The Sale of the Century: Doctor Who: World War Three


Doctor Who Introduction

Doctor Who is a British television series that was first created in 1963 and was revitalized in 2005. The series follows a humanoid alien called the Doctor, who travels through time and space in this ship called the TARDIS (time and relative dimension in space). The Doctor can travel anywhere in space and time and therefore he meets several technologically advanced aliens including future humans. These aliens all require various types of energy to fuel their space travels as well as their everyday planetary needs.

 The Sale of the Century: Doctor Who: World War Three

 In this episode, the Doctor discovers that a group of aliens, called the Slitheen, have been occupying Downing Street, disguised as members of Parliament. The Slitheen reveal that they wish to start a nuclear war on earth so that the planet becomes so radioactive that they can destroy it and sell chunks of the planet as fuel for space travelers:

Doctor: “You get the codes, you release the missiles, but not into space because there’s nothing there. You attack every other country on earth; they retaliate; fight back. World War Three—whole planet gets nuked.”

Slitheen Leader: “And we can sit through it safe in our spaceship, waiting in the Thames; not crashed, just parked, barely two minutes away.”

Harriet Jones: “You’ll destroy the planet, this beautiful place, what for?”

Doctor: “Profit, that’s what the signal is, beaming into space, an advert.”

Slitheen Leader: “’Sale of the Century.’ We reduce the earth to molten slag, then sell it, piece by piece. Radioactive chunks capable of powering every cut-price star liner and budget cargo ship. There’s a recession out there, Doctor, people are buying cheap. This rock becomes raw fuel.”

Doctor: “At the cost of five billion lives.”

Slitheen Leader: “Hmmm. Bargain.”

Human life is a bargain. This episode of Doctor Who also contains the life and energy equivalency similar to many of the narratives I have written about of late. The Slitheen happen to be the stronger force in this narrative since they have the technological advantage. The Slitheen view the lives of the weaker force as expendable, and the weaker force, led by the Doctor, revolts against the stronger force and overthrows it. Revolution is also one of the common characteristics of energy narratives.


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