It’s a question I’ve pondered often. While watching a new episode of Torchwood tonight (you can guess where I got that because it doesn’t air here anywhere), I thought of it again, as I have when watching any entertaining sci-fi or fantasy type stuff.
I mean, with the possible exception of movies (and then, never ever Australian movies), Australian’s just aren’t interested in sci-fi. Is it because we just don’t like it? Are we boring? Unable to think about the future? Unable to see ourselves in the future? Just too literal?
Of course, I only mean “we” in a very collective sense, because there’s of course tonnes of Australians who are big sci-fi fans, but it doesn’t seem to translate into any mainstream appeal.
Especially Australian-made sci-fi, which is virtually non-existant. Part of that might be budget related, but there seems little market for it here. And especially in TV as well — I can think of a couple of kid’s dramas like Ocean Girl and Girl From Tomorrow that were sci-fi, but no adult sci-fi drama of any description occurs to me as ever having existed (I’d love to be proved wrong, please tell me if you can).
So what can be done about this? Budgets? Imagination? Proving there’s an audience? Just forget it and move overseas and contribute to American and British SF TV? I mean, if Torchwood can make Cardiff exciting and sci-fi focused, then I think we can do it with Sydney or Melbourne.
Really, I have several decent sci-fi plot lines in me that would be Australian set, but if they go anywhere, I’d say it will be in books first, before it ever got near TV or movies. Partially logistics, partially likelihood of success.
It all comes back to the first statement — it seems as if Australia just doesn’t like sci-fi, or just not enough of the country anyway.