Star Trek and Human Rights.
Star Trek’s progressive, humanist outlook has always involved the extension of legal protection to a wide range of non-human entities. The courtroom battles fought by Data and Voyager’s EMH reflect how legal status is called into question in our own world as a way of justifying exploitation. Although Starfleet—for the most part—upholds the same moral principles enshrined in the UN and European rights charters, other species, such as the Cardassians, show a systematic disregard for the rights of individuals—human or not.
In this episode of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Guinevere Nell of The Briar Patch and Clara Cook for a special episode to mark International Human Rights Day, recorded live at the London School of Economics. We consider how Star Trek has engaged with real-world debates about human and animal rights, the impact of war on our most dearly held principles, and the limitations placed on the Federation’s role as an interstellar moral police force.
Rights for Non-humans (00:09:37)
Moral Dilemmas vs. Legal Debates (00:29:20)
Rights in Other Cultures (00:34:40)
Cardassian Rights Abuses (00:41:50)
When the Laws Fall Silent (00:57:00)
Collective Rights (01:08:00)
Clara Cook and Guinevere Nell
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)
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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.