Doctor Who and History Spoilers II

Let the Chains of Fenric Shatter.

haemovore2.jpgThe contributors to Doctor Who and History researched a specific aspect of history as it is explored in the show. This series of taster-blogs previews their work – and thought processes – by offering a sneak peek at the finished book. Marcus Harmes‘s chapter is all about the Vikings in the programme. “In my chapter I examine the story which is set during World War Two but is full of allusions to the history of the Vikings and especially to how they thought the world was going to end”.

Deep in Ultima’s electronic structure is a vessel of green poisonous liquid from the church crypt. Realizing that a group of Russian soldiers have infiltrated the base to steal Ultima, and predicting that following the war Russia and Britain would no longer be allies, the camp’s insane commander intends to let the Russians steal the computer. It is pre-programmed to explode and release the poison in Moscow (Orthia 2010, 121). The machine takes on a yet more sinister aspect when Ace realizes that in shape and design the ancient runes are akin to a computer program language. Judson runs this program and the computer tape began to print out of control, as if the machine was possessed. “Let the chains of Fenric shatter” reads Dr. Judson in puzzlement as the computer’s rotor mechanism whirls madly and ticker tape spurts out the names of the Vikings who were lost at sea when the longboat sank: Estrid, Sigvald, Hakon, Fridrek, Wulfstan, Ingiga.

BAMarcusThis brief snapshot of the author’s chapter focuses on a small part of a much larger argument that seeks to address the significance of the programme to exploring and understanding history.


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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