The Deaths and Resurrections of Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 2 September 2015 - Reported by Harry Ward
A new book which looks how Doctor Who deals with issues of death, concepts of time travel, regeneration and redemption has been released. Out of Time: The Deaths and Resurrections of Doctor Who is written by Alec Charles, Head of Media at the University of Chester.

The author told Cheshire Today:
It just seemed worth exploring some of the reasons why a low-budget children’s show should have endured for more than half a century. It is a book for enthusiasts of the series but also for people with an interest in cultural studies and theory. I’d hope that a few people who wouldn’t normally read cultural theory but love Doctor Who might gain some new insights from reading it. It uses quite complex ideas (by far greater thinkers than me) to address the subject, but I hope that the topic makes these ideas a bit more accessible.
Out of Time: The Deaths and Resurrections of Doctor Who (Credit: Peter Lang Publishing Group) Out of Time: The Deaths and Resurrections of Doctor Who
Written by Alec Charles
Published by Peter Lang September 2015 (available to order now)
ISBN: 978-3-0343-1941-6

Doctor Who is one of television’s most enduring and ubiquitously popular series. This study contends that the success of the show lies in its ability, over more than half a century, to develop its core concepts and perspectives: alienation, scientific rationalism and moral idealism. The most extraordinary aspect of this eccentric series rests in its capacity to regenerate its central character and, with him, the generic, dramatic and emotional parameters of the programme.

Out of Time explores the ways in which the series’ immortal alien addresses the nature of human mortality in his ambiguous relationships with time and death. It asks how the status of this protagonist – that lonely god, uncanny trickster, cyber-sceptic and techno-nerd – might call into question the beguiling fantasies of immortality, apotheosis and utopia which his nemeses tend to pursue. Finally, it investigates how this paragon of transgenerational television reflects the ways in which contemporary culture addresses the traumas of change, loss and death.

Contents: Genre Trouble – The Reality Bomb – The Show that Never Dies – A Fate Worse than Death – One Being’s Utopia – Time Can Be Rewritten – Imitatio Christi – Lord of Time – Coping Strategies A Very Naughty Boy – The Uncanny – Everybody Lives

Alec Charles is Head of Media at the University of Chester and has previously taught at universities in Japan, Estonia, Cornwall and Luton. He has worked as a print journalist and has made documentaries for BBC Radio. He is the author of Interactivity: New Media, Politics and Society and Interactivity 2, co-editor of The End of Journalism, and editor of Media in the Enlarged Europe, Media/Democracy: A Comparative Study and The End of Journalism 2. He has written for journals such as Science Fiction Studies, Utopian Studies, Science Fiction Film and Television, Journal of Popular Television, British Politics and Journalism Education and has contributed to various books on cinema, television and social media. He serves as co-convenor of the Political Studies Association’s Media and Politics Group.
(with thanks to Alec Charles)