This Week in Space

Feb 2nd 2024

This Week in Space 96

It's Space TV!

Hosted by Rod Pyle, Tariq Malik

With William Shatner's UnXplained Producer Jeff Stepp

New episodes posted every Friday.
Guests: Jeff Stepp
Category: News

Space and science TV has come a long way since the old-time staples like Mr. Wizard and the original Bille Nye, The Science Guy. On this episode of This Week in Space, History Channel producer Jeff Stepp joins us to talk about his work on "The UnXplained: With William Shatner" and other science shows—how are they conceived, what is production like, and what is the future of space and science-oriented media? We know Jeff to be a fine writer and responsible gatekeeper for high-quality, responsible science programming. Don't miss this one!


  • Boeing Starliner's Progress: Detailed updates on the Starliner spacecraft's developments, including overcoming technical hurdles for its crewed flight.
  • Japan's Slim Lander: Exploration of Japan's moon landing attempt, highlighting the quirky yet successful deployment of rovers despite the lander's inverted landing.
  • Exomoons Debate: A discussion on the ongoing debate among scientists about the existence of exomoons, showcasing the dynamic nature of space exploration research.

Main Topic: The Future of Space and Science Television

  • Jeff Stepp's Career and Contributions: Introduction to Jeff Stepp's role in producing and writing for science and space TV shows, emphasizing his journey and the impact of veteran actors in narrating scientific documentaries.
  • Challenges in Science Programming: Stepp discusses the challenges of producing engaging content in a landscape dominated by entertainment, touching on the balance between education and entertainment.
    - Evolving Formats and Audience Engagement: Exploration of new formats for science programming, addressing the need for storytelling and innovative approaches to captivate audiences.
  • Viewer Desires and Future Directions: Consideration of audience queries on conspiracy theories and the selection of topics for shows like "The Unexplained," highlighting the interaction between producers and the viewing public.
    Working with Icons: Insights into the experience of working with William Shatner and other celebrities, underscoring their influence on the success and reach of science programming.
  • Future of Science Television: Stepp shares his vision for the future of science and space television, emphasizing the importance of storytelling and the potential for hybrid formats to keep the audience engaged.

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