94 episodes

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, Clara Cook, and Tony Black take you on a fascinating exploration of how our world inspires the franchise we love—and how that franchise inspires us.

Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast Trek.fm

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8, 11 Ratings

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, Clara Cook, and Tony Black take you on a fascinating exploration of how our world inspires the franchise we love—and how that franchise inspires us.

    What’s in a Name, Part II

    What’s in a Name, Part II

    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, evocative title, or did TNG simply find other ways to play with the weekly nomenclature? What is sharper than a serpent’s tooth? Just who does watch the watchers? And which man was being measured when Data found himself on trial?
    Guest
    Tony Black

    Production
    Tony Black (Editor) Duncan Barrett (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)

    • 1 hr 58 min
    The Thing That Wouldn’t Die

    The Thing That Wouldn’t Die

    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 and gruesome tales than Brannon Braga, whose hundred-odd franchise installments run the gamut from spine-tinglers such as “Schisms” and “Frame of Mind” to the full-on body horror of “Genesis” and “Phage.”
    In this episode of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Braga for a look at some of his creepiest episodes of Star Trek. Along the way we discuss the thrill of turning the Enterprise into a haunted house, how Star Trek: First Contact narrowly escaped an R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America, and whether or not Star Trek, in the post-network-TV age, should be looking to embrace even more nightmarish imagery.
    Host
    Duncan Barrett

    Guest
    Brannon Braga
    Production
    Duncan Barrett (Editor and 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)

    • 1 hr 11 min
    What’s in a Name, Part I

    What’s in a Name, Part I

    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 characteristic of the Original Series scriptwriters to lean on such rich literary source material when it came time to name this particular episode. In fact, throughout Trek’s 50-plus-year history, the names given to individual episodes have often revealed a lot about their content—sometimes providing additional context to what is depicted on screen.
    In this episode of Primitive Culture, the first in a series looking at episode titles throughout Star Trek, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Tony Black to consider some of the more interesting among Trek’s original 80 installments as we ponder the difference between a cage and a menagerie, work out exactly who does mourn for Adonais, and try to remember just what little girls are supposed to be made of.
    Chapters
    Intro (00:00:00)
    Season One (00:21:40)
    Season Two (01:00:25)
    Season Three (01:30:25)

    Host
    Duncan Barrett

    Guest
    Tony Black

    Production
    Tony Black (Editor) Duncan Barrett (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)

    • 1 hr 49 min
    You Have to Keep Making the Sausage

    You Have to Keep Making the Sausage

    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 economic system that underpins the Star Trek universe—what author Manu Saadia calls “Trekonomics”—can seem equally baffling. But is the utopian future of the Federation really as improbable as the creation of warp drive or the transporter? Or is Star Trek, as a cultural product of American capitalism, produced by relatively well-paid entertainment professionals, just fundamentally ambivalent when it comes to some of its most sacred ideals?
    In this episode of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Saadia for a look at both the imaginary economics of Star Trek and the real-world economics of getting the show on the air—and turning a profit from it. We also discuss the link between economic conditions and “evolved” human behavior, the thorny question of human nature, and the extent to which—in attempting to predict the future—all economic theories are really little more than science fiction.
    Host
    Duncan Barrett

    Guest
    Manu Saadia

    Production
    Duncan Barrett (Editor and Producer), C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Amy Nelson (Associate Producer) Tony Black (Associate Producer) Clara Cook (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)

    • 1 hr 41 min
    Brigadon’t

    Brigadon’t

    DS9’s “Meridian” and the 1954 Hollywood musical that inspired it.
    Perhaps more so than any other Star Trek series, Deep Space Nine leaned heavily for inspiration on the world of 20th-century film. But not every futuristic retooling of a classic movie could reach the heights of “Badda-Bing Badda-Bang,” which we discussed in our previous episode. Perhaps the least-successful of DS9’s cinematic adaptations was the third-season episode “Meridian,” which took its central conceit from the 1954 MGM musical Brigadoon, about a magical Scottish village that appears only once a century.
    So what exactly was lost in translation between the Scottish Highlands and the Gamma Quadrant, and how could the DS9 writers have approached this particular challenge differently? Or was the whole enterprise simply a fool’s errand—Brigadoomed from the start?
    In this episode of Primitive Culture, Duncan Barrett and Tony Black answer these questions and more. Join us as we strap on our kilts, ready our cabers, and pay a rare visit to this little-loved Star Trek episode and the ersatz Scottish movie that inspired it.
    Chapters
    Intro (00:00:00)
    Brigadoon (00:02:50)
    To B-Plot or Not to B-Plot (00:22:43)
    Space Soap Opera (00:39:55)
    Brigadoomed? (00:55:25)
    Host
    Duncan Barrett

    Guest
    Tony Black

    Production
    Tony Black (Editor) Duncan Barrett (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)

    • 1 hr 11 min
    The Best Is Yet to Come

    The Best Is Yet to Come

    Ocean’s 11 (1960) and “Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang.”
    Long before George Clooney assembled his star-studded gang of high-rolling thieves, the original Danny Ocean—Frank Sinatra—successfully knocked off five casinos in a single night in the original 1960 Ocean’s 11. With help from Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and the rest of the Rat Pack, Sinatra brought his own brand of cool to the caper genre in a film that, arguably, proved more iconic than creatively successful. Three decades later, when the producers of Deep Space Nine began plotting their own casino heist in “Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang,” it was to Sinatra’s job that they turned for inspiration, even renting particular period-specific costumes because they matched those featured in the movie.
    In this episode of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Justin Oser to look at the links between Ocean’s 11 and “Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang,” two stories in which a crack team of decorated war veterans must pull off the most audacious mission of their careers. We consider what the DS9 writers added to the mix (not least a bit of nifty shapeshifting), as well as ponder how high the stakes can be in a film about rich people getting richer—not to mention a robbery committed by those who barely understand the concept of money.
    Chapters
    Intro (00:00:00)
    Hanging with the Rat Pack (00:03:55)
    The Lie (00:15:25)
    The Eyes Have It (00:40:35)
    Monopoly Money (00:54:25)
    Host
    Duncan Barrett

    Guest
    Justin Oser
    Production
    Tony Black (Editor) Duncan Barrett (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)

    • 1 hr 10 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

HoldFirmAndTrue ,

5 STARS

5 STARS

@DrewBk ,

A real pleasure to listen

This is a superb podcast. They cover a variety of different subjects, with respect to Star Trek. Always very knowledgeable, and regularly have great guests. My favourite from a number of really splendid podcasts on Trek FM.

A24_FOREVER ,

love it

this is my kind of star trek podcast!

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