The longer 2016 goes on, the more it begins to seem like a real life episode of Game of Thrones, and we’ve only just passed the halfway point. From celebrity deaths to sporting surprises, there hasn’t been a dull moment, in particular when it comes to politics.
The rise of Donald Trump has shocked almost every pundit, as has similar trajectory of former London mayor Boris Johnson off the back of the success of his push for a Brexit vote. Seen by many as a bit of a buffoon, thanks to his child-tackling, zip-lining ways, he has managed to wangle himself a position in Theresa May’s cabinet, and as Foreign Minister at that.
The dystopian vision of the future that presents itself if you stop to consider the possibility of President Trump meeting Minister Johnson is one that Gene Rodenberry probably never thought of when he first dreamed up Star Trek, but it may be more at home in the fatalistic universe of Battlestar Galactica. The politics and intrigue of those shows, along with Game of Thrones, are not only there as fodder for the viewer, they also present an interesting topic for students of international relations.
Stephen Benedict Dyson, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut and the author of Otherworldly Politics: The International Relations of Star Trek, Game of Thrones and Battlestar Galactica spoke to us on The Third Degree about what exactly the political inspirations are behind some of those hit shows, and why he chose to study them for his book.
While Dyson highlights there was never a Fedxit vote in Star Trek that could have facilitate his rise to the top, there is a good chance that Boris might have had a powerful position in Westeros, thanks to his political guile and relentless pursuit of power.
Similarly, it’s not too easy to pull together a cabinet comprising characters from the show, but pooling their talents, the Third Degree crew and Prof. Dyson do their best to imagine which fictional people could do a better job in charge of the world’s governments if they were given the chance. Surely it couldn’t be worse than Trump and Boris…right?