Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Academic to deliver course on Dr. Who

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A Syracuse University professor of digital and social media is offering a class based on the British science fiction series Doctor Who. Prof. Anthony Rotolo plans to take an exhaustive look at the wildly popular series, which started in 1963 as a children's show and was relaunched in 2005.

How's this hypothetical incentive for class participation? At Syracuse, if you answer a trivia question about Doctor Who correctly, you could net yourself a 3-D printed TARDIS or a miniature Dalek (one that won't destroy everything in its path, of course).

For non-Whovians: The Daleks are a particularly pernicious alien race set on destroying everything. They hate Doctor Who. The TARDIS is the vehicle, disguised as a police call box, that the Doctor uses to travel through space and time. Also worth knowing: The Doctor is able to die and regenerate himself in a different body, a detail that's allowed 12 actors to play him in a 50-year span. The show is currently on its 12th Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi. In Canada, the series airs on Space.

According to Rotolo's course description:

"Students will consider and reflect on how Doctor Who has reached audiences from children and families to young adults and lifelong viewers through a wide array of broadcast, print and digital media, as well as describe how Doctor Who has applied elements of many media genres — sci-fi, horror, action, comedy and many others — to form a style that is unique to the series.

"The class will also learn about the series' original producer, Verity Lambert, and director, Waris Hussein, and their impact on the show, including the circumstance of a woman showrunner and a British-Indian director at the helm of a television series in the early 1960s.... Along the way, students will also learn to identify and discuss cultural, social and political issues that have been addressed in the series over five decades, and how Doctor Who ... applies futuristic and alien concepts to deliver social commentary on current affairs."

This puts Doctor Who in pretty good academic company. While she was a professor at Whitman College, author Anne Helen Petersen taught a course based on AMC's Mad Men. Beyond is the subject of a course at Rutgers. Rotolo also teaches a course on Star Trek.

Rotolo plans to make the Dr. Who course and lectures available as a massive online open course.

More than 220 students signed up for the live course, Rotolo tweeted. And there's a waiting list.

Caption: Peter Capaldi is the 12th actor to play Doctor Who.

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to

  • APA 6th ed.: McDonald, Soraya Nadia (2014-11-12). Academic to deliver course on Dr. Who. Edmonton Journal p. D3.
  • MLA 7th ed.: McDonald, Soraya Nadia. "Academic to deliver course on Dr. Who." Edmonton Journal [add city] 2014-11-12, D3. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: McDonald, Soraya Nadia. "Academic to deliver course on Dr. Who." Edmonton Journal, edition, sec., 2014-11-12
  • Turabian: McDonald, Soraya Nadia. "Academic to deliver course on Dr. Who." Edmonton Journal, 2014-11-12, section, D3 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Academic to deliver course on Dr. Who | url= | work=Edmonton Journal | pages=D3 | date=2014-11-12 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=1 March 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Academic to deliver course on Dr. Who | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=1 March 2024}}</ref>