Doctor Who: The Smugglers

For the penultimate episode of the William Hartnell era, “The Smugglers,” the show returns to a staple form that was common from early on: an episode in which science fiction is only the means by which the characters end up in Earth’s past, but is not central to the story otherwise. In this episode, the [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Awakening

“The Awakening” is another relatively short episode (by the classic series’ standards, not by today’s, when most episodes are roughly an hour long). In it, the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough go to visit Tegan’s grandfather, and in the village discover that elaborate war games reenacting the time of the English Civil War are underway. The [Read More...]

Call for Papers: Religion and Doctor Who: Time, Space, and Faith

Doctor Who is a cultural phenomenon in both the UK and the United States, continuing to go from strength-to-strength as it approaches its 50th anniversary in 2013. Over the show’s long history on television—and in various spin-off TV shows, audio adventures, novels and comic books—religion and religious themes have consistently been a subject of interest. In [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Warriors of the Deep

The episode “Warriors of the Deep” was the first from the final season of Doctor Who to feature Peter Davison as the Doctor. The show took a darker and somewhat more pessimistic turn with this episode, foreshadowing some of the direction in the most recent seasons. This episode marked a return of two related species [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The King’s Demons

The Doctor Who episode “The King’s Demons” is a short (two-part) and fairly entertaining tale about the Doctor and his companions arriving in the time of King John and the Crusade, shortly before the signing of Magna Carta. The Doctor finds the Master there working to change history so as to prevent Magna Carta from [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Special Effects Dinosaurs

IO9 shared this video about the famously poor special effects in the Doctor Who episode “Invasion of the Dinosaurs.” [Read more...]

Doctor Who: The War Machines (and the computer that knew the Doctor’s name)

The episode of Doctor Who, “The War Machines,” may seem to explore familiar terrain to viewers today. But keep in mind that this episode was written and aired not only decades before Skynet and the Terminator films, but also years before the movie Colossus: The Forbin Project was released. And so the Doctor Who episode [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Web Planet

The Doctor Who episode “The Web Planet” from the show’s second season, still in the era of the first Doctor, accompanied by Ian, Barbara, and Vicki, sees the travelers materialize on a barren world, resembling Earth’s moon. This world, called Vortis, is inhabited by giant insects. The Menoptera who initially are thought to be invading [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Savages

The episode “The Savages” is significant for several reasons. It was the first episode to have one single title for its multiple parts – earlier “episodes” had completely separate names for the individual parts, and no clear name for the unified story that was told across them. It also was, I believe, the first time [Read More...]

Torchwood: Reset

This episode seems like the ultimate LOST/Doctor Who/Torchwood crossover. Martha Jones teams up with Torchwood to take on…Charles Widmore (actually, Professor Copley, played by Alan Dale). The similarity would have been there even if the same actor who played Widmore on LOST had not had the role he did in this episode. We still find [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Five Doctors

“The Five Doctors” is the famous 20th anniversary special from 1983 – which of course serves to remind us that the 50th anniversary is approaching. Many are wondering what sorts of special(s) might be in the making for that occasion. The episode is famous, and any fan of the show has surely seen it. Rather [Read More...]


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