Thursday, 10 March 2011

Recently Published

My essay, A Very British Doctor, has been published in the February issue of MediaMagazine as part of their Culture special. The essay examines representations of Britishness in the Russell T. Davies era of Doctor Who, taking in a (albeit brief) history of Torchwood along the way. I wrote quite an extensive examination, some of which had to be edited out. Here's a snippet of what fell to the cutting room floor...

…Torchwood’s Yvonne Hartman, by the end of Doomsday, transgresses her xenophobic attitude: although been upgraded into a Cyberman herself, she holds on to her human identity and, in a final act of defiance against the Cybermen, overcomes her programming and fights against them. With gun in hand she kills numerous Cybermen, all the while chanting a mantra of “I fought for Queen and Country”. Her final act is one of defending the borders but not of Torchwood’s Victorian ideals but of contemporary Britain – Hartman’s destruction of the Cybermen indicates it is better to be individual and diverse than to be one and the same.

Such an attitude is extended into the character of Captain Jack Harkness, the leader of Torchwood Three, who acts as the bridge between both Doctor Who and Torchwood. As an Ominsexual, Harkness shares and later embodies the Doctor’s attitude to diversity and difference. Harkness seeks to rework Torchwood for within, changing its agenda and forcing it to protect and serve the populace instead of empire building.

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