Staff Picks: To the future and back


Photo provided by Universal Pictures.

By Ryan Bough

Listen to this! — “American History Tellers”

Photo provided by Wondery.

“American History Storytellers” is a podcast hosted by Lindsay Graham, and produced by Wondery. The series jumps around through different points in history, from the Great Depression to the Cold War, the Wondery podcast takes listeners through the history of America.

One series of episodes called “The Bastard Brigade” goes through the story of how Allied spies were able to sabotage the production of an Axis atomic bomb in the late stages of World War II. In particular, the episode “The Kennedy Curse,” goes into Operation Aphrodite, a top secret drone project that ended up killing more American servicemen than Germans during the one year that it was active before being shut down. Included in the casualties of the operation was Lieutenant Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., the older brother to President John F. Kennedy.

“American History Tellers” offers a unique way to listen in on history throughout the ages, with many episodes almost putting listeners in the shoes of those involved during the time period.

Episodes are around 40 minutes long and air once a week. The podcast can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Castbox and more.

Watch this! — “Star Trek: Picard”

Photo provided by CBS.

Fans of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” will be excited to see a fan favorite character returning to the screen. Sir Patrick Stewart returns as Jean-Luc Picard in the new CBS Science Fiction Drama “Star Trek: Picard.”

With a few episodes currently available and new ones every Thursday, “Star Trek: Picard” focuses on Jean-Luc Picard and the death of Lieutenant Commander Data, played by Brent Spiner.

“Picard” is taking a different turn than traditional Star Trek series like “Star Trek: The Original Series,” or even “Star Trek: The Next Generation” where the character Jean-Luc Picard first appeared. Instead of flashy space battles and Starfleet uniforms, “Picard” focuses more on the personal aspect of Jean-Luc Picard as a washed up former Star Fleet admiral. “Picard” creates a nice blend of old Star Trek and new Star Trek.

“Star Trek: Picard” is an interesting twist to the Star Trek universe and has Star Trek buffs and new viewers alike, at the edge of their seats waiting to see what will happen in the next episode. The only way to watch “Star Trek: Picard” is through CBS All Access.

Watch this! — “1917”

Photo provided by Universal Pictures.

Set during World War I, “1917” combines brilliant cinematography with the horrors of the first World War. Directed by “Skyfall” and “Road to Perdition” director Sam Mendes, “1917” follows the story of two British soldiers, Lance Corporal Schofield, played by George MacKay, and Lance Corporal Tom Blake, played by Dean-Charles Chapman. The pair are sent on a seemingly impossible task, a mission to cross through enemy lines to deliver a message to Allied troops headed into an ambush.

“1917” is filmed in a rather special way, made to look like it was filmed in one continuous shot, almost making the viewers feel like they are a third member of the team. The one-shot style of “1917” fits in perfectly with the film’s intense scenes, especially when accompanied by Thomas Newman’s powerful score for the film.

“1917” was released in theaters on Dec. 25, 2019. For showtimes, check local listings.