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Design for Doctor Who

Vision and Revision in Screen SF

Piers D. Britton



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Bloomsbury Academic
12 August 2021
Series: Who Watching
The long-running popular TV series Doctor Who is, Piers Britton argues, a 'uniquely design intensive text': its time-and-space-travel premise requires that designers be tirelessly imaginative in devising new worlds and entities and recreating past civilizations. While Doctor Who's attempts at worldbuilding are notorious for being hit-and-miss - old jokes about wobbly walls and sink plungers die hard - the distinctiveness of the series' design imagery is beyond question. And over the course of six decades Doctor Who has produced designs which are not only iconic but, in being repeatedly revisited and updated, have proven to be an ever-more important element in the series' identity and mythos.

In the first in-depth study of Doctor Who's costumes, sets and graphics, Piers Britton offers an historical overview of both the original and the revived series, explores theoretical frameworks for evaluating Doctor Who design, and provides detailed analysis of key images. Case studies include the visual morphology of Doctor Who's historical adventures, the evaluative character of cosplay, and the ongoing significance for the Doctor Who brand of such high-profile designs as the Daleks and the TARDIS interior, the 'time-tunnel' title sequence, and the costumes of the Fourth and Thirteenth Doctors.
Imprint:   Bloomsbury Academic
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 138mm, 
Weight:   398g
ISBN:   9781472984159
ISBN 10:   1472984153
Series:   Who Watching
Pages:   280
Publication Date:  
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Table of Contents Preface PART 1: A CRITICAL DESIGN HISTORY OF DOCTOR WHO Introduction: Why a history of Doctor Who design? 1. The London Period - Lime Grove 1963 to Television Centre 1989 2. The TVM, and the Cardiff Period - Upper Boat Studios 2004 to Roath Lock 2020 Postlude PART 2: THIRTEEN KEY DESIGNS - A PERSONAL VIEW Introduction 3. Formative and Enduring Images 4. Design of the Times PART 3: WHAT'S AT STAKE IN DESIGN FOR DOCTOR WHO Introduction 5. The Work of Design in the Doctor Who Narrative 6. Responding to Design for Doctor Who - Evaluation and Transformations LAST THOUGHTS Notes

Piers D. Britton is Professor and Director of Media & Visual Culture Studies at the University of Redlands, Southern California, USA. He is the author of TARDISbound (I.B.Tauris, 2011) and co-author of Reading Between Designs: Visual Imagery and the Generation of Meaning in The Avengers, The Prisoner and Doctor Who (2003).

Reviews for Design for Doctor Who: Vision and Revision in Screen SF

Britton's book highlights the important role played by design throughout the various incarnations of Doctor Who, providing both a fresh perspective on the long-running series and a robust model for future research into this neglected area of media studies. -- Richard Hewett, University of Salford, UK Whether you're a Doctor Who fan or a design student - perhaps even an attentive student of Doctor Who or a passionate design fan - Design for Doctor Who is for you. Expertly and innovatively bringing together design studies and 'Doctor Who studies', Piers Britton restores the importance of the visual to understanding this long-running TV show. -- Professor Matt Hills, University of Huddersfield, UK

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