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Ancient Greece on British Television$
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Fiona Hobden and Amanda Wrigley

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474412599

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474412599.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 01 December 2021

Greek Myth in the Whoniverse

Greek Myth in the Whoniverse

(p.168) 8 Greek Myth in the Whoniverse
Ancient Greece on British Television

Amanda Potter

Edinburgh University Press

Along with 21st-century spinoffs The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood, the iconic British science fiction series Doctor Who has engaged with Greek mythological characters and storylines across five decades. This chapter explores trends in this engagement. Troy and Atlantis are settings for the time-travelling Doctor inadvertently to set in motion events leading to their fall (‘The Myth Makers’, 1965, ‘Time Monster’, 1972), Medusa and the Minotaur are creatures in a fantasy world (‘The Mind Robber’, 1968) and stories of the Argonauts, the Minotaur and the Trojan War are set in space (‘Underworld’, 1978, ‘The Armageddon Factor’, 1979 and ‘The Horns of Nimon’, 1979-80). More recently, Greek mythological objects are cast as alien: e.g. Philoctetes (‘Greeks Bearing Gifts’, 2006), the Gorgon (‘The Eye of the Gorgon’, 2007), Pandora’s box (‘The Pandorica Opens’, 2010), the Minotaur (‘The God Complex’, 2011), and the Siren (‘The Curse of the Black Spot’, 2011). Evidence for the popularity of Greek mythology amongst contemporary viewers is discussed. By tracing shifting intersections between Greek myth and the ever-developing mythology of Doctor Who, this chapter considers how the long-running series anticipates, plays with and informs audience knowledge of Greek mythology, and spurs them on towards criticism and invention.

Keywords:   Greek mythology, Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood, BBC, audiences, science fiction, time-travel, classical monsters

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