Science Fiction Film & Television

‘Nothing is what it appears to be’

Event fidelity and critique in Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse

Science Fiction Film & Television (2012), 5, (1), 67–84.

Abstract

This article identifies and examines the different ways in which narrative strategies in Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse variously embody political critique or abdicate the attempt. While both programmes function recognisably as dystopias, the critical capacity of Battlestar Galactica is undermined and ultimately halted by the centrality of the military project throughout. In contrast, the potentially problematic premise of Dollhouse is utilised to mobilise a critique of the biological commodification it foregrounds. The article draws from Alain Badiou's notion of Event fidelity and Tom Moylan's typology of critical dystopias and links these approaches to recognised strategies of screen sf, such as foregrounding of spectacle and shifting of contemporary political concerns to another space and time to achieve an estranged and critical perspective.

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Author details

Moylan, Katie