Doctor Who and the case of Historicals

Historicals have been a big part of Doctor Who since the start in 1963 with the Unearthly Child. But since the 1970’s things have changed and most historicals have been including monsters but not keeping with time period. I will explain along with a special guests about should a historical stay exactly as it is or should have alien plots.

A poll was place said on twitter “In DoctorWho, most historicals have an alien but what kind of story do you prefer, a actual historical or an ep  with an alien threat” 10 people did vote and 60% voted  in favour of alien historicals but why do people prefer alien historical than pure historicals? It maybe as they prefer aliens rather than a lesson in the past or they have yet to watch or the classic era?

Since I was born after 1989, most historicals I have watched he did not have an aliens in the series, there isn’t one that remains close is Thin Ice which I gave 8/10 marks cause of Spider and the Villains were not great.

I will say that in recent historicals which also my guest has said in the past that the Doctor except Eleven and Twelve haven’t worn Period wear ( Ten did but he was human for the majority of the episodes) and she amazingly pointed out in the Unicorn and the Wasp than 10 didn’t dress up in 1920’s era clothing. I will also add that I love the 1920’s but to be honest in Mummy On The Orient Express, Twelve did dress up in a dinner suit but this had an alien in it and was in space in the future. Also, in Red Dwarf episode Twentica releases on 2016, the regulars dress in 1920’s clothing but it’s set in 1950’s American and they have to stop Exponoids altering history of a different version of Earth when the entering  a time hole and crash from a PMT (according to the Cat) and luckily Starbug is able to the normal reality and Red Dwarf.

The Cat, Kryten, Dave Lister and Arnold Rimmer in Red Dwarf episode Twentica

Back to Doctor Who, I am kind of mixed on the whole Clara situation as she was originally meant to be a Victorian Governess as she was in the Snowmen, I would have loved to seen a past companion like Victoria Waterfield but I love Clara Oswald and that is sad to choose if I would have wanted a historical or a plain modern assistant which meant there would be have been no Impossible Girl arc which is the one thing that I am not to fond about.

I loved the idea in the classic who stories and there were some good stories and arcs and moments but for me, I just never got it as much as I have different tastes and I am used to Historicals with monsters in like Unicorn and the Wasp even with Ten not being a team player by dressing up, it showed David and Catherine at their best. That is why I prefer these type of stories but there is a rumour about their being historicals in the next series so I am hoping they are and are good and gives me a idea on how to enjoy them for.

I have a special guest now and here is Laurel Rockefeller (@laurelworlds on twitter) explaining why it’s important to have Historicals.

I would love to see DW do pure historicals — as long as they get the history right! The TARDIS has those AMAZING closets filled with clothes from supposedly every time and place in the universe, right? So it could ONLY acquire clothes from those direct time periods, right? A 13th century French gown in the TARDIS must come from 13th century France. Logical, right? This is what will absolutely drive me crazy. DW HAS TO GET IT RIGHT in order to maintain credibility. Also when it comes to well known historical figures — people like Queen Elizabeth Tudor of England — it IS critical to me as a biographical historian — that who these people were be depicted AS THEY WERE. In other words, even with the Doctor around and even if there are zygons and cybermen and daleks and goddess knows what else — certain historical persons MUST BEHAVE as they DID behave in real life. This is why my first reaction to “Day of the Doctor” was to absolutely HATE it the first time I watched it.  I love Day of the Doctor for its Gallifreyan arc with the War Doctor. But the whole Queen Elizabeth part of the story makes me livid. The Queen Elizabeth Tudor we see in Day of the Doctor could not be more different than the person I introduce you to in my biography “Queen Elizabeth Tudor: Journey to Gloriana.” I think if Verity Lambert were to see Day of the Doctor she would have been extremely upset with it.

Check out Laurel’s novel here: http://viewbook.at/QETkindle

One of the justifications for Doctor Who back in 1963 was that it was to have some measure of educational value. Verity Lambert wanted a measure of accuracy to the show where history was concerned so it offered something more than a Tom and Jerry cartoon to the children watching. Monsters and play with aliens is fine and good fun. But there should always be SOMETHING educational about the show.  

One reason why Peter Capaldi’s seasons are so amazing stems from what they are teaching us. Twelve is a role model of kindness and compassion and you see that regularly in Peter Capaldi’s performances. Dark Water is a cyberman story — but we learn about love and loyalty and friendship from it. Plus, Jenna’s gown notwithstanding in Robots of Sherwood, series 8-10 did a reasonably good job with the history.  I’m trying to think of any particular episode that infuriated me as a historian narratively and none really bubble to mind right away. With regards to the Russell T Davies remark about Elizabeth that was woven into Day of the Doctor — it should have been ignored.  Doctor Who suffers as a series because they picked up that thread.

Narrative history is my passion.  I started writing the Legendary Women of World History series because I want to improve history literacy.  No matter how old or young you are or what your background is, history needs to be accessible.  that’s my passion — making it accessible. Maybe this is Peter Capaldi’s influence, but I do believe Doctor Who can be so much more than it has been. We can and should return to Verity Lambert’s vision of a Doctor Who that quietly educates us as it entertains.  Whether it’s about ethics and morality (something Peter Capaldi brilliantly teaches as a the Twelfth Doctor) or about specific historical events (like the epilogue to Family of the Blood and The Fires of Pompeii do), watching Doctor Who should make us better people. I think that is what Verity Lambert, William Hartnell, and of course Peter Capaldi have always envisioned for the show.”

“Musician that I am!”

Here are the links to Laurel’s website

http://www.laurelarockefeller.com

http://www.laurelarockefeller.co.uk

Thank you to Laurel Rockefeller for your views on pure 👏🤗

So, that is it on Historicals, what is your favourite Historical from Classic Who, comment to @leigh_craddock and then I will reply.