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People are sharing Doctor Who's warning about alternative facts from 40 years ago

Beware of the stupid and powerful who "alter the facts to fit their views"

Published: Monday, 23rd January 2017 at 11:30 am

You can tell Doctor Who is a Time Lord – ­because he knew about the “alternative facts” phenomenon exactly 40 years before it hit the headlines.


A clip of classic episode The Face of Evil Part 4 featuring Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor has surfaced, in which he warns about the “very powerful and the very stupid” who “alter the facts to fit their views.”

That clip aired on 22nd January 1977. But fast-forward four decades and you’ll find Donald Trump’s “Counselor” Kellyanne Conway declaring that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was NOT lying when he (falsely) insisted the new President’s inauguration was the most-attended in history.

No, no – Spicer was simply announcing “alternative facts”.

But the Doctor, being a little smarter and well-versed in the politics of all the different planets and societies in the universe, had something very prescient to say as he tried to make peace between two warring tribes, the Sevateem and the Tesh.

“You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common,” the Doctor tells his soon-to-be companion, Leela (Louise Jameson).

“They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.”


The episode was part of the first story written for the series by Chris Boucher, and was directed by Pennant Roberts.


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