Short thoughts on Doctor Who, disc by disc (originally published June 2012)

The Mutants

Tonight’s soundtrack: Geinoh Yamashirogumi, “Mutation”

You know, I was going to make a crack about how Doctor Who proves Darwin was last English writer to understand how evolution works, but then I realized I could phrase it like this and pretend to have thought better while still making the joke.

But enough fun with science, let’s play everyone’s favorite game show - The Mutants Feud!

Hands on buzzers: Name something The Mutants is obviously a political allegory for.

“South Africa!”

Show me… Apartheid!


“The end of the British Empire!”




“Oh, Fu—”

Look, I’m just gonna cut to the chase here. It’s a trick question. You can tell The Mutants is not a political allegory because no politically disadvantaged people on Earth ever go from rebels to mute insectoid hulks to Rainbow Supermen. Not even Gandhi. It just doesn’t work.

No, the political stuff is just another metaphor for the real phenomena we’re exploring: Being A Teenager.

God, who could be more ready to throw off the shackles of these authority units that just won’t stop hanging around? Who finds themselves suddenly sprouting strange hairs, overtaken by hideous deformities, and obeying atavistic urges? For whom can a single year take millennia? Who goes to their own secret places, places too dangerous for the oppressors to follow? Who feels ugly and stupid and angry and unappreciated and afraid, so afraid because what is happening we’re all monsters and this is the worst. We’re stuck here and this is the end.

This is the secret of The Mutants. The Doctor arrives with a strange box to deliver a message: “This isn’t the end. This doesn’t last. You’re better, more fascinating, and stranger than you can imagine right now. You’re magic.”

Give The Mutants a chance sometime.

It’s about you.