Cult Telefantasy Series

A Critical Analysis of The Prisoner, Twin Peaks, The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost, Heroes, Doctor Who and Star Trek


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About the Book

From The Prisoner in the 1960s to the more recent Heroes and Lost, a group of television series with strong elements of fantasy have achieved cult status. Focusing on eight such series, this work analyzes their respective innovations and influences. Assessing the strategies used to promote “cult” appeal, it also appraises increased opportunities for interaction between series creators and fans and evaluates how television fantasy has utilized transmedia storytelling. Notable changes within broadcasting are discussed to explain how challenging long-form dramas have emerged, and why telefantasy has transcended niche status to enjoy significant prominence and popularity.

About the Author(s)

Sue Short lectures in film and media at Birkbeck College, University of London, and has contributed articles to numerous media journals. Cult Telefantasy Series is her third book.

Bibliographic Details

Sue Short

Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4315-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8538-3
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      viii
Introduction      1

1. The Prisoner The Show That Set the Precedents      13
2. Twin Peaks: The Death of Laura Palmer—And the Birth of a Phenomenon      33
3. The X-Files: Trust, Belief, and Broken Promises      55
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Beauty and the “Big Bad”      84
5. How Lost Redefined Cult Television: A Mystery Island and a Monster Hit      108
6. Why Heroes Failed: The Superpowered Franchise That Fell from Grace      138
7. Doctor Who and Star Trek: Twenty-First Century Reboots      166

Conclusion      195
An A to Z of Telefantasy Series      207
Bibliography      231
Index      241