I had the pleasure of interviewing crew member Ensign Brandi Jackola who serves in the Planetary Geoscience Department aboard Star Trek’s USS Nomad NCC-72382.
Jackola is the creator of the “Star Trek” Podcasts which can be seen on our website and is hosted on “Anchor” by Spotify.
Brandi and her husband Dave also manage a podcast series “The Dark Corner” from their website. I interviewed Jackola to find out how she became involved in Podcasting and her interest in Star Trek.
Wayne: “Jackola, thank you for sharing your time with us and welcome, it’s nice to have you here. I must commend you on all the work you’ve done. All the podcasting episodes both “Star Trek” and “The Dark Corner” are great and very intriguing”.
Brandi: “Thank you very much! I’ve been podcasting for a long time, but have only been podcasting about Trek for just under four years. In some ways, I feel late to the game”.
W: “Tell us how you became involved in podcasting. What was it that started you on that journey?”
B: “That’s actually directly related to Trek, strangely enough. I listened to many podcasts and made friends with some of the hosts. One such podcast was reviewing Star Trek 2009, and on that particular episode, wondered if I had seen the film and what I thought of it. That inspired a twenty-minute mp3 feedback, after which the hosts of that podcast, in a very friendly way, said that I had a lot to say and maybe my husband and I should start our own podcast.
And thus, our first incarnation, The Inside Outcast, was born. We did that podcast for several years, talking about whichever subject took our fancy. After parting with the network on which we were hosted, due to creative differences, we re-formed as The Dark Corner Podcast and carried on as before. Some of our segments changed, but overall, we still just talk about whatever is on our radar.”
W:“You’ve been extremely busy and it must be a great outlet as well – a way of expressing yourself.”
B: “Indeed it is. We don’t pull any punches on “The Dark Corner” – everything we say is our unvarnished opinions. We’re not for everybody, but we have our own little niche following – people who have been with us through the whole journey. It’s nice to be able to really show ourselves as we truly are.”
W: “And good for you for doing that – for being yourselves!”
W: “The Star Trek series – when were you introduced to Star Trek and do you have a favorite series or two?
B: “I don’t remember a time before Star Trek – it has always been part of my life. My parents were watching TOS when it was first airing, even before they knew each other. When I was born in 1973, the series was in syndication and shown on television every weeknight, and sometimes twice on Saturday and Sunday.
I can’t remember my first episode, because I was watching it before I really understood what I was watching. What I do remember is loving Trek from the start, and loving each new incarnation as it came along.
It’s very hard for me to pick favorites, but I do have one that I hold dear above all. It may be controversial to some, but Discovery spoke to me on a level that I’d never felt before, and I think a great deal of that was because for the first time, I felt represented on a Star Trek series.
Ensign Tilly and I have a lot in common. We love feeling feelings, we are both awkward and sometimes have difficulty believing in our own abilities. And we’re both curvy girls and gingers. I even wrote an Ode to Tilly after the first season of Discovery and, in a moment of insanity, tweeted it to Mary Wiseman. She was lovely in her response, and told me I “hast a pretty wit”. And here’s the strangest connection – my mother’s maiden name is Tilly.
I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Mary’s husband, Noah Averbach-Kiaz, and asked off-camera if he would relay to her how much I appreciated her portrayal of Tilly, and how she made me feel seen. He reported back that he had indeed given her my message, and that she was very moved by it. I can’t ask for more than that, really.”
W: “You’ve had some great experiences and were lucky enough to be introduced into Star Trek at an early age. I didn’t follow Trek until “The Next Generation” and now a new series will start soon.”
B: “And I can’t wait! I love that we are getting so much Trek!”
W: “Brandi, when were you first introduced to the USS Nomad and enlisted as a member of the crew?
B: “It was around Halloween in 2020. Captain Ehl messaged me privately, saying that my name had come up in his Facebook list of people he might know. He didn’t know me, but took a chance and asked me if I was interested in joining the Nomad.
I asked a few questions about what would be required of me, what kind of activities the ship had, et cetera. The Captain was very friendly and answered all my questions without making me feel pressured to make a decision.
I did my own investigating into SFI and decided it was something I would enjoy, and became a member. I’ve made so many new friends because of that one little step from our intrepid Captain, and I’m so happy I fell in with such a great crew!”
W: “That is great to hear. It is nice to have you as part of the crew. I too was inspired to join STARFLEET but it was the character of Wesley Crusher that made that happen.“
B: “Wesley Crusher would be proud. People give him a lot of crap, but I have always loved Wesley, and I’m not afraid to say it!”
W: “With “Star Trek” and “The Dark Corner” series continuing, can we expect any new projects in the works for the future, any new series?
B: “I have a show with my friend Aaron Harvey called “Infinite Trek”, which started out as a live show and during hiatus is transitioning to an audio podcast. We covered every episode of the new Trek coming along. I currently cover “Discovery” on my podcast “What the Future Holds, and I have another podcast about “Deep Space 9” called “The Vedek Assembly”, which is currently also on hiatus but hopefully coming back in the next few months.
My friend Suzanne Williamson and I are covering “Strange New Worlds” on our podcast “Boldly Go”, and I do another live show with my friend Dan Gunther, called “The Unready Room”; both Dan and I (and sometimes our friend Bruce) are running every other week, covering episodes/movies of Trek, chosen by and voted on by our viewers.
We will definitely be doing live reaction shows for all new Trek. The podcast can be found wherever you find podcasts, and “The Unready Room” is available on Dan’s YouTube channel, Kertrats Productions. Short answer: You can’t stop me talking about Star Trek! I want to talk about it all!”
W: “I can’t wait for “Strange New Worlds” to air and be part of a whole new adventure.”
B: “Me too, because I am a Spock super fan and I need my fix!”
W: “We are all anticipating a great new series.”
W: Jackola thank you so much for your time. It was a pleasure. We look forward to more exciting episodes in “Star Trek” and “The Dark Corner” Podcasts and we wish you all the best.
*This interview was conducted on April 27/2021 at 9 pm EDT between Brandi Jackola and Editor for the newsletter, Wayne Taylor