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Jack Graham

Jack Graham wrote about Doctor Who and Marxism, often at the same time. These days he co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper.Support Jack on Patreon.

6 Comments

  1. ScarvesandCelery
    December 18, 2015 @ 10:32 am

    For the First Section I had a moment of “huh, this is Jack Graham doing a Jane Campbell essay.” Then the Marxist critique kicked back in a big way.
    This was a cool essay.

    Reply

  2. Jane Campbell
    December 18, 2015 @ 2:21 pm

    I love how this explains Dialectics in terms of Doctor Who. So, in thinking about this in terms of production of the show, would the realm of idealists kind of be like writers and the realm of materialists be like directors?

    Reply

  3. Daibhid C
    December 19, 2015 @ 8:06 pm

    I’m not sure, but I feel like maybe Lance Parkin’s excellent novel The Three Doctors: McGann Remix fits here somewhere? I’m thinking of the scene where the Doctor’s reaction to Ohm’s idealist world is that the opposite of matter is “doesn’t matter”.

    Reply

  4. Roderick T. Long
    December 20, 2015 @ 6:05 am

    “Omega was originally going to be called OHM.”

    I wish Finn’s callsign in STAR WARS had been OHM. Then we could have had the line “I’m Ohm; I’m with the Resistance.”

    “Non-fiction identifies the person whose claims are to be evaluated. Fiction doesn’t.”

    On the Purva-Mimamsa interpretation, the Vedas have no author (extradiegetically, but presumably diegetically also) and yet are nonfiction. How would you take that?

    “Stalinism (or ‘Marxism-Leninism’ as it was fatuously misnamed) became a dead, dogamatic, doggerel Marxism.”

    As i see it, what Stalinism did to Marxism, Marxism did first to authentic revolutionary leftism. Marxism is the theory, Kronstadt is the practice.

    Reply

  5. Anton B
    December 29, 2015 @ 12:47 pm

    Permit me a mad fan theory conflating the Chair Agenda with dialectical materialism.

    Even Omega, in spite of himself, is a force for change – and it’s because of his actions, ironically enough, rather than his ideas. This isn’t historical materialism in that there’s no class struggle (though it’s valid to read Omega as working class because he’s described as an engineer with a duty…

    …the disempowering of human agency through the elevation of ideas above and beyond actual people.
    This is what Omega represents. This is why the chair he conjures with a thought is just a comfy, opulent detail inside a prison.

    DOCTOR: What do you know?
    PERKINS: Well, I know that when I find a man fiddling with a chair that someone died in, it’s best to play my cards close to my chest.
    DOCTOR: Really? Well, I know that when I find a man loitering near a chair that someone died in, I do just the same.
    PERKINS: Perkins. Chief Engineer.
    DOCTOR: The Doctor. Nosey Parker.
    PERKINS: (chuckles) Pleased to meet you, Doctor.
    (They shake hands.)
    PERKINS: Course, there’s a rumour that someone or some thing else might be responsible.…

    …DOCTOR: Someone of immense power and influence has orchestrated this whole trip. Someone who I have no doubt is listening to us right now. So, are you going to step out from behind the curtain and give us our orders?
    PERKINS: The engines. They’ve stopped.
    (In a flurry of electronic activity, the 1920s railway carriage decor is replaced by a high-tech laboratory.)

    Mummy on the Orient Express

    Omega the engineer is Perkins is Gus.

    Reply

    • Anton B
      December 29, 2015 @ 12:49 pm

      Seriously. Fantastic essay Jack. Much food for thought, thanks.

      Reply

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