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Doctor Who and history

So here’s my Friday Doctor Who post-on the day of the episode. Whoops. Anyway, seeing how tonight’s episode will be set in the past, I figured it would be a good idea to show where I’d like the Doctor to go in his travels. But first, let’s examine where the Doctor has been in the series:

In the First Doctor’s era, many stories were entirely historical. But because of those pesky Daleks (DALEKS!), the historical stories vanished by the Second Doctor and the history became a backdrop for science-fiction. However, in the revived series, the historical episodes have become commonplace in every series, with the Doctor meeting historical figures and taking part in historical events. So far in Doctor Who-

Series 1- Victorian Cardiff and World War II London, plus Rose’s childhood.

Series 2- Victorian Scotland, 18th century France and 1953.

Series 3- Elizabethan England, 1930’s New York and 1913.

Series 4- Ancient Rome and 1920’s England.

Series 5- World War II, Venice, 19th century France, Roman Britain.

Series 6- 1969, 18th century pirate ship and Nazi Germany.

Series 7- 19th century America, 1930’s New York (again), the Cold War, Victorian Yorkshire.

And in Series 8 already we have Victorian London and now medieval times. So that’s quite a lot of places and time periods. Why are the historical episodes appealing to me? Well, as I like history, it’s great seeing these historical places unfold on television. It’s also because, like I said, the show started off as a historical/science-fiction show, designed to teach children history. It still does now. How many Doctor Who fans knew about Vincent Van Gogh’s mental torture before Vincent and the Doctor? My guess is not many. So, what interesting places could the Doctor visit?

  • World War I- While the Family of Blood ended with a brief glimpse of the War, the First World War has not been touched in the show. A good story idea could be the Doctor could be trapped in No-Man’s Land, along with some threat. It would make a unique and interesting, not to mention dark, episode. Given the Doctor’s dislike of soldiers, it could add an extra layer by forcing him to work with them. This should be a must for Series 9.
  • Ancient China- This one is admittedly a personal one, but one which could be interesting. The episode could take advantage of China’s mythology (maybe the monster is an Oriental Dragon) and have the Doctor in a team up with the Emperor. It could also incorporate the Monkey myth and use the Great Wall of China as backdrop. This probably won’t happen but it would be cool to see.
  • Ancient Egypt- Even though the Fourth Doctor already fought (robot) mummies, and the Twelfth Doctor will face off against the Mummy in 5 weeks time, an episode in Ancient Egypt would be great. It could have the Doctor and the Pharaoh have an Indiana Jones style adventure inside a pyramid, trying to stop an alien from destroying the world. This would be an interesting episode for sure.
  • Prehistoric times -Again, a bit of a personal one, but an awesome one. While dinosaurs have appeared loads of times in recent years, there hasn’t been an episode set on Cretaceous Earth. Perhaps the Doctor is pursuing a spaceship, and both it and the Tardis crash onto the prehistoic Earth and the Doctor rides a T-Rex into battle? Ok, that last part is silly. I’d wait until Series 10 for this one, as dinosaurs have appeared for the past two seasons.
  • The Cold War- While last year’s Ice Warrior episode was during the 80’s, a 50’s or 60’s set Cold War thriller would be fascinating. A massive conspiracy (Roswell? JFK? The Cuban missile crisis?), the Doctor being a spy for the government and a cool, James Bond like plot would make this episode unique. One reason why I loved the series 6 opener is because of its style and unique plot, in that case the moon landing. I want to see this episode get made.

So those are five time periods I would like the Doctor to visit. I’m sure that there are many other places and time periods that would make for unique episodes. What others could there be? By the time this post comes out, it will be roughly 4 hours till Doctor Who airs, so get ready for the Doctor and Robin Hood…


About Ben Williams

I am a 17 year old pop culture addict from the south of England. I write about Doctor Who, superheroes, fantasy, films and occasionally dive into the random world of British culture.

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