A Christmas Carol and Tapestry.
The halls are decked, the wine is mulling, and the presents are neatly stacked under the tree. But what hope is there of a white Christmas in the inky black of outer space? Traditionally, Star Trek has steered clear of more than glancing references to the festive season, yet popular holiday stories—such as A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life—have worked their way into the plots of fan-favorite episodes.
In this special Christmas installment of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Clara Cook to consider the influence of Charles Dickens’s classic on The Next Generation’s “Tapestry” and how Patrick Stewart’s experience playing Mr. Scrooge might have informed his characterization of Captain Picard. Along the way, we talk about regrets and redemption, how a good person can follow a bad path, and the role Christmas plays in the secular societies we see in Star Trek.
A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life (00:13:40)
“All Good Things…” (00:23:40)
Why Christmas? (00:32:52)
Regrets? We’ve Had a Few (00:41:39)
Dickens the SF Writer (00:51:26)
Christmas in Star Trek? (00:58:50)
Final Thoughts (01:09:30)
Tony Robinson (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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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.
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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.
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Star Trek’s Fathers: the good, the bad, and the absent. We look at daddy issues throughout the franchise’s fifty-plus-year history.