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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Apr 5, 2020

Nicholas Meyer interview: On writing Star Trek and Sherlock Holmes.

To Star Trek fans, Nicholas Meyer is one of the most highly regarded writers to have played in Gene Roddenberry’s sandbox. As someone with only a passing familiarity with the original 1960s TV series, his outsider’s perspective was invaluable when it came to working on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan—a film that reinvigorated the franchise after the disappointing performance of The Motion Picture.

But Meyer is equally adept at working in another long-standing fictional universe: that of Sherlock Holmes. In 1974, his Holmes pastiche The Seven Per-Cent Solution, in which the great detective teams up with Sigmund Freud in Vienna, became a massive bestseller that spawned a successful movie adaptation. Over the decades, three more Holmes novels followed, most recently The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols (2019), in which Holmes and Watson investigate a notorious true story of “fake news”: the publication of the deeply anti-Semitic forgery known as The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, a companion piece to our previous episode on Star Trek’s debt to Sherlock Holmes, host Duncan Barrett speaks with Nicholas Meyer about his work in both fictional universes. They discuss creative inspiration, recycling material, and the vexed questions of canon and continuity that can arise when working with popular long-established characters. Join as us we touch on everything from The Wrath of Khan to the first season of Star Trek: Discovery. The game’s afoot!


Intro (00:00:00)
Meeting the Great Detective (00:02:05)
The Original Trekkies: The Sherlockians (00:15:24)
Playing in Someone Else’s Sandbox (00:28:30)
Star Trek: Discovery (00:33:10)

Duncan Barrett

Nicholas Meyer

Duncan Barrett (Editor, 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)