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British Science Fiction Television: A Hitchhiker's Guide (Popular TV Genres) Paperback – 28 Oct 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris (28 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184511048X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845110482
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.4 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 756,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


`The range of primary material here is admirable, as is the
editors' success in binding together a political history as expressed
through British science fiction... it valuably unpacks an area whose
popularity and influence is undeniable but whose historical significance
has lacked such sustained attention until now.'
- Dave Hipple

About the Author

John Cook is Senior Lecturer in Mass Media, Glasgow Caledonian University, author of 'Dennis Potter: A Life on Screen'. Peter Wright is Senior Lecturer in Literature and Film Studies, Edge Hill College of Higher Education, author of 'Attending Daedalus: Gene Wolfe, Artifice and the Reader'.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an anthology of short essays on British Science Fiction Television written by various media academics and writers within the SF genre.

On the whole the content of this book is informative and written well enough to engage the average fan of the genre. When the essays 'work', as in the ones written about the depiction of a future nuclear holocaust in shows such as The War Game and Threads, you come away feeling like you have learnt something important and vital to your life - a bit like the shows themselves. The less effective essays try to take a hypothesis, e.g. Sapphire and Steel were rampant Tories or The Red Dwarf crew were a missed opportunity in exploring post-gender relationships, and then fit the content of the shows to match the hypothesis. The constant referencing to obscure moments makes these essays unreadable.

I would recommend this book to a fellow casual SF fan who might want to know more about the state of society and what the writers were thinking when their favourite shows were made. However the level of detail in some of these essays would put off the less knowledgable fan while frustrating the more obsessive ones. The Blakes 7 essay is the prime example of this. This is a major flaw and I believe that this book will struggle to find an audience for that reason. This is a great shame.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9ee20db0) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ee40948) out of 5 stars An interesting look at the subject 18 Jan. 2009
By Michael A. Torregrossa - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Directed at academic audiences, this collection looks at British science fictional television at key points in its history as presented in representative productions. The collection opens with an overview provided by the editors. Complete contents are as follows:

1 John R. Cook and Peter Wright--'Futures past' : an introduction to and brief survey of British science fiction television
2 James Chapman--QUARTERMASS and the origins of British television sf
3 Nicholas J. Cull---Tardis at the OK Corral : DOCTOR WHO and the USA
4 Sue Short--Countering the counterculture : The PRISONER and the 1960s
5 John R. Cook--The age of Aquarius : utopia and anti-utopia in late 1960s' and early 1970s' British science fiction television
6 Nicholas J. Cull--The man who make THUNDERBIRDS: an interview with Gerry Anderson
7 Andy Sawyer--Everyday life in the post-catastrophe future : Terry Nation's SURVIVORS
8 David Seed--TV docudrama and the nuclear subject : THE WAR GAME, THE DAY AFTER and THREADS
9 Una McCormack--Resist the host : BLAKE'S 7--a very British future
10 Peter Wright--Echoes of discontent : conservative politics and SAPPHIRE AND STEEL
11 M. J. Simpson--Counterpointing the surrealism of the underlying metaphor in THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY
12 Elyce Rae Helford--'OK, homeboys, let's posse!' : masculine anxiety, gender, race and class in RED DWARF
13 Catriona Miller--British apocalypses now - or then? : THE UNIVITED, INVASION: EARTH and THE LAST TRAIN
14 Further reading
HASH(0x9ee4681c) out of 5 stars Smart and fun for serious fans and casual academics 22 May 2016
By Marc E. DiPaolo - Published on
Format: Paperback
An academic book with particularly excellent interpretations of The Prisoner, Sapphire and Steel, and Red Dwarf.
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