The French Resistance and Star Trek's Maquis.
In the mid-1990s, when the writers of Star Trek were dreaming up a new terrorist splinter group that would threaten the Federation's delicate treaty with Cardassia, they turned to the history books to choose a name for the controversial organization. The term maquis, a Corsican word meaning hilly brushland, had originally been adopted by French Resistance fighters who fled to the hills to escape the Nazis. From the relative safety of their rustic bases, these maquis plotted raids against their German overlords, like latter-day Robin Hoods hiding from the Sherrif of Nottingham.
In this episode of Primitive Culture, hosts Tony Black and Duncan Barrett consider legacies of the French Resistance in the Star Trek universe, focusing in particular on the presentation of the Bajoran Resistance and the Maquis, who planned their raids on Cardassian strongholds from secret bases in the caves and hills of rural provinces. What is it about these rebels of World War II that proved so irresistible to Star Trek's writers half a century later? And what exactly does such rebellion represent in the supposedly utopian future of the Federation?
"The Killing Game" (00:04:05)
Resistance vs. Collaboration (00:09:15)
Charles De Gaulle and Bajoran Resistance Cells (00:13:38)
Provisional Governments and the Challenges of Post-war Reconstruction (00:19:48)
Heroes, Terrorists, and Collaborators (00:26:48)
The Maquis and Les Misérables (00:32:57)
Voyager's Maquis (00:44:21)
Authority and Authoritarianism (00:52:32)
Moral Ambiguity in Deep Space Nine (01:00:59)
The Cardassian Resistance (01:05:52)
Final Thoughts (01:18:52)
Tony Black and Duncan Barrett
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)
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.
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.