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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Sep 27, 2020

McCarthy, The Crucible, and “The Drumhead”

In 1953, Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible used the Salem witch trials of 1692–93 as an allegory for the contemporary persecution of alleged communists by US Senator Joseph McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee. Four decades later, the Star Trek: Next...


Dec 4, 2018

The Attica Prison Uprising and DS9’s Past Tense.

Typically, Star Trek’s two-parters have skewed toward the action-adventure formula rather than hard-hitting social commentary. But in Deep Space Nine’s third season, the writers decided to use the longer ninety-minute running time to delve into a weighty...


Nov 15, 2018

Live from Destination Star Trek.

Star Trek has always been influenced by real-world history. But, over the course of more than half a century, certain topics have recurred again and again, suffusing the imaginary world of the future with the legacies of our own, often troubled past. Two key influences in...


Jun 13, 2018

Compared with the occupation of Bajor, a violent and traumatic event which cast a long shadow over Deep Space Nine, the brief Dominion–Cardassian administration of the station at the start of the sixth season seems at first like a pretty soft alternative.

The six-episode arc focusing on life under Dominion rule...


Apr 4, 2018

Anne Frank and Counterpoint.

Perhaps more than for any other Star Trek series, the shadow of the Holocaust loomed large over Voyager. So, it’s not surprising that, when the time came to pitch a story about alien refugees using the Starfleet vessel as a way to escape persecution, The Diary of Anne Frank was a key...