Doctor Who: Survival

There is something striking about the fact that the last episode of Doctor Who before its long period of non-production was called “Survival“. The DVD release of the episode includes a second disc with extras, one of which is a documentary “Endgame” about the show’s cancellation, about which I’ll say more after discussing the episode [Read More…]

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Doctor Who: The Mind of Evil

This Doctor Who episode from the Jon Pertwee era, “The Mind of Evil,” offers interesting explorations of religious themes, as well as some intriguing connections with (or perhaps disconnects from) more recent episodes. The Doctor and Jo Grant go to see a demonstration at a prison of a device called the Keller Machine, which supposedly [Read More…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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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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…]

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Doctor Who: Time-Flight

The episode “Time-Flight” from the Peter Davison era makes brief mention of the tragic death of Adric at the end of the previous episode, before we see the Doctor back to his old self, and counseling his companions that Adric would not want them to mourn unnecessarily. Although it is understandable that the show’s writers [Read More…]

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