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)
Cinematic Influences on Star Trek: First Contact. We discuss the influence of Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, and James Cameron on Jonathan Frakes and how their films inspired his big-screen directorial debut.
Gay Representation in Star Trek. We look at the franchise's fraught engagement with LGBT issues, from The Next Generation to Discovery.
Star Trek's Impossible Choices. We consider the influence of Sophie's Choice on Star Trek's storytelling and the dilemmas Starfleet captains are forced to face that the rest of us might consider impossible.
Voyager, History, and Nostalgia. We explore the show’s obsession with the past, debates around historical truth, the pleasures of nostalgia, and whether the homeward mission was inherently retrogressive.
A Christmas Carol and Tapestry. In this special holiday episode, we look at the influence of Dickens’s classic story on of the most popular episodes of TNG and the role Christmas plays in the secular societies we see in Star Trek.
Star Trek and Human Rights. To mark International Human Rights Day, 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 Federation’s role in policing the future.
Director’s Cuts and Star Trek. At this live roundtable recorded at Prince Charles Cinema in London, we discuss how a director’s cut impacts the fan relationship with a film before we watch the UK premiere of the director’s extended edition of The Wrath of Khan.
Time Loops in Star Trek. We consider the role of time loops, both within the Star Trek universe and beyond, and explore the darker issues at play when the loops begin to unravel.
The X-Files and Star Trek. In a Halloween special, we explore connections between these two long-running sci-fi franchises.
The Federation’s Field of Dreams. We discuss baseball in Star Trek and why it’s such a good fit for storytelling in Gene Roddenberry’s universe.