Mediating Human-Technology Relationships: Explorations of Hybridity, Humanity and Embodiment in Doctor Who

Anne Cranny-Francis


The relationship between human beings and technology has been a regular concern of the television series, Doctor Who. Though its titular hero moves through space-time by means of advanced technology and he is by his own admission a technological genius and Doctor 'of everything really', the program nevertheless consistently maps the unease that attends the interaction of humans and the technology - whether through the human characters' horror at the abuse of technology and its power or through characters who incorporate this interaction.

The trope of the cyborg, the human-machine hybrid that articulates many contemporary fears (and desires) about the intrusion of technology on the 'human' is enacted and embodied in Doctor Who by the Daleks and the Cybermen - long-term enemies of the Doctor. In the recent new series (2005-2009) featuring Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant both Daleks and Cybermen have returned, to enact contemporary concerns about new technologies. This paper explores the recent Dalek double-episode, "Daleks in Manhattan" and "Evolution of the Daleks" (2007) for its representation of current human-technology relationships.

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