Clockwise from the far left: Dr. Lavery, Eric Hall, Tim Reitnouer, Lauren Magee, Lindsey Alley, Crysta Simms, Lauren Black, Dawn HallJustin TaylorThis course will be offered again in London, Christmas 2015 (12/26/15-1/8/16)

Cooperative Center for Study Abroad

London Winter Website

Dr. David Lavery, Middle Tennessee State University | View Dr. Lavery's Presentation (in PDF) at the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who Conference in the UK


Whoers from the 2011 offering of this course at the BBC Television Centre: clockwise from the far left: Dr. Lavery, Eric Hall, Tim Reitnouer, Lauren Magee, Lindsey Alley, Justin Taylor, Crysta Simms, Dawn Hall, Laura Black

Syllabi [in PDF]

Undergraduate | Graduate [coming soon]

The Hotel Where We Stay [new]


Doctor Who Episodes


Dr. David Lavery is Professor of English at MTSU (1993- ), where he won the University's 2006 Distinguished Research Award. The author of one hundred and fifty published essays, chapters, and reviews, he is author / co-author / editor / co-editor of twenty three books, including Joss Whedon, A Creative Portrait: From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to The Avengers, TV Goes to Hell: An Unofficial Road Map of Supernatural, The Essential Cult Television Reader, and The Essential Sopranos Reader. The organizer of international conferences on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Sopranos, a founding co-editor of the journals Slayage: The Journal of the Whedon Studies Association and Critical Studies in Television, he has lectured around the world on the subject of television (Australia, Turkey, the UK, Portugal, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany) and has been a guest/source for the BBC, NPR, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, The New York Times, A Folha de Sao Paulo (Brazil), Publica (Portugal), Information (Netherlands), AP, The Toronto Star, USA Today. From 2006-2008, he taught at Brunel University in London. In the Summer of 2013, he became Director of Graduate Studies in English. In September 2013, he was a keynote speaker at Doctor Who: Walking in Eternity, a fiftieth anniversary Who conference at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK.


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
12/24/13 12/25/13
Christmas Day:
Doctor Who Christmas Special to air on BBC America
Depart for London


Arrive in Lonon

Transfer to Courthouse Hotel

430-530 pm: General Orientation 530-600 pm: Class Orientation 600: Dinner at Hotel


900: London Sightseeing

1230 pm: Return to Hotel

130 pm: Faculty Meeting

Class Activities

300 on: Trip to Forbidden Planet


Breakfast Meeting; Trip to Alexandria Palace


Group Excursion to Cardiff; Visit to The Doctor Who Experience


Breakfast Meeting


100 Lounge meeting


1000-1200: Classroom Meeting; Trip to Canary Wharf


100-400: Classroom Mtg. Presentation by TBA


Full-Day Excursions

700 pm: Faculty Meeting


Breakfast Mtg.

Breakfast Mtg.; Tour of the BBC Television Centre
100-200:  Classroom Mtg.Evaluations
AM: Class Departs for the US


Location for the Class:

The Courthouse Hotel in London (no longer the Washington Mayfair)


One of the longest running television series in the world, Doctor Who (BBC, 1963- ) chronicles the adventure of an ageless, extraterrestrial time-lord, the last of his race who travels the universe in The TARDIS, his spaceship/time machine, which appears from the outside in the guise of a 1950s British police call box. The Doctor (we never learn his actual name) has always exhibited a profound interest in the UK, which needs frequent rescue from a wide variety of cosmic threats. A series originally intended as educational (hence the Doctor’s frequent visits to moments in history and encounters with famous Brits) but also capable of scaring children for several generations, Doctor Who rebooted in 2005 under the control of Russell T. Davies, who, under the influence of American cult TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, brought the series into the 21st century and extended Who’s global reach.

Focusing primarily on the new Doctor Who (2005- ), we will: 
  • Examine the history of Doctor Who.
  • Track the Doctor’s many reincarnations/transformations.
  • Compare and contrast the British and American television industries.
  • Compare and contrast British and American series.
  • Trace cultural and media influences on the Who reboot.
  • Compare and contrast the new Who under the control of its two showrunners: Davies and now Steven Moffat.
  • Explore Who’s key themes.
  • Understand the nature of the Doctor’s many “companions.”
  • Investigate the Who fandom.
  • Consider Who as science fiction television.
  • Consider Who as an example of cult television.
  • Explore Who’s Britishness.
  • Map Who’s locations (visiting several settings in and around London).
  • Apply the latest insights of methods like semiotics and narratology to Doctor Who.
  • Place Who as an example of a “multi-platform” popular culture phenomenon.
  • Consider Who as an international television phenomenon.

Undergraduate students will read two books:

Matt Hills. Triumph of a Time Lord: Regenerating Doctor Who in the Twenty-First Century. London: I. B. Tauris, 2009.

James Chapman. Inside the TARDIS: The Worlds of Doctor Who. London: I. B. Tauris, 2013.

Graduate students will read both the Hills and Chapman books and . . .

Russell T. Davies and Benjamin Cook. Doctor Who The Writer’s Tale: The Untold Story of the BBC Series. London: BBC Books, 2008.