Historical accuracy

Doctor Who is a Sci-Fi, however, the historical episodes seem to have some substance or lack there of when it comes to historical accuracy. The main issue is how much importance this show will put on the historical accuracy. Episodes like the Shakespeare code and when we visit World War II seem to have a logical accuracy historically. How important is the historical accuracy when the show is clearly fictional? How much credibility does the show get when it is able to accurately depict the past while still adding its own fictional twist?

There’s no doubt that historical accuracy can add to the credibility of a show, but to what extent can that be applied to a show which is science fictional? Doctor Who within the episode “The Shakespeare Code” address a number of issues that arise due to the era that they are visiting. The Doctors companion, Martha Jones, is a black female. Shakespeare points this out and asks what world she is from where Females can be Doctors. Shakespeare also refers to Martha as an “Ethiop” which is a very derogatory term. This all spans a duration of about 5 minutes running time. The issues of race and gender that are brought up in this small scene however seem to not have any substance in the episode itself. The race, gender and clothing that Martha wears only seemed to be noticed by Shakespeare himself and by nobody else, it was not something that was focused on at all. Yet, the acknowledgment of the disparities, however short or small, added to the credibility of the episode and the show itself.

The question remains that if historical accuracy increases the credibility of the show, why don’t the producers focus on this for the episodes? Again, Doctor Who is a science fiction, and to what extent will too much historical accuracy destroy the overall plot or excitement that the show provides?

It is obvious that historical accuracy adds credibility to the show, as long as the show follows the same routine of actually focusing on The Doctor and the plot. Acknowledging historical accuracy is important, but what is more important is keeping the Doctor and the show intriguing.




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