Doctor Who: Myth in the modern world | Ivan Phillips | TEDxUniversityofHertfordshire

Ivan Phillips is a life-long companion of that traveller in space and time known only as the Doctor. This means that he’s never really grown up, despite the fact that he’s an Associate Dean in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Hertfordshire, where he teaches on the Model Design and Digital Media Design programmes. Ivan’s interest is in stories, and the words, images and sounds that we use to tell stories, and he traces this interest back to his obsession, from a very early age, with the BBC TV programme Doctor Who. Stories, he believes, are where we discover the world and discover ourselves: where we explore, test, confront, question, tease, resolve and provoke. In reflecting on his relationship with Doctor Who, Ivan suggests that it is through stories, through myths, that we can develop the most complete and powerful sense of our possibilities. Not everyone loves Doctor Who (not everyone even knows what Doctor Who is!) but everyone uses stories in their lives: true stories, made-up stories and those stories that hover somewhere in between. At one point Ivan thought about calling this TEDx talk ‘What the Doctor has taught me’ but he realised that this wasn’t quite right: it’s not that the Doctor has taught him anything, it’s that he has â€" like any good teacher, real or fictional â€" made him want to learn. And yes, Ivan knows that he got a date wrong in his talk: the final episode of ‘classic’ Doctor Who aired in December 1989, not April! But time, after all, is relative… Dr Ivan Phillips is a credited writer on the theory of myth, and as the Associate Dean of School (Learning and Teaching) for the School of Creative Arts, Ivan has championed his school through his work. Speaking on the idea of myths in the modern world, Ivan will use the fictional modern myth of The Doctor in Doctor who as a way to transcend how reputation precedes the individual. With stories shaping the way in which we are perceived, as The Doctor said in ‘The Big Bang’, “We're all stories in the end”. Ivan’s talk will speak metaphorically on how we can present ourselves as we wish to be seen, by having our past actions transcend time and space by contextualising how our future selves can be perceived. Ivan’s talk will be relevant for anyone who used digital platforms or intents to have a public career, as the profiles (context) that we form for ourselves can mirror popular modern mythology. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at