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10/06/2010 / John Hanna

Doctor Who, Learning Disability and Mental Illness

The new series of Doctor Who is an example of the BBC as a public service in action.

In two recent episodes entitled The Hungry Earth (18:15, Saturday 22 May, BBC One) and Vincent and the Doctor (18:40, Saturday 5 June, BBC One) the subjects of learning disability and mental illness were briefly, but conclusively dealt with.

For many children and teens watching these programmes, this may well have been the first time these two subjects have been introduced to them.

In The Hungry Earth, Elliot says he’s dyslexic and the Doctor replies, ‘Oh, that’s all right. I can’t make a decent meringue!’, and followed up on the Doctor Who minisite with a post entitled ‘Find Out More About Dyslexia’.

In Vincent and the Doctor the topic of Van Gogh’s mental illness is dealt with, with the Doctor pointing out that depression is ‘complicated’, and followed up on the Doctor Who minisite with a post on ‘The Real Vincent Van Gogh’.

More please!

Related Internet Links

  • BBC Doctor Who / News & Features /Find Out More About Dyslexia
  • BBC Doctor Who / News & Features / The Real Vincent Van Gogh
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