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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

May 28, 2021

How Nicholas Meyer’s other time-travel caper inspired The Voyage Home

When Nicholas Meyer was called in to write a new script for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, just weeks before pre-production was due to begin, he must have been struck with a bad case of déjà vu. Leonard Nimoy explained that the story outline he...


May 8, 2021

The Scopes Monkey Trial, Inherit the Wind, and DS9’s “In the Hands of the Prophets.”


The trial of US high school teacher John Scopes in 1925 was perhaps the definitive 20th-century showdown between religion and science. Indicted for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution in defiance of creationist state law,...


Apr 15, 2021

Suspiria and “Cold Fire”

Despite being teased in the series premiere, it took Star Trek: Voyager well over a year to actually introduce its female caretaker, a being with the power to send the ship home on a whim. And when the entity did appear, in the second-season episode “Cold Fire,” she turned out to have a...


Apr 1, 2021

Episode titles since 2009.

Concluding our look at Star Trek’s 800-plus episode titles to date, in this episode of Primitive Culture host Duncan Barrett is joined by Tony Black to consider naming strategies for the Kelvin films, Short Treks, Discovery, Picard, and Lower Decks. What exactly lies “beyond” the final...


Feb 22, 2021

The original reset button.

It’s one of the oldest of literary tropes: a sudden, last-minute reveal that an apparent fictional reality is actually doubly invented. From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on, writers have thrilled in pulling the rug out from under readers and characters alike, allowing carefully...