Time and relative dimensions in serialization: Doctor Who, serialization, fandom and the adaptation of a police box

James McLean

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This article investigates the aesthetic of the twentieth-century Metropolitan Police box and its ongoing association with the TARDIS time machine from the BBC’s television science-fiction show, Doctor Who. Doctor Who fans explore the police box aesthetic through its multiple identities, where it is celebrated, investigated and recreated. This article draws on Catherine Johnson’s theories of pseudo-diegesis and extra-diegesis to demonstrate how such fan interests have a visible effect on Doctor Who’s ongoing production decision-making. In doing so, this article argues for greater attention on non-human social actors within adaptation, and how consumer interest, enacted in multiple ways, has potential power in the shaping and reshaping, of the diegetic worlds of ongoing serializations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-130
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Adaptation in Film and Performance
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Doctor Who
  • Adaptation
  • convergence
  • fan studies
  • production cultures
  • television studies
  • serialization

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