Sunday, September 30, 2012

Did SteamPunk Originate from Dr Who?

I've been watching Dr Who recently on Netflix, working my way through all the seasons (although not the beginning of it back in 1900 whatever). Anyway, started with the Christopher Eccleston season (and what a fun, sexy Doctor he was) and now on the last show of the first David Tennant season and was thinking that Dr Who really introduced a lot of steampunk elements in the show.

The show where they went into the alternate universe where zeppelins dotted the skies and they had the cybermen.... the wonderful show with Mdm. du Pompadour (or however its spelled) and the clockwork aliens.

I wonder.


  1. No, "Doctor Who" did not invent the genre of Steampunk. That literary genre has its roots as far back as the 1980s, and was heavily influenced by a story by William Gibson (he of Cyberpunk fame) which speculated on the world we might live in if the Victorian "Difference Engine" (a steam-powered computer that was proposed by Charles Babbage) had actually been built. Since then, the genre has grown to encompass societies dealing with incongruities in technology, attempting to live today's world with the power systems of the past.

    I talked more about what is steampunk here.

    However, "Doctor Who" has been ahead of its time on a number of occasions. Going back to cyberpunk, and its tales of great battles in virtual reality worlds -- most of that happened in literature in the 1980s and the 1990s, but "Doctor Who" beat them to it with the battle in the Matrix in "The Deadly Assassin", which aired in 1976.