Friday, December 31, 2010

Being Human on SyFy

SyFy premieres the American version of BBC3's Being Human on Monday, 17 January. More deatils at its official website:

Monday, December 27, 2010

New from I. B. Tauris

The Cult TV Book 
Edited by: Stacey Abbott
Paperback | In Stock | £14.95

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
Series: Investigating Cult TV Series

ISBN: 9781848850262
Publication Date: 28 Feb 2010
Number of Pages: 288
Height: 234
Width: 156

Cult TV is a very exciting area of contemporary television. "The Cult TV Book" is the companion reference to this TV phenomenon, whose shows push the boundaries and offer biting commentaries on society today. Cult TV is also changing. Where being cult used to mean being marginal with a small, loyal fan base, cult TV is now key to the television industry, fandom is global and online, cult status for a show is fostered by the networks, and cult series are noted for their spectacular special effects and sumptuous visual style. So, what is cult TV today?

Leading scholars, writers and journalists redefine our understanding of cult TV, with new approaches to and case studies on: Cult TV aesthetics, History of cult TV, Cult TV & new media, The 'sub-cultural celebrity', Jane Espenson on how to write cult TV, Cult TV & the broadcast industry, Music, Innovation, Cult channels, Children's cult TV, Sex, Gender, Race, Cult audiences, Transgressive TV, Cult of cult TV, Nancy Holder on writing tie-ins, TV & Film Guide, Fan fiction, "Battlestar Galactica", "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Doctor Who", "The Avengers", "The Prisoner", "Quatermass", "The Sopranos", "Masters of Horror", "The Twilight Zone", "Twin Peaks", "Grey's Anatomy", "Bagpuss", "South Park", "The X Files", "Da Ali G Show", "Trailer Park Boys" and "Angel". Contributors include: Stacey Abbott, Sergio Angelini, Jes Battis, Stan Beeler, Miles Booy, Simon Brown, Bronwen Calvert, Jane Espenson, Dick Fiddy, Lincoln Geraghty, Janet K. Halfyard, Matt Hills, Nancy Holder, Catherine Johnson, Lorna Jowett, Roz Kaveney, Roberta Pearson, Denzell Richards, Hillary Robson, David Simmons, Sharon Sutherland, Paul Sutton, Sarah Swan, Donato Totaro, Rhonda V. Wilcox and Tat Wood.

Contents (from

Table of Contents
Acknowledgments x
About the Contributors xii
Introduction: 'Never Give Up-Never Surrender!': The Resilience of Cult Television Stacey Abbott 1
Part 1 Defining Cult TV: History, Aesthetics, Discourses
Chapter 1 Observations on Cult Television Roberta Pearson 7
Chapter 2 Members Only: Cult TV from Margins to Mainstream Sergio Angelini Miles Booy 19
Case Study: Twin Peaks-Miles Booy 28
Chapter 3 The Aesthetics of Cult Television Rhonda V. Wilcox 31
Chapter 4 Babylon 5 Sergio Angelini 41
Chapter 5 Playing Hard to ‘Get’-How to Write Cult TV Jane Espenson 45
Chapter 6 The Twilight Zone Stan Beeler 55
Part 2 Reading Cult TV: Texts and Contexts
Chapter 7 The Avengers/The New Avengers Paul Sutton 61
Chapter 8 Mainstream Cult Matt Hills 67
Case Study: Grey's Anatomy Hillary Robson 74
Chapter 9 Transgressive TV Jes Battis 77
Case Study: Trailer Park Boys Sharon Sutherland Sarah Swan 84
Case Study: Masters of Horror Donato Totaro 87
Chapter 10 Innovative TV Stacey Abbott 91
Case Study: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Stacey Abbott 100
Case Study: The Prisoner Sergio Angelini 103
Chapter 11 Representation: Exploring Issuses of Sex, Gender, and Race in Cult Television Lorna Jowett 107
Case Study: Angel Lorna Jowett 114
Case Study: Battlestar Galactica Bronwen Calvert 117
Chapter 12 Boldly Going: Music and Cult TV Jenet K. Halfyard 121
Part 3 Constructing Cult TV: The Broadcast Industry and Cult Television
Chapter 13 The Star Trek Franchise Lincoln Geraghty 131
Chapter 14 Cult TV and the Television Industry Catherine Johnson 135
Case Study: HBO and the Sopranos Catherine Johnson 148
Case Study: The Quatermass Serials Catherine Johnson 150
Chapter 15 Cult Channels: Showtime, FX, and Cult TV Simon Brown 155
Case Study: The X-Files Simon Brown 163
Chapter 16 Through the Oblong Window: The Regulated Duopoly and the Creation of a Cult Children's 'Canon' in Britain Tat Wood 167
Case Study: Bagpuss Tat Wood 175
Chapter 17 Cult TV and New Media Denzell Richards 179
Chapter 18 Doctor Who Miles Booy 189
Chapter 19 Writing Tie-ins Nancy Holder 191
Chapter 20 South Park David Simmons 199
Part 4 The Cult in Cult TV: Audiences, Fans, and Fandom
Chapter 21 Dark Shadows Stacey Abbott 205
Chapter 22 Television and the Cult Audience: A Primer Hillary Robson 209
Case Study: Da Ali G Show Hillary Robson 221
Chapter 23 The Cult of Cult TV? Dick Fiddy 225
Chapter 24 Subcultural Celebrity Matt Hills 233
Chapter 25 Sapphire & Steel Sergio Angelini 239
Chapter 26 Gen, Slash, OT3s, and Crossover-The Varieties of Fan Fiction Roz Kaveney 243
Works Cited 248
Television and Film Guide 260
Index 268


Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies, Roehampton University. She is the editor of 'Reading Angel' (Tauris, 2005), co-editor of 'Investigating Alias' (Tauris, 2007), and author of 'Celluloid Vampires' (2007). She is also Series Editor of Tauris' 'Investigating Cult TV Series'.

Battlestar Galactica: Investigating Flesh, Spirit and Steel 
Edited by: Roz Kaveney, Jennifer Stoy
Paperback | In Stock | £14.99

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
Series: Investigating Cult TV Series

ISBN: 9781848853737
Publication Date: 02 Jul 2010
Number of Pages: 288
Height: 216
Width: 134

"The West Wing" or "Generation Kill" in Space? A show about God-fearing sex-obsessed robots? Or a complex meditation on fate, dreaming and eternal recurrence? Of all recent television science fiction series, the reimagined "Battlestar Galactica" is the most highly praised and consistently inventive and intelligent. Where the original show was a straightforward space opera, the new one is rich, strange and above all unpredictable. This book covers the new "Battlestar Galactica" from beginning to end, covering all of the show's principal themes from the depiction of sexuality in an era of artificial people and downloaded memories to what it means to be a member of a military organization when the stakes are not victory or defeat but survival. Like all the best shows about the future or the past - we are never sure when all this is supposed to be happening - "Battlestar Galactica" is a series about the present; chapters here cover its depiction of the post-9.11 world and such issues as abortion and worker's rights.

This definitive book on the full new "Battlestar Galactica" also includes an interview with Jane Espenson, co-executive producer of the show's last seasons and writer/director of the "Battlestar Galactica" prequel film "The Plan", with a complete episode guide.

Contents (from WorldCAT):

Of great zeitgeist and bad faith: an introduction to Battlestar Galactica / Jennifer Stoy --
Adama and (Mitochondial) Eve: a foundation myth for White folks / Geoff Ryman --
Frak Me: reproduction, gender, sexuality / Lorna Jowett --
Disco Galactica: futures past and present / Benjamin Halligan --
The military organism: rank, family and obedience in Battlestar Galactica / Roz Kaveney --
Real-imagining terror in Battlestar Galactica: negotiating real and fantasy in Battlestar Galactica's political metaphor / Steven Rawle --
Butch girls, brittle boys and sexy, sexless cylons: some gender problems in Battlestar Galactica / Matthew Jones --
Sci Fi ghettos: Battlestar Galactica and genre aesthetics / Sergio Dias Branco --
The luxury of being simply human: unwritten and rewritten queer histories in Battlestar Galactica / Karen K. Burrows --
Interrogating Galactica; an interview with Jane Espenson Jennifer Stoy and Roz Kaveney --
On the end, decline and fall of television shows / Roz Kaveney --
Appendix: Battlestar Galactica episode guide


Roz Kaveney is editor of 'Reading the Vampire Slayer' and author of books 'Superheroes!', Teen Dreams and From Alien to The Matrix, all I.B.Tauris. Jennifer Stoy is a writer and editor on popular culture, based in the USA.

New from Baylor UP

Sacred Space: The Quest for Transcendence in Science Fiction Film and Television 
By Douglas E. Cowan

Paperback, 326 pages $24.95
Published: 15th August 2010
ISBN: 9781602582385
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All Cultural Studies, All Literature, Media Studies, Religion & Literature, Religion & Popular Culture

As humans, it is our trust in something larger than ourselves that invests our lives with meaning and value. We hope that outside the boundaries of everyday living there lies something greater. As Doug Cowan argues, science fiction is the genre of possibility and hope, a principal canvas on which writers, artists, and filmmakers have sketched their visions of this transcendent potential for generations. In Sacred Space, he leads readers in a compelling exploration of how this transcendence is manifested in science-fiction cinema and television of today.

From the millennial dreams of a future bright with potential to the promise of evolution from some as-yet-undreamed engine of creation, science fiction’s visions of transcendence animate the pages of Sacred Space. Drawing on the most popular examples—Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, and Stargate SG-1—as well as the lesser known but no less important, Cowan reveals the multivalent religious ideas present in this media. Why do these themes that consistently appear in science fiction matter? What do they reveal about the often ambivalent relationship between outer space and our spirits? Cowan insightfully shows how these films and shows express and reinforce culturally constructed conceptions of transcendent hope, and along the way provides a provocative reflection on what this ultimately says about our culture’s worldviews, hopes, and fears.



Part I.  Science Fiction and the Quest for Transcendence

1. The Brightness against the Black

2. Pinocchio’s Galaxy
    Science Fiction and the Question of Transcendence

3. First Contact
    Human Exceptionalism in the Calculus of Hope

4. “Intellects Vast and Cool and Unsympathetic”
    The War of the Worlds and the Transcendence of Modernity

Part II: Science Fiction and the Modes of Transcendence

5. Heeding the Prophet’s Call
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

6. The von Däniken Paradox
    Stargate SG-1 

7. All Alone in the Night
    Babylon 5

8. So Say We All
    Battlestar Galactica

9. The Truth is Out There
    Transcendence and the Neverending Quest




Douglas E. Cowan is Professor of Religious Studies at Renison University College, University of Waterloo. His most recent publications include Sacred Terror: Religion and Horror on the Silver Screen; Cyberhenge: Modern Pagans on the Internet; and Religion Online: Finding Faith on the Internet. He lives in Waterloo, Ontario.

New from BBC America

I'm still catching up on things, but here are some updates from BBC America.

On Christmas Day, BBC America aired this year's Doctor Who Christmas special, "A Christmas Carol," putting the Doctor Who twist on Dickens's story in which a miser living on an alien world discovers the true meaning of the season thanks to the Eleventh Doctor.

And, coming January 1st, BBC America premieres season 4 of Primeval: