Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Information Society: Fears and Doubts of Technological Utopia in Selected Serials of the Original Series

James David Ross
2014 Dalhousie Journal of Interdisciplinary Management  
Science fiction is a genre uniquely suited to considering the implications of technological developments. The long-running BBC series Doctor Who, by nature of its longevity, presents the opportunity to investigate evolving attitudes towards emerging information technology. This paper analyzes three serials from the original run of Doctor Who and traces the development in the show's portrayal of the future of information technology (IT) from 1967 to 1975. I argue that early portrayals of
more » ... ic information societies, in serials such as "The Wheel in Space" and "The Seeds of Death," take a mainframe-oriented view of IT's future and present a centralized, technocratic conception of the governments of the future. I conclude that the 1976 serial "The Deadly Assassin" dramatically reverses these earlier portrayals, demonstrating a perceptive awareness of the dawning of the microcomputer revolution and presenting a cynical take on the potential of technological advancement leading to technocratic utopia. About the Author(s): James Ross is a second-year MLIS student at the School of Information Management at Dalhousie. He also holds an MA in English Literature from Dalhousie. He has been voraciously consuming Doctor Who serials for the past two years and feels that with the publication of this article the use, of his time has been thoroughly vindicated.
doi:10.5931/djim.v10i1.3355 fatcat:qphuagmfg5hi3kv7ubitzh2qci