Opinion: Why the Doctor is not the core of Doctor Who

William HartnellWith Doctor Who returning to our screens shortly and the question “Doctor Who?” hanging over current storylines, Swithun Dobson considers Time Lords, TARDISes, and Time Travel to ask: what is the essence of the show?

Contrary to popular conceptions, at its core it’s not even about the Doctor. If we travel back to 1963 we do of course meet the TARDIS and the Doctor but we soon realise that they are the frame in which the story is hanged. Ostensibly most of the first two seasons revolve around the TARDIS team trying to get Ian and Barbara home to 1960s London after being kidnapped by the Doctor for rumbling his affairs, so why take a roundabout route visiting Kublai Khan, Robespierre and the Sensorites?

Interestingly, from the modern Who perspective, none of the early serials focus on the character of the Doctor. The earliest story is The Tenth Planet but that just establishes that he can rejuvenate; the whole mythos of regeneration comes a lot later. Even The Deadly Assassin which establishes the 12 regeneration limit really focuses on the Master trying to cheat death.
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Five Comics You Should Read

It’s all fun and games until someone calls the Homicide Crabs

As the nation goes Dark Knight crazy once again, regular columnist Olivia Cottrell offers up some tantalising alternatives for those of you looking for more than just men in tights…

So, you like comic books, do you? Or maybe you’ve seen the big Marvel movies, or the Nolan Batman, and you want to get into the genre proper but don’t know where to start. Well, here are my top five comic books of all time: each one perfectly acceptable as a series on its own, but each, I hope, a great example of what the medium can offer in superheroes and beyond. There’s dinosaurs, cowboys, explosions and crime, serious comics and comics that will make you laugh your head off. They also probably say far more about me and my tastes than I intended.

Well, never mind. Onwards!
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Random Encounter #5 – Tropes Vs Me

Is there a sexual sickness at the heart of geek culture? Olivia squares up against the latest controversy, and the gloves are coming off…

Recently I’ve been trying to write something on this Tropes vs Women in video games debate that’s being raging on the Internet. For those not in the know, Anita Sarkeesian, who runs a popular YouTube series called Tropes Versus Women, recently asked for funding to produce a series that looked specifically at video games. While Sarkeesian received the funding she needed (and then some), she also provoked a backlash of the most poisonous kind. Every aspect of her online presence – her YouTube channel, Facebook profile, Twitter account and her own website, to name but a few – was flooded with misogynistic comments, threats of death, sexual assault and violence. There were event attempts to have her YouTube channel shut down by flagging her videos as ‘terrorism’.

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