Why I love Science Fiction?

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Why I love Science Fiction & Fantasy and  
its importance for Equal Representation in the Media?

I make no secret of the fact that I am a total geek and love all things sci-fi and fantasy. Recently I found myself re-watching what has to be one of the best science fiction programmes that has graced our screens in a long time. The show was cancelled and the science fiction fan community was up in arms. Years on and even a main stream programmes like Waterloo Road is still making jokes about the shows untimely and unnecessary cancellation. The show was definitely a favourite in my house and I can honestly say although I love all the characters, my favourite has to be Zoe Washbourne, played by Gina Torres.


Female actresses from Firefly/ Serenity (source)

Gina Torres as Zoe Washbourne (source)

So what does all this have to do with equal representation in the media.  Well as I said my actual favourite thing about the show is the 2nd in command Zoe Washbourne, played by Gina Torres. She plays the first officer and loyal wartime friend of Captain Mal Reynolds played by Nathan Fillion aboard his ship - Serenity.Not just a stunning woman but an amazing actress. Zoe Washbourne is beautiful, strong and confident and wasn't just there as eye candy or the even stereotypical mama figure. Even though she was bad a** she never came across(to me anyway) as the angry black woman, and I loved that. She was someone on screen I could actual connect with, and that the time for such a popular show was rare indeed.

So why do I love this genre so much?

Well in terms of seeing people like myself on the screen, I think Sci-Fi has nailed it. At times I find Fantasy can be a little white washed and even when a white character is replaced by an actor of colour in a live action fantasy movie, this character is usually male. Science Fiction, however,  often shows us what the future could be if we are at our best or at our worst. If you truly think X-Men is just about super heroes then you have missed a trick. Sometimes sci fi can highlight injustices in our own society and what could happen if we don't  (for example) embrace our differences or change our attitudes to women and people of colour, then we will be doomed to repeat mistakes of the past.

Joss Whedon talking about Firefly on Wikipedia:

"The show [firefly] explores the lives of a group of people who fought on the losing side of a civil war and others who now make a living on the fringe of society, as part of the pioneer culture that exists on the fringes of their star system. In this future, the only two surviving superpowers, the United States and China, fused to form the central federal government, called the Alliance, resulting in the fusion of the two cultures. According to Whedon's vision, "nothing will change in the future: technology will advance, but we will still have the same political, moral, and ethical problems as today"."

Star Trek's Uhura (source)

Science Fiction is a place where I know I will see more women of colour. As a child I grew up idolising Nichelle Nichols as Nyota Uhura. Star Trek was ground breaking in having a Japanese and Russian crew member on board a star ship along with a black female communications officer. Something that was just not seen on television in the 1960's when it debuted.

So I was incredibly happy to see Halle Berry in a new sci-fi TV series 'Extant' and she was Fab! Just Fab!!!

Halle Berry Gorgeous in Extant (source)


As for the gorgeous Tip in the new Dream Works Sci-Fi 'Home', I don't think I have ever seen my daughter happier!



As for fantasy, I am seeing more women of colour each day! 

Nicole Berhare as Abbie Mills in Sleepy Hollow(source)


Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney in Gotham (source)

Tara P Henderson(Person of Interest) (OK I just love Tara P but this is sort of geeky sci fi/fantasy)(source)

In most of these fantasy series these women are often side characters to the main white male role, but you know what...still represented and maybe we will see more shows like Extant where it was all about Halle!! 

What do you think? Are we seeing a new place for women of colour in sci fi/fantasy?
or is this only place that mainstream media think that we can fit (like aliens or zombies)?

Comments below!!


I told you to watch out for more geeky posts! Enjoy the pics!
Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity 
Leilu


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