Painted men and salt monsters: the alien body in 50s and 60s American science fiction television

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Abstract

If, as we have seen, it is of ten claimed that television is awash with graphic images of the body, American television science fiction was virtually fascinated with the figure of the alien during the late 1950s and 1960s, where it routinely focused on the body – both alien and human – as images of difference. From monstrous aliens and mutated humans to evil cyborgs and painted men, the body became a space in which to examine and negotiate ideas concerning race, nationhood and gender. Series such as The Twilight Zone (1959-1964), The Outer Limits (1963-1965), and Star Trek (1966-1969) examined specific constructions of difference through their episodic format and consistent use of the ‘alien’ as an instrument of narrative storytelling.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIntensities: The Journal of Cult Media
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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