American Science Fiction TV (Paperback)
Star Trek, Stargate, and Beyond
From "The Next Generation" and "The X-Files" to "Farscape" and "Enterprise," science fiction television shows have millions of devoted fans. American Science Fiction TV is the first full-length study of this popular genre. Writing with the clarity of a scholar and the enthusiasm of a fan, Jan Johnson-Smith shows how science fiction television has displaced the Western in the American cultural imagination. As advances in special effects have made science fiction television technically feasible on a more lavish scale than ever before, visual style has become as important as narrative—sometimes even more important—in expressing the meaning of the genre. The main part of the book uses case studies of several key science fiction series, including "Space: Above and Beyond," "StarGate SG-1," and "Babylon 5," to exemplify particular narrative patterns and visual styles. The case studies explore themes such as politics, ideology, race and ethnicity, gender difference, militarism, and the use of science fiction narratives as allegories of present-day social and political concerns. American Science Fiction TV opens an important new area of genre studies and will be of interest to scholars and fans alike.