OUT OF THIS WORLD

SPARKED BY THE REMARKABLE SUCCESS OF THE X-FILES, A NEW ARMADA OF SCIENCE-FICTION SHOWS IS INVADING PRIME TIME

Millennialism produces intriguing impulses in a culture. Around the year 1000, European manuscript artists and poets limned their visions of the Apocalypse. Today's equally important purveyors of world culture--American television producers--are approaching the next millennium with less dismal thoughts. They are offering an onslaught of science-fiction series replete with brilliant techno-fetishists, emoting robots and impassioned parapsychologists.

"As we near the year 2000," explains Fox programming executive Bob Greenblatt, "people are becoming more open to what might lie beyond that magical moment." Greenblatt's employer is responsible for much of the current science-fiction barrage. It has been sparked largely by the astounding success...

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