Posted on August 3, 2020

Critical Approaches to Horror in Doctor Who – CFP

Call for Papers

Although Doctor Who creator Sydney Newman wanted his show to be educational and avoid so-called “bug-eyed monsters,” the popularity of the Daleks in the second serial ensured that it would be better known for scaring kids into hiding behind the sofa.  Adaptable as the science-fiction program is to fit a variety of other genres (e.g. the Western, screwball comedy, romance, period drama), horror dominates its cultural memory and ongoing practice.  While there have been some critical essays over the years examining this aspect of the show, no book has been devoted to a more sustained examination of the generic work of horror in Doctor Who.  This edited collection will remedy that absence.

More specifically, this book will serve as a thoughtful examination of the ways Doctor Who operates in the horror genre, in its complication of generic definitions, its ideological work, and its relation to fandom.  Emerging and advanced scholars are invited to submit chapters exploring broadly an aspect of horror in classic and/or modern Doctor Who, as well as in-depth examinations of particular episodes. I am especially interested in having the following subtopics and/or episodes represented within the collection but welcome submissions on other matters as well:

Body horror

Fear of technology

Fan experience (hiding behind the sofa, etc.)

Folk horror

Possession stories

Gothic horror


The monstrous feminine

Vampires, werewolves, mummies


Recurring monsters (Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, etc.)

Pastiches of classic horror films

Influence on the horror film tradition

Alien invasion narratives

The Terrible Child

“Terror of the Autons”

“The Daemons”

“The Green Death”

“The Ark in Space”

“Pyramids of Mars”

“The Seeds of Doom”

“The Robots of Death”

“The Talons of Weng-Chiang”

“Horror of Fang Rock”


“Ghost Light”



“Night Terrors”

“The God Complex”


“Mummy on the Orient Express”

“Heaven Sent”


“The Haunting of Villa Diodati”

Please submit abstracts of approximately 500 words along with a brief bio to Robert F. Kilker at by January 4, 2021. Articles will be limited to 6,000 words (this includes notes and bibliography).


Our proposed timeline reflects our desire to move quickly on this project:

Abstracts due: January 4, 2021

Articles due: May 28, 2021

Edited articles due: October 15, 2021

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me (

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