Adventures in Whostory
Introducing Doctor Who and History
Doctor Who’s stories and characters not only consider history, but itself also has a long history and has become part of our collective identity. The essays here join and complement a rich and growing field of study and exploration. There have been many histories written about the program. Indeed, the fortnightly part-work Doctor Who—The Complete History (Hachette) examines its production and reception, however most of the material has been taken and modified from Doctor Who Magazine back issues (1980 onwards) and the themed DWM bookazines (Panini, 2013 onwards). This resource tends to focus on an episode at a time and rarely attempts to understand material as part of the wider broadcast, cultural or historical context. The fan interest in production history is demonstrated by BBC DVD releases frequently containing extra filmed material relevant to the specific serial or the series; these have been documented by The Classic Doctor Who DVD Compendium (Wonderful Books, 2014). Many other books attempt to critically evaluate 50 years of programs by creating lists or “best of” selections. A good example of this is Who’s 50: 50 Doctor Who Stories to Watch Before You Die (ECW Press, 2013) which focuses its critical lens on the thematic content and production notes for episodes. Critically acclaimed “guides” include Sandifer’s Tardis Eruditorum series (CreateSpace, 2014), which began life as a blog, Shearman and Hadoke’s Running Through Corridors series, writ- ten by program insiders, and Woods and Miles About Time series (Mad Norwegian Press, 2006), which attempts to situate episodes retrospectively in relation to other episodes and paratexts. Occasionally, such publications are able to stitch in wider cultural comment but do not develop critiques of broadcast histories nor attempt rigorous or methodologically focused examination of the cultural contexts of episodes.
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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|