Cult film – Cult television

Authored by: Stacey Abbott

The Routledge Companion to Cult Cinema

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138950276
eBook ISBN: 9781315668819
Adobe ISBN:


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Film and television are distinct media, each possessing a distinguished history, as well as different production contexts and industrial infrastructures that lend themselves to divergent approaches to authorship, consumption, fandom, genre and storytelling. Yet there is an established tradition of adapting successful television texts to the cinematic screen such as Hammer’s version of the Quatermass serials; spyfy series The Avengers (1961–1969); action adventure shows such as The A-Team (1983–1987); British comedies like On the Buses (1969–1973), Absolutely Fabulous (1992–2012), The League of Gentlemen (1999–2002), and The Thick of It (2005–2012); and science fiction series such as Dr. Who (1963–89, 2005–) and Star Trek (1966–1969). Similarly, there are occasions when a successful, or not so successful, cinema feature is translated to television such as Young Indiana Jones (1992–1993), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003), Stargate: SG-1 (1997–2007), and Fargo (2014–). These works can take the form of adaptation, remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels, or the continuation of an ongoing narrative. The primary industrial appeal of such adaptations is the potential for a pre-existing product to draw an established audience from one media to another.

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