학술논문

Watching Science Fiction Theatre, Seeing Television
Document Type
Academic Journal
Author
Telotte, J.P. (Georgia Tech)
Source
Science Fiction Studies; 2024 Mar; 51(1 [152]): 17-31.  [Journal Detail] SF-TH Inc..
Subject
Literature Topic: dramatic arts
Performance Medium: television and video; science fiction television
Primary Subject Work: Science Fiction Theatre (television program)(1955-1957)
Language
ISSN
0091-7729
2327-6207 (electronic)
Abstract
Prior to the appearance of Rod Serling's landmark series The Twilight Zone, independent syndicator Ziv Television produced a similarly serious dramatic series, Science Fiction Theatre, that challenged the television hegemony of such popular space operas as Captain Video, Space Patrol, and Tom Corbett, Space Cadet. While lasting only 78 episodes, it was widely distributed and dubbed into many languages, bringing adult sf stories to a broader television audience than ever before. Further distinguishing it from other televised sf of the era, Science Fiction Theatre pioneered the sort of media self-consciousness that would later become a hallmark of The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. In that reflexive dimension we can see the series' efforts to make audiences aware of both the potentials and the pitfalls inherent in the still new television technology, of their own role as viewers, and of the industry's use and control over it. In sum, by watching Science Fiction Theatre, viewers were often put in the uncommon and sometimes uncomfortable position of seeing their relationship to the new media regime of television.