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Extraordinary television time travel and the wonderful end to the working day

journal contribution
posted on 01.12.2015, 00:00 authored by Sean RedmondSean Redmond
In this article I will present two arguments. First, the argument that the time travel television series historically provided viewers with a spectacular temporal and spatial alternative to the routine of everyday life, the regulation of television scheduling, and the small-world confines of domestic subjectivity. Taking the decades of the 1970s and 1980s, predominantly in a UK viewing environment, I will suggest that the special effect rendering of the time travel sequence expanded the viewer’s material universe, and affectively wrenched the television set free from the strictures of scheduling and realist programming. Further, the time travel series readily and regularly took the domestic space, the ordinary day and the everyman/ person into awesome environments and situations that suggested alternative lifestyles and behaviours, with a different existential tempo and rhythm. At a narrative, thematic, meta- textual, and aesthetically spectacular level, television time travel saw to the wonderful end of the working day. Case studies include Sapphire and Steal, Dr Who, and Quantum Leap. Second, the article will argue that rather than the contemporary time travel television series being an extraordinary alternative to ordinary life, they instead articulate convergence culture, deregulation, multiple channel viewing, and time-shift culture where there is no such thing as an ordinary working day or domestic viewing context.

History

Journal

Thesis eleven

Volume

131

Issue

1

Pagination

54 - 64

Publisher

Sage

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

1461-7455

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2015, Sage