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  • Susan Elaine Jones

Dr. Who at the Hunterian

Stunned by tonight's Doctor Who episode, Flatline. A lovely concept, and thoroughly enjoyable images (and I'll try not to spoil it if you haven't seen it yet). But one in particular struck me as familiar.

Still from Dr Who episode "flatline" showing human circulation system

Here the 2D creatures have broken down a person to a 2D representation on the wall. In this case, broken down into the circulation system.

Does it look similar to the image below to you too?

Dissection of arteries (and sometimes nerves) on a wooden slab - Evelyn table

Here is an Evelyn table. These were produced around 1640, used as a way to dissect very delicate systems such as the circulation, the lymph and nerve systems. Rather than try to dissect "out" the delicate structures, the cadaver was placed on the wooden table, and everything that wasn't the delicate system was dissected "away". Leaving these beautiful instructional "tables" which are currently displayed at the Hunterian Museum (John Hunter's one in London at the Royal College of Surgeons, not his brother's one in Glasgow).

No one else seems to have noticed this similarity. Perhaps it is just a coincidence. Or perhaps science fiction writers are paying attention to anatomy museums.

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