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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Jun 13, 2018

Compared with the occupation of Bajor, a violent and traumatic event which cast a long shadow over Deep Space Nine, the brief Dominion–Cardassian administration of the station at the start of the sixth season seems at first like a pretty soft alternative.

The six-episode arc focusing on life under Dominion rule offers a parallel with the World War II experiences of the Channel Islanders, the only English-speaking population to live under German occupation. Demilitarized shortly after the evacuation of British troops from Dunkirk in 1940, the islands remained under German rule until the end of the war—five long years of compromise, resilience, and occasional flashes of defiance.

The regime in the Channel Islands was a gentle one compared with the Nazis elsewhere in German-occupied Europe, a “model occupation” intended to prove to the British people that the Germans could be just and reasonable.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, hosts Clara Cook and Duncan Barrett consider the parallels between the station-occupation arc on Deep Space Nine and the real-world experiences of the Channel Islanders—the subject of Duncan’s new book Hitler’s British Isles, published by Simon & Schuster and based on interviews with more than one hundred occupation survivors. We consider the dilemmas faced by ordinary people forced to choose between capitulation and resistance, the penalties meted out on those who fell in love—or lust—with the enemy, and the extent to which any occupation—even with the best intentions—will inevitably turn nasty and repressive.

Hitler’s British Isles is available to order from Amazon at

Intro (00:00:00)
The Channel Islands During World War II (00:04:00)
Military Withdrawal and Civilian Evacuation in “A Call to Arms” (00:10:55)
Creeping Authoritarianism (00:24:00)
Resistance Movements and Accidental Heroes (00:40:30)
Odo’s Dilemma (00:46:15)
Frustration, Resentment, and Protest (00:58:40)
Tora Ziyal, Kira Meru, and the Shame of the Jerrybags (01:08:50)
Duncan’s Special Offer (01:34:50)

Clara Cook and Duncan Barrett

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