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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Sep 26, 2019

Star Trek: Generations.

When the cast of the original Star Trek series returned to the screen in 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, it marked the culmination of 10 years of fan-ticipation that started with the untimely cancellation of the series. This was not the case when it came time for the cast of The Next Generation to leap to the silver screen. They began filming their own freshman movie immediately after wrapping their final TV episode. Using the same sets—albeit spruced up a bit—and following a script written by wunderkinds Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore long before they bashed out the series finale “All Good Things...”, the movie faced an uphill battle in attempting to convince fans that cinematic Trek was truly a different beast from the beloved TV show. And yet in the hands of longtime Next Gen director David Carson, Generations did just that, offering a feast for the eyes, truly cinematic storytelling and an eye for spectacle that set it apart from the previous weekly instalments. Whether or not the film worked dramatically, it most certainly deserved to be seen on the big screen.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Dr. Chris Nunn at the University of Greenwich in London for a look at this key transitional moment in the continuing mission of Star Trek: The Next Generation. They consider Generations in relation to other TV-to-movie leaps, including The X-Files movie released only a few years later, which was required to slot into place within that show’s ongoing continuity. They also look at the pairing of Captains Kirk and Picard in the film, asking whether this particular double-act—“the most ambitious crossover event in Star Trek history”, as a popular meme might have it—succeeds or fails in attempting to serve two very different masters.

Intro (00:00:00)
In transition: from Small Screen to Big (00:09:05)
The Hero’s Journey (00:34:00)
Light, Shade, and Lens Flares (00:52:10)
Kirk and Picard Go Large (01:15:00)
The Future of CBS/Viacom (01:27:05).
Final Thoughts (01:44:40)

Duncan Barrett

Dr. Chris Nunn

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