The folding text: Doctor Who, adaptation and fan fiction

Marlow, Christopher (2009) The folding text: Doctor Who, adaptation and fan fiction. In: Adaptation in contemporary culture: textual infidelities. Continuum, London, pp. 46-57. ISBN 9780826424648

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The history of Doctor Who is a history of adaptation. This is most obviously true of the programme’s content, which regularly adapts to different scenarios, different companions and even different Doctors. But the process of cross-media adaptation is also central to Doctor Who at a metatextual level, and this became especially important during the fifteen years between the cancellation of the programme in 1990 and its rebirth in 2005. During that time, Doctor Who survived through a vast number of different adaptations, including a plethora of original fan fiction, published fiction, and audio drama. By examining the major plots, themes and assumptions of these adaptations, this chapter will show how they were themselves adapted by the programme upon its eventual return. With reference to Derridean conceptions of the folding and refolding of textual space, I will examine the adaptation of published work to televised episodes, and the powerful influence of fan fiction (including ‘slash’ and ‘het’) on the post-2005 series, particularly its new interest in sexuality. Doctor Who provides a unique example of a fandom in which canonical material was absorbed into a pseudo-canon only to be reintegrated back into the canon, and as such it poses questions of originality and authenticity that address our understanding of postmodern culture as a whole.

Keywords:Adaptation, film and television studies, Doctor Who, gender and sexuality, Textuality, Digitised
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P301 Television studies
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
ID Code:8846
Deposited On:10 Apr 2013 20:15

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