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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Feb 28, 2022

How Star Trek tackled the Vietnam War.

Every Star Trek series has engaged with the issues of the time, and perhaps none more so than *The Original Series*. Episodes touching on the hippy counterculture and NASA's bold Apollo program grounded the show as much in the 1960s as the 2260s. But perhaps no contemporary subject loomed over TOS more so than the Vietnam War. Sometimes quite bluntly and at other times more obliquely, over the course of three seasons the show charted a constantly developing view of the conflict, embodying a range of perspectives as diverse as its collective writing staff.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, originally released as part of Tony Black’s podcast The Sanctuary, he is joined by critic Darren Mooney to look at how Vietnam played out across TOS and beyond. Tackling key episodes such as “A Private Little War” and “The Omega Glory,” as well as less obvious reference points including “The City on the Edge of Forever,” they consider the role the conflict played not just in Star Trek but American thought more generally, and in particular how Gene Rodenberry’s own views developed during the run of the series.

Duncan Barrett and Tony Black

Tony Black (Editor) Duncan Barrett (Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer)