Gimme That Star Trek Western

Gimme That Star Trek goes western with Siskoid inviting Captain Entropy to discuss Trek's relationship with the western genre, and going deep into three episodes that overtly homage westerns: TOS' "The Spectre of the Gun", TNG's "A Fistful of Datas", and Enterprise's "North Star". Come on in, pardner!

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"Star Trek Theme" by Alexander Courage, with the Irredeemable Shag on vocals. End theme: "Deep Space Nine Theme" by Dennis McCarthy.

Bonus clip from: Star Trek The Next Generation's "A Fistful of Datas", starring Marina Sirtis.

And thanks for leaving a comment!

9 responses to “Gimme That Star Trek Western

  1. Star Trek doing “war on terror” with the Xindi arc was one of the most disappointing parts of the entire franchise to me.

    As you say, they’re supposed to be beyond what we are today. But then the writers decide to straight up depict the present time mindset. Not to comment on it at all. It is now the mindset of our future “heroes”.

    Might makes right, screw you if you get in our way, our reasons are more important than any concerns anyone else might have, any completely innocent people they can steal from and bring doom upon. The only times they deviate from “death to everyone but us”, is when one of them is affected by a disease. Which if anything, is the writers saying that there must be something wrong with you if you think that there’s something wrong with what George W. Bush’s government is doing.

    The most Fox News season of Star Trek.

  2. This was a really fun show, I thought the observation re: how Trek audiences thinking on westerns evolved over time was interesting. They were all over TV during TOS’ run, but by TNG, westerns were all gone. I remember watching “Fistful of Datas” when it first aired, and thought, oh, they’re doing an old-timey thing. But “Spectre” doesn’t read like that.

    Captain Entropy is always a fine guest, no matter what the topic.

    1. Rob, thank you, and I’m glad you enjoyed it. I very much enjoyed the conversation, as I have all the opportunist to speak with you podcasting celebrities.

      I was so pleased and gratified by your kind words, I had to share them with my wife. She said, “What a nice way to say that you’re a know-it-all!

  3. Really enjoyed this episode. I had forgotten the TOS episode ending, or maybe I never saw it in full on BBC2.

    It is interesting how Westerns have effectively died out as a TV staple, I suspect it’s perhaps because they seemed almost another world, most folks have no idea how it worked or links to the West any more as older generations pass on. Much like there’s little WWII or Korean or even Vietnam War Dramas being produced either these days. Of course the element of shooting episodes set in the past is expensive for sets etc so there is that element. But it is odd how Trek seems to have endured longer than Westerns managed thanks to still being in the future.

    Captain Entropy was an excellent guest and helped bring some great insights as well. Particularly about the Xindi elements.

    1. Doug, you are too kind, but we all knew this about you. Thank you. Enterprise is the pre-streaming show I’m weakest on, so I didn’t contribute anything with my knowledge of the Xindi storyline. However, my knowledge of protracted campaigns against fanatical and utterly deceived opponents in response to their unprovoked attacks is quite extensive, so maybe that helped.

  4. I’ve come around on spectre of the gun. I really disliked it as a kid “BLAG why is Star trek working this hard to do a western? At least fall through a time warp!
    Now i see that some god-dude putting kirk though a test is very Star trek Also it’s proof that star trek is not OUR universe as their histroy of the ok Corral is from the movie “my Darling Clemintine but don’t worry, Spock’s not WRONG it really happened that way in their universe!
    You dont wanna get me started on the history of poker!

  5. Mid-way through, I remembered a newspaper review of The Final Frontier that criticized its western in spaced aspects. I thought the review was too influenced by the Paradise City scenes, or maybe I was too influenced by the knowledge that writer/director Shatner liked to ride horses.

    I still think it’s just a glance to the west, but what do you think of this glance, done on a movie budget?

  6. Fantastic discussion as always! Lots of great knowledge about westerns and western troupes. I was never much into westerns growing up, so the western troupes were lost on me.

    I loved the explanation for the sets in Spectre. I never would have considered that, but it makes perfect sense. I love that this is a construct of Kirk’s imperfect memory/knowledge. As you suggested, the evidence is there. It just wasn’t obvious to me.


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