Once Upon A Time Lord: The Myths and Stories of Doctor Who

Research output: Book/ReportBook


‘Every story ever told really happened...’ (The Doctor, ‘Hell Bent’, 2015). Stories are, fundamentally, what Doctor Who is all about. In Once Upon a Time Lord, Ivan Phillips explores a wide range of perspectives on these stories and presents a lively and richly varied analysis of the accumulated tales that constitute this popular modern mythology. Concerned equally with ‘classic’ and ‘new’ Who, Phillips [looks at how aspects of the Time Lord’s story have been developed on television and beyond, tracing lines of connection and divergence across various media. (doesn’t he look at the television screen as well?beyond the television screen to consider how aspects of the Time Lord’s story as it has been told in other media can shed light on the broadcast series.] He discusses Doctor Who is discussed as a mythology that has drawn on its own past in often complex ways, at the same time reworking elements from many other sources, whether literary, cinematic, televisual or historical. Once Upon A Time Lord offers an original take on this popular singular hero’s journey, reading the unsettled enigma of the Doctor in relation to the characters, narratives and locations that he has encountered across more than half a century.

‘We’re all stories in the end…’ (The Doctor, ‘The Big Bang’, 2010)
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages256
ISBN (Print)9781784532673 , 1784532673
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2020

Publication series

NameWho Watching
PublisherBloomsbury Academic


  • Doctor Who
  • myth
  • mythology
  • stories
  • narrative
  • television
  • adaptation
  • intertextuality
  • science fiction
  • fantasy
  • gothic


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