2MTL 183: The (Anti-American???) Politics of Doctor Who

Doctor Who is anti-American? That's not exactly what Oklahoma City University professor Mark DiPaolo said in his Journal of Popular Culture article, but his assertions about the show's politics made some interesting fodder for BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed. Does this family SF show have a political point of view worth exploring…?

Thinking Allowed for Jan. 5

The Journal of Popular Culture

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  1. Well worth the extended running time, Chip.

    Your thought experiment at the end reminds me of the Matt HIlls book "Triumph of a Time Lord," which I believe you covered last year. Fandom can benefit a lot from a little dose of academia (and vice versa).

  2. Chip, another great show. (I wouldn't mind it if you ran much longer than two or three minutes all the time, but I know that's not the show you're setting out to produce!) The many layers of "Doctor Who" are what pulled me into series 5 — and, thus, the whole show — last spring. Yes, it was an exciting and funny "fairy tale," but Moffat's first season as headwriter also struck me very much as a story about the power of story itself, and also an extended meditation on what it means to see the world/life correctly. I am now enjoying seeing (ha!) how these themes were already present in RTD's era, and discovering what *his* particular thematic interests were. Thanks for reminding us of just how rich this show really is.

  3. Yeah, I third the motion that you should be allowed to run longer when you have this much to say. This is probably my favorite 2MTL yet, and that's saying something.

    I've never thought RTD had it in for America in general, but that he was certainly critical of American-style imperialism (the Van Stattens of the world, the bellicose President, etc.) … It didn't occur to me until today just how much affection was sent our way by all those Christmas Eves the Doctor visited in CHRISTMAS CAROL … he took Kazran and Abigail to the Grand Canyon and to Hollywood, and perhaps other places I missed. And in the spring we know he'll visit DC and Area 51 … can't wait to see and hear what the opinion of those two places will be.

    Speaking of larger implications — I'm hoping you will someday dedicate an episode to Craig Ferguson's thesis about the show's deeper meaning, as I've tried to do here: http://krillitane.blogspot.com/2010/12/triumph-of-intellect-and-romance-over.html … I really do think Ferguson's on to something profound!

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