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)
Odysseus, Craft, and Calypso. We look at the connection between Michael Chabon’s acclaimed Star Trek: Short Treks episode and Homer’s Odyssey, and how an ancient culture continues to resonate centuries after its death.
In-Jokes and Easter Eggs in Star Trek. In honor of our 47th episode, we look at some of the franchises recurring comedy motifs, now-famous patterns, and internal references.
The Attica Prison Uprising and DS9’s “Past Tense.” We look at the influence the 1971 prison uprising had on this unusually bleak installment of Star Trek.
Star Trek and Repertory Theatre. We discuss the parallels between Star Trek’s varied storytelling and traditional weekly rep in this special roundtable, recorded during the Destination Star Trek convention in Birmingham, UK.
Live from Destination Star Trek. In two panels presented at Destination Star Trek in Birmingham, UK, we present the History of the Future as we explore influences such as World War II, Horatio Hornblower, and Moby-Dick.
Looking back on DS9 at Destination Star Trek 2018. We are joined by stars of the show—Nana Visitor, Alexander Siddig, Nicole de Boer, Jeffrey Combs, and Chase Masterson—as well as showrunner Ira Steven Behr to look back on Deep Space Nine’s legacy after a quarter century. We also attend the red-carpet premiere of the new documentary What We Left Behind.
Mental Health, Part II: From The Next Generation to Enterprise. We conclude our discussion of mental health in Star Trek with a look at The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise.
Mental Health, Part I: Discovery and TOS. We look at mental health in The Original Series and Discovery, and open their hailing frequencies to listeners who share how Star Trek has helped them through difficult times.
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.