There are a lot of books available to fans of Doctor Who. Novels, non-fiction, fan-fiction, fan-review and much more besides. One of the more unusual is Doctor Who and Philosophy (Bigger on the Inside). This features a vast set of essays exploring the philosophy of the show. It’s different but as a reviewer (and writer) it does explore Doctor Who from some new angles.
Doctor Who and Philosophy details
Printed in 2011, this set of essays is pulled together by Courtland Lewis and Paula Smithka. It covers thoughts on identity, evil, time travel and much more. Each piece gives some insight into both the show and an aspect of philosophy be it Nietzsche or Plato. There are probably far too many essays about regeneration and what it means to be the same person over time, and the editors could have slimmed back the collection in this regard.
There is plenty of food for thought – are the Daleks evil? What is evil? Are the cybermen rational? What is identity, and if it gets heavy in places (I’m not a philosophy student) none of the pieces is too long. The balance between 20th and 21st century Doctor Who is not too bad; I would have preferred more 20th century but I may be a minority.
Sadly it was produced before the War Doctor and the anniversary, both of which give plenty of food for thought. I’m pleased to say a second volume came out in 2015 and I have it on order! If you’ve ever had deep thoughts about Doctor Who, why not try this book? You may be pleased you did.