Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Dr Who's politics

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1973-05-26 Spectator.jpg


Dr Who, in the person of Jon Pertwee, began a new adventure last Saturday, in the company of his steadfast assistant Jo Grant and the inimitable if bone-headed Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Like the Sunday serials of which I wrote recently, the Doctor's peregrinations through time and space are, for me. compulsive viewing. I am very happy indeed that the present production team have abandoned the plan which they enforced during a recent series to confine the Doctor to the same semi-contemporary British scene throughout each series, and now allow him to ramble as did his predecessors, William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton. That confining principle of narration once abandoned, it is remarkable how fresh and vivid the whole creation still is after so many years, and how well self-confidence and empathy with the spirit of the thing has sustained the whole team through so many flimsy stories, so much dubiously logical science, and three actors of totally different personality and appearance. (The change is on each occasion explained by reference to the mysterious desire of the Time Lords — of whom the Doctor is one — totally to transmogrify the personality and physiognomy of their colleague.) Only one thing causes me concern at the moment — a growing tendency on the part of the Doctor to moralise tediously about peace, love. and brotherhood. The Thals, for example, in the last adventure, after sterling efforts in fighting the Daleks, were sent home with the injunction to make nothing of their achievements, lest it encourage their fellows to admire war.

And now, at the beginning of the new story, my beloved Katy Manning — I have been crazy about her since she first came on the scene — has been required to demonstrate a ludicrous enthusiasm for some ecological cranks in South Wales. Now, apart from my own prejudices, the great thing about Miss Manning — who plays Jo Grant -- is that she has been not merely decorative -- like all the Doctor's female assistants, but more so than any of the others — but useful as well, able to fight and pick locks. It is a pity to show her as the victim of silly teenage enthusiasms, and not very bright to boot.

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  • APA 6th ed.: (1973-05-26). Dr Who's politics. The Spectator p. 644.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Dr Who's politics." The Spectator [add city] 1973-05-26, 644. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Dr Who's politics." The Spectator, edition, sec., 1973-05-26
  • Turabian: "Dr Who's politics." The Spectator, 1973-05-26, section, 644 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dr Who's politics | url= | work=The Spectator | pages=644 | date=1973-05-26 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Dr Who's politics | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 July 2024}}</ref>