Category Archives: doctors (diabolical)

A satanic gynæcologist

Dalrymple points out that J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise (1975)

has several doctors as characters: a lecturer in physiology at a medical school, a psychiatrist, some neurosurgeons, and a gynæcologist.

The book

is typical of his dystopian genre. The high-rise of the title is one of four 40-storey blocks of flats built in the docklands area of London (as the novel was published in 1975, the location is an instance of Ballard’s prescience).

The residents of the new development, all of the professional classes,

start a war against each other of a class nature (the higher the floor you live on, the higher your social status).

Eventually there is anarchy.

Everything is vandalised, the services cease to work, rubbish accumulates everywhere, the walls are covered in graffiti, and the residents raid one another for food and eat each other’s pet dogs.

Dalrymple notes that almost every element of Ballard’s fictional horror is visible in less extreme form in the real world today.

Pangbourne, the gynæcologist,

is among the worst characters in the breakdown of order. Rich and successful, he lives on the highest floor, the 40th, and has led a raid with women acolytes to the lower floors, capturing an accountant and a meteorologist.

Dalrymple asks:

Which of us has never met a Pangbourne?

A noted practitioner of alternative medicine

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 17.14.08

Machiavellian MD: his goal is global mastery for the greater glory of Cathay

Dalrymple explains that in a series of novels by Sax Rohmer, Fu Manchu is a shadowy physician

of brilliant intellect. He is intent upon taking over the world on behalf of China.

Dr Fu’s

medical accomplishments are unconventional.

His therapeutic armamentarium includes

  • obedient and well-trained poisonous scorpions
  • obedient and well-trained Australian death adders
  • obedient and well-trained poisonous centipedes
  • immensely strong and malicious Ethiopian baboons

Dalrymple notes that the diabolic doctor, in his laboratory in Museum Street, WC1,

manages to extract a gaseous anæsthetic from the common puffball.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 18.35.42Dr Fu performs

what sounds like genetic modification on various dangerous organisms that might later come in handy.

He is possessed of

ferocious cunning and ruthlessness.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 17.03.27In The Devil Doctor, he

tries to get Dr Petrie to kill Nayland Smith with a samurai sword to prevent him from being eaten alive by Dr Fu’s starving Cantonese rats – the most ravenous in the world.

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Sinister, merciless cunning

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 17.36.56Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 17.34.24Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 17.33.05Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 17.40.40Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 17.47.38 Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 17.48.28

Voracious vermin of Guangdong

Voracious vermin of Guangdong

The scorpions are obedient

The scorpions are loyal to Dr Fu

Horn of Africa baboons: of great strength and highly malicious

Horn of Africa baboons: of huge strength and malice

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 18.12.14

The indestructible doctor

Dr Fu and assistant at work in his Museum Street lab

Dr Fu and assistant at work in his Museum Street lab