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Published on January 8th, 2011 | by Meredith Burdett

Is Doctor Who Anti-American?

Like to mix up views on Doctor Who with deeper hidden sub contextual references? Then last Wednesday’s edition of Thinking Allowed, a BBC Radio Four discussion show, will be right up your street.

Featuring Marc Edward DiPaolo, a US academic, the show not only focuses on how the character of the Doctor has changed over the years but also addresses areas such as how his fashion sense has dictated the Doctor compared to the era he has been in. The conversation is based around his article he wrote called “Political Satire and British-American Relations in Five Decades of Doctor Who.”

Going further in political themes, the show looks at the links between the Daleks and the Nazis, something that has been noted many times before.

Joining the panel is Matthew Sweet, who brings things up to date by including themes from the newer series of Doctor Who and how they link into to the past five decades of the show.

The show is half an hour long and the fascinating look at Doctor Who from a more subjective point of view starts around half way through. Although certain areas of the discussion have been brought up before (Doctor Who Confidential we’re looking at you!)  It’s still a great listen!

You can listen to it via BBC iPlayer using the following link

(With thanks to Leon)


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About the Author


What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!

3 Responses to Is Doctor Who Anti-American?

  1. avatar Rick says:

    Is Doctor Who anti-American? No. Russel was anti-Bush and anti-Blair and liked to insert bits and pieces about that. The UK has an unfortunate attitude about America where it wants our money and our business but Britain still has a superiority complex on the whole regarding the US–even if it doesn’t quite realize it some of the time. Always has. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s anti-American, though. I’d say it’s more of a case of us being the ginger step-child that’s grown up, become more successful and powerful than the parent and there’s a bit of resentment there. But the folks will take elaborate gifts from us whenever possible.

  2. avatar krumstets says:

    @ Rick
    Here Here!! Very well said.

    I would like to add that when Britain or any other country decides to take decisions or make judgements in its own interests and not those of the US this is nearly always regarded as anti-American-by the Americans.

    Doctor Who is a great British success story. Our own ideas and creative talent have endured to create a popular TV series that has been born from a Brit perspective.
    Maybe because Dr Who tends to be more socialist and universal in his approach that this doesn’t fit in well with at least the current political climate in the US.
    OOooh. How subversive……

  3. avatar Jez Noir says:

    “Is Doctor Who anti-American?”

    Surely a question that would only ever occur to an American.

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