Viewing posts tagged sun makers

9

Wow.  Single figures.  Okay, time for some fun.


"I'm asking you to help yourselves," says the Doctor. 

Revolution isn't about everyone suddenly becoming altruistic and angelic.  It is, as Marx saw it, "the movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority".

"Nothing will change round here unless you change it," says the Doctor.  Here is 'freedom and necessity'.  It must be done, but they can choose to do it or not to do it.

"What will we do with two guns against all those guards?" asks Veet.

"You can't do anything, but there are fifty million people in this city. Think how the guards will react to that number."

"It's crazy talk," says Goudry, "Rebellion? No one would support you."  Capitalist realism.

"Given the chance to breathe clean air for a few hours, they might. Have you thought of that?"

The Company pumps a chemical fug into the air that makes people anxious and weak.  That's how it works on Pluto.  Here we call it ideology, or hegemony.

The Doctor and Bisham discuss ways of knocking out the gas pumps.

"I was ...

Life and Taxes

Here is George Monbiot, on possibly the most scandalous domestic story of the year (which, in the age of the ConDems, is really saying something).  Please read this.  In a sane country, this issue would trigger an Egypt-style revolt.  It's essentially a government conspiracy to help massive corporations and banks (you remember how helpful they've been to the world in recent years?) defraud the country of perhaps unprecedentedly vast amounts of money.  It may even amount to the effective abolition of taxation upon the wealthiest organisations in society.

Here's a sample:
At the moment tax law ensures that companies based here, with branches in other countries, don't get taxed twice on the same money. They have to pay only the difference between our rate and that of the other country. If, for example, Dirty Oil plc pays 10% corporation tax on its profits in Oblivia, then shifts the money over here, it should pay a further 18% in the UK, to match our rate of 28%. But under the new proposals, companies will pay nothing at all in this country on money made by their foreign branches.

Foreign means anywhere. If these ...

Empires Toppling

There is a long and venerable tradition in Doctor Who of portraying revolutions sympathetically.  It does this many times.  It isn't an unbroken run of support... but for every 'Reign of Terror', in which the French Revolution is given the full Baroness Orczy treatment, there is a 'Sun Makers', in which a full-scale workers' revolt topples a corporate tyranny.  For every 'Monster of Peladon', where reform is touted as a solution to chaos created by extremists on both sides (right-wingers in government and looney-left wingers amongst the miners), there is a 'Happiness Patrol' in which the Doctor and Ace encourage a united rebellion by factory workers, aboriginal aliens and dissidents.  Fantastical, they may be... but these depictions are also surprisingly candid about the amount of mess, pain and trauma involved in popular uprisings, while retaining a forthright sympathy.

As far as I know, this track record is unique amongst television programmes.

In light of interesting and inspiring things going on in the world at the moment, I thought it might be fun to post some of my favourite televised revolutions....


The Ood kick some sorry corporate ass.


Street protests, in which dissidents defy the security ...

Economic Miracles

This is my Timelash II stuff on the subject of Graham Williams' tenure as producer... it's a bit thin because I've either posted about several stories from this era elsewhere or because I'm planning to.  Also, to be honest, some of the stories simply don't yield much grist for my mill.  That isn't to knock the Williams era, which contains some of the most politically interesting Who stories ever made (which is partly why they needed - or need - posts all to themselves).  Notice, for instance, how the stories glanced at below seem obsessed with fuel, economics and questions of prosperity vs. austerity... s'what comes of making Doctor Who in the context of the late 70s I guess...


I've written about 'Horror of Fang Rock' here and 'Image of the Fendahl' here.


'The Sun Makers'

This is from elsewhere on this blog, but it's part of a wider article.  I thought it could tolerate repeating... especially since 'Sun Makers' is a favourite of mine, for reasons which should be obvious.  I don't think, by the way, that this story has ever been more relevant than it is ...

The Megropolis 1 Budget - at a glance:

The Gatherer today unveiled harsh new plans to deal with the economic crisis caused by loss of investor confidence after Pluto was ruled to no longer be a planet.

The Medical Tax on Q-Capsules is to raised to 20%. Also to be raised is the Medical Tax on all other types of capsules ranging from A to P. And from R to Z. Also, purchase of these capsules is to be made compulsary. It is hoped that the energy boost provided by a steady diet of these capsules will contribute towards higher productivity.

Cider-flavoured pills remain exempt, much to the relief of the Usurian Cider-Flavoured Pill Production Company.

A new 20% tax is to be levied on extremely plummy accents in all PCM plant workers.

The tax on ill-fitting, pastel-coloured clothes is to be increased to 20%.

All co-workers with names that sound amusingly (but rather arbitrarily) like a double act of comedy female impersonators are to henceforth have all their taxes raised. By 20%.

A 20% suicide tax is to be introduced for all D-Grades, to compensate the Company (praise the Company) for loss of profit (and tax revenue) resulting from the self-inflicted deaths of those who refuse to ...

Workers of the Whoniverse

(This was originally written for May Day.)


Some people think Doctor Who is inherently left-wing. This is bullshit. But… like much bullshit, there’s a fibrous grain of truth in there somewhere if you don latex gloves, break the crust and delve deeply enough into the contents of the pat.

Doctor Who started just before the worldwide explosion of dissent and protest that represents the real point of what is called (inaccurately) “the 60s”. It ran through the years of the Vietnam war, the end of the post-war economic boom, the worldwide wave of protests by students and workers, France in ’68, the Prague Spring, the height of the civil rights movement, the ascendancy (and murder) of Martin Luther King Jnr., the rise of the women’s movement and feminism, the rise of the gay liberation movement, etc. It ran during interesting times. It reflected the massive changes in social attitude that were transforming Western culture – how could it not, being a product of Western culture? It reflected something amorphous and overhyped (but real) that we call “the liberal consensus”, which is easy to take for granted now but which was a drastic change in the whole nature and consciousness ...

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