If there’s one thing that Doctor Who has always done well (except when it hasn’t) it is to give voice to our fears – particularly of new technology. And if there’s one thing we here at Kasterborous Towers do, it’s to write about Doctor Who wherever and whenever we can! So, here we have our very own Philip Bates writing a piece for makeusof.com about How Doctor Who Has Charted Our Fear of New Technology – and what a splendiferous article it is, too. And I’m not talking about Phil (although he is quite marvellous!)
In the 60s we had massive computers trying to take over the world in The War Machines and humans being replaced bit-by-bit with artificial parts in The Tenth Planet and The Moonbase respectively – this sort of body horror, in the same vein as Shelley’s Frankenstein, was also explored rather spectacularly later in the 70s story, The Brain of Morbius.
Proper robots also come under scrutiny, most notably in the 70s – the friendly, the unfriendly and the friendly-but-exploited. You can probably work out examples of all of those, but why think when Phil has already done that and can regale you with his expert analysis?
Over there in the 80s, we see the show turn it’s eye on to television itself with Vengeance on Varos and The Happiness Patrol. This theme continued in the revived show with The Long Game, which also touched on body horror with various bits of body augmentation.
I won’t go into much more detail about the article otherwise there wouldn’t be much point in reading it and I would therefore be in trouble with the boss! Not BOSS from The Green Death, I hasten to add, who was one of those megalomaniac computers trying to take over the world! I mean the real “boss” here at K Towers – the one who signs our expenses claims for those frothy coffees we like… and losing my coffee privileges would never do!
Are there any examples of technophobia you can think of that aren’t covered in the article? Let us know!