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Essays on the Jodie Whittaker era

This book explores a new cultural moment in the history of the BBC TV series, Doctor Who: the casting of a female lead. Following the reveal that Jodie Whittaker would be the thirteenth Doctor, the series has been caught up in media and fan controversies – has it become ‘too political’? Has showrunner Chris Chibnall tampered disastrously with long-running continuity? And has the regendered thirteenth Doctor been represented differently from her predecessors? Analysing Whittaker’s era – up to and including Doctor Who’s responses to 2020’s first lockdown – this edited collection addresses how the show has been repositioned as a self-consciously inclusive brand. Featuring brand-new interview material with those working on-screen (series regular Mandip Gill and guest star Julie Hesmondhalgh) and those operating behind the scenes in crucial roles (Segun Akinola, composer of the current theme and incidental music), Doctor Who – New Dawn focuses on how the thirteenth Doctor’s era of spectacular TV has been created, and how it has diversified representations of queerness, race, and family. Moving beyond the television show itself, chapters also address fan responses to the thirteenth Doctor via memes, cosplay, and non-Anglophone translation. Finally, this collection looks at how the new ‘moment’ of Doctor Who has moved into gendered realms of merchandising, the commercial ‘experience economy’, and a paratextual neo-gift economy of Covid-19 lockdown reactions that were created by previous showrunners alongside Chris Chibnall. A vigorous new dawn for Doctor Who calls for rigorous new analysis – and the thirteen chapters gathered together here all respond adventurously to the call.

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Modes of TV spectacle in the Jodie Whittaker era of Doctor Who
Dene October

– as part of the historical suspicion of the media – assumed to pacify viewers. In this chapter, I consider how TV spectacle has been theorized before identifying three discrete modes where, I argue, televisual spectacle enhances audience engagement. These three modes of visual spectacle activate: contemplation of setting; curiosity and criticality of content, and (through recognition of diversity) personalized viewing pleasures. My focus on viewer agency is intended to recognize how TV can be understood as a dispersal

in Doctor Who – New Dawn
Spectacle and Spanish identity during Franco’s dictatorship
Juan Francisco Gutiérrez Lozano

2 Football and bullfighting on television: Spectacle and Spanish identity during Franco’s dictatorship Juan Francisco Gutiérrez Lozano The aim of this chapter is to analyse how television in Spain during the 1960s, controlled by the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, used popu­ lar entertainments such as football and bullfighting to gain popular acceptance and to feed the patriotic sentiment encouraged by Francoist propaganda. After addressing the characteristics of the Televisión Española (TVE) model as a state-controlled channel, these pages will explain how

in Popular television in authoritarian Europe
Complicating simplicity in Doctor Who
Benedict Morrison

than the squarer ratio of the television frame, announcing its status as spectacle. 5 8.2 Doctor Who : Widescreen television spectacle in ‘The Gunfighters’. The following rhythmic exchange between Masterson

in Complexity / simplicity
Josette Wolthuis

. 8 Ellis theorised that whereas cinema invites the viewer to attentively ‘gaze’ at the screen, television ‘engages the look and the glance rather than the gaze’ ( 1982 : 128). This and Williams's concept of flow have been much debated but are still responsible for the idea of television as competing with cinema. Wheatley ( 2016 ) has taken Caldwell's correctives of ‘glance theory’ as the point of departure for her discussion of television spectacle. See Britton and Barker ( 2003 ) for a critique of television as only

in Substance / style
Joseph Oldham

Kennedy Martin, the larger creative role given to the director saw a partial dilution of the assumption that television was predominantly a writer’s medium. Edge of Darkness, along with other prestige dramas of the time, embraced the other strand of televisuality identified by Caldwell, that of the ‘cinematic’, which ‘brought to television spectacle, high-production values, and feature-style cinematography’.32 Shot entirely on 16mm film with extensive location shooting and expressive lighting design, this is a far more integrated style of televisuality by comparison

in Paranoid visions
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Philip Hammond

the same edition’s leader column argued that the television spectacle ‘should not obscure the seriousness of the enterprise’. In the Times (9 December), Martin Fletcher and Sam Kiley also made it clear that the media circus did not diminish the value of the operation: ‘“This is just great!” said one unidentified Somali. “What a relief.”’ It is notable that the August 1992 US airlift occasioned only

in Framing post-Cold War conflicts
Robin Nelson

viewing experience comprises a numbing mindlessness. Caldwell, in contrast, recognises that in recent years ‘cinema brought to television spectacle, high production values and feature-style cinematography’ (1995: 12) and ‘points to the fundamental role that style plays in facilitating distinction’ (1995: 20). He goes so far as to question the doxa of glance theory (see 1995: 25–26) and posits that television viewers are knowledgeable about the medium and that some watch with the intensity of the cinematic gaze, perhaps with even greater intensity, since ‘film is a one

in State of play
Helen Wheatley

television: The cinematic refers, obviously, to a film look in television. Exhibitionist television in the 1980s meant more than shooting on film, however, since many nondescript shows have been shot on film since the 1950s. Rather, cinematic values brought to television spectacle, high production values

in Gothic television