Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Happiness Patrol

One of my favourite DrWho episodes is "The Happiness Patrol". It's an episode squarely in the middle of the last Doctor's tenure, and is a sequel-in-theme to "Paradise Towers".

In it, the Doctor and Ace pay a visit to a human colony that's run by a dictator who demands that everyone put on a happy face all the time or be executed in one of a number of bizarre ways. It's relatively uncontroversially accepted as a political satire of Thatcherism, but there's not wide agreement on all the other things it lampoons; some believe that its producer John Nathan-Turner (who was openly homosexual) is also attacking enforced heteronormativity in parts. Just as feminism and Thatcher was a complicated topic in the UK, it's occasionally hotly debated on this episode.

I don't feel that I have enough background on British culture as of the writing/airing of this episode to have a very qualified opinion, but for those looking to get into the (non-remake) Doctor Who, it's an episode worth watching (and then following up with the discussion; there is a *lot* of argument out there on this one).

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