This course will be offered again in London, Christmas 2016 (12/26/16-1/8/17)

Cooperative Center for Study Abroad

London Winter Website

Dr. David Lavery, Middle Tennessee State University | View David Lavery's  Presentation (in PDF) at the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who Conference in the UK | MTSU Honors Lecture (in PowerPoint) | Talk on Doctor Who at Belmont University (in Power Point)

About the Course | Books | Location for the Class | David Lavery | Calendar


 Syllabi [in PDF]

Undergraduate | Graduate [under construction]

Websites/Links | Doctor Who Episodes

Power Points: All Episodes | Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3 | Season 4 | Season 5 | Season 6 | Season 7 | Season 8 | Season 9 | Specials | Top 25 Episodes




About the Course. 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 Steven Moffat (soon to be replaced by Chris Chibnall)
  • 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:

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



Location for the Class


The Washington Mayfair Hotel



Dr. David Lavery is Director of Graduate Studies and Professor in the English Department at Middle Tennessee State University (1993- ). The recipient of the University's 2006 Distinguished Research Award, he is the author of over one hundred and fifty published essays, chapters, and reviews and the author / co-author / editor / co-editor of twenty-one 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 co-convener of international conferences on Buffy and the work of Joss Whedon, The Sopranos, and Mad Men; co-founder of the Whedon Studies Association and its journal Slayage and a founding editor of Critical Studies in Television, he has lectured around the world on the subject of television (Australia, Turkey, the UK, Portugal, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany), been a guest/source for the BBC, NPR, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, The New York TimesA Folha de Sao Paulo (Brazil), Publica (Portugal), The Financial Times, Information (Netherlands), AP, The Toronto Star, and USA Today. From 2006-2008, he taught film and television at Brunel University in London. In 2013, he was the only American keynoter at Walking in Eternity, the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who conference in the UK.



Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday


Christmas Day


Class members depart for London









New Year's Day

1/2/17 1/3/17 1/4/17 1/5/17 1/6/17 1/7/17
Class Departs for the US