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Primitive Culture is a Trek.fm podcast dedicated to a deep examination of the connections between Star Trek and our own history and culture. In each episode, Duncan Barrett and his guests take you on a fascinating exploration of how our world inspires the franchise we love—and how that franchise inspires us.
 
Romulans Bearing Gifts podcast hosted by Eric, Cat, and Carl + Caitlin and Tom. We set out to discuss episodes covering all series and eras of Star Trek. We've been podcasting together for quite some time on Sci-Fi Party Line, Mostly Harmless Cutaway, and Prognosis Negative—from Sci-fi to Doctor Who, to film, we are finally focusing on the original wagon train to the stars, STAR TREK. And yes, we will be covering each episode of the new series when it debuts in 2017... Each week the regular ...
 
A renowned Star Trek authority, Larry Nemecek is author of the bestselling classic Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, and founder of the behind-the-scenes monthly multi-mode fan experience Portal 47. As a regular convention guest worldwide, Larry is often referred to as “Dr. Trek.” He has also been a frequent guest on Trek.fm since the start of the network in 2011. In this special podcast collection, you can easily access all the episodes that feature Dr. Trek.
 
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Robert Duncan McNeill on Star Trek's Directors' School. To Star Trek fans, he is Tom Paris, the cocksure pilot of the USS Voyager. But in Hollywood, Robert Duncan McNeill is better known as a different kind of helmsman. From his first day of filming on the Voyager pilot "Caretaker," McNeill declared his intention to take a shot at the director's ch…
 
Twenty Thousand Leagues across the Delta Quadrant. Throughout Star Trek: Voyager’s seven seasons, Tom Paris repeatedly proved his credentials as a mid-20th-century history buff, with his replicated TV set, black-and-white B-movie holonovels, and even his own 3D cinema. But in the fifth-season episode “Thirty Days,” he reveals a boyhood fascination …
 
Marking our 10th anniversary. Many people say that time flies. Doctor Tolian Soran said that time is the fire in which we burn. Whichever you subscribe to, time moves forward and people—as well as their views—change. On May 31, 2011, we aired the first episode of The Ready Room. What began as a singular podcast hosted by two hew-mons—C Bryan Jones …
 
How Nicholas Meyer’s other time-travel caper inspired The Voyage Home When Nicholas Meyer was called in to write a new script for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, just weeks before pre-production was due to begin, he must have been struck with a bad case of déjà vu. Leonard Nimoy explained that the story outline he would be working from involved the …
 
Adil Hussain interview. We’ve all lived through extraordinary times over the past year, and we’re still trying to find our way back to the world we remember. The same can be said for Michael Burnham and the crew of the USS Discovery after their jump from the 23rd to the 32nd century. In both cases, catastrophe turned life upside down. But when Burn…
 
The Scopes Monkey Trial, Inherit the Wind, and DS9’s “In the Hands of the Prophets.” The trial of US high school teacher John Scopes in 1925 was perhaps the definitive 20th-century showdown between religion and science. Indicted for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution in defiance of creationist state law, Scopes turned the small town of Dayton, T…
 
Suspiria and “Cold Fire” Despite being teased in the series premiere, it took Star Trek: Voyager well over a year to actually introduce its female caretaker, a being with the power to send the ship home on a whim. And when the entity did appear, in the second-season episode “Cold Fire,” she turned out to have a surprising and distinctly sinister na…
 
Episode titles since 2009. Concluding our look at Star Trek’s 800-plus episode titles to date, in this episode of Primitive Culture host Duncan Barrett is joined by Tony Black to consider naming strategies for the Kelvin films, Short Treks, Discovery, Picard, and Lower Decks. What exactly lies “beyond” the final frontier? Can magic really make the …
 
Looking Back at Discovery Season Three. When Michael Burnham and the USS Discovery emerged from their Red Angel-created wormhole into the 32nd century, things didn’t go quite as planned. Terralysium was not in the neighborhood and temporal wackiness left Michael and the ship a year apart. But once reunited, they set off on a grand adventure to find…
 
The original reset button. It’s one of the oldest of literary tropes: a sudden, last-minute reveal that an apparent fictional reality is actually doubly invented. From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on, writers have thrilled in pulling the rug out from under readers and characters alike, allowing carefully constructed scenarios to collapse like a…
 
Episode titles in Voyager and Enterprise. Does hubris always lead to nemesis? What can you see in a mirror, darkly? And how do you know when you’ve finally reached the endgame? In this episode of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Tony Black to continue our look at Star Trek episode titles as we wrap up Voyager, Enterprise, and the…
 
Milestone Episodes of Star Trek. For most TV shows, making it to the one-hundredth episode is a significant achievement. In the Star Trek franchise, only the three 1990s spinoffs—The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager were able to reach this milestone. But collectively, more than half a century since Gene Roddenberry’s original show debu…
 
A Marxist analysis of “Bar Association,” with Will Nguyen. From lowly dogsbody to Grand Nagus of the Ferengi Alliance, Quark’s brother Rom went on quite a journey during Deep Space Nine’s seven seasons. Perhaps the most pivotal moment for the character came in the episode “Bar Association,” in which Rom outrages Ferengi custom by setting up a union…
 
Episode titles up to “What You Leave Behind” When is a scorpion not just a scorpion? What wrongs are darker than death or night? And what happens when you cross a dark frontier to dance with the devil in the pale moonlight? In this episode of Primitive Culture, we continue our trek through Star Trek’s episode titles as host Duncan Barrett is joined…
 
Dan Davidson on how “Captive Pursuit” saved his life. For many fans, Star Trek has been a force for good in their lives—but few can say with certainty that they wouldn’t be here now if it weren’t for their favorite show. In this episode of Primitive Culture, a supplement to the previous episode’s look at suicide in Star Trek, host Duncan Barrett sh…
 
For Starfleet officers, saving lives is perhaps the most important part of the job, even more so than exploring the galaxy and making contact with new civilizations. So when a character such as Quinn, the Q in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Death Wish,” chooses to end their own life, it invariably comes as a shock—just as, in our own lives, the de…
 
Episode titles from “The Search” to *Star Trek: First Contact*. As we continue our voyage through Star Trek’s episode titles, host Duncan Barrett is joined in this episode of Primitive Culture by Lee Hutchison for a look at some more episode titles from Deep Space Nine and Voyager. What exactly is the way of a warrior? How hard is it to fit through…
 
Discovery Season 3 preview. The third season of Star Trek: Discovery is finally here after a pandemic-induced delay. At least we didn’t have to wait 930 years. That’s how much time has passed for most people when the crew of the USS Discovery arrives in the Beta Quadrant after their jump to put the sphere data permanently out of reach of Section 31…
 
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 Generation episode “The Drumhead” drew on b…
 
Episode titles from “Emissary” to “All Good Things … “ As we continue our voyage through Star Trek’s episode titles, host Duncan Barrett is joined in this episode of Primitive Culture by Lee Hutchison for a look at the tail end of The Next Generation and the early years of Deep Space Nine. What happens when wishes become horses? To whose own self m…
 
Lower Decks midseason review. After a long wait and much speculation on what an animated comedy take on Star Trek might mean, we’re now halfway through the first season of Mike McMahan’s Star Trek: Lower Decks. And in a short time, the adventures and banter of Beckett Mariner, Bradward Boimler, D’Vana Tendi, Sam Rutherford—and even Durango and Ron …
 
Expanding the Star Trek universe. Star Trek content has been blossoming in recent years, and franchise showrunner Alex Kurtzman recently talked to Deadline and Variety about the rapid expansion. After years of no voyages on TV—and just a slow trickle on the big screen—the studio is showering fans with series after series, with more to come. In this…
 
Frankenstein and the Star Trek universe. Originally published in 1818, Mary Shelley’s groundbreaking gothic novel Frankenstein has been a major influence on many works of dystopian science fiction—so much so that many critics argue she invented the genre. Star Trek itself has borrowed from the literary masterpiece—as well as it’s most famous film a…
 
Lower Decks pre-launch thoughts and Star Trek Emmy nominations. After almost five decades, Star Trek is returning to animation under the guidance of Mike McMahan, writer and producer of the Cartoon Network animated comedy series Rick and Morty and creator of the Hulu animated series Solar Opposites. What does he have in store for Star Trek fans? In…
 
Episode titles in The Animated Series and The Next Generation. As we continue our look at Star Trek episode titles, host Duncan Barrett is joined in this episode of Primitive Culture by Tony Black for a look at the naming strategies of The Animated Series and The Next Generation. Did Michael Piller really put an end to the era of the poetic, evocat…
 
Talking Horror with Brannon Braga. In space, no one can hear you scream. And while the well-lit corridors of a Federation starship may seem worlds away from the grimy darkness of the Nostromo, even Starfleet’s best and brightest are sometimes caught in the grip of a full on horrorfest. Perhaps no one in Star Trek’s history has penned more chilling …
 
Memorable Goodbyes. Star Trek has had some very memorable goodbyes from main and secondary characters to series finales. Specifically speaking of The Next Generation, Tasha Yar, Data, and Wesley Crusher have very distinct and unique goodbyes within the series. In this episode of Earl Grey, hosts Joe Keegan, Amy Nelson, Ria Papageorgiou, Kevin Schar…
 
Episode Titles in The Original Series. “What’s in a name?” Juliet demands of Romeo. “That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.” In 1968, the Star Trek episode “By Any Other Name” took more than just its title from Shakespeare—it used Juliet’s words as a jumping-off point to consider what makes us human. But it was also char…
 
Character's We Never Saw Again. As a mostly episodic TV show, The Next Generation is full of rich and interesting characters that we unfortunately only got to see once. Nevertheless there is a plethora of characters that leave an indelible mark on Star Trek and on the crew of the Enterprise. In this episode of Earl Grey, hosts Pierre LaRocco, Joe K…
 
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 get paid?” To some viewers, the post-scarcity …
 
Mismatched Episodes. Kathryn Janeway, captain of the Enterprise? Jadzia Dax and Sylvia Tilly serving side by side? Jonathan Archer and Tom Paris at the Royale? How would the 24th century be different if the crew of the NCC 1701-D were replaced with characters from the other Star Trek series? Would anyone play with Wesley? In this episode of Earl Gr…
 
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