Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

SGU, Galactica prove science fiction genre is ready to grow up

Slowly but surely, science fiction is growing up.

There’s always been a gap between the deep, thought-provoking stories of literary sci-fi and the shallow dumbed-down stuff that ends up on TV. Star Trek captured some of the depth. Shows like Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits introduced mainstream audiences to core sci-fi concepts, and now modern television is starting to use science fiction as a backdrop for mainstream adult drama.

There’s still a sci-fi ghetto, in print and on television, but the genre audience is increasingly passionate, organized and vocal.

There’s still a schizophrenic quality to modern sci-fi shows, like creators are constantly at war with their producers, struggling to save mature science fiction concepts from the impulses of studio execs who want to reduce everything to a succession of tired, comfortable tropes.

This conflict was obvious in the recent Battlestar Galactica series, a story that started off strong, with a series of flawed, interesting characters thrust into a lifeboat situation, and devolved into a fragmented mess.


Written by Michael B. Duff

December 18, 2009 at 12:50

Posted in Columns

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