Thursday, September 12, 2013

"I'm the Doctor."

Today's "Must See TV" is "Doctor Who".  It isn't for everyone, but if you get it, well, there's nothing qutie like it anywhere.

I really like the reboot.  Usually reboots fall flat on their face - I liked Agent Cho in "The Mentalist" but the new Hawaii 5-0?  The show just didn't have legs.  "Dr. Who" on the other hand has had as many reincarnations as James Bond and, believe it or not, each Doctor's fan base is just as rabid about  who is the best.  Personnally, even if Sean Connery ever played the Doctor, I think David Tennet nailed the role.

The great thing about this show is that you absolutely never know what you're going to get - other than the obvious off-beat British humor.  Unlike Star Trek which is locked into it's own uiverse and has a sort of "here we go a warping"  "again" about it, this programme just has a set of rules for its main character and then pretty much anything goes, from Santa Clause hit men to pigs running parliment to a deeply evil spirt being banished to the edge of the universe.  And not our universe mind you.   They may be funny or terrifying.  They may be set on Earth or deep space.  They may be a single episode or part of a more complex multi-episode opera.

I first met the Doctor when I was about 7.  It was summer and I thought I'd see what was on our old TV in the attic that played Public Television - the screen wasn't black and white, it was red and white, very hard to watch, but without it I'd never have seen "All Creature Great and Small" which, while not inspiring me to become a veternarian, did start me off on a love for British roadsters...

I was struck, even then, by its uniqueness.  And then there's the theme song.  My oh my, the absolute best theme song ever.  For the reboot they kept the original.  Sure, it's been digitally remastered and touched up a bit, but it is the most distinctive, hard driving, synth fueled song on the planet - er - universes and perfectly captures the Doctor's personality.

The writing is top-notch, the acting and special effects are fitting of a successful TV show.  It stays true to its rules and has a loveable, yet tragic, main character with intriguing flaws and needs.  I would say it is the best science fiction series ever made, although that may require putting the "Twilight Zone" into its own category (original, not the reboot which, while entertaining, wasn't quite of the same calibre).

I know there are Doctor haters out there but I don't let them get me down.  Haters gotta hate.  For the rest of us, there's a hip and exciting alternative to the drudgery of another battle in the neutral zone.


  1. Smith is my Doctor, mostly because the person who introduced me to the show suggested I start with season five and work my way forward, then tag up at Eccelston and go from there. If I had started with Tennant, there's a good chance that he would be my Doctor instead.

    However, as far as companions go, I think I can categorically state that regardless of when I came into the show, Amy and Rory would be my favorites. And I still feel moderately cheated by the end of their run - I was all prepared to be torn up by it (and was fully expecting to have a good cry as it happened) and that didn't quite happen.

  2. I wrote this a few days after Amy and Rory's story wrapped up (SPOILER ALERT):

    "Seriously, I'm still feeling a little upset that I didn't get a chance to mourn the loss of Amy & Rory. Not because I want them to die, but because I feel like this is a loss that I can't comprehend. Whenever I put down the seventh Harry Potter, I feel this little twinge because I'm watching some great friends who I know incredibly well walk out of my life. I've felt that with a few TV shows over the years - the prime example being MASH - and I wanted *that* feeling here. And if I couldn't get that, then I wanted to be ripped apart by their deaths...because either way, that's the end of the story.

    But I got neither of those. Instead, we see them disappear (Rory so fast that I didn't really have time to get over the shock of it) and I'm sitting there on the edge of the cliff staring over it, expecting to be falling and dashed apart by them being torn away from the Doctor. But I'm not falling. I'm swaying, and I'm almost trying to jump over the cliff edge on my own because I want to mourn, I want to have closure. I can't get there on my own, though...and Moffat, for once, did not live up to my emotional expectations. I wanted - and this is a single scene, it's all that I ask for - a shot of Rory after he's been zapped again, panicking and looking around and trying to figure out what's going on and slowly coming to grips with what just happened. And then he looks up and sees Amy. And he goes from panic to relief and peace and they move towards each other. If Moffat had cut between Rory looking around and the Doctor sprinting for Amy's afterword, I think it would've worked. And I think I woulda been sitting there on my couch, smiling sadly with tears running down my face. And the Doctor is reading the letter and you hear Amy's voice and the shot of her little girl self sitting there waiting on her suitcase is all the more powerful, because it IS a happy ending now for her and Rory, and the Doctor's still broken and is alone and it's much more significant now because we've SEEN Amy and Rory are still together. The tombstone thing was fine...I'm not bugged by that...but it shouldn't have been the only thing we saw of their future other than the typewriter."


  3. first you say doctor who is must-see tv...then you say david tennant is the best doctor...the only thing that would ever make this post more perfect would be a reference to billie piper as the best companion! :)

  4. Another companion discussion? That's just what the interwebz need! I haven't engaged in one, and I won't here. This is my blog and I get to make the rules so the best episodes had Rose - but to be fair, she did have the advantage of actually being an ensemble character so they could write in more depth.

    I'm actually more interested in whether or not anyone feels there was a "George Lazenby" casting for the Doctor?