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Semiformalishmaybe

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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