Gender and the Quest in British Science Fiction Television

An Analysis of Doctor Who, Blake's 7, Red Dwarf and Torchwood

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About the Book

The subjects of this book constitute a significant cross section of BBC science fiction television. With such characters as the Doctor (an enigmatic time-traveling alien), Kerr Avon (a problematic rebel leader), Dave Lister (a slovenly last surviving human) and Captain Jack Harkness (a complex omnisexual immortal), these shows have both challenged and reinforced viewer expectations about the small-screen masculine hero.
This book explores the construction of gendered heroic identity in the series from both production and fan perspectives. The paradoxical relationships between the producers, writers and fans of the four series are discussed. Fan fiction, criticism and videos are examined that both celebrate and criticize BBC science fiction heroes and villains.

About the Author(s)

Tom Powers is a college lecturer who teaches composition courses. Along with Marc Schuster, he is the coauthor of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy: The Discerning Fan’s Guide to Doctor Who (McFarland, 2007). He lives in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Tom Powers. Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 284
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6552-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2693-2
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments viii

Foreword: The Challenges of Regeneration (by Matt Hills) 1

Introduction: Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, Red Dwarf and Torchwood: Gendered Heroic Quests 11

One: The Phenomenological Meanings of BBC Cult SF Headquarters and Objects 21

Two: The Rise, Fall and Nostalgic Embers of 1980s Doctor Who 42

Three: The ­CNC Implications of Blake’s 7’s Stylized ­Retro-Future 79

Four: What a Smegging Quest! The Journey of Red Dwarf and Its Fandom 108

Five: Everything’s Constantly Changing: Sex and Death on Torchwood 147

Six: NüWho’s Quest to Stay Relevant with Its Fans 186

Conclusion: Encoders and Decoders Shaping the Destinies of Four Cult SF TV Sagas 221

Appendix: Televised Works 233

Chapter Notes 245

Works Cited 259

Index 265