A Farewell To Soulless Science Fiction

ACE has posted a grim round-up of news on the science fiction front as evidence accumulates that Doctor Who, Star Trek and Star Wars have all been dragged down by enwokened, holier-than-thou leftist meddlers. Like the monotone and lock-step Cyberpersons that they are, the producers and script-writers of these former standard-bearers of the small and big screens all think alike. They are not remotely interested in imagining other worlds or futures – or even pasts. No, the only world they want to essay is our world; this place; Earth in 2020. More specifically, they want to ‘address’ the politics of the world in 2020. This green-screening of creativity has come at a predictable price: box office receipts for the latest Star Wars are woeful, Doctor Who continues to bomb (on the watch of its first female lead) and the coming Star Trek Picard – another iteration of everybody’s favourite sci-fi franchise – is set to become the most political show in the genre ever made. Patrick Stewart insists on it. “Picard,” he says, is “me responding to the world of Brexit and Trump and feeling, ‘Why hasn’t the federation changed?'” Ace notes that the producer of the new series is already distancing himself from the Stewart-driven changes – which may include f-bombs. That’s right. ‘Make it fucking so.’ That sort of thing. If only there was a smidgen of naughtiness back in the days of Deanna Troi but – *sigh* – I digress.

Unfortunately, I cannot write with authority about Star Wars. I’ve never seen any of the many instalments and have no intention of doing so. Years of channel-flipping, seeing featured clips on other programs or YouTube mean that I can tell C-3PO from R2-D2 but that’s about it. It always struck me as Sesame Street in space. But Doctor Who is another matter. For those of us who pleaded with mums calling dinner-time as Tom Baker dealt with Davros or took a beating from Sontaran fat-head Field Major Styre, the Doctor was a VIP. And his moral ‘message’ – lightly delivered – was a good one. The Doctor was kind, forgiving, a gentleman, loyal and brave. When I watched the current Doctor’s “Speech on Humanity” this morning, it seemed like a send-up. But no – it’s real. Apparently, the Doctor is now a Time Lord Greta Thunberg, just as Stewart’s latest Picard is Bernie Sanders at the helm of the Enterprise.

Star Trek (the original) was before my time but The Next Generation was a television staple in the early 1990s. Yes, even back then Jean-Luc Picard was a prude but the storylines were good; the run-ins with the Borg were especially entertaining. If anything, Voyager was even better than TNG. It was more than random encounters of an increasingly boring kind. The Voyager crew was lost behind enemy lines, with distance and hostiles conspiring to box them in forever; it was a slow-boiling jail-break caper along with the more customary arcs. I always respected Captain Janeway too (played by devout pro-lifer Kate Mulgrew). There wasn’t a single feminist lecture in the entire seven season run that I remember. And there was Seven of Nine, about whose moniker jokes were told – of a wishful thinking variety.

Is there more to the decline of these series than political backlash? I believe so. All three have been in virtually constant production or – in the case of Star Wars, promotion – for nearly 60 years. They are all conceptually jaded, verging on clapped-out. CGI brought some new energy and spectacle to the cinema excursions of Star Trek and even TV’s Doctor Who but audiences want more than realism. What do they want? They want what people have wanted since ancient times in stories and tales of adventuresome derring-do. They like the contest between good and evil to be a close-run thing because they know it always is. Truth inheres in the hearts of men and doesn’t automatically triumph in lesser skirmishes. It triumphs ultimately. Love of suspense and the thrill of an uplifting denouement is hard-wired into us. We can take it when good doesn’t win on the day but even the melancholy of loss highlights the affirmation we yearn for – and hope to find in the world’s future or our own. We are seekers of the truth. I think the backlash is less political than spiritual. The moral relativism actuating most ‘entertainment’ today – wherein there are no ‘truths’ but only agendas – removes the primordial soul of story-telling. Money-grubbing and narcissism are all that remain. In archaic times, pretenders surely existed and were shooed from the fire-flickering caves. Their stories died.

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52 Responses to A Farewell To Soulless Science Fiction

  1. stackja

    Frankly I don’t give a damn about ‘modern’ Science Fiction. 1950s Science Fiction movies were fun.

  2. Shy Ted

    Wish I was a dalek. I’d exterminate an awful lot of these lefties. Slowly, painfully to make amends for the slow, painful things they’ve inflicted on us.

  3. Keith Bates

    The demise of Dr Who the first time around was due to people switching off from the anti-Thatcher politicking. I think the first couple of episodes of the current season have been better than last season’s drab, political rubbish. I continue to live in hope.

  4. Bruce of Newcastle

    Forget about Hollywood or BBC science fiction, which is woke to infinity and beyond these days.
    Read books. Lots of good stuff around. Rafe’s son’s novels for example!
    Many right wing SF novels are cheap too, having gone through the Amazon self publishing route.

  5. I remember watching the very first episodes of Dr Who when they screened in Australia (I well remember how the Daleks were created, interestingly by someone that looks like George Soros). I was also glued to the screen when Star Trek began showing.

    But all this is a reflection of where everything has gone, whether it’s TV series or movies. The woke crowd destroys everything they touch. I mentioned in another post that Seth MacFarlane has left Disney as he couldn’t go along with what they wanted him to do to The Orville.

  6. Arky

    As adults, you should have stopped watching children’s programming long ago.
    These stories were designed for eight to 13 year olds.
    What you should be doing at your age is telling stories. Not consuming them, or commenting on consuming them.
    And the stories you tell and how you tell them will influence your children.

  7. Scott Osmond

    Their dead Jim! I noticed the collapse of sf starting back in the late 90s. Fortunately for me I had a backlist of authors to read that kept me going until indi publishing got started. Now, Richard Fox, Vaughn Heppner, B V Larson, Christopher Nuttall, Leo Champion, Brian Niemeier and many others for starters. I haven’t watched anything from Hollyweird since the early 2000s and only keep reading some legacy authors. With indi my cup runnith over. Most importantly I follow Niemeier’s dictate “don’t give money to people and institutions that hate you”.

  8. Mark A

    bemused
    #3293985, posted on January 16, 2020 at 11:25 am

    I remember watching the very first episodes of Dr Who when they screened in Australia (I well remember how the Daleks were created, interestingly by someone that looks like George Soros).

    Davros always reminded me of an aging B Hawke.
    Agree about the wokes.

  9. As adults, you should have stopped watching children’s programming long ago.
    These stories were designed for eight to 13 year olds.
    What you should be doing at your age is telling stories. Not consuming them, or commenting on consuming them.

    Many children’s programs have adult themes that children don’t notice. However, restricting your viewing means that your mind has atrophied and all your stories date back to when you were 8-13 years old.

  10. Ivan Denisovich

    ACE has posted a grim round-up of news on the science fiction front as evidence accumulates that Doctor Who, Star Trek and Star Wars have all been dragged down by enwokened, holier-than-thou leftist meddlers.

    Not just science fiction. Woke bombs everywhere:

    https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2019/11/16/nolte-charlies-angels-is-fifth-woketard-franchise-to-die-at-box-office

  11. feelthebern

    Star Trek Discovery is a cracking watch.

  12. billie

    same thing happened to The Man in the High Castle, season 4 was painful to watch and the end of the series was such trite scoldy rubbish. so dissappointing after the early series – clearly anti right, though they didn’t seem to realise the nazis weren’t right wing .. whatever, usual lefty sneering

    the expanse is great though, just watched season 4 of that, absolutely brilliant cgi and sets

    watched episode 1 of season 2 of the new doctor and my partner who is a died in the wool Dr fan, struggled with it and just saw episodes 2 and 3 and it was just awful, seemed to try to throw in all manner of entertainment to save it but under it all is the constant messaging about fairness, multi culturalism and anti capitalism horsecrap

  13. a happy little debunker

    If only there was a smidgen of naughtiness back in the days of Deanna Troi but – *sigh* – I digress.

    Obviously never watched “The Wicked Lady” (1983) – cause that had all sorts of naughtiness involving Marina Sirtis.

  14. Scott Osmond

    If you want a laugh check out the episode by episode ratings for the female doctor. Started well over 10 million and dropped like a stone. I only read the episode synopsis’s and it was a checklist of all the lefty wokescold talking points. Being a public broadcaster however it won’t be canned anytime soon. Amazing how long you can keep a garbage show on the air when you are spending someone elses money.

  15. Frank

    It always struck me as Sesame Street in space.

    Pretty much spot on, programming for kids.

  16. Turtle

    I’ve been on a Pertwee/Baker Dr Who binge recently. The production was terrible but the stories were great. Douglas Adams wrote some great scripts.

  17. Mother Lode

    The first Star Wars was more a timeless tale told in a mesmerising new way. The opening sequence where the Imperial Star Destroyer passes overhead seemingly taking impossibly long to do so (and there is a fraction of a second where some hold is opened and you think it is the back end of the ship, but noooo) left you in an awe that set the movie perfectly. The goodies were really good, the baddies really bad (and their uniforms looked like those of Nazi officers), and even the likable rogue came good in the end. The whole thing was so different and new.

    The second movie was a better story perhaps, but some of the novelty had worn off.

    The third movie? One word: Ewoks.

    The first Star Wars stood out from anything that had been done before. By the time they got to the second it was a Star Wars movie where the element of surprise had begun to dissipate. By the time of the third there were all manner of Sci-Fi movies and TV shows with swashbuckling characters and special effects. So Star Wars tried to differentiate itself but did so in an insufferably boring way.

    Each subsequent installment has continued down that hole.

  18. PhilW

    billie – I agree that The expanse is great. I have read the books as well.

  19. Mother Lode

    My Star Trek experiences began when I was in Japan and there were not that many programs in English (well, bilingual was the function – you could select for original language or dubbed).

    I didn’t mind the Star Trek TNG. Picard’s character as a widely read efficient commander with a flare for pulling out brilliant stratagems when all seemed lost was surely in many ways a Boys-Own mainstay. Yeah, he got mushy at times, and the saccharine sweetness of Federation life, where everybody had trillions of hobbies but never watched a movie seemed to make them shallower than otherwise. And it was annoying as hell the number of times they just backed off because of fear of cultural imperialism.

    The they tried Deep Space 9 which suffered from the fact it was too small a space and too limited a cast. And the homage to the bovine mysticism of the locals was nauseating. They tried to get around it by gifting them a spacecraft so they could meet an occasional other species but too little too late.

    Voyager used to annoy me because they spent so much of their time desperately short of this and that. The one with the seven year lifespan is typical Trek – they made her as morally pure as she was naive and ignorant – and that was a lot. They dumped her.

    I have heard nothing good about their ‘Discovery’. Canonically confused, and as full of moody, angst ridden teens as one of those vampire TV series that were taking over a few years ago. even the adults are teens.

    I note, though, that the new movies have gone back to the original series not just in roles, but feel. They are mavericks ready for a fight, ready to take risks, and ready to break rules.

    I don’t really need to know that Sulu is a fudge-packer. The character originally wasn’t, and as far as I can tell they have only done it now because the actor who played him is one. When this campaign pushing gays and trans finally get smacked on the head as tacky in nature and immoral in execution I wonder if they will edit it out.

  20. 59096

    Like everything else these science fiction movies have obviously been effected by climate change. They only way to get life back into the genre is to glue ourselves to a road somewhere and demand something!

  21. feelthebern

    I have heard nothing good about their ‘Discovery’. Canonically confused, and as full of moody, angst ridden teens as one of those vampire TV series that were taking over a few years ago. even the adults are teens.

    I disagree.
    It is a sophisticated story arc.
    Yes, there are a couple of annoying underlying themes.
    But the two seasons they have delivered today was all killer, no filler.

  22. RobK

    I think 2001;A Space Odessy was the best sci-fi movie.

  23. Lee

    Very disappointed to learn that Patrick Stewart is no better than your typical Hollywood woke, SJW wanker.

    I will not be watching his new series.

  24. Anthony

    To chip in on Star Wars, it is not sci-fi but rather space fantasy: The Jedi are quite literally (laser) sword wielding Knights with spaceships instead of steeds. Luke Skywalker probably has more in common with Frodo Baggins than Captain Kirk. There is almost no science involved in how stuff happens, you just accept that it does.

    I would say that whilst I enjoyed the ride of watching the most recent Star Wars movies I deeply hated The Last Jedi. The issue was not trying to be woke but was that they remade the original triology whilst breaking the established rules of the franchise. They also made the main character, Rey, a Mary Sue – a shame as Princess Leia in the original trilogy was quite believably capable.

    For Star Trek, I loved TNG as a kid. The best thing about it was that (almost) no matter what whacky thing was happening to a character, the other characters believed them and went about fixing the problem. That said, the characters thought themselves more evolved than their recent human ancestors, and that made them pretty damn annoying sometimes. Voyager was a mess, the characters acted like they knew they would be home in seven years, the ship was always magically repaired the next episode, Janeway was inconsistently written (with no real explanation) and so on. Whilst the capable actress, Jeri Ryan, was stuffed in a skin tight body suit to take the show mainstream. Unfortunately, it is quite well known that Kate Mulgrew bullied Jeri Ryan for the first two years on the show – basically filming Voyager ruined Mulgrew’s relationships with her children, then they booted a younger actress off the show to make way for sex bombshell Jeri Ryan. So, that didn’t go down well. All round unfortunate behind the cameras.

    DS9 is the best Trek. It was the first in the franchise to really try story arcs – but it was a bit before it’s time. You get to see imperfect, realistic characters going from the comforts of their utopian environments to having their backs against the wall all the time. The Ferengi are played by their actors very well (and redeemed somewhat from being the ‘Space Jews’ they are portrayed as in TNG. The Bajorans were damn annoying (and often poorly cast and poorly written), but they are one of the few species on Star Trek that is not inherently one-dimensional. Seriously, how often do you see a Klingon that isn’t a warrior?

    Discovery is fine. More of my friends watch it compared to the earlier series as a sort of B-grade filler TV show. It has suffered from plot incoherence and changing show runners. Regrettably, if you watch Season 2, you will find yourself caring for some of the obvious temporary characters (whose actors are clearly enjoying playing them) whilst you have no idea the names of half the Discovery bridge crew.

  25. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    or – in the case of Star Wars, promotion – for nearly 60 years.

    Yeah, no. The first Star Wars fillum was released in 1977.

    FFS. I’m no fan of Hollyweird, but this sort of inaccuracy is inexcusable.

  26. Squirrel

    There’s still some political incorrectness (i.e. reality) in privately produced and funded TV, but just about everything I see (mainly only in promos – watching the actual episodes would require restraints and/or sedation) from public broadcasters is paint-by-numbers, formulaic crap which seems to be more about complying with quotas and trotting out flavour-of-the-month cliches than it is about creating characters and telling stories that people will actually enjoy.

  27. Bruce in WA

    A certain Sci-Fi characteress

    Jeebus! You don’t get many of those to the kilo!

  28. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    B in WA – she’s magnifique without the balloons.

  29. Tel

    As far as I’m concerned, Tom Baker was the final regeneration of Dr Who … nothing after that exists.

    Star Trek always was a bit whacky, I watched it on and off, can’t say I was impressed at any stage but got less and less interested as time went on.

    The Dune movies were OK, not too preachy … kind of Laurence of Arabia with better outfits, more drugs and giant worms instead of camels. I tried the Dune books a few times but found that I needed to read them with my thumb on the fast forward button.

    Some of the Iron man movies didn’t suck too much … I liked “The Mandarin” by Ben Kingsley.

    Big corporations have never been good at creativity … in almost every case the genuine new ideas come either from individuals or from small teams, and then the corporation either forms around the individual (e.g. Henry Ford & Walt Disney) or it buys out the rights to the creative ideas (e.g. endless remakes of old comic books).

  30. Tel

    Libertarians should rejoice when the market imposes discipline on corporations that produce a shit product.

    They either lift their game and produce something watchable, or they go bankrupt and release those resources for alternative purposes. Corporations are not living things, we don’t have to cry when they die because they were never alive in the first place. It would be like crying when you fix a flat tyre or change a broken light bulb.

  31. Tel

    As adults, you should have stopped watching children’s programming long ago.
    These stories were designed for eight to 13 year olds.

    Quite the contrary … we should be keeping a very close eye on children’s programming, because that’s the only way to know how the children are being programmed.

  32. Old Lefty

    CL has outed himself as a spring chicken! I remember hiding behind the sofa in terror at the Daleks in the original black and white 1963 series with William Hartnell as the Doctor and Ian and Barbara as his companions. My mother was worried that it would turn us kids into neurotics. The early episodes look so amateurish now, but there was a moral sanity about them, and a sublte British self-mockery, which has gone missing lately.

  33. Mitchell Porter

    At its best and weirdest, “Lexx” is hard to beat.

  34. C.L.

    Unfortunately, it is quite well known that Kate Mulgrew bullied Jeri Ryan for the first two years on the show – basically filming Voyager ruined Mulgrew’s relationships with her children, then they booted a younger actress off the show to make way for sex bombshell Jeri Ryan. So, that didn’t go down well. All round unfortunate behind the cameras.

    Wow. I didn’t know there was so much controversy behind the scenes.

    ————————–

    My mother was worried that it would turn us kids into neurotics.

    LOL. My Mum didn’t like us watching Doctor Who. She thought it was too scary.

    IMO, this was the best version of the BBC’s intro/outro, by the way. Incredible with the tech they had at the time:

  35. calli

    Loved Star Trek as a child. Watched every episode on the B&W Pye TV, which used to go wrong with monotonous regularity.

    A few years later, I read Azimov’s Foundation series and realised how much it had influenced the scriptwriters. Matter of fact, I’m re-reading them right now.

  36. Muddy

    Star Wars: After The Empire Strikes Back, that was it. I watched the horrendously awful three prequels, and the first of the three sequels, which was so ‘meh,’ I cannot even recall the title. As I’ve grown older and more bitter, I’ve realised how much the Empire suffered from bad press. Perhaps the Australian Federal Liberal Party now uses the same P.R. strategists?

  37. wreckage

    Sci-fi in print has moved almost entirely over to independent authors. Conservative, libertarian, and right-wing authors like Nick Cole are bagging hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales while mainstream scifi dies.

  38. Mitch M.

    Tired of screen SciFi long ago but with the occasional exception like Predestination screening on World Movies tonight. Greg Egan’s novel Diaspora is being made into a movie but damned if I know how they will capture his thinking on screen.

    Ex Machina is worth a look.

    Stars Wars is not SciFi.

    Squirrel
    #3294515, posted on January 16, 2020 at 7:48 pm
    There’s still some political incorrectness (i.e. reality) in privately produced and funded TV, but just about everything I see (mainly only in promos – watching the actual episodes would require restraints and/or sedation) from public broadcasters is paint-by-numbers, formulaic crap which seems to be more about complying with quotas and trotting out flavour-of-the-month cliches than it is about creating characters and telling stories that people will actually enjoy.

    That sums up the current situation. More likely to find good sci-fi stories in computer games than at the cinema.

  39. jupes

    There is a good reason (for them) for these cretins to go woke. Practically everything the tv and film industry has foisted on us has worked. They drive culture.

    Mixed crews appeared on star trek before real life.
    Homosexuals were accepted by society on tv before real life.
    Women soldiers appeared in movies before real life.
    Allied soldiers appeared as the baddies on tv before they were prosecuted in real life.

    Etc. These traitorous pricks do have the power to destroy our culture and they are not afraid to use it.

  40. Arky

    calli
    #3294560, posted on January 16, 2020 at 9:10 pm
    Loved Star Trek as a child. Watched every episode on the B&W Pye TV, which used to go wrong with monotonous regularity.

    A few years later, I read Azimov’s Foundation series and realised how much it had influenced the scriptwriters. Matter of fact, I’m re-reading them right now.

    ..
    Bloody hell.
    Confirmed. I am Calli.

  41. feelthebern

    Ex Machina is worth a look.

    Good watch.

  42. Pete of Perth

    Western wokeness has only made slight inroads into Asian cinema. Check out Smoking on Netflix.

  43. Bruce

    L:

    ” Incredible with the tech they had at the time:”

    That weird floating, zooming, multi-image thing is easy to do with analogue video gear.

    Hook the camera output to a monitor and a split to a recorder.

    Then , point the camera at the monitor, with the camera framed just inside the boundaries of teh monitor screen.

    What you get is essentially “video feedback”. Slight moves of the camera and slow zooms in and out will change the effect.

    Lots a fun in the “old days”.

    Have never tried it with a modern HD digital camera and monitor; any other adventurous souls out there?

    Remember “Blake’s Seven”? A cheery little series.

    “Space 1999”

    The truly bizarre “Lost in Space”.

  44. AlanR

    Come off it, the original Star Trek TV series was as political as you could get. It had a multi-racial cast, heavily referenced Jewish/Holocaust themes and featured a white guy kissing a ‘coloured person’ for the first time on mainstream television.

    As for the suggestion that we ‘shouldn’t’ watch and are too old for children’s stories, the second you succumb to that you have lost all joy with the world.

  45. Bruce

    Then, there’s “The Invaders”, starring a young Roy Thinnes. It didn’t have a long run: Same basic story in every episode.

    How about “V”?

    A couple of “Quatermass” “mini-series”?

  46. Gowest

    My current TV favourite is the netflix – altered carbon series. Other than that its back to audiobooks – David Weber and John Ringo are my staples – lots of anti PC and bloodshed.

  47. C.L.

    Thanks for technical explanation, Bruce.
    It doesn’t sound easy to me!

    I saw an interview/report some years ago featuring the BBC bloke who came up with the floating stars etc. I remember him saying they had to achieve the effect using really basic, primitive techniques – probably of the kind you’re describing. It took quite a long time to do. The craft involved was really admirable.

  48. stackja

    Forbidden Planet is a 1956 American science fiction film, produced by Nicholas Nayfack, directed by Fred M. Wilcox, that stars Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, and Leslie Nielsen. Shot in Eastmancolor and CinemaScope, it is considered one of the great science fiction films of the 1950s,[4] a precursor of contemporary science fiction cinema. The characters and isolated setting have been compared to those in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest,[5] and the plot contains certain analogues to the play, leading many to consider it a loose adaptation.

    The film sets for Forbidden Planet were constructed on a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) sound stage at its Culver City film lot and were designed by Cedric Gibbons and Arthur Lonergan. The film was shot entirely indoors, with all the Altair IV exterior scenes simulated using sets, visual effects, and matte paintings.

    A full-size mock-up of roughly three-quarters of the starship was built to suggest its full width of 170 ft (51 m). The starship was surrounded by a huge, painted cyclorama featuring the desert landscape of Altair IV; this one set took up all of the available space in one of the Culver City sound stages. Principal photography took place from April 18 to late May 1955.[14]

    At a cost of roughly $125,000, Robby the Robot was very expensive for a film prop at this time; it represented almost 7% of the film’s $1.9 million budget and equates to at least $1 million in 2017 dollars.[15][Note 1] Both the electrically controlled passenger vehicle driven by Robby and the truck/tractor-crane off-loaded from the starship were also constructed specially for this film. Robby also starred in the science fiction film The Invisible Boy (1957) and later appeared in many TV series and films; the C-57D, Robby (and his passenger vehicle) appeared in various episodes of CBS’s The Twilight Zone, usually slightly modified for each appearance.

    The animated sequences of Forbidden Planet, especially the attack of the Id Monster, were created by veteran animator Joshua Meador,[16] who was loaned out to MGM by Walt Disney Productions.

  49. Rob

    Science fiction is obsolete.

    I have seen the future and its name is Detroit.

  50. Archivist

    Is there more to the decline of these series than political backlash? I believe so. All three have been in virtually constant production or – in the case of Star Wars, promotion – for nearly 60 years. They are all conceptually jaded, verging on clapped-out.

    Star Wars commenced in 1977, about 43 years ago, but quibbles aside, you’re right that it has been around a long time, as have the others. But if longevity is the problem, why (to pick a mixture of scifi and non-scifi) are Tolkein, Doyle’s Sherlock, and Lovecraft’s Cthulhu (these last two being in the public domain) looking fresh and lively and showing no sign of age?

    It’s not so much age itself as custodianship, which is a risk for franchises as they age. The rot sets in when the product falls into the hands of people who don’t understand why it appeals to its core audience; or want to use it for their own purposes or agenda. All three of the scifi franchises, as well as a couple of others I’d add to the list of corrupted franchises – namely Terminator and Alien – are the property of big bureaucratic corporations which don’t really understand them.

    The most cringey aspect of Dr Who’s decline is not even its political correctness (these days more succinctly ‘wokeness’); it’s the excruciatingly well-meaning attempt to use it as a vehicle to educate youngsters about science history, a mission that was shoehorned into an internal memo more than half a century ago to get the TV show across the line in a pitch meeting. Education was not a feature of classic Doctor Who, certainly not during its heydey in the 1970s and 80s, or even in the early years of the reboot. It it painful to watch the Doctor meet some historical figure then immediately launch into a lecture about the historical importance of that person. And sure, the choices tend toward what you might call ‘woke’ but even if they didn’t, they’d be just as embarrassing.

    There will be a price to pay. Disney notwithstanding, managing long-running IP is a pretty new thing and it’s possible that the market doesn’t yet fully understand how to do it. In the meantime Disney, the BBC, Paramount, and others will suffer greatly for their mismanagement and for their arrogant and patronising mangling of what were once quite valuable cultural and commercial resources.

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