Obsessed with War — An Unearthly Child →

Christian Cawley starts Kasterborous’s review of every Doctor Who story:

Set against a backdrop of 1963 with assassinations, the nuclear arms race, the narrowly averted conflict of the Cuban missile crisis and the Cold War, some of the metaphors are pretty blatant. Political killings of old women and the attempt to steal the “technology” of fire mirror real world events of the time. It is easy to forget – albeit fascinating – that Doctor Who viewers were living under the almost constant threat of a nuclear war between the west and the Eastern Bloc countries of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union (Russia).

We should be relieved that Kal never got his hands on the secret of fire, lest war break out. The consequences of yet another conflict, just 18 years after World War II, the the horror of it turning nuclear were too much for anyone to consider.

With the opening to the quote above, Cawley may easily have been talking about the following story, “The Daleks”, and not “An Unearthly Child”. Both stories are about technology. The technology of “An Unearthly Child” is fire, one of the earliest technologies, one that Kal wants to use to control. The technology of “The Daleks” is nuclear, again used to dominate others.

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