Wednesday 17th October, 4.00pm – 5.15pm
Room 106, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T 3UW
Christopher Daley (University of Westminster)
‘Too many machines’: British Science Fiction Film and Television of the 1950s
In analysing British cinema between 1945 and 1965, Tony Shaw (2001) argues that the influence of American cinema on British audiences was undeniable: ‘Hollywood films dominated the British market from the beginning to the end of the period and not to recognize the potentially significant role American productions had in shaping British perceptions of the Cold War would be misleading’ (p.4). Movies such as The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Forbidden Planet (1956) persist as potent symbols of an era which mixed fear of communism and nuclear war with utopian hopes for the technological conquest of other worlds. Whilst the political content of these popular films has been continuously reviewed by critics and scholars alike, the contemporaneous works of British filmmakers has received limited attention. In this paper, I will analyse a series of British films and television programmes which not only challenged or complicated the political content of prominent American SF productions, but crucially, made use of the speculative imagination to reflect upon the state-of-the-nation during a period of rapid technological and social transformation.
Tagged as cinema, science fiction, television
The Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture
University of Westminster Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies
32-38 Wells Street, London W1T 3UW. United Kingdom.