Derek Johnston lectures on broadcast media at Queen’s University, Belfast, providing the historical and theoretical spine to the BA Broadcast Production and the MA Media and Broadcast Production. His research is predominantly in media history, particularly the history of fantastic genres such as science fiction and horror in British television, radio and film. This research has led to a growing consideration of the significance of time in relation to broadcasting. The key outputs from this research to date have focused on seasonality, whether that be the seasonal appropriateness of the horror genre in different national contexts, or the wider questions of the relationship between media and the seasons.

Mastodon Profile: <a rel=”me” href=”https://zirk.us/@drdjohnston”&gt; Mastodon </a>

Work Shared in CORE

Conference papers

Other Publications



Haunted Seasons: Television Ghost Stories for Christmas and Horror for Halloween (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

“Landscape, Season and Identity in the Ghost Story for Christmas”, A Dossier on Christmas Television, Journal of Popular Television, 6:1, 2018, pp.105-118

“Breaking the Intimate Screen: Pre-Recording, Special Effects and the Aesthetics of Early British Television”, special issue of Critical Studies in Television ‘Spaces of Television: Production, Site and Style’, 10:3, November 2015, pp.53-66

“Re-Envisioning the Artist Hero Through Two Cole Porter Biopics”, Networking Knowledge ‘The Biographical Narrative in Popular Culture, Media and Communication’ Special Issue, 5: 3, 2012

“‘Strange Visitor from Another Planet’: Genre, National and Corporate Identity and the Arrival of American Television Science Fiction on British Television”, Networking Knowledge ‘American Telefantasy’ Special Issue, 5: 2, 2012

“Parent Issues: How Life on Mars Negotiates a Television Generation Gap” in Previously on. Interdisciplinary Studies on TV Series in the Third Golden Age of Television Supplement for FRAME magazine, December 2011, pp.671-683

“Experimental Moments: R.U.R. and the Birth of British Television Science Fiction”, Science Fiction Film and Television, Issue 2.2, 2009, pp.251-268


Journal Editorial

“Introduction: Christmas Television”, A Dossier on Christmas Television, Journal of Popular Television, 6:1, 2018, pp.81-84

“Introduction: Special Issue: Television Seasonality”, Journal of Popular Television, 5: 1, pp.3-10, April 2017


Book Chapters

“Gothic Television”. The Cambridge History of the Gothic, Volume III: Gothic in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries, edited by Catherine Spooner and Dale Townshend. Cambridge University Press, 2021. pp.221-241.

“Ghosts and Television”, Scott Brewster and Luke Thurston (eds) A Companion to the Ghost Story (London: Routledge, 2017), pp.378-387

“Seasons, Family and Nation in American Horror Story“, Rebecca Janicker (ed) Reading American Horror Story: Essays on the Television Franchise (Jefferson: McFarland, 2017), pp.45-63

“Introduction”, with Rayna Denison and Rachel Mizsei-Ward, in Rayna Denison and Rachel Mizsei-Ward (eds.) Superheroes on World Screens (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2015), pp.3-16 –Nominated for the Eisner Award for Best Academic / Scholarly Work 2016

“Invaders, Launchpads and Hybrids: The Importance of Transmediality in British Science Fiction Film in the 1950s”, Sonja Fritzsche (ed.), The Liverpool Companion to World Science Fiction Film (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2014), pp.89-103 – being translated for publication in China

“The Sound of Civilisation: Music in Terry Nation’s Survivors”, Kevin Donnelly and Philip Hayward (eds), Music in Science Fiction Television: Tuned to the Future (London: Routledge, 2013), pp.123-134

“Genre, Special Effects and Authorship in the Critical Reception of Science Fiction Film and Television during the 1950s”, with Mark Jancovich, in Elizabeth McCarthy and Bernice M. Murphy (eds), It Came from the 1950s: Popular Culture, Popular Anxieties, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp.90-107

“The BBC versus Science Fiction! The collision of transnational genre and national identity in British television in the early 1950s”, in James Leggott and Tobias Hochscherf (eds) British Science Fiction Film and Television: Critical Essays (London: McFarland, 2011), pp.40-49

“Film and Television – the 1950s”, in Mark Bould, Andrew M.Butler, Adam Roberts and Sherryl Vint (eds) The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction (London: Routledge, 2009) (with Professor Mark Jancovich) pp.71-79


Encyclopedia / Reference Entries

Real Steel”, “The X-Files: Fight the Future”, “The Flintstones”, “Bewitched”, “The Birdcage” and “It Came From Beneath the Sea” in Lincoln Geraghty (ed.) Directory of World Cinema: American Hollywood vol.2 (Bristol: Intellect, 2015)



“Review: Mid-Century Gothic: The Uncanny Objects of Modernity in British Literature and Culture After the Second World War by Lisa Mullen”, Aeternum: The Journal of Contemporary Gothic Studies, 6:1, 2019, pp.64-66.

“Review: William Hughes and Ruth Heholt, eds., Gothic Britain: Dark Places in the Provinces and Margins of the British Isles“, Fantastika Journal, 3:1, 2019, pp.73-76.

“Review: Janet K.Halfyard, Sounds of Fear and Wonder: Music in Cult TV”, Journal of Popular Television, 6:1, 2018, pp.140-142

“Review: Tara Moore Christmas: The Sacred to Santa”, Cultural Sociology, 10:2, June 2016

“Review: Lez Cooke Style in British Television Drama and Su Holmes Entertaining Television: The BBC and Popular Television Culture in the 1950s”, Critical Studies in Television, 10:1, March 2015

“Review: TV Horror: Investigating the Dark Side of the Small Screen by Lorna Jowett and Stacey Abbott”, Critical Studies in Television, vol.1, no.3, Autumn 2013

“Review: 1950s “Rocketman” TV Series and Their Fans: Cadets, Rangers, and Junior Space Men, Cynthia J.Miller and A.Bowdoin Van Riper (eds.)”, Journal of Popular Television, vol.1, no.2, September 2013

“Review: Ghost-Seers, Detectives, and Spiritualists: Theories of Vision in Victorian Literature and Science by Srdjan Smajić” Supernatural Studies, vol.1, no.1, July 2013

“Review: Number 13”, The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies, March 2007 (unpaginated website)


Conference Proceedings

“The Rise of the Unreal Real: Realism and Science Fiction on British Television 1936-1950”, 2008 Conference Proceedings: “Film & Science: Fictions, Documentaries, and Beyond”, Center for the Study of Film and History, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 2009 (unpaginated CD-ROM)

Blog Posts


International Gothic Association

British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS)

Founder member of the BAFTSS Horror Studies SIG

Higher Education Academy

Society of Authors

Derek Johnston

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