Primitive Culture 52: Reader, I Reprogrammed Him / by Trek fm

Gothic Fiction in Star Trek: Voyager.


Running Time: 1 hour 21 minutes 7 seconds
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Even starship captains, with the whole galaxy to explore, need a bit of mindless escapism from time to time. While Jean-Luc Picard donned his fedora and trench coat to live out a holographic fantasy life as the surly gumshoe Dixon Hill, Kathryn Janeway’s choice of entertainment might seem—at least on the surface—even less in keeping with her “real” personality. In three early episodes of Star Trek: Voyager—“Cathexis,” “Learning Curve,” and “Persistence of Vision”—we see her indulge in a holonovel that appears to combine elements of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847), Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw (1898), and Rebecca, the 1938 novel by Dame Daphne du Maurier. In her holographic escape from life in the Delta Quadrant, Janeway played the role of a wide-eyed governess who finds herself at the heart of a sinister gothic mystery.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, hosts Clara Cook and Duncan Barrett take a look at the literary influences on Captain Janeway’s Lambda One holonovel, considering questions of female agency, repressed sexuality, and the apparent value of low-brow entertainment to Starfleet’s high-ranking officers. We also question whether a show as bright and cheery as Star Trek: Voyager can ever truly accommodate Gothicism.


Intro (00:00:00)
The Birth of the Holonovel (00:07:00)
High Tech, Low Brow (00:17:30)
Turning to Screwing (00:22:50)
Janeway Eyre (00:36:55)
Delta Quadrant Gothic (00:54:35)
Infinite Diversity in Limited Combinations (01:06:25)


Clara Cook and Duncan Barrett


Clara Cook (Editor) Duncan Barrett (Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Amy Nelson (Associate Producer) Tony Black (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)