “fly,” in terms of becoming scientifically feasible in the foreseeable future? Krinsky and Oluseyi each lay out the case why they think a given piece of tech, like transporter, should be considered fly-worthy like a parting defense. And though Krinsky and Oluseyi don’t always agree on if something is fly-worthy, the conversation stays brisk, engaging, and fun, with plenty of scientific and pop culture information provided to viewers in every episode.

Does It Fly? marks the latest podcast series produced by Roddenberry Entertainment, the production company founded by the late Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and currently run by his son, CEO Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, and COO Trevor Roth. In addition to executive producing the numerous new Star Trek series streaming on Paramount+, the two have curated and produced a growing number of original podcast series, each speaking to a different facet of science fiction fandom, often but not exclusively linked to the Star Trek mythos and Roddenberry family legacy.

Roth swung by Den of Geek Studio at SXSW 2024, speaking about the current state of Star Trek, including the recently launched final season of Star Trek: Discovery. Among the topics Roth also spoke about was Roddenberry Entertainment’s podcast network and how they reflect a thriving frontier for the company as it continues to guide Star Trek to new heights and audiences nearly 60 years since the franchise made its inaugural launch.

“One thing we love about podcasting is we get right to the audience,” Roth tells Den of Geek. “When you look at expanding into that area, for us it’s wonderful and liberating. It’s something we can control so fully. It allows us to hopefully rise to the cream of the crop in regard to the way we do it, which I think has to do with us being very thoughtful about [the topics] and recognizing what we’re trying to achieve and giving that to the audience.”

Does It Fly? releases new episodes Fridays through Den of Geek, YouTube, or on doesitflypod.com, You can listen to the show on Spotify, Apple, and anywhere else you get your podcasts.

The post Is The Science Behind Star Trek’s Transporter Plausible? appeared first on Den of Geek.

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