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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Jan 10, 2018

Voyager, History, and Nostalgia.

While Captain Picard took command of the Enterprise-D with an order to “see what’s out there,” Captain Janeway’s mission statement was almost the opposite: “Set a course for home.” For seven years, the crew of the USS Voyager was, in a sense, exploring backwards; and this return journey was reflected in the show’s obsession with the past. Many episodes dealt with thorny questions of history and historiography, debating the relationship between official narratives and more personal, individual memories of days gone by. Others reveled in the pleasures of nostalgia, celebrating the ways our links to the past—and to our ancestors—can inspire and comfort us in the present.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by award-winning Irish blogger Darren Mooney to discuss Voyager’s approach to history and nostalgia in the context of the broader Star Trek narrative. Is the impulse to get home an inherently conservative mission? Does the shift to prequels and reboots since Voyager ended signal an inability to truly move forward? Or is it simply inevitable that a franchise with a fifty-year history would be as concerned with the past as with the future?

Intro (00:00:00)
History (00:04:01)
Nostalgia (00:08:50)
Memory As the Guarantee of Truth (00:22:24)
Guilt and Shame (00:30:05)
The Impossible Future (00:40:00)
Tom Paris, Retro Screenwriter (00:54:00)
Corporate Meddlers and Continuity Pornographers (01:06:30)
Final Thoughts (01:23:15)

Duncan Barrett

Darren Mooney

Clara Cook (Editor) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Amy Nelson (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)