Cinematic Influences on Star Trek: First Contact.
As a first-time movie director, the stakes could not have been higher for Jonathan Frakes when he signed on to helm the Next Generation crew's first solo outing, Star Trek: First Contact. Aware that his small-screen experience might not cut it at the cinema, he immersed himself in the work of three science-fiction masters-Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, and James Cameron-from whom he borrowed cinematic touches. It was an approach that paid off handsomely, as the resulting film was both a commercial and critical success, cementing Frakes's reputation as a safe pair of hands.
In this episode of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Chris Nunn, a lecturer in film at Greenwich University in London, to look at some of the movies that influenced the making of First Contact. Together, they put themselves into Jonathan Frakes's screening room, teasing out connections between the works he viewed and the movie he ended up making, and how First Contact's mélange of cinematic nods and styles contributes to its success as a work of art in its own right.
Jaws (00:03:25) Close Encounters of the Third Kind (00:24:15) Alien (00:37:00) Blade Runner (00:52:10) Terminator (01:13:55) Final Thoughts (01:19:40)
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) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)
Michael Piller, Joseph Conrad, and Star Trek: Insurrection. We look at some of the inspirations behind the script of the third TNG film, including Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness and discuss Piller’s book Fade In.
The British Isles in Star Trek. We discuss the portrayal of our homelands over a few synthales at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, and examine real-world independence movements and the effects of transporters on national identity.
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.