The name’s Who, Doctor Who!

Back here I gave some thoughts as to the literary influences on the Doctor sticking with British influences. It seems to me that I missed out a couple one being the very obvious Professor Quatermass and the other being James Bond. Prompted by a piece on the often fascinating BBC America website I thought I would correct those omissions.

Professor Quatermass

For those too young to remember (including me for the originals) Professor Quatermass was a 1950s TV character created by the very talented Nigel Kneale (wike entry here; he can also be credited with some small effort with the invention of the Big Brother format). He took on various science-fiction challenges in ground-breaking TV shows Quatermass (astronauts mutate – a revival of this starred David Tennant before he became the Tenth Doctor); Quatermass II (aliens trying to take over the Earth) and the wonderful (and remade as a movie) Quatermass and the Pit which gives us a grand tale of military idiocy (echoes of the Brigadier?) and alien artefacts. Watch this then watch Dr Who and the Daemons if you still don’t agree.

James Bond

Onto Mr Bond; in the article on BBC America (here) Sam Mendes makes the point that the Bond franchise survives in much the same was as the Who franchise due to regeneration of the hero. I would suggest that there are other parallels that could be drawn:

  • A quintessential British-ness
  • A connection with Cambridge University (see Shada and it is James Bond’s alma mater where he read Oriental Studies)
  • Iconic females – Ursula Andress in Dr No, Amy Pond…
  • Use of gadgets
  • Charisma.

There are no doubt more but I think the point is made!

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