Doctor Who: Castrovalva

The episode “Castrovalva” marked the beginning of the era of the Fifth Doctor, played by Peter Davison, until then the youngest actor to have played the role. The actor, writers, and the show itself had their work cut out for them. Tom Baker had occupied the role for longer than anyone previously or since, a [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Timelash

The episode “Timelash” sees the Doctor visit a planet he had previously been to, supposedly in the Jon Pertwee era, and involves direct references to that visit – including a mural of the Third Doctor and a locket with a picture of Jo Grant! That previous visit was not the focus of an actual earlier [Read More...]

The Beginnings of Doctor Who – and of Christianity

The sci-fi website IO9 had an article on Doctor Who’s scandalous and troubled beginnings. It seems that the show was not expected to do very well. As the article says early on, The show had a tiny studio and huge cameras, and a shoestring budget. But the people who were making the show were outsiders, [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Mark of the Rani

“The Mark of the Rani” was the first episode in which the Sixth Doctor traveled back into a famous period in Earth’s past – in this case, the time of the Luddite movement and its opposition to technology that threatened to eliminate human jobs. This setting provides the symbolic background for discussions between three timelords [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Vengeance on Varos

We all have some parts of our mind that we consider unworthy, some memory that makes us shudder and squirm. The above quote from the character Quillam in the Doctor Who episode “Vengeance on Varos” captures one aspect of the Sixth Doctor admirably – some of the harshest characteristics of the Doctor, from his arrogance [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Evil of the Daleks

This Doctor Who episode about the Daleks was apparently envisaged as providing an end and closure to the Doctor’s interactions with the Daleks. Of course, it was not to be, and one of the things about narratives involving time travel is that, even if one totally obliterates, defeats, or fundamentally changes an enemy at one [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Faceless Ones

The Doctor Who episode “The Faceless Ones” from the Patrick Troughton era is a gripping mystery set largely in Gatwick Airport, where aliens have infiltrated and are working to abduct human young people. Most of the action revolves around the Doctor’s attempt to determine what exactly is going on, who is responsible, and why they [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Attack of the Cybermen

In “Attack of the Cybermen” the return of the show to its earliest roots is highlighted, not only by the Doctor’s emphatic statement, “This is the real me,” but also by the materialization of the TARDIS in a junkyard that looks familiar – one belonging to I. M. Foreman and located at 70 Totter’s Lane. [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Twin Dilemma

When Colin Baker took on the role of the Doctor, something marvellous occurred. More than ever since the first regeneration, there were moments when one could really have believed that this was truly the same character that had featured on the show in its beginning. At times Colin Baker even seems to look like William [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Caves of Androzani

“The Caves of Androzani,” the final episode of Peter Davison’s stint as the Doctor, is summed up well in something that the Doctor says in this episode: “Curiosity has always been my downfall.” In this case, the Doctor visits a rather barren world, Androzani Minor, for no obvious reason, and of course happens across some [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Planet of Fire

With the episode “Planet of Fire,” Doctor Who revisits some classic tropes of religious skepticism. On a volcanic world inhabited by a people many of whom are devoutly religious, faith comes to the fore very early. But by the end of the episode, the central deity of their belief system, Logar, turns out to have [Read More...]


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