Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Who is Dr. Who?

Honestly what is so great about this Dr. Who show? Every time I turn on my Facebook I see at least 10 pics, sayings or whatever featuring a blue phone booth and something called a darlect. Dr. Who Christmas trees, Dr. Who baby costumes, people dressing in ugly tweed coats with little magic wand things. I'm not trying to be insulting here I seriously want to know what this show is about. From what I can gather this guy is some sort of time/dimensonal cop with a time traveling phone booth that's bigger on the inside than on the outside... and somehow this is the coolest thing ever? I'm open to trying new things, my brother just got me into Supernatural and it was only about a year or so ago that I fell in love with Firefly and Avatar the Last Airbender.
So I invite Whovians to post why I need to get into this show, and no I will not accept "Just watch it and give it a try" as an answer.


  1. He's not a cop. His transdimensional spaceship (the TARDIS=Time And Relative Dimension In Space) got stuck looking like a Police public call Box (a common fixture of 1960s London) when the Chameleon circuit broke (the blending in circuit). The show was originally conceived as a children's show and retains many of those elements (I like to think of the sillier enemies as metaphors for something too terrible for our feeble minds, not unlike nursery rhymes hiding terrible facts of plagues and mass killings). Because of the childlike nature it's easy to get disillusioned with the entire show, until the twists start coming out of the walls to get you, and they will get you.
    The protagonist is over a thousand years old in the most recent episodes and has gone through 10 regenerations (now on his 11th body)(handy little way to replace your lead actor every few years). He's the last of his species. At some point (off-scree) his civilization ended in a catastrophic time-war, which, it seems, the Doctor (who goes unnamed because what if his name was Rufus or Eugene?) may have sacrificed his species and another to end.
    He seems eternally obsessed with Earth or at least humanity.
    They have marvelous underlying themes, which the head writer Stephen Moffatt has pushed beyond what you would expect for something that is essentially a children's show. One such theme: Don't look away.
    Want to see the show at it's absolute best (in my opinion)? Look up episode 38, Blink. You'll never be the same.
    Count the heads, the hearts, and knocks, and don't forget the shadows.

  2. I became disillusioned with the new series around season 4, for the same reason that it seemed to loose its sense of purpose and became about cheap twists and thrills with an overly moody Doctor and companions. A suicide practically every episode to solve everyone's problems also became quite distasteful. Throw in the way the Doctor fell in love with Rose and his later relationship with River Song and the whole thing watches like a bad fanfic.

    I was a fan of the original series before the new series was announced. Perhaps its because I generally enjoy older film productions, but the original Doctor Who series had something special. The Doctor's basic desire is to be free to explore all of time and space, but in doing so is ensnared in local wars, plots, or alien invasions. Along the way, companions manage to tag along, usually uninvited (He really is an asocial chap - he much prefers to travel alone, but ends up developing deep relationships of trust and friendship with those who end up traveling with him). The Doctor uses his scientific genius and courage to work with his traveling companions and other friends in foiling evil plots. In doing so he saves cities, countries, planets, and universes from destruction or descent into evil. If you can find any of the original series to watch, I would highly recommend it - The 4th Doctor episodes from when he travels with Sarah Jane, Leela, and Romana are your best bet for watching something really excellent.

    Lest I incur the ire of others, I would like to say that I found several episodes of the new series to be quite entertaining, including "Blink". They tend to be the earlier 2-part stories, which allow for at least some actual plot development.

    1. Ah!
      Blast you!
      Uncalled for personal insult!

  3. I admit that my familiarity of Doctor Who only comes from the Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor) episodes they broadcasted on PBS. I like to think of as Britain's Star Trek: it's an epic sci-fi series that's been around for decades, has a diehard fanbase, and it seems to find a way to make a comeback from time to time.

    I do know that the "new" Doctor Who is definitely different than the classic stuff, which had longer story arcs. However, finding the older episodes is quite difficult, unless you're willing to (ahem) "acquire" them in less than reputable ways. I speculate that the new stuff is probably easier to get into, but if you want a taste of the classic stuff, go with the Fourth Doctor. The special effects are cheesy, but Tom Baker more than makes up for it. He makes Doctor Who so much fun to watch!

  4. Doctor Who isn't for all nerds, like most things british it is an acquired taste, I had to watch several seasons before I really got into it. But if you don't like it, don't watch it, spend your time on something you know you already like because then you don't have to worry about wasting on your time.