April 27, 2015

ANSON SMITH AT 203-332-5229

HCC Professor To Explore
Star Trek-Shakespeare Connection

BRIDGEPORT – Housatonic Community College professor and pop culture enthusiast Rob Nelson of Branford will explore the connection between Star Trek and Shakespeare in a talk Tuesday (April 29) at the Blackstone Library in Branford.

From the first Star Trek episode in mid “60s” to the latest movie, Nelson noted, Star Trek has captured the imagination of several generations. This is to surprise, he said, since there are numerous Star Trek links to the master dramatist Shakespeare.

For example, he said, the look and narrative structure of Star Trek owe a great deal to the 1956 film "Forbidden Planet," which is essentially Shakespeare's "The Tempest" set in space.

One of the best-known episodes, "The Conscience of the King," involves a troupe of Shakespearean actors who visit the Enterprise, he notes. Captain Kirk comes to suspect that the leader of the troupe is actually an infamous war criminal using the role of an actor to escape justice. The story incorporates plot points and chunks of dialogue from Hamlet and Macbeth, and culminates in a dramatic life-or-death standoff onstage.

Thus, it’s no coincidence that android Lt. Commander Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation opines that there is no better way to understand the human condition than through the works of Shakespeare.

Nelson’s talk will begin at 7 p.m. at the library, located at 758 Main Street in Branford. For reservations, which are required, contact the library at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/shakespeare-star-trek-registration-16128570990 or 203-488-1441.