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)
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.