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…
‘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 now.
Some other idiots have occasionally argued that ‘The Sun Makers’ is a right-wing allegory because it depicts a tyrannical state and rails against taxes. Well, that’s fine if you’re dumb enough to buy the bullshit lie that conservative politics really is all about defending personal liberty from big government and punitive taxation. In fact, ‘The Sun Makers’ couldn’t be clearer about its political sympathies (even if you stick your fingers in your ears during the playful misquoting of Marx). The tyrannical state in this story is the Company. They are effectively one, or the Company exercises such control that they might as well be. This isn’t a big state stifling the liberty of free enterprise and free consumers. This is a big state as a vehicle for corporate domination. The Company is a private concern, engaged in “commercial imperialism”. The Company has, essentially, carried out a hostile takeover of the government. This is one big state that’s been privatised.
The icons of modern conservatism (i.e. Reagan, Thatcher, Bush, Bush II) are usually, for all their populist anti-government rhetoric, ultra-statists. They might reduce bureaucracy here and there (usually by cutting public services, etc.)