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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Sep 6, 2022

Cardassian war crimes and The Man in the Glass Booth

For many fans of Deep Space Nine, the penultimate installment of Season 1, “Duet,” is also the show’s first classic episode. A bleak exploration of guilt, responsibility, and forgiveness in the aftermath of war, it’s a story that could scarcely have been...

Feb 28, 2022

How Star Trek tackled the Vietnam War.

Every Star Trek series has engaged with the issues of the time, and perhaps none more so than *The Original Series*. Episodes touching on the hippy counterculture and NASA's bold Apollo program grounded the show as much in the 1960s as the 2260s. But perhaps no contemporary subject...

Sep 27, 2020

McCarthy, The Crucible, and “The Drumhead”

In 1953, Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible used the Salem witch trials of 1692–93 as an allegory for the contemporary persecution of alleged communists by US Senator Joseph McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee. Four decades later, the Star Trek: Next...

Dec 4, 2018

The Attica Prison Uprising and DS9’s Past Tense.

Typically, Star Trek’s two-parters have skewed toward the action-adventure formula rather than hard-hitting social commentary. But in Deep Space Nine’s third season, the writers decided to use the longer ninety-minute running time to delve into a weighty...

Nov 15, 2018

Live from Destination Star Trek.

Star Trek has always been influenced by real-world history. But, over the course of more than half a century, certain topics have recurred again and again, suffusing the imaginary world of the future with the legacies of our own, often troubled past. Two key influences in...