Musings on Science Fiction TV

Each Fall I eagerly await the new slate of Science Fiction TV shows. Which ones will I enjoy and keep up with? Which ones will I enjoy and they’ll get cut anyway? Which ones will I pass on in disgust, only to discover they are a big hit? With each passing year, I’ve noticed an increasing number of science fiction and other genre-themed TV shows. But I’ve also noticed another trend — the “mundaning” of science fiction.

Musings on Science Fiction TV

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Lost and Heros, but I also noticed that they are fairly stripped of their SF trimmings. They are science fiction for the mundane.

Is this a bad thing? I don’t rightly know. To some degree, it is a good thing, because it introduces SF to a wider audience, some of whom may then go on to explore the real thing. But then the really good quality SFTV is getting fewer and farther between.

For example, I am a big fan of Babylon 5, and in my opinion, it is one of the best SF TV shows ever. It made #5 in Boston.com’s Top 50 Science Fiction TV Shows of All Time. But that show had a struggle because it wasn’t as accessible to the average Joe as a show such as Journey Man has.

Now that I’ve written this all down, I’m not really sure where I’m going with it. But I have this feeling in my gut that as reality catches up to SF, SF needs to keep pushing forward to maintain its edge — the edge that made me fall in love with it when I was 5 years old and has held me for the decades since.

Do any of you have those feelings? I know some people share my angst, for articles such as Mike Treder’s article, “Post-Millennial Malaise in SF?“, is still being written.

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About the author

Carma Spence has been a science fiction fan since childhood. Her father first introduced her to Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury when she was about 7 years old. She's never looked back. YesterYear's Future is a passion project inspired by a class she took in graduate school called "Science Fiction and American Culture." She is now volunteering as Co-Web Director for the Science Fiction Research Association.

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