Legacies of WWII in The Original Series.
For the cast and crew of The Original Series, World War II was more than just a dark page in the history books—it was an experience through which they had lived, loved, and lost. From piloting bombers over the Pacific to storming the beaches of Normandy, many of them had seen more than their fair share of action. Those who were too young to have served had witnessed the devastation that war brought to ordinary people. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy—both raised in Jewish immigrant families—were also impacted by the conflict as the horrors of the Holocaust felt very close to home.
In this episode of Primitive Culture, hosts Duncan Barrett and Tony Black explore the war stories of Star Trek’s original cast and crew, focusing on Gene Roddenberry’s service with the US Army Air Forces and James Doohan’s time with the Royal Canadian Artillery. Along the way, we consider how The Original Series explored the historical legacies of the war in episodes such as “Patterns of Force” and “The City on the Edge of Forever.”
Gene Roddenberry (00:02:53)
James Doohan (00:14:51)
They also served… (00:32:58)
“Patterns of Force” (00:35:30)
Fascist iconography (00:42:50)
“The City on the Edge of Forever” (00:49:05)
Allegory and historical sensitivity (00:55:57)
Final Thoughts (00:59.57)
Duncan Barrett and Tony Black
Tony Black (Editor and Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Amy Nelson (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)
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.
The Wrath of Khan and Classic Literature. Khan Noonien Singh’s bookshelf on the SS Botany Bay displayed a host of significant texts that spoke to his grandiose fate. We explore some of them, from Shakespeare to Milton.
Star Trek and Terrorism. In the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing, we look at terrorism as reflected in the Star Trek universe.
The Manchurian Candidate and The Mind’s Eye. We compare TNG’s story of Romulan subterfuge with John Frankenheimer’s 1962 tale of mind control and political murder.
In the first episode of Trek.fm’s new podcast Primitive Culture, Tony Black and Duncan Barrett look at Star Trek’s debt to the father of the atom bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer.