Dear Reader Episode 04: Zombie Trek

In this episode I tackle Star Trek and zombies!

For the first part, I look at three episodes from Star Trek: Voyager which include scenes from Captain Janeway's holonovel. See the mash-up of the scenes here.

In the second half of the episode, I examine Jacques Tourneur's "I Walked with a Zombie" from 1943.

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7 responses to “Dear Reader Episode 04: Zombie Trek

  1. Did what you said and listened to the old Gimme That Star Trek episode after the Voyager bit and how fun that it really is cross-promotion: We mention you and your love for Jane Eyre from across space and time!

    1. Listened to Gimme, too, wondered if they’d bring up my question of telling a sorta-serialized story over the course of not every episode of a non-serialized one. If it had reached a climax, would it have gotten an episode of its own?

      I’m not sure either the mystery reveal of Turn of the Screw or character study of Jane Eyre would have gotten justice.

      1. There’s an episode of GTST where we try to figure out what went wrong and how to fix Voyager, and it lays out many of the reasons why the show was just not capable of (or willing to) serialize the way Deep Space Nine had done/was doing. Persistence of Vision is what you’re talking about – using the program as a major part of the story – and a way to send it out. I don’t think seeing the end of the holonovel would have done either source justice, no.

  2. YES! when you announced this show I was hoping I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE would be part of the mix. I’m a huge Lewton fan (we covered him over on my FADE OUT show) and this is one of his best productions.

    Lewton always had literary pretensions so it doesn’t surprise me he turned to classic literature for one of his B horror pictures. It says a lot about Jane Eyre that the source material can be this transformed yet still recognizable. As you covered, Lewton had a lot of non-whites in his movies but never treated them as lesser, subservient characters. The film doesn’t make a lot of literal sense but it still casts a spell.

    Very much enjoyed the episode.

  3. I loved I Walked with a Zombie, not sure I realized it was a riff on Jane Eyre when I did though. Interesting!

    I discovered Val Lewton’s films all in one go during a TCM marathon, basically. I Walked right after Cat People. In both cases, Lewton took an imposed horror title, and produced something lyrical, on the cheap, that’s withstood the test of time much better than other B-movies with similar titles. They’re ABOUT something, you know? Today, our image of the zombie is essentially the ones from Night of the Living Dead, but in the 40s – because I think White Zombie with Bela Lugosi is closer to I Walked than Walking Dead – it was pretty strictly a voodoo thing. Anyway, thanks for covering this piece of Tropical Gothic!

  4. I’m listening to a podcast about a book I’ve not read, referencing television I’ve not watched, and film I can’t recall! I love it! Stella, I truly appreciate your look into the influence of the novel. I’m remiss in responding, but I’m very glad you had your guest on episode one (who’s name I cannot be bothered to take two clicks to learn). She spoke on the character of Rochester. As I was listening to you summarize the book, I confess that my ire was rising as you were characterizing him through a 21st century lens, and I was thinking about how a man of his time and place would have been formed. Your guest then addressed those very issues! Thank you! Jane herself is an exceptional person, as most of our literary heroes must be. This is probably why the novel has endured. I’m still listening!

  5. Rob’s Fade Out episode piqued my interest in Val Lewton’s movies, but this one sealed the deal. I definitely need to watch “I Walked with a Zombie” now. I’m curious to see Lewton’s depiction of Caribbean culture, as well as his depiction of zombies from traditional Haitian Vodou. (As opposed to the brain-munching zombies of modern horror films).

    Thanks for another incredible episode.

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