Science Fiction Film & Television

Visible/invisible

Female astronauts and technology in Star Trek: Discovery and National Geographic's Mars

Science Fiction Film & Television (2019), 12, (1), 127–150.

Abstract

This article examines the newest television programme in the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek: Discovery (2017-) and National Geographic's part-documentary, part-fictional series Mars (2016-). I argue that Discovery and Mars make visible the depiction of developing technology and a breadth and depth of female astronaut characters, two elements that have been historically marginalised in sf narratives such as Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-9). Discovery and Mars both emphasise the purposeful centrality of female characters and their positions of authority as female astronauts and ship leaders. Each programme also foregrounds the representation and framing of technology, emphasising the not-yet-perfect science and the loss of lives associated with complex space expeditions.

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Author details

Keeler, Amanda