Tarnished Heroes, Charming Villains and Modern Monsters: Science Fiction in Shades of Gray on 21st Century Television

Overview

The heroes, villains, and monsters portrayed in such popular science fiction television series as Heroes, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Doctor Who, and Torchwood, as well as Joss Whedon's many series, illustrate a shift from traditional, clearly defined characterizations toward much murkier definitions. Traditional heroes give way to "gray" heroes who must become more like the villains or monsters they face if they are going to successfully save society. This book examines the ambiguous heroes and ...

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Overview

The heroes, villains, and monsters portrayed in such popular science fiction television series as Heroes, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Doctor Who, and Torchwood, as well as Joss Whedon's many series, illustrate a shift from traditional, clearly defined characterizations toward much murkier definitions. Traditional heroes give way to "gray" heroes who must become more like the villains or monsters they face if they are going to successfully save society. This book examines the ambiguous heroes and villains, focusing on these characters' different perspectives on morality and their roles within society. Appendixes include production details for each series, descriptions and summaries of pivotal episodes, and a list of selected texts for classroom use.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
06/01/2014
Porter (humanities & social sciences, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ., FL.; Saving the World: A Guide to Heroes) offers an insightful study of the 21st-century hero on television, where the "white hat/black hat" dynamic has been all but dismantled. Discussing such characters as Doctor Who, the author shows how today's heroes must modify their behavior in response to the complexities of a given situation rather than act on a prescribed sense of right and wrong.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786448586
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/23/2010
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Lynnette Porter teaches in the Humanities and Social Sciences Department of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. She has written several books about television and film.

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