The Dark Heart of the Village. Doctor Who in the 1970s and the Problematic Idyll.
The writers of Doctor Who and History focus on a different aspect of history as it expressed thematically in the show. Peter Lowe examines the English village as a place of subversion.
“The ‘sleepy English village’ is often seen as a place unchanged by events in the world outside, somewhere quiet and safe, often to the point of being boring,” says Peter. “As viewers of Doctor Who have come to appreciate, though, we shouldn’t always believe what we see.”
In the 1970s the programme took its viewers to such locations and made them the most dangerous places imaginable, showing how village communities that appear to be peaceful and ordinary may be in the power of the Master or at the centre of an alien plot to invade Earth.
“The more things appear ‘ordinary’ in such cases, the greater is the threat facing the planet.”
“Doctor Who was drawing on ideas used in British government propaganda of World War Two, in which the ‘English village’ had been used as a symbol both of the country that was at risk from Nazi invasion and of the communal spirit that would enable Britain to survive that menace.”
“Enlisting the Doctor in an intergalactic version of the wartime ‘Home Guard’ enabled the programme to explore ways of dealing with threats to village life from millions of miles away and from within the community itself.”
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ABOUT DOCTOR WHO AND HISTORY
When Sydney Newman conceived the idea for Doctor Who in 1963, he envisioned a show that would entertain as well as educate. Historical adventures were part of his vision-the Doctor and his companions would visit and observe, but not interfere with, events in history. That plan was dropped early on. Not only has the Doctor happily meddled with historical events for decades, his adventures-on television, in films, novels, comics, books and games-reflect how we regard our own place in history. This collection of new essays examines how the Doctor engages with history and inspires reflections upon it history. Topics includes reconstruction of lost historical serials, reflections on Britain’s colonial past, the subversion of nostalgia for village life, the depiction of Norse myths, alternate history, and the impact of historical decisions on the present.
|Number of Pages||193|
|Author||Fleiner, Carey, October, Dene|
|Publisher||McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers|
|Publication Date||August, 2017|