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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Oct 11, 2019

Star Trek’s Revivals.

By the summer of ’69, Star Trek was dead. The half-century that followed has seen the franchise resurrected more times than the Borg Queen, but before all the spin-offs and reboots, Star Trek pioneered a much more straightforward approach to bringing back an old property—one that, in 2019, seems to have become almost ubiquitous: the original cast revival. In 1979, getting the old gang back together for The Motion Picture was truly a bold endeavor (although perhaps the short-lived Animated Series had helped pave the way). Four years later, with The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek truly proved the value of revival storytelling, turning the time off-air in the real world into a key dramatic asset.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Tony Black to consider Star Trek’s revivals, from 1979 to the forthcoming Picard series, which looks set to do for The Next Generation captain what the Original Series movies did for Kirk and his crew. Comparing Star Trek’s approach with some other recent TV revivals, we discuss the dramatic potential of returning to the well one more time, the danger of diminishing returns, and what happens to the sense of ending when every finale is only provisional.

Introduction (00:01:30)
A Tale of Two Kirks (00:15:35)
Revival versus Reboot (00:28:15)
Picard (00:43:25)
Bringing Back the Enterprise (00:58:50)
Nog Lives! (01:11:00)
Sense of Ending (01:16:30)

Duncan Barrett

Tony Black

Tony Black (Editor) Duncan Barrett (Producer) 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)