Archival Materials
Archival Materials

In The Crimson Horror (Season 7 Episode 12 of Doctor Who), the Doctor’s companion, Clara, is outed as a time traveler by the children she babysits. Although it is not made explicit, she is, in fact, outed due to the children’s access to archival materials.

In the episode, the children confront Clara with three historical photographs that provide evidence of her recent travels in time and space. A portrait from the 1800s, a snapshot from 1974 (in a haunted house), and a snapshot from 1983 (in a Russian submarine) comprise the photographic evidence. The children claim to have found the photos “at school.”

Although  the Victorian-era portrait could have been digitized for its sheer cool factor, the photograph from 1974 was almost certainly from someone’s personal papers, while the 1983 photograph may have been part of a government records group. Were these children involved in an archives outreach and digitization program? I say yes.

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