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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.

3 Comments

  1. Lucy McGough
    March 30, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

    Islamophobia isn't a form of racism, unless you think that all Muslims are the same colour. Which they aren't.

    Reply

  2. Jack Graham
    March 30, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    Of course it's a form of racism. The "it's not 'racism' because Islam isn't a 'race'" defence is bullshit.

    Reply

  3. WGPJosh
    March 30, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

    At the risk of sounding somewhat bloodthirsty I'm really pleased to see someone else take "Pyramids of Mars" down a couple pegs. That's one of the most unjustly overrated serials in the show's entire history and you've done a great job pointing out one of the primary reasons why.

    I think "Pyramids" showcases the major fault with the Phillip Hinchcliffe/Robert Holmes era to a T, namely, the callous disregard towards the implications their words and actions have and their utter refusal to take their metafictional genre mashup excess to the next level and actually use the format of Doctor Who to make some postmodern commentary about the styles they revive. That's why they were so set on doing a "Blood From The Mummy's Tomb" remake they ignored the blatantly racist overtones of the shifty middle eastern Hammer archetype and they do the same thing in "Talons of Weng-Chaing" by ignoring the inherent racism of Fu Manchu because they were so chuffed about how clever it was to do a Fu Manchu vs. Sherlock Holmes pastiche. Also, can I bring up Leela? Her entire character's a whole can of worms unto itself. Another example of Hinchcliffe not quite thinking things through to the extent he probably should have.

    In less racist examples, this is why they didn't stop and think about the consequences of the brutal violence in "Seeds of Doom" and "The Deadly Assassin" might have with Mary Whitehouse hovering about and why "Robots of Death" turns into a less-interesting version of "The Naked Sun". The obvious thing (at least to me) would be to use The Doctor's transgressive nature to invade and then comment on the stories he falls into: Point out how racist, inaccurate and problematic characters like Namin and Sin are, for example, or how Terran Capel's plan makes no sense. But maddeningly, Hinchcliffe and Holmes put The Doctor in the lead role replacing the main characters of the original story thereby preventing the possibility of anything actually interesting being said.

    This era of the show is simply one of the most frustrating for me: Occasionally magnificent, usually baffling and more often than comfortable shockingly irresponsible to the point of series-derailing catastrophe.

    Reply

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