Is the Doctor a Villain and Other Philosophical Questions Dominate NYCC’s Only Doctor Who Panel

By Ani Bundel

Doctor Who fandom is hardcore. This must be the case since the show disappears from television without warning. Between the changing main cast, actors, showrunners and, in the latest change, production companies, there are years where there are no new stories for the fandom to devour that don’t come from the comics. and novels. Fortunately, in the long wait between Jodie Whittakerthe release of the Thirteenth Doctor and Ncuti Gatwaarrived as the Fourteenth Doctor, there is a new version, A World of Demons: The Villains of Doctor Who.

A World of Demons: The Villains of Doctor Who

A World of Demons: The Villains of Doctor Who

Like the one and only Doctor Who panel in all of the New York Comic-Con 2022 lineup, the A World of Demons panel was packed, despite being tucked away in the bowels of the Javits at 8:15 p.m. on a Friday. Contributing authors Hannah Friedman and John Fennick joined the publishers of the book, David Bushman and Barnabas Edwardsto discuss the genesis of the collection.

After knowing each other for a decade, Bushman and Edwards were inspired to create a collection of essays on the Whoniverse’s most famous villains. They felt it was essential to ensure that this “Not to your father Doctor Who collection.” There is a diversity of voices throughout the 18 essays, including one linking Doctor Who villains on January 6. Another looks at sizeism on British television. One small mistake, however – when choosing locations, they accidentally forgot to allow one on The Master, and the editors had to write it out at the last minute.

Accidentally forgetting the Master in favor of the unseen villain of the Tenth Doctor’s standalone story “Midnight” was just one of the problems. They received many arguments from writers who wanted to write about the same villains. Since they were only doing one book, they had to pick and choose, so there will be some bad guys left out. (The audience all asked about Volume 2.)

Jan Fennick also said that ongoing revivals of older villains tripped up some of the writers. For his test Silurians, sea devils and zygons, oh my! she had to ask for an extension and wait for the Easter special, Legend of the Sea Devils, to distribute so that she can include them in her essay. Friedman, a Modern Who fan, focused more on the reboot’s villains and the legacy of colonialism embedded in the story. (They opted for Modern Who since “New Who” seems silly for a series reaching 20 years on the air.)

This idea created the most controversial essays in the entire volume, written by the moderator Deep Ken, which casts the Doctor as the show’s biggest unwitting villain. Bringing this up, audiences started peppering him with questions until people wondered which version of the Doctor was the most ruthless and the biggest villain.

Considering how many people talk about the Daleks, the big gripe in the modern series is how dumb the older villains have become. Friedman touched on the roots of the reboot in how it brought back the Daleks, where Eccleston played out the experience of seeing a Dalek again as a Holocaust survivor looking back at the trauma of Auschwitz and how powerful that was . The hope, the panel agreed, was that with Russell T. Davies on returning, they would become terrifying again.

Meanwhile, cover illustrator Arlen Schumer the process of fitting 18 villains onto a book cover (including The Master, twice). He made a wraparound cover, with the greats on the front: Daleks, Weeping Angels, Cybermen, Time Lords, Missy, Davos, Zygons, the Vashta Nerada and the Silence.

A World of Demons: The Villains of Doctor Who is on sale from Tuesday 8 November 2022for $19.99.

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