Season 15, Story 4 (Overall Series Story #95) | Previous - Next | Index
It's possible to read about the misadventures of Robert Homes with the UK's Inland Revenue Service, and there are in-jokes for residents of that green and pleasant land that will sail over the heads of us Yanks, but I'm taking an onscreen, universalist approach where we note that we're going to cruise past some Easter eggs, but can leave them for the obsessives without missing the bigger picture.
I'd argue that this episode can best be understood not from a Marxist or anti-tax perspective, but from a higher level theory of justice which, of course, means the Rawlsian perspective. Clearly, if we couldn't control our original position within Pluto's oligarchy, we'd want no part of it. Just about any society looks great if you elect to be born wealthy and powerful within it, but take a chance on being born into a laboring family in this Plutocracy, or any other, and suddenly it looks like a pretty lousy set up. This is the perspective anti-tax zealots who whine about paying for things they don't get to hold in their grubbly little hands and, even worse, whine about having to pay for the things they do enjoy the benefit of, consistently fail to consider.
|The Collector and the Doctor.|
Having said all that, I should probably remind myself that Doctor Who got pretty awful late in the classic run when it got more experimental and explicitly philosophical, so it may be a lucky thing it didn't aim any higher in terms of being any deeper. So, take my criticism, as always, with a grain of salt, and we can be glad enough that the show took up the themes at all, perhaps inspiring the younger viewers to do the exploration on their own ...