The following is what is commonly know as a polemic; an opportunity for my spleen to be vented, and a small portion of academic bile directed towards one Nicholas J. Cull, who has written perhaps one of the most small-minded, arrogant, and misguided piece's I have ever had the (mis)pleasure of reading. His central argument is that the whole evolution of Who is, in fact, due to the influence of American cultural (and other) pressures. This, I feel, is the most short-sighted piece of crap I have ever read, from a man who, I doubt, has seen any of the series, let alone actually studied any of the criticism or history of the programme. I would like to tear apart a few of the points he makes here. However, what follows is just a short attack on what is, in whole, a terrible argument.
1. He basically argues that the Doctor, is an embodiment of British values, and that this has to be seen in light of the increasing dominance of America as a superpower, and the decline of Britain on the global stage. Thus, the only way that Britian could come to terms with this is by having someone who tried to assert their brains over using braun.
Reply 1: OH MY GOD! Does this guy not understand that the whole point of the Doctor is that he's a character of superior interlect who comes from another planet? That he is supposed to embody the liberal position of tolerance and pacifism, and that his whole role is about assisting people and deciding what is for the greater good? This could be written as a school boy error, but the fact that he a) goes on to assert what a great character James T. Kirk is in comparison, by appealing to literary predecessors, and b) this is written by a yank, just going to show that that nation has little understanding of 'tolerance' contemporarily, is unforgivable.
2. "The second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) was not as popular as the first. Audiences detected 'stale and predictable plots'."
Reply 2: Just completely flabbergasted by this one. Firstly if Troughton was so unpopular, why does he always usually come out near the top of 'Favourite Doctor' poles? Why is he so fondly remembered as the 'Cosmic Hobo', who had a childlike innocence? As for the plots issue, this guy has obviously never heard of The Evil of the Daleks, The Enemy of the World, The Web of Fear, The Macra Terror, or Fury from the Deep. A diverse range of plots there, some developing the now classic 'base under siege' thread, some just being different completely.
3. (And this is the best one. About Star Trek: TNG): "The show had all Doctor Who's eclecticism and humour and effects were light years away from anything the BBC could produce alone".
Reply 3: Honestly, and I can feel the rage growing in me now, has this guy even seen any TNG? It's the most po-faced, boring, stuffy load of crap ever made! Humour? There's more sodding humour in a funeral, and I've just been to one. Eclecticism? What that'll be the return of the bleeding Klingons will it? Or would that be the fact that they had to nick the Cybermen to create the Borg? The only thing eclectic about it was that it had Whoopi sodding Goldberg as the barman!
I could go on, but there are some things in there that are just laughable. Congratulations, Nicholas J. Cull. You are an ABSOLUTE MORON.