American Science Fiction TV : Star Trek, Stargate and Beyond, Paperback Book

American Science Fiction TV : Star Trek, Stargate and Beyond Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


From "The Next Generation" and "The X-Files", to "Farscape" and "Enterprise", sci-fi television series in the US have multiplied since the 1980s.

Jan Johnson-Smith shows how, in line with national political upheavals, this vibrant and perplexing genre set about expanding the myth of the Western frontier into deep space.

She looks at the "sense of wonder" or sublime that infuses much Frontier art and science fiction, and traces a possible historical precedent to the genre in the fabulous and heroic journeys of the Classical epic.

She discusses narrative styles and their influences, from the overarching narrative of "Babylon 5" to the episodic formula of "The Outer Limits", considers how experimental series such as "Twin Peaks" challenge conventional structures, and how and why sci-fi television has adopted new technologies.

She also explores the juxtaposition of arcane language and technological jargon in modern American sci-fi television, revealing the extraordinarily alien, yet curiously familiar arena it creates.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages, illustrations
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Television
  • ISBN: 9781860648823

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I bought this because it featured some Stargate material, and I wish there was more analysis of Stargate in media studies, but...well...there wasn't much. What there was was an entire chapter detailing the awesomeness of Babylon 5, and that more than made up for it. The chapter on Space: Above and Beyond was also compelling enough to get me to watch the show, finally.

Also by Jan Johnson-Smith