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Our Top Picks + Revolution & Social Change in Sci-Fi

Monday 12 October 2020, by Abla Kandalaft, Coco Green, Thomas Barlow

A longer episode than usual in which we are joined by Media Fund Strategic Coordinator Thomas Barlow. Among the many other things he does is conducting anti-fascist history tours  in his home city of Manchester!

Tom chose to focus on themes of revolution and social change in sci-fi, with a particular focus on Elysium, The Expanse and Battlestar Galactica. We discuss how the film and series creators depict the agents of change, the use of a single hero-like protagonist as opposed to the class of workers or oppressed characters taking things into their own hands. We touch on the lionisation of individual figures and the problematic lack of representation of collective action, which brings us to older representations of working class characters in UK and US TV in the 1970s and 1980s, how shows in the 1990s such as Deep Space 9 depicted UN-like diplomatic unions as the answer, cynical superhero series and escapism in films like The Matrix, and the links with conspiracy theorists. 

We’ve got a slightly longer top picks section - We look at Miss Juneteenth, independent horror (?) film Saint Maud, UK/US series Utopia, Nora From Queens, available on BBCiPlayer, Keenie Meenie, an investigative doc about Britain’s largest mercenary company and quickly flag The Haunting (and not The Curse!) Of Bly Manor on Netflix and Grayson Perry’s Big American Road Trip. Phew! 

Any message or comments?


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