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Doctor Who

Jim Leach

Publication Year: 2009

A comprehensive account of Doctor Who as a television series and product of popular culture.

Published by: Wayne State University Press

Title Page

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pp. vii-viii

A great deal has been written about Doctor Who, mainly from within the lively fan culture that grew up (in both senses of the term) around it. I was one of those students, described by Terrance Dicks in his account of the show's audience quoted later in this book, who gathered around the television in a university common room to watch the first episode in 1963. Although I continued to watch the rest of ...

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Doctor Who at the BBC

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pp. 1-7

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. In Britain, as in many countries around the world, scheduled television programs were preempted by news coverage of one of the first major events to demonstrate the global power and immediacy of the rapidly developing medium. When BBC television returned to normal programming at 5:15 in the evening of the ...

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Who Watched Who?An Unearthly Child

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pp. 7-20

The violent events in Dallas must have unsettled many viewers of the first episode of Doctor Who, and the BBC repeated it a week later before the second episode for the benefit of those who had been too distracted to tune in or pay attention. This dramatic conjunction may have amplified the effect of the show on its first viewers, reinforcing the impression of a world out of control created by the Cuban missile ...

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The Dalek Factor: The Evil of the Daleks

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pp. 20-29

Patrick Troughton took over as the second Doctor in 1966, thanks to a process that later became known as "regeneration," and The Evil of the Daleks marked the end of his first season as the Doctor. Unfortunately, it is difficult to assess the Troughton years because so many of his stories are missing from the archive. Some key stories featuring the first Doctor were also erased in accordance with the BBC's policy of ...

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Doctor Who and the Fantastic:The Daemons

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pp. 29-39

Only in The War Games (1969) does the Doctor reveal his identity as a Time Lord. He needs help to resolve the situation at the end of the story and calls in his fellow Time Lords, who force him to return to his home planet and stand trial. Although they developed the technology for time travel, they forbid its use to change history, and they accuse the Doctor of breaking ...

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The Formula for Doctor Who: City of Death

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pp. 39-55

It was the fourth Doctor who became identified with the role for most American viewers. Easily the longest-serving Doctor (from 1974 to 1981), Tom Baker played the character as a longhaired bohemian who wore a ridiculously long scarf and saw the potential for humor in even the most serious situation. Initially, his attitude offered an ironic counterpoint to the Gothic horror that marked the tenure of Philip Hinchcliffe (1975-77) as producer and disturbed moral watchdogs ...

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Talking about Regeneration:The Five Doctors

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pp. 55-64

One element of the flexibility of the formula not foreseen by the original production team was the periodic renewal made possible by introducing a new actor as the Doctor. Each new actor could inflect the "Doctorish" qualities in significantly different ways, providing new possibilities within the established framework, but the time travel premise meant that the earlier incarnations still existed within ...

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Time Television: Vengeance on Varos

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pp. 64-75

When Ian and Barbara burst into the TARDIS in An Unearthly Child and are stunned to find that the inside is bigger than the outside, the Doctor points out, "You've discovered television, haven't you?" This remark may strike modern viewers as fatuous, so accustomed are we to the idea that large buildings can fit into the frame of a small ...

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That Was the Future That Was: The Curse of Fenric

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pp. 76-85

After the unceremonious dismissal of Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy took over as the seventh Doctor, who, like the second, was a trickster figure, but without any of the sixth Doctor's assertiveness. The spirit of aggression was transferred to his streetwise companion Ace whom he meets in Dragonfire (1987) waiting tables in an intergalactic theme park called Iceworld, having been mysteriously abducted ...

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The Return of Doctor Who

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pp. 85-95

In September 2003, the BBC announced plans for a new series of Doctor Who, and it debuted on March 25, 2005. The producer and chief writer was Russell T Davies, a longtime Doctor Who fan best known for the gay-themed comedic drama Queer as Folk (1999-2000). Christopher Eccleston's energetic Doctor, and his feisty companion Rose, won over most fans (although, inevitably, there were dissenters) while attracting a new generation of viewers. Produced by BBC ...


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pp. 97-100


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pp. 101-104


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pp. 105-107


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pp. 109-112

E-ISBN-13: 9780814335611
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814333082

Page Count: 120
Illustrations: 17
Publication Year: 2009

Edition: 1
Volume Title: N/a