History as Genre, Aesthetic and Context in “The Gunfighters”.
The writers of Doctor Who and History focus on a different aspect of history as it expressed thematically in the show. Ramie Tateishi looks at the ‘pseudo historical’ “The Gunfighters”.
Ramie Tateishi’s chapters on 1966’s “The Gunfighters” considers how audience expectation of a particular historical era and genre of storytelling affect the portrayal of its historical-cum-folkloric figures.
“Having first risen to widespread infamy in fandom, the serial went on to consistently rank among the least favourite stories in fan surveys conducted in publications such as Doctor Who Magazine, becoming known primarily as the story directly responsible for putting an end to the historical Doctor Who adventure after its poor reception upon its original airing”.
Tateishi demonstrates how “The Gunfighters” continues the slippage away from the original directive of “pure historicals,” framing the story with a narrative ballad, and expands on the typical depiction of the American West as an already-mythologised version of real-life events.
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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|