Cult Television

Front Cover
Sara Gwenllian-Jones, Roberta E. Pearson
U of Minnesota Press, 2004 - Performing Arts - 242 pages
A television series is tagged with the label "cult" by the media, advertisers, and network executives when it is considered edgy or offbeat, when it appeals to nostalgia, or when it is considered emblematic of a particular subculture. By these criteria, almost any series could be described as cult. Yet certain programs exert an uncanny power over their fans, encouraging them to immerse themselves within a fictional world.

In Cult Television leading scholars examine such shows as The X-Files; The Avengers; Doctor Who, Babylon Five; Star Trek; Xena, Warrior Princess; and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to determine the defining characteristics of cult television and map the contours of this phenomenon within the larger scope of popular culture.

Contributors: Karen Backstein; David A. Black, Seton Hall U; Mary Hammond, Open U; Nathan Hunt, U of Nottingham; Mark Jancovich; Petra Kuppers, Bryant College; Philippe Le Guern, U of Angers, France; Alan McKee; Toby Miller, New York U; Jeffrey Sconce, Northwestern U; Eva Vieth

Sara Gwenllian-Jones is a lecturer in television and digital media at Cardiff University and co-editor of Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media.

Roberta E. Pearson is a reader in media and cultural studies at Cardiff University. She is the author of the forthcoming book Small Screen, Big Universe: Star Trek and Television.

 

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Contents

Toward a Constructivist Approach to Media Cults
3
The Mainstream Distinction and Cult TV
27
Quality Science Fiction Babylon 5s Metatextual Universe
45
Bright Particular Star Patrick Stewart JeanLuc Picard and Cult Television
61
Fictions
81
Virtual Reality and Cult Television
83
Character or The Strange Case of Uma Peel
99
Flexing Those Anthropological Muscles XFiles Cult TV and the Representation of Race and Ethnicity
115
Monsters and Metaphors Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Old World
147
Fans
165
How to Tell the Difference between Production and Consumption A Case Study in Doctor Who Fandom
167
Trainspotting The Avengers
187
Star Trek Heavens Gate and Textual Transcendence
199
A Kind of German Star Trek Raumpatrouille Orion and the life of a Cult TV Series
223
Contributors
241
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