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'Resistance Reexamined: Gender, Fan Practices, and Science Fiction Television'
Unformatted Document Text:  8 Two New Chapters: Farscape and Stargate SG-1 The “probes” contained in this section corroborate certain claims mentioned but not accentuated in the examination of The X-Files by Scodari and Felder (2000), but are not intended to mimic the precision and depth of that study. 5 Rather, they are designed to show that a significant counterpoint to the generalized “active female fans resist patriarchy” affirmation appears to extend beyond the fandom of that single text. Such a demonstration sets a heuristic trajectory that further inquiries might track. Created by Rockne O’Bannon and produced by David Kemper and Brian Henson, Farscape premiered in 1999 and was originally conceived to target very young viewers with its use of a few Henson Company “Muppet” characters. Made in Australia, the show matured considerably as the centerpiece of the Sci-Fi Channel’s “Friday Prime” lineup of mostly proprietary offerings. Still, like most of this U.S. cable network’s fare it does skew slightly younger, preferring viewers in the 18-34 demographic (Beale, 2001). Like The X-Files, Farcape includes a primary female protagonist and attracts a viewership of both sexes despite science fiction’s traditional preference for the male contingent. In the last decade, the genre has been pigeonholed for cult audiences, airing mostly on cable, in syndication, or on smaller broadcast networks. “It’s easier for the niche networks to tackle it” says David Bushman, curator at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York, “because their expectations are lower in terms of ratings” (qtd. in Beale, 2001). Since the Sci Fi Channel draws from the already limited pool of science fiction fans, it cannot afford to ignore the bloc of women who are in that pool. Network president Bonnie Hammer has championed this view, saying of the Channel’s original concept: “It used to be “a very boy representation of science fiction.... That was a mistake, because there are a lot of women who love the genre” (qtd. in Beale, 2001). Also, the network’s dual profit mechanism, advertising and cable subscription fees, requires that it offer fare which inspires both sexes to demand that their cable outlets carry it. Accordingly, discourse from on stage and backstage personnel reflects enthusiasm about Farscape’s egalitarian

Authors: Scodari, Christine.
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8
Two New Chapters: Farscape and Stargate SG-1
The “probes” contained in this section corroborate certain claims mentioned but not
accentuated in the examination of The X-Files by Scodari and Felder (2000), but are not
intended to mimic the precision and depth of that study.
5
Rather, they are designed to
show that a significant counterpoint to the generalized “active female fans resist
patriarchy” affirmation appears to extend beyond the fandom of that single text. Such a
demonstration sets a heuristic trajectory that further inquiries might track.
Created by Rockne O’Bannon and produced by David Kemper and Brian Henson,
Farscape premiered in 1999 and was originally conceived to target very young viewers with
its use of a few Henson Company “Muppet” characters. Made in Australia, the show
matured considerably as the centerpiece of the Sci-Fi Channel’s “Friday Prime” lineup of
mostly proprietary offerings. Still, like most of this U.S. cable network’s fare it does skew
slightly younger, preferring viewers in the 18-34 demographic (Beale, 2001).
Like
The X-Files, Farcape includes a primary female protagonist and attracts a
viewership of both sexes despite science fiction’s traditional preference for the male
contingent. In the last decade, the genre has been pigeonholed for cult audiences, airing
mostly on cable, in syndication, or on smaller broadcast networks. “It’s easier for the niche
networks to tackle it” says David Bushman, curator at the Museum of Television and
Radio in New York, “because their expectations are lower in terms of ratings” (qtd. in
Beale, 2001). Since the Sci Fi Channel draws from the already limited pool of science fiction
fans, it cannot afford to ignore the bloc of women who are in that pool. Network president
Bonnie Hammer has championed this view, saying of the Channel’s original concept: “It
used to be “a very boy representation of science fiction.... That was a mistake, because
there are a lot of women who love the genre” (qtd. in Beale, 2001). Also, the network’s dual
profit mechanism, advertising and cable subscription fees, requires that it offer fare which
inspires both sexes to demand that their cable outlets carry it. Accordingly, discourse from
on stage and backstage personnel reflects enthusiasm about Farscape’s egalitarian


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