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American Science Fiction TV: "Star Trek", "Stargate" and by Jan Johnson-Smith

By Jan Johnson-Smith

From "The subsequent new release" and "The X-Files", to "Farscape" and "Enterprise", sci-fi tv sequence within the US have increased because the Nineteen Eighties. Jan Johnson-Smith indicates how, based on nationwide political upheavals, this vivid and puzzling style set approximately increasing the parable of the Western frontier into deep area. She appears on the "sense of ask yourself" or elegant that infuses a lot Frontier paintings and technological know-how fiction, and strains a potential historic precedent to the style within the awesome and heroic trips of the Classical epic. She discusses narrative types and their impacts, from the overarching narrative of "Babylon five" to the episodic formulation of "The Outer Limits", considers how experimental sequence similar to "Twin Peaks" problem traditional buildings, and the way and why sci-fi tv has followed new applied sciences. She additionally explores the juxtaposition of arcane language and technological jargon in glossy American sci-fi tv, revealing the terribly alien, but apparently conventional area it creates.

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Additional info for American Science Fiction TV: "Star Trek", "Stargate" and Beyond (Popular TV Genres)

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Moreover, we constantly return to these patterns in modern storytelling. Lester del Rey argues that at least some of the roots of sf storytelling can be traced to the most ancient examples of literature:82 clearly this is true of all modern stories. Nevertheless, there are particular comparisons to be made here regarding sf. Just as many sf novels draw from mythology for their foundation, several major sf television series also make significant use of ancient mythology. Babylon 5 borrows from Babylonian legends of chaos and order and from the remarkable alliances forged by Gilgamesh; Stargate SG-1 predominantly uses Egyptian/Norse legends (although its seventh season shifts slightly, concluding as the fabled Atlantis rises).

Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001) demonstrates this in the seasons 5 and 6 bridging episode ‘Equinox’. Here, the crew of another Federation ship lost in the Delta Quadrant is draining aliens of their life force to create 27 A M E R I C A N S C I E N C E F I C T I O N T V a faster means of reaching home, but Janeway and her colleagues rapidly remind them of the importance of Federation values even – especially – so far from home. The values implicit in much science fiction are those of our own culture, sometimes idealised, sometimes extrapolated, but firmly recognisable: honour, duty, loyalty, all those things which create integrity are illuminated as the aspects of humanity most valued even in future societies.

Its framework and its themes still operate significantly today within sf, connecting us with more traditional literary pleasures of the past. 89 The more psychological aspects of the Gothic can be located in much American literature, and in turn this has informed American science fiction. The film Blade Runner (1982) offers a neo-Gothic Los Angeles; John W. ’ (1938) was re-worked in film form as The Thing (From Another World) (1951) and as The Thing (1982) and the series American Gothic (1995–1996) provides a television version.

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