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Do we all go into space? -Science Fiction in tv and film

This is 2015, I’ve just finished writing my new science fiction novel, now I am taking a short break to catch up with films, blogging and more; and now I am just thinking about who we see in many of these films and television shows set out in deep space.

I am sure that casting is better than it has been in the past, we have come far over the last few decades but in some ways I feel that we’re still not seeing a true depiction of the people from all walks of life and culture around us represented on screen.

How often do we see characters of Asian, Eastern background included in science fiction shows or films as part of the main cast of characters? How many lead characters might be gay or LGBT? Does it matter to the show or story?

They should not be pushed in for the sake of it, but they should also not just be omitted because it might be difficult or a challenge to include them easily.

This is something of a regular, increasing topic thankfully I believe, and we are seeing changes and gradual discussion.

Shows like the urban fantasy LOST GIRL include lesbian or bisexual characters, vampire horror drama TRUE BLOOD really explored gender regularly, and new show PENNY DREADFUL has lust and sex involving characters of all sexual orientations. But what about sci-fi?

Science fiction can tend to steer clear of sex and relationships, focusing more on technology, space exploration, alien contact. At times though, alien species in the past have been metaphors for minority races, and racial tensions explored as seen in Star Trek and Alien Nation among other shows.

Often these days some ask about the lack of black actors in big lead roles. Are many just not interested in science fiction work, or does it come down to the writing and casting?

What I might be considering here overall, are thoughts about real potential future space travel and exploration-which countries might explore the known planets around us first or who the successful teams of astronauts might be comprised of and where they may come from?

Are space ship crews and starfleet members always going to be simply American?



Author of science fiction novels Orbital Kin and Minerva Century-also horror, literary fiction, many short stories and screenplays. Always reading, writing, watching films, playing guitar/bass, and am a husband with a coffee addiction. New horror novel due for 2017. This is my blog, offshoot from my website. It will be where I post current thoughts, opinions, views, reviews, or discussions about contemporary film, movies, books, video games, television series mostly in the horror, science fiction, fantasy and their sub-genre offshoots. The entertainment not in the mainstream (for the most part) and proud of it. Also follow me on twitter- @ParsonsFiction, and facebook - James E Parsons

3 responses to “Do we all go into space? -Science Fiction in tv and film

  1. Sartenada

    You wrote: “Are space ship crews and starfleet members always going to be simply American?”

    Well, I do not know, because I have not read Sci-Fi books in English, only in French. I have about 1500 Sci-Fi books in French in my home library.

    So all depends in which languages You are reading books. I have read those books thrice since 1975. In them there are no nations generally, but inhabitants of the earth.

    I am Finn although I read books in French.

    • Thank you very much for your response. Interesting to know your own point of view from where you are culturally.
      I was possibly thinking more about television and films, but often here in UK/Europe it is western and U.S. authors and filmmakers promoted more regularly, and and western point of view in tales. I am very interested to read SF from other countries and elsewhere.

  2. Perhaps the move of private companies into space in real life will broaden science fiction. There have always been evil companies and non-NASA characters – how about good companies, and even less-NASA characters?

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