Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

London on Film and Underground

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  • Publication: The London Journal
  • Date: Vol. 38, issue 3 (November 2013)
  • Author: David Pike
  • Page: 226-244
  • Language: English
  • Abstract: This paper argues that the symbolic meaning of the London Underground, more than those of other metropolitan subway systems, perfectly matches the primary meaning that subways possess as a cultural, and, especially, a cinematic space. In general, different subterranean spaces carry associations with different aspects of the complex attributes of the underground. The subway embodies its quotidian qualities; it is associated with work, daily routine, and the average citizen. This paper studies ways in which the Underground as cinematic setting negotiates the material and cultural attributes of the space, beginning with the intersection of modernity, technology and everyday life in films of the 1920s and 1930s. It then addresses conflicts within this model that emerge in science fiction, horror and fantasy of the 1960s and 1970s. The paper concludes by considering the relationship of the underground railway with the other urban subterranean space primarily featured in film, the sewer, and hypothesizes that the recent appearance, basically for the first time, of the London sewers on screen marks a shift in the cultural identity of underground space within the city.


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  • APA 6th ed.: Pike, David (Vol. 38, issue 3 (November 2013)). London on Film and Underground. The London Journal p. 226-244.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Pike, David. "London on Film and Underground." The London Journal [add city] Vol. 38, issue 3 (November 2013), 226-244. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Pike, David. "London on Film and Underground." The London Journal, edition, sec., Vol. 38, issue 3 (November 2013)
  • Turabian: Pike, David. "London on Film and Underground." The London Journal, Vol. 38, issue 3 (November 2013), section, 226-244 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=London on Film and Underground | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/London_on_Film_and_Underground | work=The London Journal | pages=226-244 | date=Vol. 38, issue 3 (November 2013) | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=20 October 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=London on Film and Underground | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/London_on_Film_and_Underground | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=20 October 2019}}</ref>