Primitive Culture 23: An Englishman, an Irishman, and a Scotsman Walk into a Bar / by Trek fm

The British Isles in Star Trek.


Running Time: 1 hour 17 minutes 44 seconds
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For an American TV show, Star Trek was multinational right from the start. The bridge crew of Kirk's Enterprise included an African communications officer, a Russian navigator, and a Japanese-American helmsman. But down in the ship's bowels, other nationalities were represented, including a Scottish engineer, an English transporter chief, and an Irish communications specialist. Throughout Star Trek's 51-year history, the British Isles have offered Starfleet their best and brightest-even as attempts to recreate the history and culture of those countries in the Federation's high-tech future often failed to hit the mark.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Lee Hutchison and Tony Robinson to discuss the portrayal of their homelands over a few synthales at the Grosvenor Hotel in London. We consider the varying ways-some more successful than others-that our nationalities have been depicted in Star Trek. Looking at characters such as Scotty, O'Brien, and Bashir, and taking trips to Fair Haven and the Scottish heritage planet Caldos IV, we examine real-world nationalist independence movements, the thorny questions of cultural appropriation and community representation, what exactly European heritage might mean to an American audience, and the impact widespread transporter use might have on cultural identity on a united Earth.


Intro (00:00:00)
Sub Rosa (00:03:08)
Fair Haven (00:09:24)
Accents (00:18:55)
O'Brien and Scotty (00:22:50)
Cultural stereotypes and International Fandoms (00:35:25)
Nationalism (00:41:25)
English stereotypes (00:49:10)
Class (00:56:00)
Final Thoughts (00:59:08)


Duncan Barrett


Lee Hutchison and Tony Robinson


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)