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British Science Fiction Film and Television: Critical Essays Book Review

British Science Fiction Film and Television Critical Essays Book

There’s much to ponder and learn about in “British Science Fiction Film and Television.”

Edited by Tobias Hochscherf and James Leggott (who also wrote the book’s introduction), “British Science Fiction Film and Television: Critical Essays” offers up 15 chapters/essays primarily by teachers and Professors such as James Chapman, Christian Hoffstadt/Dominik Schrey, Derek Johnston, David Simmons, Michael Du Plessis, Jonathan Bignell, Peter Hutchings, I.Q. Hunter, Lincoln Geraghty, Christine Sprengler, Peter Wright, Aidan Power, Brigid Cherry, Rebecca Williams and Lee Barron. Through these chapters, readers will delve into subjects such as the similarities and differences between H.G. Wells novels and the film adaptations of his works, post-apocalyptic British film, TV and literature, the BBC, Hammer productions (such as Quatermass), Robert Fuest’s film and TV work (namely “The Avengers” and “The Final Programme”), the work of Gerry Anderson, the cult series “UFO” (also a Gerry Anderson project), “A Clockwork Orange,” “The Tripods” series, “Cold Lazarus,” the failings of 1996’s “Doctor Who: The Movie,” British co-productions, “28 Days Later,” “Doctor Who” fandom, and last, but not least, “Torchwood.”

For folks who dig sci-fi, opinion pieces, analytical essays, and or explorations of political and social contexts of art, “British Science Fiction Film and Television: Critical Essays” might be up your alley. While you may not always agree with everything being stated (see Peter Wright’s “Doctor Who” movie piece) or be engaged by every essay (see Aidan Power’s snooze worthy “Invasion of the Brit-Snatchers”), there’s bound to be something intellectually stimulating here. Personally, I was rather drawn to Lee Barron’s ambitious essay on the many layers of “Torchwood,” Rebbecca Williams’ piece on “Doctor Who” fangirls, and anything that offered insight into British productions.

About the only real downside here is that some highly influential works (“The Prisoner” comes to mind) were not given the spotlight. I realize this isn’t an all-encompassing book, but one would think that something as seminal and as essay worth as “The Prisoner” would get a chapter here.

Note: As with any scholarly piece, expect to see chapter notes, a bibliography, author bios, and an index.

“British Science Fiction Film And Television: Critical Essays” is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/British-Science-Fiction-Film-Television/dp/0786446218/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1437787242&sr=1-1&keywords=British+Science+Fiction+Film+and+Television%3A+Critical+Essays

and through McFarland’s website: http://www.mcfarlandbooks.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-4621-6

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July 24, 2015 - Posted by | Book review | , , , ,

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