Science Fiction Film & Television

Why does your church look like a fortress?

God and the gothic in Doctor Who and Hammer

Science Fiction Film & Television (2014), 7, (1), 99–116.

Abstract

Gothic themes and settings permeated British sf and horror in the later twentieth century. The vivid horror films made by Hammer Productions drew influence from gothic novels of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and in turn influenced numerous gothic serials in the sf series Doctor Who. While Doctor Who's own creative personnel noted their debt to Hammer's distillation of the gothic, this article interprets one major point of departure between them, in terms of how they treat the sacramental efficacy of Christianity within gothic settings. It suggests that Doctor Who's gothic stories disparage rituals and holy items in contrast to Hammer's serious treatment of faith. The gothic in Doctor Who reflects the strain of sacramental scepticism in earlier gothic texts that Hammer films do not.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Botting, Fred. Gothic. London: Routledge, 1996. Gothic Google Scholar

Brown, Richard. Church and State in Modern Britain 1700-1850. London: Routledge, 1991. Church and State in Modern Britain 1700-1850 Google Scholar

Carey, George. Know the Truth: A Memoir. London: Harper Collins, 2004. Know the Truth: A Memoir Google Scholar

Carroll, Warren H. The Guillotine and the Cross. Manassas: Trinity Communications, 1986. The Guillotine and the Cross Google Scholar

Chadwick, Owen. Michael Ramsey: A Life. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1990. Michael Ramsey: A Life Google Scholar

Chandler, Andrew. The Church of England in the Twentieth Century: The Church Commissioners and the Politics of Reform. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2006. The Church of England in the Twentieth Century: The Church Commissioners and the Politics of Reform Google Scholar

Collins, Frank. Classic Doctor Who: Season 13 ‘Gothic Who’ Part 1. Cathode Ray Tube http://www.cathoderaytube.co.uk/2010/04/classic-doctor-who-season-13-gothic-who.htm. Accessed 25 Jun 2012. http://www.cathoderaytube.co.uk/2010/04/classic-doctor-who-season-13-gothic-who.htm Classic Doctor Who: Season 13 ‘Gothic Who’ Part 1 Google Scholar

Ellis, Markman. The History of Gothic Fiction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2000. The History of Gothic Fiction Google Scholar

Dixon, Wheeler Winston. The Charm of Evil: The Life and Films of Terence Fisher. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1991. The Charm of Evil: The Life and Films of Terence Fisher Google Scholar

Godwin, William. St Leon. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1994. St Leon Google Scholar

Heilman, Robert B. ‘Charlotte Brontë's "New" Gothic’. From Jane Austen to Joseph Conrad: Essays Collected in Memory of James T. Hillhouse. Ed. Robert C. Rathburn and Martin Steinmann, Jr. Minneapolis: U of Minneapolis P, 1958. 118-32. From Jane Austen to Joseph Conrad: Essays Collected in Memory of James T. Hillhouse 118 32 Google Scholar

Hunter, I.Q ‘The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires’. Postcolonial Studies 3.1 (2000): 81-7. ‘The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires’ Postcolonial Studies 3 81 7 Google Scholar

Hutchings, Peter. ‘Carreras, James’. The BFI Companion to Horror. Ed. Kim Newman. London: Cassell, 1996. The BFI Companion to Horror Google Scholar

Hutchings, Peter. ‘Fisher, Terence’. The BFI Companion to Horror. Ed. Kim Newman. London: Cassell, 1996. The BFI Companion to Horror Google Scholar

Hutchings, Peter. Hammer and Beyond: The British Horror Film. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1993. Hammer and Beyond: The British Horror Film Google Scholar

Hutchings, Peter. Terence Fisher. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2001. Terence Fisher Google Scholar

Hutchings, Peter. ‘"We're the Martians Now": British Sf Invasion Fantasies of the 1950s and 1960s’. British Science Fiction Cinema. Ed. I. Q. Hunter. London: Routledge, 1999. 33-47. British Science Fiction Cinema 33 47 Google Scholar

Johnson, Tom, and Deborah Del Vecchio. Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography. Jefferson: McFarland, 1996. Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography Google Scholar

Kilgour, Maggie. The Rise of the Gothic Novel. London: Routledge, 1995. The Rise of the Gothic Novel Google Scholar

Leach, Jim. Doctor Who. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 2009. Doctor Who Google Scholar

Leggett, Paul. Terence Fisher: Horror, Myth and Religion. Jefferson: McFarland, 2002. Terence Fisher: Horror, Myth and Religion Google Scholar

Marr, Andrew. The Diamond Queen: Elizabeth II and Her People. London: Macmillan, 2011. The Diamond Queen: Elizabeth II and Her People Google Scholar

McKay, Sinclair. A Thing of Unspeakable Horror: The History of Hammer Films. London: Aurum, 2007. A Thing of Unspeakable Horror: The History of Hammer Films Google Scholar

Pirie, David. Heritage of Horror: The English Gothic Cinema 1946-1972. New York: Avon, 1973. Heritage of Horror: The English Gothic Cinema 1946-1972 Google Scholar

Prawer, S. S. Caligari's Children: The Film Tale of Terror. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1980. Caligari's Children: The Film Tale of Terror Google Scholar

Punter, David. The Literature of Terror: A History of Gothic Fictions from 1765 to the Present Day: Vol 1: The Gothic Tradition. London: Longman, 1996. The Literature of Terror: A History of Gothic Fictions from 1765 to the Present Day: Vol 1: The Gothic Tradition Google Scholar

Rigby, Jonathan. English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema. London: Reynolds and Hearn, 2004. English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema Google Scholar

Robb, Brian J. ‘Philip Hinchcliffe: Gothic Shock!’. Total Sci-Fi Online, 2007 http://totalscifionline.com/dreamwatch-archive/1036-philip-hinchcliffe-gothic-shock. Accessed 25 Jul 2012. http://totalscifionline.com/dreamwatch-archive/1036-philip-hinchcliffe-gothic-shock ‘Philip Hinchcliffe: Gothic Shock!’ Total Sci-Fi Online Google Scholar

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. The Coherence of Gothic Conventions. London: Methuen, 1986. The Coherence of Gothic Conventions Google Scholar

Shail, Robert. British Film Directors: A Critical Guide. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2007. British Film Directors: A Critical Guide Google Scholar

Shail, Robert. ‘Terence Fisher and British Science Fiction Cinema’. Science Fiction Film and Television 2.1 (2009): 77-90. ‘Terence Fisher and British Science Fiction Cinema’ Science Fiction Film and Television 2 77 90 Google Scholar

Tomkins, Joyce. The Popular Novel in England, 1770-1800. London: Constable, 1932. The Popular Novel in England, 1770-1800 Google Scholar

Tudor, Andrew. Monsters and Mad Scientists: A Cultural History of the Horror Movie. Oxford: Blackwell, 1989. Monsters and Mad Scientists: A Cultural History of the Horror Movie Google Scholar

Watt, James. Contesting the Gothic: Fiction, Genre and Cultural Conflict, 1764-1832. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999. Contesting the Gothic: Fiction, Genre and Cultural Conflict, 1764-1832 Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Harmes, Marcus