Page last updated at 13:46 GMT, Tuesday, 14 October 2008 14:46 UK

'Doctor of Who' for college study

David Tennant
David Tennant is the current incarnation of the Doctor

Doctor Who is to come under analysis at an academic conference being held at Cardiff University.

'Whoniversal Appeal' is being organised by postgraduate students at Cardiff University and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD).

The organising chair Melissa Beattie said studying the time lord was useful because "all arts and humanities reflect the society that creates them".

The conference is to be held on 14 to 16 November and is open to the public.

Academic papers and presentations will discuss topics including "morality, philosophy, history, television and cultural studies."

There's a lot of narrative density in a lot of them - you have epic scenes, mythical-religious scenes, plus again the reflection of modern society
Melissa Beattie, conference organiser

There will also be a paper looking at the show's famous theme music.

Ms Beattie, who is working on a doctorate in ancient desert warfare at Cardiff University, said studying the time lord's adventures would help to understand British society.

The 29-year-old from Buffalo, New York, said she had been a fan of the series for only two years, but since then had seen almost every episode.

"It shows the progression of society over 45 years and it's amazing to see what an impact it's had."

"Also I think it's a good way of getting rid of what I call ivory towers thinking. Using something like Doctor Who is a good way of finding a common ground.

"There's a lot of narrative density in a lot of them - you have epic scenes, mythical-religious scenes, plus again the reflection of modern society like quite a strong anti-war message," she said.

The first episode of the cult science-fiction series, starring William Hartnell as the first doctor, was broadcast in November 1963.

The original show was cancelled in 1986, but revived by BBC Wales in 2005.

The conference will discuss both the current and the original series, as well as spin-off programmes like Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Dr Matt Hills, from the university's school of journalism, media and cultural studies will be the keynote speaker and guests are expected to include writers from the programme.

Ms Beattie said registration for the event was running at around three-quarters from academics and a quarter from fans.

Tickets can also be bought on the day.




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