Daily Archives: September 21, 2013

Scary History

I was just watching “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances” recently.

The catchphrase that re-launched a series.

Launched John Barrowman to superstar.

And the first contribution of future showrunner Stephan Moffat.

Florence Hoath, as Nancy – Voted best guest actress by Readers of Doctor Who Magazine.

London, 1941, at the height of the Blitz. A mysterious cylinder is being guarded by the army, while homeless children, living on the rough, are being terrorized by an unearthly child.

A little boy in a gas mask wanting his mummy.

Physical Injury as Plaque.

They touch you, you become them.

All very scary.

But as an American it’s probably less scary than Brits who were around then or have that history or cultural memory.

The Bombs, the destruction, the death.

I got a closer look at that when I went to the The Churchill Museum in London 2 years ago. I plan to go back this November because it’s fascinating.

The actual rooms themselves from WWII!

The rooms in the Cabinet War Rooms are amazing, in a large part because so much of it was left in-situ at the end of the war. Many of the furnishings are exactly the ones used during the war, including desks, phones, blackboards, and papers. Even the swivel chair used by Winston Churchill in the War Cabinet Meeting Room remains as it was left.

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I am a History buff, and an English History buff since I was a child so this is right up my alley.


So how much scarier were these episodes when you have a much deeper , more personal,cultural understanding of them??

Then, Mark Gatiss brought us Victory of The Daleks.

Where you see a re-creation of the main War Room and Churchill himself is brought to life on screen very well by Ian McNeice.

But the claustrophobia, the stress and the uncertainty is every where in the museum.

So I can only guess at the reality.

And I think this is one Doctor Who’s strengths.

I show started out as an “educational” show about history and it still visits it occasionally, usually with monsters of some kind  now but the roots run deep in the core of the original idea behind the show 50 years ago.

The “pure Historical” is rare.

Though Victory of the Daleks was a let down due to the Power Rangers Daleks it was a different take on the same era of history.

And that’s another thing that Doctor Who can do, a revisit to the same time but with different twists for a different story.

That’s why the stories to be told can be infinite.

That’s a special thing.

Then, you can go to places like the museum and see the reality.

That’s even more special.

That’s Doctor Who.