Doctor Who: A British Alien?

No. 516 of 565 in the Miscellaneous books series
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Cover image for Doctor Who: A British Alien?
By:Danny Nicol
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When:  February 2018
Publisher:  Palgrave Macmillan
Format: hardback
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Cover blurb:
"This book is a high-quality, original contribution to the field of Doctor Who Studies. It is a comprehensive and meticulously researched study of Doctor Who's relation to Britain and Britishness — a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in Doctor Who Studies. This book presents, in an engaging way, everything you ever wanted to know about Doctor Who's relationship to British Culture: from how the social construction of what it means to be British has evolved over the history of Doctor Who, to its specific treatment of Scottishness, Welshness and Northernness; from the issues of race and gender in Doctor Who to its treatment of corporate crime and the ethics of globalization. It will engage anyone with an interest in the academic study of science fiction as popular culture."
—William Eaton, Associate Professor of Modern Philosophy, Georgia Southern University, USA

"Danny Nicol offers an innovative and acute analysis of Doctor Who here. Ranging across issues such as internationalism, neoliberalism and post-democracy, Doctor Who: A British Alien? sets out a convincing case for how this long-running BBC TV show can speak back to dominant political discourses. Critiquing the character of the Doctor, Nicol also prudently combines detailed knowledge of the Whoniverse with debates in jurisprudence. A must-read for scholars, fans, and scholar-fans alike."
—Matt Hills, Professor of Media and Journalism at the University of Huddersfield, UK, and author of Triumph of a Time Lord (2010) and Doctor Who: The Unfolding Event (2015)

This book argues that Doctor Who, the world's longest-running science fiction series often considered to be about distant planets and monsters, is in reality just as much about Britain and Britishness. Doctor Who: A British Alien? explores how the show, through science fiction allegory and metaphor, constructs national identity in an era in which identities are precarious, ambivalent, transient and elusive. It argues that Doctor Who's projection of Britishness is not merely descriptive but normative―putting forward a vision of what the British ought to be. The book interrogates the substance of Doctor Who's Britishness in terms of individualism, entrepreneurship, public service, class, gender, race and sexuality. It analyses the show's response to the pressures on British identity wrought by devolution and separatist currents in Scotland and Wales, globalisation, foreign policy adventures and the unrelenting rise of the transnational corporation.

Danny Nicol is Professor of Public Law at the University of Westminster, UK. He specialises in constitutional law, European Union law and the UK's Human Rights Act. He is the author of EC Membership and the Judicialisation of British Politics (2001) and The Constitutional Protection of Capitalism (2010).

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