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Black Archive, The

The Black Archive, a series of book-length looks at single Doctor Who stories from 1963 to the present day.



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The Black Archive 36: Listen

black-archive-36-listen.jpg ? In Stock £7.99

The Black Archive, a series of book-length looks at single Doctor Who stories from 1963 to the present day


"What if the big bad Time Lord doesn’t want to admit he’s just afraid of the dark?"


Listen is a pared down episode of Doctor Who that draws on Freudian ideas to bring to life the fear felt by the characters on-screen and the watching viewers. This Black Archive examines how through its use of the supernatural, the Gothic, the unconscious mind, madness and dystopia, Listen really is the stuff of nightmares.


By Dewi Small


The Black Archive 37: Kerblam!

black-archive-37-kerblam!.jpg ? In Stock £7.99

‘The systems aren’t the problem. How people use and exploit systems, that’s the problem.’


Kerblam! (2018) throws the Doctor and her team into the future of distribution and employment. The episode offers an exciting sci-fi mystery with uncannily creepy robots, intrusive artificial intelligence, and an explosive reveal of the antagonist. However, many viewers felt shock waves rock their own worldview in the apparent political messages of the story.


Examining politics, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and the closest real-world analogues of the Kerblam company raises questions about the Doctor’s own politics, the series’ use of AI and robots across the years, and whether current technology is more futuristic than that shown in the episode.


This Black Archive demonstrates that despite many changes instituted in the 2018 season, the depiction of the Doctor’s politics, AI, and robotics is heavily influenced by the past. It also shows how the present of AI and robotics is already much stranger than Kerblam! depicts. In the end, the volume proposes that the heart of the episode can be found in the answer to this question: who killed Kira?

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