Ape Man or Regular Guy? Depictions of Neanderthals and Neanderthal Culture in Doctor Who.
The writers of Doctor Who and History focus on a different aspect of history as it expressed thematically in the show. Kristine Larsen looks at depictions of Neanderthal culture in the programme.
In her chapter, “Ape-Man or Regular Guy”, Kristine Larsen reviews Doctor Who‘s use of Neanderthal characters in television episodes, novels, and short stories.
“While in our common usage, calling someone a “neanderthal” is considered an insult (meaning they are a knuckle-dragging, unintelligent savage),” Kristine says, “the Doctor sagely instructs us that real world Neanderthals were far from being the brutes we see in commercials.”
“As he often does, in introducing us to Neanderthal characters that are largely based on the archaeological knowledge of the time of their writing, the Doctor forces us to look at our own bad behavior (both as individuals and as a species) and reflect upon the inhumanity of humanity. ”
“You might very well ask yourself, who’s the “neanderthal” now?”
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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|