Susana Loza
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Whiteness, normativity and the ongoing racial Other
Imperial fictions: Doctor Who, post-racial slavery and other liberal humanist fantasies
in Adjusting the contrast
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This chapter considers how the 2005 reboot of Doctor Who utilises the deracialised and decontextualised slavery allegories to absolve white guilt over the transatlantic slave trade. It examines the imperial fictions and post-racial slavery parables of Doctor Who. The liberal humanist whiteness of Doctor Who is most clearly laid bare in episodes that thematise the sins of European imperialism: slavery, genocide and dispossession. In the tenth version of Doctor Who, the most sustained engagement with slavery occurs in the three episodes, 'The Impossible Planet', 'Satan Pit' and 'Planet of the Ood', which feature the Ood: an alien species described as born to serve. The chapter illuminates the programme's 'structural opacities', how its colourblind universalism sustains and nourishes the boundaries of contemporary whiteness and colonial consciousness, and the fraught place of race in multicultural and, ostensibly, post-colonial Britain.

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Adjusting the contrast

British television and constructs of race


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