Nerd Lunch Podcast 47: Expanded Universes

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Nerd Lunch Podcast 47: Expanded Universes


Pax, CT, Shawn Robare, and TAG Irregular Mark Dury provide our take on expanded universes. We discuss our favorite EUs from Star Wars to the Buffyverse, talk about what works or doesn’t work in EU, and offer up some properties we wish had EU. When we’re done, be sure to check out this week’s episode of The Atomic Geeks podcast for even more speechifying on EUs. Our Nerd To-Dos feature a Formula 1 racing documentary (huh?), new TMNT toys, more Planet of the Apes, and some Dark Knight Rises.

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Nerd Lunch co-founder and podcast co-host


  1. Jack February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Exactly, CT. It's a big deal because you want it to matter. You're investing your time in the read because you love the product. You read this great story, then along come the franchise owners to dismiss it without (unworthy of?) a comment, pretty much telling you "don't pay any attention to that crap…" so I took them at their word, and stopped. Glorified Fan Fiction: a useful term, and once again, you've articulated what I've long felt, but couldn't pin down with a word. Thanks…

  2. Chrisloc1701 February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    agreed CT. I never understood why JMS didn't use B5's 5th season to wrap up plotlines like the Centauri situation, and G'Kar/Londo killing each other. Season 5 had a lot of crap episodes, damn shame he did what he did.

  3. CT February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Yeah Jack, we really could have explored the whole canonicity aspect of expanded universes more. I don't know why it's such a big deal to me, but it is. Even though I read quite a few Star Trek comics and a few Star Trek books, the fact that none of it was "real" made it nothing more than glorified fan fiction. I feel that EU stuff in recent years has been better at getting "authorization" and fits the vision of the original creators better.

    Jason, I can see us covering EU again and talking more about both of those very topics. In fact, on our brainstorm list of topic ideas that the three of us have, we have 'cartoons based on movies' and 'live action TV shows based on movies' as potential topics. Not sure when we'll get to them, but if I know Pax, he'll at least try to get us talking about the cartoons so he can talk about Teen Wolf again.

    Chris, I haven't read all the B5 novels, but I have read the Centauri novels. It was a TV crime that JMS did not wrap up that storyline on the show. There really was no excuse. At least there are the novels. I have not read the Technomage trilogy which allegedly covers some of the stuff started in Crusade. That was a show that had a rough start and was just finally getting interesting at the end. Really liked where it was going.

  4. Chrisloc1701 February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    great episode guys, universes collided with Dury guest starring. So he and CT ARE different people… anywho some thoughts:

    – Expanded universes are interesting to me, but as Dury said there is so much competing for my time right now it's hard to explore everything that is out there.

    – I did enjoy the Timothy Zahn 'Star Wars' novels, but I didn't care for the last one. Some of his more current novels take place during the original films, which does not really interest me since I already know what happens to the primary characters.

    – I really want to read the Peter David 'Babylon 5' Centauri Trilogy.

    – Also I purchased the USS Titan novels earlier this year, haven't had time to read them yet, but looking forward to reading about Riker and Troi.

    looking forward to next weeks episodes!!

  5. Jason - GBNF Manager February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Great Episode guys- All the talk about the Alf Cartoons got me thinking what other TV shows/Movies had an expanded EU in Cartoon form, and there were quite a few (although most had no need for an EU in the first place). Here were a few that I remember having Cartoon EU's: Beetlejuice, Dumb and Dumber, Men in Black, Ghostbusters, Rambo, Droids, Ewoks, The Karate Kids, Robocop, Teen Wolf, Back to the Future, Bill and Ted, Police Academy, Conan, Planet of the Apes, Toxic Crusaders, Punky Brewster, Beethovan, and Ace Ventura come to mind. I'd bet there were more.

    On the flip side, there were a ton of movies that took a stab at an EU in live action TV form. Most flopped. Ferris Bueller, Dirty Dancing, The Outsiders, Revenge of the Nerds (pilot only), Coming To America (pilot only), Terminator, Blue Thunder, Adventures in Babysitting (pilot Only), Robocop, Harry and the Hendersons, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Bill and Ted, Working Girl, 9 to 5, Weird Science, Uncle Buck, Private Benjamin, K-9, Turner and Hooch, Police Academy, Look Who's Talking…….there were so many, and I know I forgot a bunch. You could almost do an an episode on that subject: Movies turned to TV shows. I've got many of these shows if you want to see the insanity.

  6. Jack February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Interesting, as always, gentlemen. This episode had a different feel to it, more like a documentary than anything I've heard you do before. You didn't really give me anything new, but you did articulate a couple of issues that I hadn't been able to put a name to.

    First EU that I encountered was late 60s, Michael Avalon's series of Man From U.N.C.L.E. novels. Nothing profound, just a dozen or so extra adventures that didn't appear on TV. It's worth noting that the show had run its course by then, so there wasn't any new canon material to "ruin" the books. I first encountered that with the Star Trek TOS books that I enjoyed a lot, and then the movies undid most of them. You guys touched on that issue, and that's why I stopped trying to read them.

    But, let me give you a recommendation: ST:TOS book #29, Dreadnaught, by Diane Carey. This is that concept done right. The books are about a group of Academy grads who are assigned to Kirk's Enterprise, and events make them the main characters, as Kirk and Spock are present, but very much in the background. If you like that, she did a sequel called Battlestations.

    A brief word on writing, from someone who long chased the dream of being a novelist: All writers hate writing. We love having written, but our greatest terror is a blank sheet of paper, so what Lucas said isn't so odd…

    Finally, to-do, tomorrow the Wench and I are going to watch Act of Valor, the movie made with active duty SEALs; check the Hideout for a review within a few days. And that's all I've got (finally!). Be safe and have fun, and if you can figure out how to combine those two things, you ought to do a podcast about it!

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