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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Nov 24, 2019

Star Trek and Theatre.

As Q told Picard, all the galaxy’s a stage. Both the Bard-bothering captain and his real-world alter ego, Patrick Stewart, who was famously dubbed “unknown British Shakespearean actor” by the Los Angeles Times when he first took on the role—are better placed than most to appreciate the wisdom of these words. And Star Trek has always had one foot in the old-school theatrical tradition as much as it has been defined by the almost magical possibilities of television. Not for nothing do we refer to some of the best Trek episodes as “morality plays.”

In this episode of Primitive Culture, recorded live at the Destination Star Trek convention in Birmingham, England, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Tony Black for a look at the debt Star Trek owes to the theatre. Whether in the casting of Shakespearean heavyweights such as Stewart, David Warner, and Christopher Plummer, or in the presence of companies of players—both amateur and professional—aboard the starships of the future, Star Trek consistently maintains a link to its theatrical roots. Indeed, some popular episodes, such as Deep Space Nine’s “Waltz” and Enterprise’s “Shuttlepod One” are structured as near-one-act plays in their own right. Join us as we raise the curtain and take a look at Star Trek on the stage.

Intro (00:00:00)
Arise, Gul Madred (00:07:55)
Black Box, Yellow Stripes (00:16:25)
Up Close and Personal (00:26:05)
Five-Act Mission (00:40:55)

Duncan Barrett

Tony Black

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)