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Podcast / Stellar Firma

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May the Board preserve and keep you.

Stellar Firma is a improvised comedy science fiction podcast created by Tim Meredith and Ben Meredith. It is set 900 years after the Earth's death with the rise of Stellar Firma Ltd., an ambiguously moral conglomerate that builds planets for clients across the galaxy.

The podcast centers around two intrepid employees: David-7, a beleaguered clone who was born a few days ago, and Trexel Geistman, a profoundly unstable Consultant who's utterly terrible at designing planets and constantly shows up late. They have a week before the next review session, where the results will determine whether or not David gets recycled.

Naturally, things go horribly wrong. Hilarity Ensues.

The podcast is produced by Rusty Quill and can be found on their website.

See also The Magnus Archives, Rusty Quill Gaming, and The Storage Papers, three other podcasts made by Rusty Quill. In February of 2022, Rusty Quill started releasing teasers for a Patreon exclusive spinoff, Compulsory Film Appreciation, in which Hartro and I.M.O.G.E.N. watch real-life movies and discuss and analyze them from the Stellar Firma corporate perspective.


Stellar Firma contains examples of:

  • Bottle Episode: On account of being told from David's perspective, every episode takes place in one room. Episode 25 subverts this, with David and Trexel exiting the room for the first time to go to trial.
  • Butt-Monkey: David-7, to the point of being the Chew Toy. Trexel also gets a fair share of abuse (though mostly due to his own incompetence).
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  • Comedic Sociopathy: The majority of the humor comes from this, whether it's Trexel's treatment of David or Stellar Firma Ltd.'s cheerful disregard for the safety of its employees.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Hartro Piltz. She initially comes across as Affably Evil, but she ends up being just as ineffective as Trexel, and a lot more sadistic.
  • Cloning Blues: The source of the majority of David-7's suffering, as clones are a Slave Race that aren't considered sentient. Enforced In-universe; when Trexel begins questioning whether or not the treatment of clones is ethical, a gun barrel unfolds from the wall until they openly denounce the idea and proclaim their loyalty.
    I.M.O.G.E.N.: [cheerful chime] Clones are things!
  • Crapsack World: Despite the generally comedic tone, the series is pretty firmly set in a Techno Dystopia. All of humanity have become permanent employees of an extremely amoral Mega-Corp, Fantastic Racism against clones is abundant and lower-ranking employees regularly get axed out of convenience or neglect, and the whole thing is controlled by an Omniscient Council of Vagueness that executes dissenters for questioning the status quo.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Spoofed in Episode 26 with an exchange between two mysterious figures that starts out extremely ominous ... only for one to become legitimately confused by the vagueness of the conversation, leading to them storming off.
  • Dead All Along: The series finale reveals that the mysterious Board has in fact been dead for many centuries, with representatives of the shareholders having been divided into two power blocs, preventing change from being made, and the company basically running on autopilot ever since.
  • Deadpan Snarker: David, as time goes on and his patience for Trexel's antics grows wearily thin.
    • I.M.O.G.E.N. on occasion.
  • Deconstructed Trope: Surprisingly for a series that runs so hard on Artistic License – Space, the consequences of the duo's haphazard methods of planet construction are given a thorough Deconstruction during their first review session once someone other than Trexel is in charge.
    Trexel: Yes, no, that is ringing a couple of bells, and— and now you say it back to me, giving a potentially murderous lead singer access to… quite a lot of explosives and many, many well trained knife dogs... some people could look at that and say, "What have you done, you massive idiot?!"
  • Despair Event Horizon: David in episode 23, after he's been informed in no uncertain terms that he will be recycled.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: In a subversion of I.M.O.G.E.N.'s usual "[x] Detected! Security alerted." when Trexel tries to impose a government-controlled mandatory entertainment policy on a planet:
    I.M.O.G.E.N.: Fascism detected. (Beat) Carry on!
  • The Dog Bites Back: After 24 episodes of abuse from Trexel, David finally gets some revenge by beating Trexel senseless with a fish.
  • The Dreaded: Cardinal Fangnote .
  • Dreadful Musician: Trexel, which doesn't stop him from singing.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In the final episode, David, left as the sole person in charge of Stellar Firma, uses his power to evacuate the company space station and send the people living on it to planets where they can start new societies. Afterwards, he has the station destroyed, essentially ending Stellar Firma and its ruthless corporatocracy, relinquishes I.M.O.G.E.N. from her role as Stellar Firma's controller and goes to Galactonium to live in peace.
  • Fan Disservice: Shirtless Trexel (thankfully an audio-only example, but we get to hear David and Hartro's reactions). This is actually employed In-Universe as a technique by Stellar Firma to get unruly teenagers to leave parties early.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In Episode 13: "Raves And Desserts", Trexel designs a planet for the teenage son of a client to use to host wild parties. For once, Trexel does his job far too well - his weekly review in Episode 15: "Moisturiser and Measures" reveals that the party is attracting teenagers across the galaxy, some of whom are children of senior executives, with no way to stop the party short of dropping a moon on the planet.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Save for a few instances early in the series, 'Board' is used instead of 'God'. Hail the Board!
  • Hope Spot: In the start of season 3, David has set up a little café while laying low and, despite having only been running it for a short time, already has a healthy customer base and enjoys living without having to constantly fear for his life. In Episode 2, Hartro tracks him and Trexel down and forces them to go with her, after which I.M.O.G.E.N. incinerates the café.
  • Implausible Deniability: David-7 attempting to deny the fact that he drenched Trexel in clone slurry, five seconds after spraying Trexel with clone slurry.
    • In a similar vein, denying he tampered with the consultation room's pipes, in a courtroom with an all-powerful lie detector as the judge.
  • Incompetence, Inc.: Stellar Firma comes off more and more like this as the series goes on, what with them continuing to employ Trexel despite him causing the deaths of Board knows how many people and the general lack and poor maintenance of their office corridors. In the last episode of season 2 and between-seasons supplimentary material, it turns out that the company has been neglecting several critical internal departments such as Filing, the staff of which died of old age and were never replaced. Also, when I.M.O.G.E.N.'s CPU started suffering from critical RAM shortage, she wasn't allowed to decommission some of the upper management luxurious departments, and instead shut down some smaller internal ones. I.M.O.G.E.N. even tells Trexel and David that anything for which the company can't bill clients gets downprioritized.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: Apparently why Trexel hates Harry's (and by extension, all galactic bureaucrats') ideas of fun.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Every single time Trexel seems like he might have a moment of genuine compassion or sympathy, it's immediately followed up by an even bigger Kick the Dog moment towards David. Possibly the biggest example is the finale of season 1, where Trexel gives up the key to his beloved Cosmic Lounge in exchange for saving David's life... only to casually reveal later that he could have done so all along and that there's a better bar next to the Lounge, anyway. David doesn't take it well.
  • Large Ham: Trexel. David is sometimes prone to this as well.
  • Locked in a Room: David is stuck in one room for nearly the entire show and has never been outside. Naturally, Trexel constantly forgets this, and it becomes a minor Running Gag.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Occasionally Trexel's actions extend past mere annoyance and end up disastrously affecting interplanetary relations.
    • Sticking heating devices disguised as accountants on a planet populated by armored polar bears, leading to them teaming up with the Killer Robot empire that's plotting against humanity.
  • Noodle Implements: Most things about Trexel, like whatever he does with that fish or his explanations on why he's late every day.
  • Only Sane Man: David. Most of his blunders come from not knowing much about the world on account of being two weeks old, and having those gaps in knowledge informed by Trexel. Once he starts tampering with the briefs, the planets start coming out actually decent.
  • Police Are Useless: Despite I.M.O.G.E.N.'s frequent announcements that Security has been alerted, they never actually appear.
    • The series finale reveals that the Security department was destroyed long ago during a civil war between the company's shareholders, and this was just covered up by replacing the department with a bunch of cardboard cutouts hidden behind frosted glass, pre-recorded messages, computer-generated random memos and arrest orders and the gun walls.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Being an improvised podcast, most characters talk with relatively realistic diction and stumble over words occasionally. The only character to avert this is I.M.O.G.E.N.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: In Episode 41, after their failures in both planetary design and sales (as well as Hartro trying to kill them), Trexel and David are demoted to being expeditors, one of the lowliest positions in the entire Stellar Firma hierarchy which basically entails getting "suggestions" from various Stellar Firma employees and advising them best they can, assuming anyone even reads their recommendations.
    Trexel: This is a living death. It is the pit of irrelevance. It is the- the soupçon of no one gives a good Board damn where you are or what you're doing!
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Trexel, a Large Ham Prima Donna Director who comes into work violently drunk and David-7, a Naïve Newcomer clone who has to act as the Only Sane Man.
  • Running Gag: "Warning! [X] detected." Doubles as Mad Libs Catchphrase.
  • Sadist Show: The show Hartro goes on, hosted by Sigmund Shankaray, a man with a calm, affable demeanor, who routinely interrogates her on whether she's loyal to the Board at gunpoint. In a later such bonus episode, Sigmund finds himself on the receiving end of this when Nr. 1 steps in to get interviewed by him and grills him similarly.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone:
    • When Trexel and David get transferred to Sales and get a new office, David finally gets some semblance of comfort in the form of a clone pod, with a proper bed, a desk and a toilet (apparently, it had been in the original room all along, but Trexel just forgot to tell him about it).
    • David gets an even bigger one in Episode 72, when he, Trexel and Hartro have been promoted to executive level and David gets a special clone suite with a jacuzzi, a quadruple emperor size bed and, best of all, a forcefield that prevents Trexel from entering it. The new office of the Business Warfare department also has a button labeled "Trexel" which automatically opens up a hatch below Trexel and throws him out (though the next episode reveals that the button is actually for Trexel, sending him straight into Stellar Firma's central distillery).
      David: That is my favourite button so far.
  • Too Dumb to Fool: David is justifiably angry at the end of a design session. Trexel asks him who's made him upset, claiming he'll give them a stern talking-to. David hands Trexel a mirror, but instead of realizing the dig, Trexel doesn't recognize his own reflection and ends up punching it, getting glass all over his hand, and running into the hallway to pursue "Mirror Trexel".
  • Too Good To Be True: In Episode 70 ("Self-Assessment and Self-Advancement"), Trexel, David and Hartro are informed that they've all been promoted to work as senior executives in Stellar Firma's Department of Business Warfare. Trexel and Hartro are of course overjoyed, but David points out that the timing is quite suspicious and that there's more to it.