Friday, 13 July 2012

Planet of the Facts #12: Time Lord Society–VOLUME ONE. The Panopticon


- VOLUME ONE – The Panopticon -

The word “Panopticon” by philosopher Jeremy Bentham (from whom writer Robert Holmes got the name for the room’s first appearance in ‘The Deadly Assassin’) in 1787. The word has its etymological roots in Greek, translating vaguely as “everything seen”. Bentham gave the word as a title for a (at the time, new) style of circular prison, in which the inmates could be constantly watched over, hence the translation.

Within the context of Doctor Who, however, the Panopticon is a large viewing room inside the Citadel of the Time Lords, on Gallifrey, generally used as a place of ceremony, such as Presidential inaugurations (as seen in ‘The Deadly Assassin’ and ‘The Invasion of Time’ – see below).

The Panopticon in 'The Invasion of Time', as the Doctor is inaugurated as President of Gallifrey.

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