Iscuss the a?politicsa of Doctor Who
The episodes screened on the module were a?A Good Man Goes to Wara and a?Letas Kill Hitlera. You need not restrict your analysis to these episodes, but if you range more widely be careful not to let your analysis become too superficial.
a?Politicsa is intended here in the broadest sense. You might consider some or all of the following: war and militarism, diplomacy, conservatism and radicalism, individualism and collectivism, social structures, ideology and politics, sexual politics and sexuality, identity politics. Weare going to focus on Doctor Who in order to explore how popular culture a?createsa and addresses an audience. The justification for this is the oft-stated claim that the Doctor Who revival (not reboot [wiki/Retcon] has been instrumental in the revitalisation of nationwide, network, family-oriented, broadcast television (Dr-Who-profile-Britains-favourite-alien.html and broadcasting.bbc1). Whether this is true or not, or whether itas actually Simon Callow who has glued people to their settees on Saturday nights, is something we might discuss during the session. We can also consider some aspects of a?spectaclea television and the social groupings around it.
It may be significant that Doctor Who has a long televisual history, and the prior incarnation of the programme continues to make its presence felt in the new series. While this isnat the feature of Doctor Who that weare planning to concentrate on, the material to read does address the programmeas history, and so we need to be aware of it.
For the session weare going to look at some critical essays on Doctor Who, and how the show positions itself with regards to issues of popular concern. An article on Doctor Who in the Journal of Popular Culture featured on the Radio 4 sociology discussion programme Thinking Allowed, and you might want to listen to the programme as well as reading the article.
Marc Edward Dipaolo, a?Political Satire and British-American Relations in Five Decades of Doctor Whoa, The Journal of Popular Culture, 43, 5, September 2010 /uk/programmes/b00x41nd (streaming)
Alec Charles, a?War without End?: Utopia, the Family, and the Post-9/11 World in Russell T. Daviesas Doctor Whoa, Science Fiction Studies, 35, 3, Nov 2008, p. 450-465