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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

May 17, 2019

An International Approach to Star Trek.

Is the final frontier of Star Trek’s imagined future as quintessentially American as its nineteenth-century forbear, the Wild West? For more than 50 years, Star Trek has presented a decidedly internationalist vision of humanity’s future, while at the same time leaning very heavily on ideals and rhetoric specific to the United States.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, hosts Clara Cook and Duncan Barrett discuss Star Trek in an international context, in comparison with some other sci-fi shows from around the world. We touch on the German show Raumpatrouille, a fascinating contemporary of TOS which, sadly, only ran for seven episodes. We also consider how our own status as fans outside the US has influenced our appreciation of Star Trek, question whether the franchise’s vision of the future is one that could only have sprung from mid-20th-century America, and ponder what Star Trek might have looked like had it emerged from a very different culture.

Intro (00:00:00)
American Exceptionalism (00:10:11)
Dubbing, Subtitles, and the Universal Translator (00:28:40)
Hyphenated Identities (00:44:25)
Comparative Treks (00:53:45)
Stowaways and Space Pirates (01:05:40)
The Past Is Another Planet (01:17:20)
Meanwhile, in a Parallel Universe … (01:29:26)

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)