Emotions in Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica: What Makes Us Human
What do science fiction films and TV series reveal about human emotions? Since the 1960s science fiction series, such as the original Star Trek series (NBC, 1966–69), the movie Star Trek (2009), and Battlestar Galactica (ABC, 1978–79; Sci-fi, 2003–09) have mirrored the human condition and reflected changes in societal knowledge about emotions and rational behaviour. Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica (hereafter BSG) use distinctions among emotional and dispassionate behaviour as a distinguishing feature that differentiates human from non-human characters. However, there is a remarkable difference in the way that the films (movies and TV series) make use of these distinctions. Both Star Trek and BSG were revived with successful ‘next generation’ versions at the turn of the twenty-first century. Therefore, a comparative analysis of the aforementioned productions shows particularly well the evolution of our attitudes towards the expression of emotions, shifting gender roles and an overall more positive evaluation of emotions.
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