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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

May 29, 2022

How Star Trek’s leaders reflect our own.

Young, charismatic, and a bit of a ladies’ man, Captain James T. Kirk was cast in the mould of President John F. Kennedy, the beloved US leader who had been killed just three years before Star Trek debuted. But over the course of more than half a century, Star Trek’s captains have often echoed the great politicians of the day; and sometimes they may even have paved the way for political careers in the real world.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, originally released as an installment of The Sanctuary, Tony Black speaks to guest Mac Boyle about the parallels between Star Trek’s leaders and our own. Where do the likes of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former US President Donald Trump, and current US President Joe Biden find their counterparts in the Star Trek universe? And what kind of characters can we expect in the future to take their cues from Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky? With Star Trek: Discovery’s Federation President Laira Rillak taking an ongoing role, has Trek finally managed to marry the military ethos of Starfleet with the business of intergalactic politics?

Intro (00:00:00)
Assignment: Earth (00:03:25)
The Maquis (00:16:30)
Strange New Worlds (00:48:30)

Duncan Barrett and Tony Black

Mac Boyle

Tony Black (Editor) Duncan Barrett (Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer)