Summer Glau has played two of the most iconic characters in recent sci-fi history, River Tam in Joss Whedon's Firefly and Cameron in Josh Friedman's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. This is probably why River and Cameron are the subject of case studies in an essay titled "Science Fiction Film, Television, and Adaptation: Across the Screens (Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies)" by Jay Telotte and Gerald Duchovnay.
The book deals with case studies of film to television adaptation, case studies of television to film adaptation, and issues in contemporary science fiction adaptation.
"While film and television seem to be closely allied screen media, our feature films and television series have seldom been successfully adapted across those screens. In fact, rather than functioning as portals, those allied media often seem, quite literally, screens that filter out something that made the source work so popular in its original form. Differences in budget, running times, cast, viewing habits, screen size and shape all come into play, and this volume’s aim is to track a number of popular texts in the course of their adaptive journeys across the screens in order to sketch the workings of that cross-media adaptation. For its specific examples, the volume draws on a single genre—science fiction—not only because it is one of the most popular today in either film or television, but also because it is arguably the most self-conscious of contemporary genres, and thus one that most obviously frames the terms of these technological adaptations. The essays included here mine that reflexive character, in both highly successful and in failed efforts at cross-media adaption, to help us understand what film and television achieve in screening science fiction, and to reveal some of the key issues involved in all of our efforts to navigate the various screens that have become part of contemporary culture."
The PART II of the book, titled 'Case Studies: Film to Television', includes a chapter on Cameron Philipps in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, written by Lorrie Palmer. By questioning the wider cultural discourses of television, Palmer considers how the medium cultivates a female warrior figure resulting in gendered imagery dissimilar to the source material.
Here's an excerpt :
There's also a chapter dedicated to Joss Whedon's Firefly/Serenity (pages are not available in the preview); here's what the introduction says :
"Turning to the unsual case of a failed television series that inspired a successful film adaptation, Joss Whedon's Firefly (2002-03) and his film Serenity (2005), the next chapter examines how a cult following might empower adaptation, allowing a text to move across the screens almost in spite of its network failure. In this instance, though, the success of the film certainly also owes much to the influnece of Whedon and to his particular approach to genre and its narrative possibilites."
About the Authors
J. P. Telotte is a professor of literature, communication, and culture at Georgia Tech. Co-editor of the journal Post Script, he has published widely on film and television studies. His most recent books are The Mouse Machine: Disney and Technology, The Essential Science Fiction Television Reader, and Animating Space.
Gerald Duchovnay is professor of English and film at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
This book is available on Amazon for $140.
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