Fourth Doctor (1974-1981)


One of the most iconic of the ‘ancient aliens as gods’ school of Doctor Who, Pyramids of Mars (1975) retells the deicidal struggles of Egyptian mythology as science fiction. Kate Orman traces the story’s roots in Orientalist fiction through the Universal and Hammer ‘Mummy’ films.
THE FACE OF EVIL (To be published in January 2019)
Thomas Rodebaugh finds that The Face of Evil (1977) – the story of a profoundly fissured society and an insane artificial intelligence – presents rich ground for psychological study. In what ways is Xoanon ‘mad’, and what does this tell us about the mind that programmed him?
Image of the Fendahl (1977) is a fusion of the Gothic tradition of mid-1970s Doctor Who with the colder ‘post-Gothic’ tradition of Nigel Kneale and HP Lovecraft. Simon Bucher-Jones explains the literary sources and scientific ideas underlying the story, from palaeoarchaeology to horror cinema.
John Toon examines Full Circle (1980) – a story of purpose-driven evolution, cyclical history and a planet which may function as a single organism – and wonders whether Doctor Who script editor Christopher Bidmead’s vision was really rooted in scientific principles, or in parascientific mysticism.
WARRIORS’ GATE (To be published in March 2019)
Warriors’ Gate (1981) is a text of great sophistication, both in its complex televisual style and its elusive narrative. Frank Collins looks at its many influences, its multiple authors, its visual imagery and its unorthodox themes of randomness, inaction and decay.