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Episode 11: Timothy Sandefur

In this episode we chat with Timothy Sandefur. Tim is the Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute where he oversees the Institute’s legal staff, and also holds the Duncan Chair in Constitutional Government. Tim has some strong opinions on Star Trek and we had a great time diving deep into the meaning that he found in Trek and where it has fallen short.

Picture of Tim Sandefur
Tim Sandefur

Tim will talk about:

  • Being a fan for over 30 years
  • The weirdness of Star Trek: The Animated Series
  • How Star Trek TOS is more like a Twilight Zone style anthology than later shows
  • Why Tim feels that “canon” is a straitjacket
  • Deep Space 9 is magnificent, but not really Star Trek
  • His Star Trek collection, including the ST:TMP matchbook and his Hallmark items
  • The earthquake during the Pasadena Star Trek convention
  • Accidentally meeting Leonard Nimoy
  • Attending Sit Long and Prosper
  • Tim’s article The Politics of Star Trek which can be found here.
  • Tim’s appearance on the Free Thoughts podcast discussing the article can be found here
  • How Return of the Archons and The Apple are the same and different
  • Are there universal concepts of right and wrong?
  • The terror of freedom
  • How World War II issues affected the writing of TOS
  • The incompatibility between the Federation in TOS and in later versions of Star Trek
  • Picard’s refusal to stop oppression in Symbiosis
  • Why the Prime Directive was made to be broken in the case of universal wrongs
  • The line from Captain Cook to Midshipman Easy to Hornblower to Star Trek
  • Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, and Frederick Douglass, and what they have to do with Star Trek
  • How the concept of Universal Human Rights is treated in Star Trek VI
  • The metaphors in The Conscience of the King and how it related to audiences at the time
  • The real and very serious crimes of the Klingons and their lack of contrition
  • The abandonment of the spirit of exploration in Star Trek: Insurrection and how it relates to Candide
  • What we missed in Star Trek Phase 2
  • Is Star Trek: The Motion Picture “canon?”
  • How all of the TOS and TOS movie era is about proving Mr. Spock wrong
  • Why Into Darkness is problematic in how Kirk is Captain
  • Moral relativism in The Next Generation
  • Slavery is an issue that Star Trek never fully addressed
  • The objectification of women in Enterprise
  • The very best of Star Trek is when it confronts the intensely human
  • Mr Spock and Huckleberry Finn, and what they have in common
  • Star Trek as an emergent cultural phenomena
  • The Riker Maneuver
  • Episodes discussed
    • Return of the Archons (TOS S01E22)
    • The Apple (TOS S02E09)
    • Who Watches the Watchers (TNG S03E04)
    • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
    • The Conscience of the King (TOS S01E12)
    • Star Trek IX: Insurrection
    • Star Trek: The Motion Picture
    • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
    • Star Trek XIII: Into Darkness
    • Family (TNG S04E02)
    • Survivors (TNG S03E03)
    • Bound (ENT S04E17)
    • Court Martial (TOS S01E14) – Patreon Extended Version
    • City on the Edge of Forever (TOS S01E28) – Patreon Extended Version
    • Measure of the Man (TNG S02E09) – Patreon Extended Version

Connect with Tim at any of the following:

Honorary Star Trek title awarded: Professor of Law at the University of Utopia Planitia. (Go Ares Astronauts!)

The featured image is of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Oljato-Monument Valley, Arizona, United States. Credit to Cayetano Gil on Unsplash.