Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Doctor Who and the Creation of a Non-Gendered Hero Archetype

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  • Publication: Illinois State University thesis
  • Date: 2014-12-01
  • Author: Alessandra J. Pelusi
  • Page:
  • Language: English
  • Abstract: This thesis investigates the ways in which the television program Doctor Who forges a new, non-gendered, hero archetype from the amalgamation of its main characters. In order to demonstrate how this is achieved, I begin with reviewing some of the significant and relevant characters that contribute to this. I then examine the ways in which female and male characters are represented in Doctor Who, including who they are, their relationship with the Doctor, and what major narrative roles they play. I follow this with a discussion of the significance of the companion, including their status as equal to the Doctor. From there, I explore the ways in which the program utilizes existing archetypes by subverting them and disrupting the status quo. I then go a step beyond this and consider that, based on my previous findings, the Doctor and Companion rely upon one another, creating a symbiotic relationship, and thus fusing the characters of the “Doctor” and “companion” into one symbolic entity. Finally, I make the argument that, if we accept the ways in which the characters and plot invert stereotypes, and the idea that the Doctor and companion form a cohesive unit, Doctor Who creates a new and unique hero archetype that is not defined in gendered terms and is free from stereotypical notions of gender that often permeate descriptions of female and male heroes when identified separately by sex.


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  • APA 6th ed.: Pelusi, Alessandra J. (2014-12-01). Doctor Who and the Creation of a Non-Gendered Hero Archetype. Illinois State University thesis .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Pelusi, Alessandra J.. "Doctor Who and the Creation of a Non-Gendered Hero Archetype." Illinois State University thesis [add city] 2014-12-01. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Pelusi, Alessandra J.. "Doctor Who and the Creation of a Non-Gendered Hero Archetype." Illinois State University thesis, edition, sec., 2014-12-01
  • Turabian: Pelusi, Alessandra J.. "Doctor Who and the Creation of a Non-Gendered Hero Archetype." Illinois State University thesis, 2014-12-01, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor Who and the Creation of a Non-Gendered Hero Archetype | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Doctor_Who_and_the_Creation_of_a_Non-Gendered_Hero_Archetype | work=Illinois State University thesis | pages= | date=2014-12-01 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=25 August 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor Who and the Creation of a Non-Gendered Hero Archetype | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Doctor_Who_and_the_Creation_of_a_Non-Gendered_Hero_Archetype | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=25 August 2019}}</ref>