A television series is tagged with the label "cult" by the media, advertisers, and network executives when it is considered edgy or offbeat, when it appeals to nostalgia, or when it is considered emblematic of a particular subculture. By these criteria, almost any series could be described as cult. Yet certain programs exert an uncanny power over their fans, encouraging them to immerse themselves within a fictional world. In Cult Television leading scholars examine such shows as The X-Files; The Avengers; Doctor Who, Babylon Five; Star Trek; Xena, Warrior Princess; and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to determine the defining characteristics of cult television and map the contours of this phenomenon within the larger scope of popular culture. Contributors: Karen Backstein; David A. Black, Seton Hall U; Mary Hammond, Open U; Nathan Hunt, U of Nottingham; Mark Jancovich; Petra Kuppers, Bryant College; Philippe Le Guern, U of Angers, France; Alan McKee; Toby Miller, New York U; Jeffrey Sconce, Northwestern U; Eva Vieth Sara Gwenllian-Jones is a lecturer in television and digital media at Cardiff University and co-editor of Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media. Roberta E. Pearson is a reader in media and cultural studies at Cardiff University. She is the author of the forthcoming book Small Screen, Big Universe: Star Trek and Television.