Publication Date

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Communication and Training

First Advisor

Jason Zingsheim, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

David Rhea, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michele McMaster, Ph.D.


This paper performs a rhetorical analysis of the science-fiction program, Doctor Who, using theories from Kenneth Burke. Series Five of the show is analyzed using Burke’s theory of identification, the representative anecdote and the dramatistic pentad. The analysis with identification theory exemplifies the show’s ability to create identification with the audience that, in turn, drives the audience to watch. While the identification connects the audience to the show, the pentad explains how the characters of the show are driven by a pursuit of idealistic humanism rooted in individuality. The final analysis demonstrates that the program embraces more of a representative anecdote, as it can offer tools for living, rather than a deflective one.