The 13 Doctors – Part III

I’ve been holding out for David Warner since I was about 14 years old.

What did the thirteen academics behind Doctor Who and History make of the decision to cast Jodie Whittaker as the thirteenth Doctor? Carey Fleiner on getting over regenerations.

imgres-3.jpg“Wow – Is this the elephant in the room, or not? Why are people ducking this question? Is it out of fear that ‘Hmmm, Jodie isn’t my first choice’ is going to get you hounded on social media as a misogynist or that ‘Yay, a woman as the Doctor!’ will bring down the wrath of a certain sector of fanboys – and girls – upon you? Sure, it’s a hell of a talking point, but for goodness sake, what about all of the online meltdowns when the BBC released that Twilighty photo of Matt Smith and everyone thought that Steven Moffat was going to put an emo in the TARDIS or the wails of the fangirls that Peter Capaldi was ‘too old’ to star in their creepy fanfiction (I’ve had a crush on Peter C since my uni days and ‘Local Hero’ so I think he’s dishy, anyway).”

“When I was lapping this show up as a kiddy, my fave serial was ‘Brain of Morbius’ – and whoa, how mysterious, that mind battle there with Morbius – what, wait, The Doctor and Morbius had previous lives and looks? How mysterious! Keeping in mind that tween me had no idea that Tom Baker wasn’t the one and only Doctor, like ever. I thought it was simply a neat plot device. Subsequently, My first viewing of ‘Logopolis’ went from ‘I’m going to tidy my room at the same time this is playing out on the little portable TV my lovely brother gave me and WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE, WAIT, WHAT????’ with the Watcher and the Doctor falling off a building, and fucking hell, he’s turned into Tristan Farnon? Wait, what??’ No internet in those days, kids, and no idea that after years of happily looking at the same few series of DW on PBS, Channel 12 had finally scored Tom Baker’s last series.  Absolutely shocking. As much as I came to love the Fifth Doctor and Peter Davison, at the time I was floored.”

“Every regeneration has been a ‘Oh, why that guy??’ or ‘Who?!’  (with the exception of Paul McGann, as I knew him from a super Channel 4 film called Paper Mask – check it out – and then Withnail and I, and David Tennant, whom I’d seen in a few other things prior to 2005 as well). They’ve all worked out, and inevitably when it was time for them to go or move on, it was a bit of a heartbreaker (especially for 6, who apparently tripped over some clutter in the TARDIS).  Sure, you want to stick with ‘your Doctor.’ Also, sure, you want to see your choice take over the Type-40. I’ve been holding out for David Warner since I was about 14 years old.”

“But if the choice of the new incumbent somehow shakes up your little world, well, hey, consider the end of series 10 of MST3K, and we got this parting shot from Pearl Forrester (what?! An evil gal who wants to rule the world????)  ‘Listen, Nelson: move on. I am.’”

BACareyThe writers of Doctor Who and History focus on a different aspect of history as it expressed thematically in the show. Carey Fleiner goes Roman for her chapter in Doctor Who and History.

It is worth remembering that the thirteen writers interviewed are academics whose speciality is expressed through their individual contribution to the book. But they are also fans and their opinions on a range of Who-related issues are, not surprisingly, emotionally diverse.


Doctor Who and History is available on Amazon UK  Amazon US  McFarland shop and also available on Kindle. Check out the McFarland catalogue.

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.

Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 193
Author Fleiner, Carey, October, Dene
Publisher McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication Date August, 2017
ISBN-13 9781476666563
ISBN-10 1476666563

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