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40 years ago, Doctor Who envisioned a dystopia full of “alternative facts”

(Screenshot: Doctor Who)

Given how often they depict dystopian worlds and fascist regimes, sci-fi and fantasy conveniently offer a plethora of inspirational quotes for dealing with the next four years of the Trump administration. For instance, there’s this exchange from Lord Of The Rings:

Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.


There’s also Rogue One’s “Rebellions are built on hope” and Star Trek’s “There are four lights!” And now Gizmodo has found an exchange from Doctor Who that’s perfect for our current political climate as well.

The quote in question comes from a 1977 episode of the series called “The Face Of Evil,” which aired its final installment 40 years ago today. In the episode, The Doctor (Tom Baker’s take on the fourth version of the Time Lord) meets his soon-to-be companion Leela (Louise Jameson) on a jungle planet where the tribal Sevateem people are at war with the more erudite Tesh people because a megalomanic computer has turned them against one another. While said computer briefly takes control of Leela’s mind, The Doctor offers this helpful summation: “You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.”


Of course, just this weekend both Kellyanne Conway and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer kicked off a new era of “alternative facts,” a term Conway coined on Meet The Press while defending Spicer’s outright lies. Considering “The Face Of Evil” is all about the ways in which a society can be destroyed by worshipping a false idol who’s hell bent on starting a eugenics war, it might be a good episode to revisit right about now.

[via Gizmodo]


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