As Doctor Who nears its 50th anniversary, it is very much a part of British popular culture, and the Doctor has become a British icon. Nevertheless, thanks to BBC America and BBC Worldwide’s marketing strategy, as well as the Doctor’s and his companions’ recent in-person visits to the U.S., the venerable series is becoming more susceptible to an “American influence,” including the possibility of becoming “Americanized.” Doctor Who and recent spinoffs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures offer American audiences very different insights into the Whoniverse and have met with varying degrees of success. Whereas Torchwood became a U.S.-U.K. co-production, The Sarah Jane Adventures was largely mismarketed. To complicate matters, the interrelationships that keep the Doctor Who franchise alive through radio dramas, audiobooks, comics, novels, etc., during hiatuses in television broadcasts, may give U.S. and U.K. audiences different understandings of the lead characters—the Doctor, Captain Jack Harkness, and Sarah Jane Smith. Although the past decade has been an exciting time in the Whoniverse, the Doctor—and the franchise—are poised for yet another regeneration.
Lorna Jowett delves into the distinctive stories and characters, including the Doctors themselves, their female and male companions, Captain Jack Harkness, Missy, Sarah Jane and her young comrades. She considers the showrunners, directors, producers and writers and the problems this flagship science fiction series has had in offering alternative gender models. Constructions of masculinity, the author function, and how gender intersects with the other facets of identity, race, ethnicity and age, are just some of the areas explored in this accessible and wide-ranging re-view of these hotly debated elements of the successful BBC franchise.
When Sydney Newman conceived the idea for Doctor Who in 1963, he envisioned a show in which the Doctor and his companions would visit and observe, but not interfere with, events in history. That plan was dropped early on and the Doctor has happily meddled with historical events for decades. This collection of new essays examines how the Doctor’s engagement with history relates to Britain’s colonial past, nostalgia for village life, Norse myths, alternate history, and the impact of historical decisions on the present.
In this comprehensive textbook, now updated for its third edition, Jonathan Bignell provides students with a framework for understanding the key concepts and main approaches to Television Studies, including audience research, television history and broadcasting policy, and the analytical study of individual programmes. Features include: a glossary of key terms key terms defined in margins suggestions for further reading activities/assignments for use in class New and updated case studies feature: ‘Every Home Needs a Harvey’ ad approaches to news reporting television scheduling CSI Crime Scene Investigation animated cartoon series Individual chapters address: studying television, television histories, television cultures, television texts and narratives, television genres and formats, television production, television and quality, television realities, television you can’t see, television audiences, beyond television.
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Creative License and Collaboration in the Culture Industries
Author: Derek Johnson
Publisher: NYU Press
Category: Social Science
"Johnson astutely reveals that franchises are not Borg-like assimilation machines, but, rather, complicated ecosystems within which creative workers strive to create compelling 'shared worlds.' This finely researched, breakthrough book is a must-read for anyone seeking a sophisticated understanding of the contemporary media industry." —Heather Hendershot, author of What's Fair on the Air?: Cold War Right-Wing Broadcasting and the Public Interest While immediately recognizable throughout the U.S. and many other countries, media mainstays like X-Men, Star Trek, and Transformers achieved such familiarity through constant reincarnation. In each case, the initial success of a single product led to a long-term embrace of media franchising—a dynamic process in which media workers from different industrial positions shared in and reproduced familiar cultureacross television, film, comics, games, and merchandising. In Media Franchising, Derek Johnson examines the corporate culture behind these production practices, as well as the collaborative and creative efforts involved in conceiving, sustaining, and sharing intellectual properties in media work worlds. Challenging connotations of homogeneity, Johnson shows how the cultural and industrial logic of franchising has encouraged media industries to reimagine creativity as an opportunity for exchange among producers, licensees, and evenconsumers. Drawing on case studies and interviews with media producers, he reveals the meaningful identities, cultural hierarchies, and struggles for distinction that accompany collaboration within these production networks. Media Franchising provides a nuanced portrait of the collaborative cultural production embedded in both the media industries and our own daily lives.
Fandom is generally viewed as an integral part of everyday life which impacts upon how we form emotional bonds with ourselves and others in a modern, mediated world. Whilst it is inevitable for television series to draw to a close, the reactions of fans have rarely been considered. Williams explores this everyday occurence through close analysis of television fans to examine how they respond to, discuss, and work through their feelings when shows finish airing. Through a range of case studies, including The West Wing (NBC, 2000-2006), Lost (ABC 2004 -2010), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), Doctor Who (BBC 1963-1989; 2005-), The X-Files (FOX, 1993-2002), Firefly (FOX, 2002) and Sex and the City (HBO, 1998-2004), Williams considers how fans prepare for the final episodes of shows, how they talk about this experience with fellow fans, and how, through re-viewing, discussion and other fan practices, they seek to maintain their fandom after the show's cessation.
In a richly developed fictional universe, Doctor Who, a wandering survivor of a once-powerful alien civilization, possesses powers beyond human comprehension. He can bend the fabric of time and space with his TARDIS, alter the destiny of worlds, and drive entire species into extinction. The good doctor’s eleven “regenerations” and fifty years’ worth of adventures make him the longest-lived hero in science-fiction television. In The Language of Doctor Who: From Shakespeare to Alien Tongues, Jason Barr and Camille D. G. Mustachio present several essays that use language as an entry point into the character and his universe. Ranging from the original to the rebooted television series—through the adventures of the first eleven Doctors—these essays explore how written and spoken language have been used to define the Doctor’s ever-changing identities, shape his relationships with his many companions, and give him power over his enemies—even the implacable Daleks. Individual essays focus on fairy tales, myths, medical-travel narratives, nursery rhymes, and, of course, Shakespeare. Contributors consider how the Doctor’s companions speak with him through graffiti, how the Doctor himself uses postmodern linguistics to communicate with alien species, and how language both unites and divides fans of classic Who and new Who as they try to converse with each other. Broad in scope, innovative in approach, and informed by a deep affection for the program, TheLanguage of Doctor Who will appeal to scholars of science fiction, television, and language, as well as to fans looking for a new perspective on their favorite Time Lord.
The long-running BBC science fiction program Doctor Who has garnered an intense and extremely loyal fan base since its 1963 debut. This work examines the influences of psychology, literature, pop culture, and the social sciences on Doctor Who storylines and characters. Topics explored include how such issues as class, gender, and sexual attraction factor into the relationships between the Doctor and his companions; whether the Doctor suffers from multiple personality disorder or other psychological afflictions; and the role of the Doctor's native culture in shaping his sense of identity.