Before Saturday March 26th 2005, Doctor Who had been off the air as a regular, new TV series for more than fifteen years; until a production team led by Russell T. Davies re-imagined the program so successfully, so triumphantly, that it's become an instant Christmas tradition, a BAFTA winner, an international "superbrand" and a number one rated show. It's even been crediteBefore Saturday March 26th 2005, Doctor Who had been off the air as a regular, new TV series for more than fifteen years; until a production team led by Russell T. Davies re-imagined the program so successfully, so triumphantly, that it's become an instant Christmas tradition, a BAFTA winner, an international "superbrand" and a number one rated show. It's even been credited with reinventing family TV. This is the first full-length book to explore the "new Who" phenomenon through to the casting of Matt Smith as the new Doctor. It explores "Doctor Who" through contemporary debates in TV Studies about quality TV and how can we define TV series as both "cult" and "mainstream." Further, the book challenges assumptions in focusing on the importance of breath-taking, dramatic moments along with narrative structures, and in analysing the significance of Murray Gold's music as well as the series' visual representations. Matt Hills is a lifelong"'Who" fan and he also considers the role of fandom in the show's return. He investigates too the multi-generic identity, the monster-led format, and the time-traveling brand of BBC Wales' "Doctor Who." In the twenty-first century, TV is changing, but the last of the Time Lords has been more than ready: he's been fantastic. ...
|Title||:||Triumph of a Time Lord: Regenerating Doctor Who in the Twenty-first Century|
|Number of Pages||:||256 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Triumph of a Time Lord: Regenerating Doctor Who in the Twenty-first Century Reviews
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1429958.htmlThis is one of the better academic books about Who that I have read. Hills is a sympathetic fan and also a media studies lecturer in Cardiff. In this book he has sensibly not tried to provide a global guide to Who, but instead has taken a small number of (big) issues and tried to illuminate them in detail. Looking mainly at New Who up to early 2009, he basically has seven things that he wants to say and takes a chapter to say each of them:1) New Who is strongly authored (by RTD and now Moffatt) which makes it very different from Old Who; NB though that the credit for this authoring is shared by others (notably Phil Collinson and the BBC's upper hierarchy)2) New Who's writers are themselves long-term Who fans; but this does not mean that they have a harmonious relationship with the fan base.3) Time travel, though obviously central to Who, is not really used in an sfnal way in New Who (the weakest of the chapters, I thought)4) Monsters are even more central to New Who, both as spectacle and as moral lessons.5) New Who cannot clearly be categorised as 'quality' or as 'non-quality' TV (includes a very interesting passage on how Christopher Ecclestone's comments on the show undermined RTD's attempts to mark it as 'quality').6) Murray Gold is one of the key creators of New Who (also the occasional use of pop songs in the show is mildly interesting).7) New Who has managed to become both 'cult' and 'mainstream' (NB this is quite a different distinction to 'quality'/'non-quality').I thought the two best sections were on Christopher Ecclestone and Murray Gold, but there is lots more here too. By writing this book, Hills appears to have hoped to update Tulloch and Alvarado, but I think has done a better job. It's not quite as magisterial as the Time and Relative Dimensions in Space collection (to which Hills contributed the chapter on Big Finish) but way better than the books I've read on Who by Robb, Newman, Chapman, Couch, etc. I was a bit annoyed at first at yet another book which banishes footnotes to the end - why, with 21st-century typesetting technology, is this still considered an acceptable way to publish? - but fortunately most of the footnotes are simply references to other work, most of which I have already read (though I am still irritated by the handful that do have substantive content, marooned hundreds of pages from the statements they are illuminating). So that turns out to be a minor gripe.
First, a compliment: This is likely the only book about Doctor Who out there that thoroughly considers the implications of DW through the lens of Cultural Theory, Foucault, Derrida, and their progeny. In other words, this packs more theoretical punch than most introductory college texts. However insightful and scholarly written and considered, I found Mills style to be irritatingly elitist by his heavy reliance on what I can only term “cultural theory-speak.” That is, nearly every idea of his is qualified by quotation marks – i.e. “high culture”, “cultured up”, “mutually exclusive”, etc. All of which makes him sound both pretentious and hesitant to commit to any of his ideas. (Yes, one can argue that he is simply following in a theoretical approach that is self-aware of signifying language. But honestly, it’s downright irritating to read. Ditch the quotation marks, I say, and stand for what you believe in.)One of the more interesting (and least irritatingly written) ideas that he considers is the precise genre in which DW fits. Whether time-travelling to the historical past or a wholly imagined, projected future, new Who would thus appear to be consistently coded as science-fictional…[Yet] new Who has added ‘pseudo-futurological stories to its ‘pseudo-historicals’; one recurrent fan complaint has been that depictions of a the future in the series have not been ‘proper’ science-fictional extrapolations from contemporary society. Instead, the far-futures represented have frequently been satirical, metaphorical versions of the present-day. Serious analysis aside, Hills does have a sense of humor – albeit subtle. If you read the following carefully, you’ll know exactly what I mean (which also includes the annoying, cloying cultural theory-speak):Resembling author-functions and generic functions, what I have termed the ‘text-function’ acts as an attempted discursive fixing of textual classifications, seeking to police and box-in specific textual identities…blah, blah, blah [my words]…Despite the ridiculousness of that passage as a whole, that little TARDIS joke was pretty darn clever, if I do say so myself. If you want to get into ideas behind DW, I would honestly tell you to skip Hills’ overwrought treatise, and pick up instead Russell T. Davies’ A Writer’s Tale. Not only is the latter more thrilling to read, but you were certainly get more bang for your buck (or pound, as the case may be), as it’s over twice the number of pages for almost the same price.
Although published in 2010, this book has a dated quality from - at best - the mid 1990s. This lag is caused through the inappropriate theoretical apparatus summoned to explore Dr Who. Why use Foucault and the 'author function'? Why summon Derrida and basic deconstruction? While the title refers to Nu Who in the 21st century, the theories deployed carry an archaeology from the 1970s. There is little theorization of digitization, deterritorialization, disintermediation, mobility, speed, capitalism and the political economy. Instead we return to 'production' and 'consumption' and the blurring of the aca-fan.Finally - and I just have to write this - the deep sexism and assumed patriarchy of this book is disturbing. We have a man talking about other men in television and men talking about other men in fandom. Yawn. The invisibility of women in Dr Who academic writing is disturbing and - frankly - not good enough. My critique is not 'about' men playing the title role of The Doctor. That is absolutely fine. This is not a representational issue. This is about understanding that popular cultural audiences feature not only earnest men writing about the details of the programme in their blogs. This is about cultural studies scholars deploying theoretical and methodological strategies to enable careful, considered, textured and passionate engagements with diversity, plurality and difference. In this goal, this book fails. Too many men are given too much time.
I read this book for a university course on Television Studies and thoroughly enjoyed it. While it's well written, it is a text book and is applying some fairly dense cultural theory to Doctor Who, so perhaps it wouldn't be appropriate for all fans of the show. Having said that, I learnt a tremendous amount from it, and it led to exploring other scholarly articles in the field.
I read this for a book review I needed to do for class, I had just checked it out of the school library because it seemed interesting. He approaches the show from several different angles, thinking about authorship and fandom. Definitely written for fans by a fan though.
Saved my dissertation! More media/academic text than a fan non-fiction book. Explores the regenerations (teehee) of the series in 2005 by Russell T. Davis - would recommend you pair it with RTD's "The Writer's Tale" if you're doing an essay on Doctor Who.