As a writer of science fiction, and a lover of the TV series Supernatural, I need to get this off my chest. The media keeps touting Supernatural as the “longest running American science fiction show on television.” Yes, fourteen seasons going on fifteen does make it a long-running show. It may even make it the longest running supernatural fiction television show in history. It does not make it the longest running science fiction show, anywhere. Why? Because the supernatural genre is not science fiction.
Let me begin with a couple of definitions:
Science Fiction: fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel and life on other planets.
Supernatural: manifestations or events considered to be of supernatural origin, such as ghosts.
Now before someone comments that they have done time travel in Supernatural, let me remind you that they did not use a time machine to do so. They used the magical powers of an angel. Science fiction is based in the plausible while supernatural is based in the improbable. Supernatural fiction is closely related to the genre of fantasy because of the elements of things like magic that can be incorporated, especially when writing about witches and warlocks.
I absolutely love the show Supernatural, I really do, but they use very little technology in how they hunt and kill the ghosts, monsters, and demons on the show. Besides the use of smartphones and laptops, the only other technology the characters use when ghost hunting are EMF (Electromagnetic Frequency) meters which are often depicted by so-called “ghost hunters.”
Everything else in the Winchester’s arsenal are arcane objects or weapons, many imbued with magical properties. They don’t even try to give scientific explanations for the existence of the monsters or ghosts on the show, nor do they have to. Bottom line, there is nothing about the show that makes it science fiction.
Do you view Supernatural as a science fiction show? If you do, please comment below and explain to me how any part of Supernatural has any basis in science.