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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Apr 5, 2022

… it wasn’t the Vulcans who made first contact?

April 5, 2063. In Star Trek’s imagined history, it was on this date that humanity made first contact with an alien race. The event led to societal transformation on a global scale and ushered in a bright future. But what if it wasn’t the Vulcans who happened to...

Jul 9, 2020

Trekonomics, with Manu Saadia.

“The economics of the future are somewhat different,” Captain Jean-Luc Picard tells Lily Sloane in Star Trek: First Contact. “You see, money doesn’t exist in the 24th century.” But the “primitive” 21st-century human is instinctively appalled: “No money? You mean you don’t...

May 14, 2020

Voyager’s “Critical Care” and the current global pandemic.

A healthcare system struggling with inadequate resources. Patients dying, untreated, as politicians and administrators grapple with a humanitarian crisis. In some ways, the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Critical Care” seems eerily prescient. Originally...

Mar 6, 2020

The Eugenics Wars, with Greg Cox.

For a high-tech futuristic utopia, the United Federation of Planets can seem surprisingly cautious when it comes to new technologies. Time and again, Star Trek has played out the science fiction staple of technology run amok. In some cases, the response we have seen has been a kind of...

Feb 21, 2020

Star Trek and Sexual Assault, Part 2.

Over its long history, Star Trek has not shied away from dealing with the impact of sexual assault. In its many incarnations, the franchise has offered a number of storylines—some more successful than others—that shine a light on this important issue. And it has always done so...