Viewing posts tagged unearthly child

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What can I do but cheat?

Three moments, not in chronological order.


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Barbara Wright is in a junkyard.  She walks into a Police Box.  She's in a large, brightly lit control room.

This can happen on screen because of the cut.  The material conditions of TV production, manifested as a splicing together of two recorded moments into the appearance of one fluid event, makes this possible.  We have "discovered television".  We can put huge buildings inside small boxes.  We can put Narnia inside the wardrobe; Wonderland inside the rabbit hole.  The quintessential trait of British fantastic literature for kids - the eccentric relationship of impossible spaces - can be made visual.

Doctor Who's very nature as storytelling is utterly bound up with the limits of the material conditions of television production.  So much so that living on that limit became its raison d'etre.  Its development has always been inextricably connected with what can materially be done, and how it is done.  And what it has done has always developed what it wants to be able to do next.  As I've said elsewhere, 'The Space Museum' pushes ...

Hartnellical Materialism

Gallibase has relaunched 'Timelash' as a story-per-day affair. Along with others, I've managed a review (ranging from a terse comment to a bloated essay) for every story. It goes without saying, I don't have a girlfriend.

Anyway. Today, we got to 'The Tenth Planet' and so I thought I might post my comments here - or the more interesting ones anyway (everything being relative) - and make it a regular thing every time we finish with a Doctor. Basically, I'm very bored.

As you will see, my view of the Hartnell era is much influenced by the work of V. Gordon Childe, Walter Benjamin, historical materialism in general, the wobbly 'permanent arms economy' theory, William Morris, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Edward Said and lots of thinly veiled class hatred. There's also some stuff in here that might remind you of the About Time books... but, with all due respect to Miles and Wood, I'd already thought of it all before I read them. When I mention something that I got from them, I acknowledge it.


'An Unearthly Child'

It's been said before but its true: the first episode is amazing, the other three are disappointing... but only by ...

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