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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Jul 30, 2022

Star Trek’s Double Troubles

Don’t they say you die if you meet yourself? Our intrepid Starfleet officers had better hope the answer is no, since encounters with doubles, doppelgängers, and duplicates appear to be just part of the job. From the two Kirks in “The Enemy Within” to Lower Decks’s twinned Boimlers, Star Trek has offered up a host of alt versions of our regular characters over the years.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Clara Cook for a look at Star Trek’s doubles, setting them in the context of their literary and cultural forebears, all the way back to Dostoevsky. We consider Sigmund Freud’s work on The Uncanny, Carl Jung’s idea of the shadow projection, and the sinister interplay between doubles and death. We also ponder why some characters seem to get on with their other selves just fine while the very notion that they aren’t entirely unique in the universe is enough to prompt an existential crisis for others.

Duncan Barrett

Clara Cook

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