Lauren Davis on io9.com
When have TV aliens been more popular than magic? Do shows featuring time travel fare better than those about space exploration? We chart the popularity of television’s most common themes, and see how scifi television has changed since 1970.
We looked at over 300 science fiction and fantasy television shows from 1970, the year after the original ‘Star Trek’ series ended, to the present. Then we looked at which shows on the air in any given year featured any one of the most common science-fiction themes: aliens, space travel, robots, time travel, and magic.
One thing the graph tells us is that the popularity of the different themes are increasingly linked as time goes on. Space travel and aliens are closely linked throughout the graph, since shows about space travel almost always include aliens.
Interestingly, space travel shows were the first to go as circumstances changed, and although shows about managed to hang on longer, they, too are on their way out. Does this indicate that science fiction and fantasy shows are on the decline? Or does it represent a shift to less expensive, near-future science fiction with different speculative priorities?
This is really a great chart. What do you think about it? What do you think about Science Fiction? And will it be real some time in the future?