The X-Files and Star Trek.
Just like Kirk and Spock, Mulder and Scully have become pop-culture icons, outgrowing the some 200 television episodes and two films in which they appear. Although The X-Files has yet to achieve Star Trek’s level of longevity, the property will soon mark its twenty-fifth anniversary, and is returning next year for the further adventures of the two indefatigable FBI agents—now both in their fifties. In Star Trek terms, it has made it from “The Man Trap” all the way through to The Undiscovered Country.
In this special Halloween episode of Primitive Culture, Tony returns from his long vacation on Risa to talk with Duncan about the only show he might love more than Star Trek. We discuss the thematic connections between these two science fiction behemoths, looking at their shared interest in UFO culture, preoccupation with the historical legacies of World War II, and the various ways in which the huge success of The X-Files in the 1990s might have shaped the Trek that followed—from the shady shenanigans of Section 31 in Deep Space Nine to the latest episodes of Discovery.
Longevity and Nostalgia (00:03:40)
The Nineties’ Zeitgeist and Mistrust of Authority (00:17:19)
World War II Guilt and Conspiracy (00:22:35)
9/11 and the Restarting of History (00:48:14)
Tony Black and Duncan Barrett
Tony Black (Editor) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Amy Nelson (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)
2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. We look at the ties that bind these two mystical, complex, and sometimes problematic films, as well as how 2001 influenced Trek’s reinvention for cinema.
Hawkeye Pierce, Milo Minderbinder, and Nog. We look at how a pair of MASH episodes and the novel Catch-22 inspired the writers of Deep Space Nine.
John Carpenter’s Christine and Voyager’s “Alice.” We look at the 1983 cult classic movie and the Stephen King novel that inspired it, alongside the sixth-season Voyager episode that borrows its central premise.
Untimely Ends for Star Trek’s Redshirts. We look at how the deaths of junior crewmen have been handled throughout the franchise’s history, with reference to John Scalzi’s novel Redshirts.
Star Trek Beyond in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Trek.fm hosts past and present gather for a roundtable discussion recorded during a live London performance of the third Kelvin Timeline film.
The Holodeck and Video Games. We look at gaming culture in Star Trek and what the fantasy lives of our favorite characters—played out in those magical rooms—tell us about them as people.
Pandemics in Star Trek. We look at disease outbreaks on Federation worlds and beyond in relation to real-world plagues and pandemics, such as the Black Death to HIV.
Religion in Star Trek. We consider how the franchise’s presentation of faith and religious practice has changed over the course of half a century, and how our own beliefs have impacted our viewing.
Schooling in Star Trek. For Starfleet officers whose families have joined them in space, providing a well-rounded education can be a challenge. We take a look at how education is handled in Gene Roddenberry’s future.
Star Trek’s Fathers: the good, the bad, and the absent. We look at daddy issues throughout the franchise’s fifty-plus-year history.