Doctor Who and Philosophy: Bigger on the Inside

Doctor Who and Philosophy: Bigger on the Inside

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by Courtland Lewis, Paula Smithka
     
 

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Not only is Doctor Who the longest-running science fiction TV show in history, but it has also been translated into numerous languages, broadcast around the world, and referred to as the “way of the future” by some British politicians. The Classic Doctor Who series built up a loyal American cult following, with regular conventions and otherSee more details below

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Overview

Not only is Doctor Who the longest-running science fiction TV show in history, but it has also been translated into numerous languages, broadcast around the world, and referred to as the “way of the future” by some British politicians. The Classic Doctor Who series built up a loyal American cult following, with regular conventions and other activities. The new series, relaunched in 2005, has emerged from culthood into mass awareness, with a steadily growing viewership and major sales of DVDs. The current series, featuring the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith, is breaking all earlier records, in both the UK and the US.

Doctor Who is a continuing story about the adventures of a mysterious alien known as “the Doctor,” a traveller of both time and space whose spacecraft is the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimensions in Space), which from the outside looks like a British police telephone box of the 1950s. The TARDIS is “bigger on the inside than on the outside”—actually the interior is immense. The Doctor looks human, but has two hearts, and a knowledge of all languages in the universe. Periodically, when the show changes the leading actor, the Doctor “regenerates.”

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Opening this book is like opening the door to the TARDIS: we get to spend time with our favorite incarnations of the Doctor whether the First, the Fourth, the Eleventh, or Doctor-Donna, and ponder what it means to travel through time, grow a new personality, fall in love, sacrifice for a greater good, and experience the cosmos for all the wonder it is. Really, Doctor Who and Philosophy is even better than a Sonic Screwdriver.”

—JOSEF STEIFF, Professor of Film at Columbia College Chicago and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Independent Filmmaking

“This dimensionally transcendental volume explains what the Doctor never gets around to until later: the basics of Gallifreyan philosophy and ethics, as translated through Earth’s philosophers. A fun, informative volume for folks interested in an introduction to philosophy through the vortex of Doctor Who.”

—LYNNE M. THOMAS, co-editor of Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It

“Lewis and Smithka have done all sapient species a brilliant service by introducing Doctor Who and Philosophy into the time continuum. Like the Doctor’s human companions, we get to travel through a universe of Big Ideas with a caring, clever, and, yes, conflicted friend. Next to a real TARDIS swooping down and carrying us off, nothing could beat the experience of reading this book.”

—PATRICK D. HOPKINS, editor of Sex/Machine

“Doctor Who and Philosophy makes you want to go right back to episodes like ‘Robot’ and ‘The Brain of Morbius’ so you can watch them again, now that you know what they’re really about. No series in the entire history of television has lit up all the beacons of classic philosophy like Doctor Who, and this brilliant book is chock full of Time Lord enlightenment.”

—ROB ARP, Consulting Ontologist and author of Scenario Visualization: An Evolutionary Account of Creative Problem Solving

“An intriguing collection of essays that examines Doctor Who from every philosophical angle imaginable. Do you want theories and contradictions of time travel? It’s in there. Do you want a deep examination of the nature of identity, as understood through the Doctor and his regenerative ability? It’s in there, too, and it is considered from a variety of philosophical approaches. And so is much, much more. Lewis and Smithka have assembled a fascinating anthology, one that all Who fans, media scholars, and armchair philosophers should want on their shelves.”

—CHRIS HANSEN, editor of Ruminations, Peregrinations, and Regenerations: A Critical Approach to Doctor Who

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812697254
Publisher:
Open Court Publishing Company
Publication date:
10/22/2010
Series:
Popular Culture and Philosophy
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
539,889
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Courtland Lewis is a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He is a lifelong Doctor Who fan and has written on Doctor Who, Monk, politics, and other philosophical topics.

Paula Smithka is Associate Professor of Philosophy at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. She is the co-editor of Community, Diversity, and Difference: Implications for Peace.

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