The Manchurian Candidate and The Mind’s Eye.
Across human history, assassinations have driven the path of societies, empires and governments. Along the way, they have accounted for some of the most insidious and mysterious conspiracy theories the world has ever known. Star Trek: The Next Generation’s fourth season episode “The Mind’s Eye” adapted a classic piece of American cinema: The Manchurian Candidate. This 1962 film, directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey, dealt with the terrifying reality of mind control and political murder.
In this episode of Primitive Culture, hosts Tony Black and Duncan Barrett explore TNG’s story of Romulan subterfuge in comparison with Frankenheimer’s movie, drawing parallels and examining how Star Trek frames the concept of political assassination in the 24th century.
Duncan’s Journey to Star Trek (2:24)
The Manchurian Candidate and “The Mind’s Eye” (12:39)
Scorpions in a Bottle (20:21)
Un-Federation Activities (26:53)
A Commander Riker Holiday (32:17)
Bashir, Tuvok, and O’Brien (34:36)
The Manchurian Backstory (40:36)
A Good Adaptation? (52:51)
Tony Black and Duncan Barrett
Tony Black (Editor) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)
Star Trek and Allegory. We look at the relationship between Star Trek and allegory—on screen and off—from the 1960s to present day.
Star Trek and Epic Heroes. We look at Star Trek’s engagement with epic narratives Beowulf and the Epic of Gilgamesh, and how Starfleet heroes compare with their ancient forbears.
Star Trek’s Design Influences. We look at how the franchise’s style has shifted over the course of its half a century, from the sleek, contoured lines of Kirk’s original Enterprise to the rough-and-ready look of the USS Discovery.
Star Trek and Action Movies. “The Cage” was rejected for being too cerebral, but that didn't stop it from delivering thoughtful commentary. We look at how Trek has incorporated action tropes over the years without giving up what makes it unique.
The French Resistance and Star Trek’s Maquis. We look at the legacy of World War II resistance fighters and how the writers of Deep Space Nine transferred our own history to the caves of Bajor.
Shakespeare and Star Trek, Part II. We conclude our two-part episode on Star Trek’s debt to the Bard with a look at the Next Generation era.
Music and Characters. Recorded at London’s Royal Festival Hall, Duncan Barrett is joined by Clara Cook to discuss live performance in Star Trek and the importance of music in a technologically sophisticated future.
Shakespeare and Star Trek, Part I. In the first of a two-part episode, we look at echoes of Shakespeare’s plays in The Original Series and The Undiscovered Country.
Westworld and the Holodeck. We consider some of Star Trek’s holodeck episodes in relation to the amoral theme park of the 1973 film in which gun-slinging robot terrorizes hapless fun-seekers.
Legacies of WWII in The Original Series. Many of Star Trek’s original cast and crew saw action during the Second World War. We explore their stories, and how the war was depicted on screen.