Westworld and the Holodeck.
A state-of-the-art entertainment complex where you can live out your wildest dreams, surrounded by people who look, sound, and even feel like flesh-and-blood. The sixth-season TNG episode “A Fistful of Datas” tips its (cowboy) hat to the 1973 film Westworld, in which a robot gunslinger runs amok in a Wild West fantasyland, terrorizing the hapless players whose fun day out has just turned into a nightmare.
In this episode of Primitive Culture, hosts Tony Black and Duncan Barrett discuss the connections between Westworld’s amoral theme park and Star Trek’s holodeck. We consider the risks human beings will take for excitement, the moral cost of creating artificial beings for exploitation in games of sex and violence, and whether such complex systems can ever truly be kept under control.
Holographic Rights on Voyager (00:15:23)
Prostitution and Holographic Sex (00:23:34)
Vic Fontaine (00:30:14)
Safety Protocols and Corporate Responsibility (00:33:50)
Hubris Versus Sabotage (00:48:00)
Post-finale Voyager Novels and the Holo-revolution (00:52:00)
Final Thoughts and Recommended Viewing (01:01:00)
Tony Black and Duncan Barrett
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.