Terence Fisher and British Science Fiction Cinema

Shail, Robert (2009) Terence Fisher and British Science Fiction Cinema. Science Fiction Films and Television, 2 (1). pp. 77-90. ISSN 1754-3770 (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Terence Fisher is a major figure in British cinema of the 1950s and 1960s whose work has been written about a number of film historians including David Pirie and Peter Hutchings. However, this academic work has largely concentrated on Fisher’s popular and influential Gothic horror films made for Hammer studios. His early work of the 1950s in the crime and science fiction genres has often been neglected as it does not fit in the horror category with which he is usually associated. This essay is the first to consider the five science fiction films which Fisher made during this period. The focus is twofold. Firstly, the essay traces the authorial characteristics which typify his work and shows how these are manifest in the films under consideration. Secondly, in placing the films within the wider context of British science fiction of the post-war era, consideration can be given to political and historical discourses within the work. The latter allows for a detailed discussion of the impact of the Cold War on British culture as British science fiction, and Fisher’s work specifically responded directly to the public anxieties produced by the political situation of the period. A number of British science fiction film and novels provide evidence of this and the approach offers a fruitful way to examine Fisher’s films. The essay appears in a relatively new journal but one which has already established itself as the leading publication on the genre in the UK, offering an alternative view to more established publications from the US. The essay contributes to recent attempts to revisit the existing science fiction cannon and explore previously neglected work, as well as adding to the broader discussion of the 1950s and 1960s as crucial periods of radical change in recent British cultural history.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Citation: Science Fiction Films and Television. Vol.2 No. 1 pp77-90.
Uncontrolled Keywords: cinema, Science fiction
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Faculties > Faculty of Art and Design > School of Film and Digital Media
Depositing User: John Dalling
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2013 16:31
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2018 14:47
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/310

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