When Doctor Who Enters its Own Timeline: The Database Aesthetics and Hyperdiegesis of Multi-Doctor Stories

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent Doctor Who episodes such as ‘The Name of the Doctor’ (7:13) and ‘The Day of the Doctor’ anniversary special1 suggest that today’s multi-Doctor TV stories seek to avoid audience awareness of actors’ visible ageing, focusing on recent incarnations of the Doctor alongside sampled footage of previous stars. This positions 2013‘s multi-Doctor TV stories within a mode of ‘database aesthetics’ rather than as pastiching the programme’s past. Recombining images from previous Doctor Who could unify the hyperdiegetic ‘Whoniverse’, but I identify a tension between this textuality and licensing strategies targeting fandom. And whilst November 23rd’s episode was designed to be accessible to a mass audience, ‘The Night of the Doctor’ minisode2 and ‘The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot’3 responded to fans’ wishes: contemporary multi-Doctor stories seemingly operate as part of the show’s ‘fanbrand’, incorporating knowledge of fan critique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-113
Number of pages19
JournalCritical Studies in Television
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

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