Aside from being the inspiration to many new gadgets that eventually reach the market, science fiction is a major source of material for modern pop culture. People may forget about television shows like Quark, Space 1999, and the UFO series, but it is hard to ignore how important science fiction has been to the development of the entertainment industry. Even the Internet culture, with all its searchable content, is discussed as a normal every day part of many science fiction stories. Science fiction is so ingrained in our culture today that it is hard for many to distinguish science fiction from science fact. Just when you think something is too technologically advanced to be believable, some researcher brings the item to market. It is experiences like these that makes living through the science fiction stories of today so much more believable. The real push for science fiction in popular culture began in the 1960’s.
A Brief Look at Science Fiction Since the 1960’s
Some of the best science fiction stories of all time originated in the 1960’s, with Doctor Who and Star Trek becoming two of the longest running science fiction series around. By the 1970’s, when Star Wars hit the movie theaters, science fiction fans could not get enough. Many hard core fans reported seeing the original Star Wars movie more than 100 times. Closing out the 1970’s was the ever favorite Buck Rogers, which introduced humanity to visions of what life would be like in the 25th century. By the early 1980’s, Knight Rider attempted to put science fiction themes into a contemporary law enforcement story, keeping fans glued to the television screen each week. In the mid-1990’s, Quinn Mallory, Professor Maximilian Arturo, Wade Wells, and Rembrandt Brown took us through the worm hole into alternative universes in the hit television series Sliders. At the end of the decade, the Australian release of Farscape took the science fiction crowd by storm, but was cut short by its fourth season causing major disappointment to fans. In 2002, Firefly became another major Science Fiction hit with a huge cult following that met a similar fate after only 11-episodes were aired.
Science Fiction of Today
If there is any doubt how interested pop culture has been in the science fiction genre, such doubts were laid to rest with the introduction of the SyFy channel on September 24th, 1992. According to Wikipedia, the first thing ever aired on the SyFy channel was a dedication to Isaac Asimov and Gene Roddenberry. Since its introduction in the early 1990’s, the SyFy channel has been home to many of the classic science fiction movies of decades past. It has also been responsible for the production of many original mini-series and full series that have become hits with science fiction enthusiasts far and wide. Among these popular stories are The Lost Room, Rewind, Warehouse 13, Eureka and Defiance. As technology improves and humanity heads further into the space age, this will undoubtedly place greater demands on the type of science fiction stories that audiences want to see.