An Unearthly Child: A Lawyer’s Adventure on Doctor Who

I love Doctor Who. A large number of people have loved the show for 50 years. Just look how Western Civilization on Twitter slowed to a crawl for the announcement of Peter Capaldi as the next Doctor.

There is one thing people have forgotten about the show: An Unearthly Child begins with three separate legal issues.

Get Off My Lawn!

1stDoctor_trespassing_5438The first legal issue is Ian and Barbara forced their way onto the TARDIS.

They entered uninvited in a borderline home invasion.

Trespassing is the wrongful entry on the property of another person. Westlaw Black’s 9th Law Dictionary App.

Ian and Barbara did not have permission to enter the TARDIS, making them trespassers.

As such, the Doctor owed them no duty of care, but the Doctor’s following actions would not be a valid response to trespassing.

How to End Up on a Milk Carton

The second legal issue is the Doctor kidnapping Ian and Barbara back to the Stone Age.

Kidnapping at common law was “the crime of forcibly abducting a person from his or her own country and sending the person to another.” Westlaw Black’s 9th Law Dictionary App. Effectively, the crime was false imprisonment and taking the victim to another country. Id. 

This also gives new meaning to the phrase “alien abduction.”

The Doctor started the TARDIS with Ian and Barbara locked onboard with the intent of taking them out of London. Going back to the Stone Age would certainly qualify as taking Ian and Barbara out of Great Britain.

No One Should Have a Charles Dickens Childhood

Now for the third legal issue: Ian and Barbara arguably stalked Susan.

Stalking is the following of another by stealth. Westlaw Black’s 9th Law Dictionary App.

Ian and Barbara waited for Susan at her known address, entered the junkyard and hid behind some objects when the Doctor entered the yard. These actions meet the elements of stalking.

However, since Ian and Barbara were teachers who were looking out for the well-being of their student, they would have a strong defense. They were concerned she was living in a junkyard. If only Harry Potter had teachers like that for the first decade of his life, he would not have been in a cardboard under the stairs with emotionally abusive guardians.

The Day of the Doctor

Doctor Who is an extremely beloved show. I am counting down to The Day of the Doctor. However, it is rather unearthly that the first episode touched on stalking a 15 year old girl, trespassing and kidnapping.