Why does your church look like a fortress? God and the gothic in Doctor Who and Hammer

Harmes, Marcus (2014) Why does your church look like a fortress? God and the gothic in Doctor Who and Hammer. Science Fiction Film and Television, 7 (1). pp. 99-116. ISSN 1754-3770


Gothic themes and settings permeated British sf and horror in the later twentieth century. The vivid horror films made by Hammer Productions drew influence from gothic novels of
the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and in turn influenced numerous gothic serials in the sf series Doctor Who. While Doctor Who’s own creative personnel noted their debt to Hammer’s distillation of the gothic, this article interprets one major point of departure between them, in terms of how they treat the sacramental efficacy of Christianity within gothic settings. It suggests that Doctor Who’s gothic stories disparage rituals and holy items
in contrast to Hammer’s serious treatment of faith. The gothic in Doctor Who reflects the strain of sacramental scepticism in earlier gothic texts that Hammer films do not.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2014 Liverpool University Press.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Open Access College
Date Deposited: 15 May 2014 02:15
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2016 04:44
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hammer films, Doctor Who, Terence Fisher, gothic literature, horror films, Church of England
Fields of Research : 21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210305 British History
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200212 Screen and Media Culture
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Identification Number or DOI: 10.3828/sfftv.2014.5
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/24767

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