Well, it has been almost twelve months since my last contribution to Sci-Fi Bloggers, and during my time away I have been introduced to a plethora of entertaining characters, interesting storylines and various science fiction and fantasy series. This means I have joined a number of new fandoms and rejoined Twitter to discuss my new favourite shows with hundreds of other viewers.
Now, my I-must-watch-and-become-obsessed-with-this-television-show radar usually goes off when the television series possesses one thing: a strong cast of compelling, relatable characters. The more developed and the more human they appear, the more likely am to watch the entire series.
In order for a television series to be a success, to continue for multiple seasons (and, perhaps, a spin-off), there needs to be a strong connection between the viewer and the show. This is because the success of a series relies on numerous viewers being loyal to it. There are numerous ways that creators and writers make a relationship between the audience and show occur.
In most cases, the connection is developed through the viewer and the creation of strong, relatable characters (as previously stated). Creators and writers endeavour to make their characters appear “human-like.” They come to possess similar characteristics and qualities that audiences are likely to connect with: personality traits, backstories, etc. This is usually achieved over time. In real life, a relationship doesn’t instantly develop overnight. Through various situations, however, a character becomes less one-dimensional and we begin to sympathise with them, relate to them.
Perhaps you find that you can easily relate to Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly because you have turned away from religion, or maybe you relate to Doctor Beverly Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation because you also possess the compassion, intelligence and strong motherly nature she does. Personally, there is one character that I relate immensely to: B’Elanna Torres from Star Trek: Voyager.
The reason that I find B’Elanna such a compelling character is because I can relate to her difficult, sometimes painful journey with her anger. Between you and me, I struggle with my temper. I have a short fuse. I jump to conclusions. When B’Elanna initially appeared on my screen, it was like watching myself. I am able to connect and relate to the frustrations, problems and achievements that B’Elanna has throughout the seven seasons of Star Trek: Voyager. The fact that there is a character that possesses the same problem as me, who struggles every day like me, helped me with my own journey.
When you think about your favourite characters, what kind of qualities do they possess? Are they similar to your own? Do they remind you of yourself? More than likely, they do.
This pieces marks the return of an old contributor of ours, Madeline Johnston! Let’s all give her a warm welcome as she brings us more great content!
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