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)
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.
Hitler’s British Isles and the Dominion takeover of Deep Space 9. We consider the parallels between the opening arc of DS9’s sixth season and the occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II.
Starfleet and the US Space Agency. We look at the developing relationship between real-world exploration and the famous science fiction franchise.
Shrinking Sci-Fi and DS9’s “One Little Ship.” We look at some examples of shrinking in Star Trek, comparing the franchise’s tiny people to those in science fiction cinema, such as The Incredible Shrinking Man and Fantastic Voyage.
Federation Politics in Star Trek. We’re joined by Keith DeCandido, author of Articles of the Federation, for a look at Star Trek’s political structures, the Federation Council, and its three on-screen presidents.
Star Trek and Fan Fiction. We consider Star Trek's role in the cultural phenomenon of fanfic, charting its development from the 'slash' stories of the 1970s through to the vast online archives of the twenty-first century.
Anne Frank and Counterpoint. We look at the influence of The Diary of Anne Frank on Star Trek’s screenwriters, considering how science fiction handles fascist and authoritarian regimes and the role played by ordinary people in resisting oppression.