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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Aug 2, 2018

Pandemics in Star Trek.

At times, the medical technology of the Federation seems almost miraculous, offering cures for pretty much everything short of the common cold (and, of course, baldness). But a sudden outbreak of an unfamiliar disease can leave Starfleet’s doctors racing to find a remedy before mass death ensues. Sometimes, they even must bend the Prime Directive to save lives.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, hosts Clara Cook and Duncan Barrett take a look at Star Trek’s case history when it comes to infectious diseases, comparing the stories that have played out on screen to real-world epidemics such as the Black Death to HIV. Along the way, we consider why deadly outbreaks continue to fascinate us in an age when we are mostly protected. We also discuss whether science fiction is particularly well placed to tap into our terror of sudden widespread illness.

Intro (00:00:00)
Movie Night: The Andromeda Strain (00:17:15)
Stigma and Prejudice (00:25:15)
Chaos and Social Change (00:32:00)
Sterilization (00:44:50)
Final Thoughts (00:51:20)

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)