Outer Space as Liminal Space: Folklore and Liminality on Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis explores the intersection of folkloric ritual theory and popular culture, expressed in science fiction television. The three-part rite of passage model established by folklorist Arnold van Gennep and later expounded upon by anthropologist Victor Turner is used as an analytical tool to establish the themes and structures of two popular television programs, Battlestar Galactica and Doctor Who. Both contain structures that resemble a rite of passage and exhibit a particular feature of the liminal stage of a rite of passage: ludic recombination. In the discussion of Battlestar Galactica, the plot arc of the entire series is analyzed as a rite of passage. On Doctor Who, the ritual model is examined as a structural component of the "companion" character. The structure and features of rites of passage allow science fiction narratives to explore sociocultural issues and existential themes in a meaningful way.