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Doctor Who (1963) Forums

BBC (ended 1989)

This was an educational show?

  • Avatar of insomniac360

    insomniac360

    [1]Apr 15, 2007
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    From what I heard, the very first episodes of Doctor Who were educational. This could explain why such episodes didn't have strange monsters like the Sontarans or the Slitheen(how do those have educational value?). But how did an educational program transform into a bondfide sci-fi series? Come on, the new series and the old series don't have a single shred of that educational stuff now.
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  • Avatar of steamheaduk

    steamheaduk

    [2]Apr 16, 2007
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    It was originally intended to be a Family show with some educational content, not entirely, which indeed it did and still does.

    In the original series covering such stories as Marco Polo, The Aztecs, The French Revolution, The Romans, The Crusade, The Myth Makers, The Massacre etc.

    It took an eccological education viewpoint for stories such as The Green Death and Invasion of the Dinosaurs.

    Anything set in the past, whether dealing with a specific event or not, would try to convey the general feeling of the period.  Also various stories would refer to mythical or historical figures, imparting information therein - The Horns of Nimon, City of Death, The Visitation.

    Even literary parallels take place to introduce kids to stories they maybe never knew - Pygmalion in The Talons of Weng Chiang, The Time Machine in Timelash.

    They even had a go once at trying to explain the concept of the United Nations in a way that kids might follow on Peladon.

    The thing is Educational doesn't mean boring stuffy lecture.  The best way to educate kids is when they think they're doing something else.

    And of course the tradition continues in the new one (not that we generally talk about that here) with The Unquiet Dead (Dickens), The Empty Child/Doctor Dances (World War II), Tooth and Claw (Queen Victoria and The Empire), The Girl in the Fireplace (French aristocracy), The Idiots Lantern (what TV used to be like and the Jubilee), The Shakespeare code and of course the Modern Art references in Gridlock.  Each one of these episodes triggered questions and discussions from my kids which proved much more eductional than had I tried to take them to a museum or some other stuffy educational form.

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  • Avatar of princessFirefly

    princessFirefly

    [3]Apr 17, 2007
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    It was indented to be at 1st! But I don’t think it would have lasted this long if it was!
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  • Avatar of steamheaduk

    steamheaduk

    [4]Apr 18, 2007
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    princessFirefly wrote:
    It was indented to be at 1st! But I don't think it would have lasted this long if it was!

    Erm, it still is, and it has!  The concept of bringing historic fact, cultural references and other educational values into an entertaining family show hasn't really changed since An Unearthly Child, they've just get shorter and less stuffy stories than before, but that's just a product of the times.

    My kids learned about some modern art last weekend (sorry I know this is new Who, but goes to support the case) and Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth the week before from the latest 2 episodes.  Possibly next week they'll learn a little about  The Wall Street Crash, the Depression and Art Deco.  Three weeks in a row of learning things they didn't know, because of Doctor Who.  It doesn't have to be a dry lecture to be educational, and it doesn't have to have all the answers, just spark the interest.

    Maybe if you don't watch Doctor Who as a parent you don't see it, but as a parent when you see your kids stimulated to ask questions about subjects they would normally switch off to if some started trying to teach them, then you know it's educational.

     

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  • Avatar of princessFirefly

    princessFirefly

    [5]Apr 18, 2007
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    steamheaduk wrote:

    princessFirefly wrote:
    It was indented to be at 1st! But I don't think it would have lasted this long if it was!

    Erm, it still is, and it has!  The concept of bringing historic fact, cultural references and other educational values into an entertaining family show hasn't really changed since An Unearthly Child, they've just get shorter and less stuffy stories than before, but that's just a product of the times.

    My kids learned about some modern art last weekend (sorry I know this is new Who, but goes to support the case) and Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth the week before from the latest 2 episodes.  Possibly next week they'll learn a little about  The Wall Street Crash, the Depression and Art Deco.  Three weeks in a row of learning things they didn't know, because of Doctor Who.  It doesn't have to be a dry lecture to be educational, and it doesn't have to have all the answers, just spark the interest.

    Maybe if you don't watch Doctor Who as a parent you don't see it, but as a parent when you see your kids stimulated to ask questions about subjects they would normally switch off to if some started trying to teach them, then you know it's educational.

     



    too true, sorry about that! but i see it more as a fun sci-fi show than anything else thou but that's me!!!!!!
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  • Avatar of MDB316

    MDB316

    [6]Apr 19, 2007
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    Yep, back in the 60's the creator of the show, Sydney Newman, was dead against B.E.M but agreed to having some though he wanted it to be 95% educational. However the Daleks changed all that!!

     

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  • Avatar of princessFirefly

    princessFirefly

    [7]Apr 19, 2007
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    MDB316 wrote:

    Yep, back in the 60's the creator of the show, Sydney Newman, was dead against B.E.M but agreed to having some though he wanted it to be 95% educational. However the Daleks changed all that!!

     



    the show has the perfect amount of pure fun, science, adventure & sci-fi! making it able to endure the test of time!
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  • Avatar of steamheaduk

    steamheaduk

    [8]Apr 20, 2007
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    princessFirefly wrote:
    steamheaduk wrote:

    princessFirefly wrote:
    It was indented to be at 1st! But I don't think it would have lasted this long if it was!

    Erm, it still is, and it has! The concept of bringing historic fact, cultural references and other educational values into an entertaining family show hasn't really changed since An Unearthly Child, they've just get shorter and less stuffy stories than before, but that's just a product of the times.

    My kids learned about some modern art last weekend (sorry I know this is new Who, but goes to support the case) and Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth the week before from the latest 2 episodes. Possibly next week they'll learn a little about The Wall Street Crash, the Depression and Art Deco. Three weeks in a row of learning things they didn't know, because of Doctor Who. It doesn't have to be a dry lecture to be educational, and it doesn't have to have all the answers, just spark the interest.

    Maybe if you don't watch Doctor Who as a parent you don't see it, but as a parent when you see your kids stimulated to ask questions about subjects they would normally switch off to if some started trying to teach them, then you know it's educational.

     

    too true, sorry about that! but i see it more as a fun sci-fi show than anything else thou but that's me!!!!!!

    I think you'll find that the two aren't mutually exclusive, it can be both at the same time
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  • Avatar of tommytv

    tommytv

    [9]May 7, 2007
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    The 1stxmas special  is said to have a message about war.

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    jd_newbie

    [10]May 21, 2007
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    I'm not yet a parent, so maybe this is way off-base, but wouldn't part of the educational value come from being able to discuss the issues brought up in some episodes?

    For example: Genesis of the Daleks  night be a nice lead-in to talk about issues surrounding war, and with older kids ethical issues like "is it ever right to kill?"

    Also, FWIW, I grew up watching Who on PBS, and I remember a class exercise involving a logic problem of some sort. I was the only one in the class who knew the answer because I'd seen it on DW. (I think it was, "Say you need to know which way to go and meet two travelers on the road. One is a liar and one a truth teller. What one question can you ask?" Answer: "What would the other one say?" I saw this on Numb3rs last week and remembered seeing it on Who first...)

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  • Avatar of steamheaduk

    steamheaduk

    [11]May 22, 2007
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    jd_newbie wrote:

    I'm not yet a parent, so maybe this is way off-base, but wouldn't part of the educational value come from being able to discuss the issues brought up in some episodes?

    Yes that's exactly it.  Doctor Who was never intended to be a classroom, but a springboard.  Yes some stories had almost zero eductional value, but most prompt a lot of discussions.

    It's also amazing that an episode featuring somewhere on Earth with historical context, can get your kids wanting to visit somewhere that a week earlier you would have had to drag them kicking and screaming to.

    To me Doctor Who is the best kind of education show, one in which the kids don't realise they're being educated, including all the follow up afterwards. 

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    dani_n

    [12]Apr 11, 2008
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    MDB316 wrote:

    Yep, back in the 60's the creator of the show, Sydney Newman, was dead against B.E.M but agreed to having some though he wanted it to be 95% educational. However the Daleks changed all that!!



    Darn those Daleks! They take over everything!
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  • Avatar of nomad-70

    nomad-70

    [13]Aug 5, 2008
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    The educational aspect of the show was reflected in the original companions. A science teacher, a history teacher, and The Doctor's granddaughter who was their student.

    Also the general running format of the show in the initial years was one story set in the past followed by one story set in the future giving audiences a chance to explore history and science.

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    archangelwho

    [14]Apr 5, 2013
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    When our god-daughter, now 10 years old, was in the 1st grade her teacher called her grandparents and wanted to know where she got a word like yeti. Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer had been shown the night before and during a talk about the show our god-daughter pomited out another name for the Bumble was yeti. Her grandmother told the teacher that it had to come from her god-father. She got it from listening to the Web of Fear CD. I have found that the Doctor Who stoies has lead to lots of questions from all 3 of our kids any where from can we move in time to why is there no color on some of the stories to Santa's bag and the TARDISmust both be build the same way which is how Santa gets everything into one bag.

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    pferreira86

    [15]Apr 7, 2013
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    Didn't you know? The Doctor and Santa are old pals.Laughing

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    archangelwho

    [16]Apr 9, 2013
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    pferreira86 wrote:


    Didn't you know? The Doctor and Santa are old pals.Laughing


    That is what I tell my kids. Was there a story about it?

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    wildhoney66

    [17]Apr 9, 2013
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    you know i'm kinda surprised they haven't done that one as an x-mas special yet. either from the original series or the current one.

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    archangelwho

    [18]Apr 12, 2013
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    Was watching a Tom Baker story that had Stonehenge in it. My 5 year old asked me what those rocks was. We looked them up on the internet and then made a stonehenge out of paly-dough. I think it looked great. If I knew how to post pictures from my phone to here I would be glad to show off our work.

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    wildhoney66

    [19]Apr 13, 2013
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    i dunno which serial you were watching but at least you had fun with her. and to bad you don't know how to do that i would have loved to see it.

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    pferreira86

    [20]Apr 14, 2013
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    archangelwho wrote:


    Was watching a Tom Baker story that had Stonehenge in it. My 5 year old asked me what those rocks was. We looked them up on the internet and then made a stonehenge out of paly-dough. I think it looked great. If I knew how to post pictures from my phone to here I would be glad to show off our work.


    You were probably watching The Stones of Blood. It wasn't Stonehenge, that only appears in the Matt Smith series.

    Edited on 04/14/2013 10:35am
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