Does Dr Who tell us about science and technology or the Britain of its time?

2055 Words9 Pages
Does Dr Who tell us about science and technology or the Britain of its time? Discuss.


Doctor Who has been one of the most successful TV series of all time. Produced by the BBC, it describes adventures of a time-traveling humanoid alien, the Doctor, who, in his spaceship TARDIS, encounters different times, places and parts of the universe (Leach, 2009). The series, aired from 1963 until the present day, is a science fiction drama, focused on cutting edge technology and alien civilisations but also, on social issues and individual behaviour, always presenting the Earth as a central setting for the Doctor's ventures. Science and technology are the major themes in the series, acting as catalysts for stories and their characters. This essay is going to discuss morality and religion in Doctor Who, depicting alongside scientific and technological inventions. It's aim is to analyse the shows scientific themes, to contrast them with social and cultural mores in Britain, and to identify a social impact of the program. On the one hand, it will be argued that Doctor Who attempts to portray Britain of its time, its moral values, and prevailing social, political and cultural views. It will be shown that the series is about education and authority on social behaviour, depiction of social reality, and about human values, all derived from religious morality, and codes of action, typical of contemporary society. On the other hand, the essay will examine the show's scientific take on morality and religion. It will be considered that the program's sci-fi genre challenges religious perspectives and offers social commentary. The text will also suggest that Doctor Who uses humanism as a form of a cultural debate, and that science and tech...

... middle of paper ...

...Who. Detroit: Wayne Street University Press.

Leitch, G. I (ed) (2013). Doctor Who in Time and Space: Essays on Themes, Characters, History and Fandom, 1963-2012. Jefferson: McFarland and Company.
Milburn, C. (2010). Modifiable Futures: Science Fiction at the Bench. Isis, 101 (3), pp. 560-569. Available through: [Accessed 31st December 2013].
Poon, P.(2010). Crossing the Time Vortex: Retrospective on Doctor Who (new series; 2005-2010).[online] Available through: [Accessed 15th December 2013].
Richards, J. (2003). Doctor Who- The Legend (1st ed.). London: BBC Books.

Scott, C. and Wright, M. (2013). Who-ology. Doctor Who- The Official Miscellany. London: BBC Books.

Walker, S. J. (2007). Inside the Hub. London: Telos Publishing.
Open Document