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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Jul 19, 2021

Robert Duncan McNeill on Star Trek's Directors' School.

To Star Trek fans, he is Tom Paris, the cocksure pilot of the USS Voyager. But in Hollywood, Robert Duncan McNeill is better known as a different kind of helmsman. From his first day of filming on the Voyager pilot "Caretaker," McNeill declared his intention to...


Jul 1, 2021

Twenty Thousand Leagues across the Delta Quadrant. 

Throughout Star Trek: Voyager’s seven seasons, Tom Paris repeatedly proved his credentials as a mid-20th-century history buff, with his replicated TV set, black-and-white B-movie holonovels, and even his own 3D cinema. But in the fifth-season episode “Thirty...


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...