Out of Time published
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.
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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.