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We All Depend On The Beast Below: The Philosophy Of Doctor Who

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A great deal of the science-fiction stories being produced are steeped in far more philosophy than consumers realize. Even the most informed and attentive eye is prone to missing some level of insight because there are simply too many layers and influences present to see them all. Thankfully, Kevin Decker has written a great deal on the subject. Particularly relevant to me is a chapter in his book Who is Who?: The Philosophy of Doctor Who. Each chapter addresses a different philosophical construct, and one of those chapters is called “We All Depend on the Beast Below: The Monstrous Other.” This extremely valuable and enlightening chapter discusses the philosophical conversation pertaining to the idea of the “Other” and how Doctor Who fits into…show more content…
According to Decker, these two stories are similar “in that their bases under siege represent late twenty-first-century efforts in humankind's move beyond national divisions into a new era of cooperation on the Earth’s moon and Mars respectively” (CITE). In both of these endeavors mankind has a base of sorts that is attacked. For Troughton, it is the Cybermen who “were deliberately crafted in 1966 to serve as Others for the entire human race” (CITE). For Tennant, it is the Flood, an infection that travels through water, stealing the “small comfort of the skin-barriers bodily separation between alien enemy and self”…show more content…
Decker does little to distinguish between the two stories, likely because both feature the Silurians, a reptilian race inhabiting subterranean earth. Both stories stand the Silurians up against humanity, and humanity finds that “‘we have met the aliens and they are us’” (CITE). Rather than using a human base under an alien siege to address those things humans fear, these stories show a more dastardly side of humanity, making them the ones to be feared. Decker specifically mentions that, “Both tales explore the evils of colonialism and the limits of communalism through inverting the normal dynamic of invasion from without” (CITE). A brief plot explanation makes it clear that in both of these stories, humans are no better than their “alien” counterparts, and may very well be
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