Despite my being a fan of Science Fiction TV and films, some criticism can be made that is specific to the visual medium. The Star Trek episode, for example, looks outdated to modern-day viewers in its visual representation. The campy, obviously-constructed set designs, props and costumes, for me, negated a sense of it’s being “real” in an immersive fictional sense. Furthermore, the remastered version I viewed on Netflix had updated the sequences of the USS Enterprise in space, making use of improved CGI. These points highlight technological limitations during the time in which the content is created. This could detract from a quality of timelessness for many viewers, more so than a text where its outdated qualities are less obvious. Fictional immersion may be better for a reader than for a viewer of a Star Trek episode from the late 60s.
The medium of television, and the general advent of technology has greatly shaped the manner by which storytellers, particularly of the science fiction genre are able to convey their messages to readers. The most pronounced mechanism, at least for me having watched Star Trek and many other SyFy features, is the way that it allows the viewer to have a clear and focused image as opposed to having to rely upon their imagination. An example of this is in LeGuin’s Left Hand of Darkness, with regards to the Gethenian’s androgyny. Although it is something that requires chapters upon chapters to explain, it would only take a few hours in the makeup room, and a quick scene for the viewer to better understand the complex idea. I actually think this makes science fiction more accessible to the masses, as one of the biggest “turn offs” among science fiction haters who I have talked to, is the overly “highbrow” or “elitist” attitudes with how writers describe intricate details to the point of superfluousness. When anyone is able to understand the work regardless of their vocabulary, it makes the work more easily comprehensible, even though some die-hard fans argue that the expanding fan base comes at the cost of watering down the detailed universe crafted by the primary author.