Thursday, April 21st, 2011

I Beg You Hold-Outs To Join Me In Watching 'Doctor Who'

Almost everyone in the English-speaking world has a friend who regularly recruit others to indulge in the wonder that is the television show "Doctor Who." This friend is annoying, at best! (Also likely unhygienic.) May I give it a whirl though?

In the rebooted show, the Doctor, as even you likely know, is a fast-talking, friendly and adorable time-traveling alien who tends to pick up women, indulge them in bizarre adventures throughout space and time, after which the duo will teeter on the verge of romantic affair and then he will fling them back to their ordinary lives (for, ostensibly, their own good). This sounds terrible and very silly! Yet "Doctor Who" is a rare television show in that it runs on equal tracks of high drama, broad comedy, fantasy and irony.

There are three ways in!

• If you were really going to start with "Doctor Who" and do it up, I would urge that you begin with what is technically episode #157, but what is also Season 1, Episode 1 of the new "Doctor Who," which had been off the air for 16 years when it returned in 2005. This starts a fantastic two-season story-line… that'll end with you sobbing your eyes out. No joke.

• You can also quite reasonably start with episode #203, or Season 5, Episode 1, which was the most recent season to air. That will introduce you to the current characters.

• But you may also begin this Saturday, with the first airing of episode #214, or Season 6, Episode 1. Step in afresh! You can always backtrack if you enjoy! And I will get you up to speed.

What to expect.

What I think is off-putting to Americans, in particular, though probably Canadians too, because they're so humorless, is the "Doctor Who" willingness to go cheesy-lowbrow comedy-drama. Foreign TV has foreign conventions! The first viewing can feel icky and odd. Even the editing feels weird, if you don't watch non-American TV.

Your tastes will modulate as you progress.

Each episode has, obviously, a plot, and often that plot isn't (immediately) central to the season's larger plot, and so each episode often involves silly struggles and fighting with goofy enemies. There is lots of very rapid moderately accented talking, and some goofy feats of derring-do.

But the stakes can be rather low in each episode! You may be somewhat charmed, but you will most not likely be immediately impressed by the drama elements. (Nor by the alien menaces.) You will likely think, so what? And also: this is silly.

You might also think it skews too young for you. (Unlike, what, NCIS?)

But you need to stick around. What the producers and directors are expert at is building stakes over a season, weaving little drama skeins into something substantial as (linear!) time progresses.

Getting you up to speed!

Okay so there's this dude. He is called "the Doctor." He is kind of a manic cute nerd. He's actually a SCARY ENDLESSLY OLD ALIEN with TWO HEARTS. He is against violence, doesn't like guns and thinks people are really funny. Yes, he travels in a time-space ship that is an old telephone box. (IT'S STUCK.)

For the last little bit, he's been trekking around with a lady named Amy Pond, who is a mouthy thing, and her fiance, Rory, who is sort of dull but is coming into his own. There has been a bit of a love triangle sexual tension thing (uniformly heterosexualist in nature, unfortunately) that has abated. "Now" Rory and Amy are wed.

The Doctor first met Amy when she was seven years old. He jetted in, swore he'd be back in 15 minutes, and then arrived 12 years later. So everyone thought she was craaaazy. But of course she wasn't. Amy is a great companion for the Doctor because stodgy old English people think she's kind of a tart! (She's Scottish. Racists.)

All the last season, it turned out that time was becoming unraveled! As with any time travel plot, it's nearly impossible to convey, but let's just say that a really big explosion happened, leaving behind it little cracks in time, which had a tendency to suck things out of existence (such as Amy's family, and then Rory, and then eventually almost everyone).

That's all fixed now though! (Into the heart of the sun!) All better, so you, the delighted new viewer, can start afresh.

Also there is a character named River Song (really) but you don't actually need to know anything about who she is, because we don't either. There is an exceptional Quora thread that addresses who she may be, if Quora ever comes back online (it was sucked into a time-hole). Don't worry about it! Let it wash over you.

Here is another way in.

Yes. If you watched just the first five minutes, you'd have seen 40 different kinds of ludicrosities, up to and including Amy Pond and River Song. The real question is: CAN YOU HANG?

114 Comments / Post A Comment

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)
adminslave (#3,548)

@dntsqzthchrmn That's awful! I had no idea. She looked great when she was on the show.

LondonLee (#922)

I can't get with the new one (not having BBC America anymore doesn't help), I grew up watching Dr. Who on a black and white telly with the BBC's famously bad special effects and cheap cardboard sets and it just looks too slick to me now.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@LondonLee I hear you but ECCLESTON!!! TENNANT askdsafjas!!!!!!!! and that new guy might grow on me eventually

deepomega (#1,720)

@LondonLee: I cannot fathom calling the new one slick! I am definitely in the "can't handle cheesey comedramady" category and find Dr. Who impossible to get into.

Moff (#28)

@LondonLee: Nah, I hear what you're saying, but I think they've done a gloriously commendable job of retaining the tone and feel of the old show, for all the better production.

Whatever version, though, the program is simply a marvel of television: It is the stupidest, stupidest, stupidest show you will ever see and simultaneously the smartest, smartest, smartest. And it always has been. And it's very cool how it's generally used time as simply another dimension — yes, the Doctor is a time traveler, and yes, sometimes that means he visits ye olde England or Pompeii or whatever; but he also just jets around to crazy futures and pasts well outside Earth's orbit that wouldn't work if you were expected to believe they all existed simultaneously.

Vulpes (#946)

@LondonLee You Who purists! Such sticks-in-the-mud.

LondonLee (#922)

@deepomega It's "slick" compared to THIS.

Also: The Doctor should be played by an old wrinkly, not some young stud.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

@Moff Thumb for stupidest, stupidest, stupidest/smartest, smartest, smartest.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@LondonLee: AHEM Peter Davison

scrooge (#2,697)

@LondonLee They had young studs, too, back in the day. Not to mention Peter Davison (best role ever as Dangerous Davies in The Last Detective, a great, great series created by Leslie Thomas, author of Virgin Soldiers.

Max Clarke (#3,635)

@LondonLee I submit that Matt Smith is actually playing the Doc as a very old guy in a very young guy's body. Watch it with that in mind and you might warm up to it.

amuselouche (#448)

The deciding factor in whether or not I would go home for Easter this year was the fact that, in doing so, I would gain unfettered access to BBC America on Saturday. I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW.

dearheart (#4,203)

@amuselouche Doing this, too. Hi Mom and Dad love you oh hey Grammy WHERE'S THE REMOTE?!

YesIsAWorld (#11,321)

Any advice for people who, maybe, spent a good chunk of the winter watching the past 5 seasons back-to-back, and who were overly excited to see the new season with everyone else, only to find out yesterday that certain cable providers don't provide BBC America? Anywhere to watch online, perhaps on Sunday?

cherrispryte (#444)

@YesIsAWorld usually has it available under an hour after it's aired.

Oh indeed. Now it is time to learn about file-sharing. I cannot offer you any advice in this arena! But once you learn how, it's remarkably easy. (Start with an application called Vuze, probably!)

Also I had a friend who watched the whole show on the same night it aired–ON YOUTUBE.

gumplr (#66)

@Choire Sicha That's an ominous use of the past tense, "had."

DENNER (#1,763)

@YesIsAWorld There may also be a website where you can watch most episodes instantly, that may or may not get taken down every once in a while but usually goes back up! I've heard it's called Watch Doctor Who or something.

stray (#11,335)

@gumplr I did this once and I have to say the men who showed up the next day couldn't have been nicer. They even promised to feed the cat while I'm, uh, away.

Be seeing you.

hypnosifl (#9,470)

@YesIsAWorld If you want to be all legal and stuff, I just noticed that you can get a "season pass" for all episodes on iTunes for $12.99 if you get the non-HD version, and $19.99 for HD. I did this last season, (figured maybe buying it encourages BBC America to show them on schedule), usually they're available the day after they aired.

hypnosifl (#9,470)

@hypnosifl Oh, I just realized the iTunes season pass is only for the first half of season 6 (apparently this year they're doing two different story arcs each half), so I guess the full season is going to be $25.98

Max Clarke (#3,635)

@hypnosifl Amazon Unbox is also selling the current season as streaming and downloadable video, if you loathe iTunes as much as I do. But you need to have a PC, and it needs to be able to run Windows Media Player 11 (which my WinXP machine won't).

adminslave (#3,548)

It can be really hard to get people into this show. The first couple episodes have some of the worst effects (the plastic people, the tree people in the second episode, the stretched out last pure human) on modern TV. I have to constantly remind my friend that the British govt is paying for most of it. It is best to have someone watch 'Blink,' if they are on the fence, and it's kind of a one-off episode.

wallsdonotfall (#6,378)

Word. As a rule, anything by Paul Cornell or Steven Moffat (before he became showrunner) is a good introduction, except then they'll be spoiled. "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances" is my favorite way to suck people into the series, with added gay kissing!

@adminslave Yes to 'Blink'. That was an awesomely awesome scary episode.

dearheart (#4,203)

For any diehard fans or people who just like cake and snack food:

(Oh, sonic screwdriver. So cute. Here, let me pour some alcohol in you a lot.)

cherrispryte (#444)

As anyone who has seen my tumblr knows, I am SUPER SUPER OBSESSED/EXCITED ABOUT SATURDAY. No, really.

Also, Seasons 1-4 of NuWho are on Netflix Instant! GO WATCH PLEASE I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER/MAKE YOU FISH CUSTARD.

SuperMargie (#1,263)

@cherrispryte I have the seasons queued up on Netflix and I am taking 2 sick days in May to watch them. I have been planning this since January and I am more excited than a person has a right to be.

@SuperMargie : You are the best thing I've heard all week.

Vulpes (#946)

Also, the current Doctor is a gangly, geeky stud who you will want to do the sex to. Or is that just me?

SuperMargie (#1,263)

@Vulpes Oh no. It is not just you.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

Let me just add that I was not only skeptical but had an actively bad impression of Doctor Who, dating back to the age of about 12. ("That's supposed to be the main villain? It looks like R2-D2 with a toilet plunger stuck on.") Then a year ago a significant other dragged me kicking and screaming through some of the highlights of the new series. I stopped kicking and screaming pretty quickly. There is no sufficient analogy, but imagine a campier Quantum Leap starring a team-up of young Gandalf and Buffy with 40s screwball comedy dialogue and you'll be sort of almost but not really in the right general area.

This short deleted scene is also not a bad place to start.

cherrispryte (#444)

@DoctorDisaster OMG I had somehow not seen that. Thank you dear.

deepomega (#1,720)

@DoctorDisaster I think your description just nailed why I don't like this show. "campy quantum leap" + "screwball comedy dialogue" = "deepomega strangling himself with a telephone cord".

scrooge (#2,697)

@DoctorDisaster Yeah, except the Daleks pre-dated R2-D2 by about two decades. They just removed the plunger.

They also had an endearing monotone war cry "Exterminate! Exterminate!". I seem to remember a Monty Python episode where they were thwarted by stairs (since they got around on little castors, like a tea trolley).

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

@scrooge Well, I was 12. But it was less a complaint about their originality than about their intimidation potential.

scrooge (#2,697)

@DoctorDisaster Yes, we were definitely more easily intimidated. I mean, people were petrified by Hitchcock's The Birds, which nowadays is just cute.

LondonLee (#922)

The Daleks terrified me when I was a kid.

Spike Milligan did the best Daleks spoof

pallas (#11,094)

I love everything about this post, can I say that? Saturday can't come soon enough.

Also, fun bonus for people just starting out: so many random episodes have the British stars of tomorrow totally slumming it on BBC sci fi! Spotting them is like a drinking game, but with cringing.

stray (#11,335)

Think it was sort of a hazing thing that RADA graduates had to appear on Doctor Who and/or Blake's 7.

Moff (#28)

Fun fact: You cannot start with the very earliest episodes of the show, from 1963, because a bunch of them were lost forever.

If someone ever actually gets a TARDIS, probably they should go back and retrieve those.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@Moff You know what's hard to watch? (Cover your ears LondonLee) The "Four Doctors" episodes.

Moff (#28)

@dntsqzthchrmn: Isn't there a Two, and a Three, and a Five Doctors special, but not actually a Four? OR WAS THAT YOUR POINT?

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@Moff Friend!

Moff (#28)

@dntsqzthchrmn: :-D

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@Moff OK this is getting to be straight out of Time Crash

scrooge (#2,697)

@Moff True, the BBC was outrageously careless with archiving. One of the best TV series ever, a serialization of the Sartre Roads to Freedom trilogy, was taped over and can now only be seen at the British Film Institute. The original Bertie Wooster is also lost, with Dennis Price as the quintessence of Jeeves.

hypnosifl (#9,470)

@Moff Well, you can't watch all the episodes with the first Doctor, but a lot of them are available, including the very first story where the Doctor was introduced and the second story where he met the Daleks (they're on this DVD set if anyone's interested). The second Doctor had more lost than the first, which is sad because he's one of my favorites.

AdamSimon (#11,322)

This may well be the most important post The Awl has ever known. Thank you.

sergeant tibbs (#1,786)

Ah! I was just thinking, "I wonder when Choire will start talking about Doctor Who again."

BadUncle (#153)

I dunno about the show. But I like her hair. A lot. In fact, I'd like to have her hair.


permafrost (#2,735)

For awhile now I have wanted to start watching Dr. Who but always felt overwhelmed/frustrated when considering exactly when/where I should start. This post helps, thanks! Off to Netflix I goooooo!

chevre4evre (#3,871)

Agreed! I was verrrry resistant because I generally dislike silly monster-of-the-week shows, but Eccleston and Tennant were SO GOOD and the real stories — about character evolution and relationships (and not with a capital R just like, how a centuries year old half man/half god impacts those around him) — were just brilliant. It's worth the silly monsters!

DMcK (#5,027)

Thanks for giving me an excuse to link to this awesome segment from the Tennant years. A good intro to the more manic side of the show!

El Matardillo (#586)

Why are you running a picture of Julia Allison with this article?

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Ha ha ha ha ha no.

champagne (#11,325)

ecclestone was the hot doctor who…

Vulpes (#946)

@champagne Yesssssssssssssss. People can have their Tennant, give me the Northern Doctor with the big nose and the leather jacket!

DennyCrane (#1,803)

Not one word about the awesomely cheesy villains? The Cybermen? The Master? THE DALEKS??

stray (#11,335)

@DennyCrane The Zygons???

chrisafer (#1,322)

I spend a lot of time debating whether Rose Tyler or Donna Noble had the worse lot. Mostly in me head, because there are too few people to have that conversation with for real.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@chrisafer: Donna Noble Has a Posse (and Rose Tyler has [spoiler redacted])

Vulpes (#946)

@chrisafer Poor Martha had the worst lot! No one loves her.

macartney (#1,889)

@Vulpes Because Martha was awful! But also because Martha still had an exciting life after the Doctor left her. I still can't get over the Donna heartbreak. Rose? Heartbroken and stuck, but still fighting and living. But Donna? Oh sweet Jesus. She was just a temp!

cherrispryte (#444)

@chrisafer Come sit by me. My vote is most definitely Donna.

HOWEVER. I will not tolerate the anti-Martha business. Martha Jones was fucking fantastic.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Martha was AWESOME. (And she had a cousin who answered the phones at Torchwood Canary Wharf?) And, since she works at UNIT, she remains viable spinoff bait for when TW: The Real World turns out to be too much to top.

So… will there be a post exhorting Awldom to catch Children of Earth when (if) it repeats? Because that was the best tv I ever saw.

melis (#1,854)

Oh and that just reopened my psychic wounds re: Ianto. Why do I care so much about this show? It is not a good show! And yet, and yet.

riotnrrd (#840)

I've watched Doctor Who since I was a wee one and Tom Baker was in his first run on PBS, and Donna is one of my favorite companions ever. And not just because she was a contrast from the "Hot chick falls in lurve with the Doctor" rut that the New Doctors' companions had gotten into. She was genuinely hilarious and rough and brassy and fun. I enjoyed that finally, the Doctor had a pal who was his equal in stubbornness and character. But don't get me started on how they ended her story. That was fucking bogus, and not what she deserved.

I have to agree, though, that Martha was a bit dull. And then they had her go and marry Mickey? WTF.

stannate@twitter (#11,378)

@riotnrrd Donna's fate was really crappy, but at least she received a resolution. Martha's character was wasted on DW, as Ten was far too busy pining after Rose to even notice Martha. I never liked the Doctor/Rose romance, as even with her gone from the show, her storyline hung over Seasons 3 and 4 like a stale fart. And no, I promise NOT to get into how much I couldn't stand the end of Season 3, or the plot line of the Doctor as a God-like figure, or how the reincarnation of the Master was wasted…

I'm quite glad for the current combination of Steven Moffat/Matt Smith, as both have brought back many elements keeping in character with the old (1963-89) show. One of the problems I had with RTD and David Tennant was that they kept on tying the show to contemporary times in England (and Wales), which I think dates the show more than any cheesy bluescreen effect ever could. Part of the joy for me with DW is that the show can be both part of its time as well as being out of it–both timely and timeless. The older Doctors were, at least up to Peter Davison's time, not necessarily hitting you over the head with references from, say, 1969 or 1977, as the storyline was paramount. Sure, fashion trends come and go, but with the first four Doctors, they were incidental. Starting with Peter Davison's time in 1981, and wavering throughout the remainder of the 80s, the show tried a bit too hard to be contemporary and to be part of the 80s timeframe. With the revival of DW, Christopher Eccleston's Doctor largely avoided being tied into 2005, but David Tennant's Doctor–and more importantly, RTD's scripts–was all about current pop-culture references that don't hold up so well when viewing his episodes. The Moffat/Smith combination revived the "out of time" approach that I like so much about the earlier series. It doesn't really matter that a key point of Season 5 was Amy's wedding on June 26, 2010–the stories and the settings never really hit you over the head with the fact that the show takes place that year. Any date could have been picked without effecting the feel of the season, and with Season 6 being a continuation of last season, I fully expect more of the same starting on Saturday.

Max Clarke (#3,635)

Lifelong Who addict here. My problems with the Tennant/RTD era had more to do with 1) the inevitable, repetitive, ham-fisted season finales (THE ENTIRE WORLD IS GOING TO BLOW UP! ALIEN SHIPS IN THE SKIES! PEOPLE OF EARTH COWERING IN TERROR! GET THE PRIME MINISTER ON THE VIEWSCREEN!), and the crappy soapy melodrama aspect (the brilliant, sophisticated 900-year-old Doctor falling head over heels in love with a chavvy British shopgirl with a bad dye job and a velour tracksuit).

I credit RTD with reviving the show and infusing it with needed excitement, melodrama, attitude, and modern TV production values, but by the time he left I was heartily sick of his excesses — and ready for a change from Tennant's emo/scenery-chewing tendencies as well.

The Moffat/Smith era gives us a show which is 1) emotionally "cooler" in tone — the Doctor is the charming, witty, but emotionally unavailable character he used to be, and 2) more brain-challenging — the Moff's twisty plots are great fun and the best use of time travel as a plot device in the show's entire history. And Matt Smith is fantastic: despite my initial skepticism at hearing about another youngish actor in the role, he's turned out to be able to project a perfect combo of charisma, quirky alienness, and, oddly enough, oldness.

Rod T (#33)

Just answer one question: Is it better than Battlestar?

Rod T (#33)

Oh, and this: Can you understand them? Because often a BBC show needs closed captioning for me.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

You can understand them. Except for Eccleston sometimes, which they make jokes about ("Every planet has a north"), and Rose's mom Jackie.

Not a Battlestar fan. There may not be much overlap between those groups.

amuselouche (#448)

@Rod T Love both. They are so different though it's difficult to make a real comparison, even though they are both technically sci-fi. I guess I wouldn't go into Dr. Who expecting sweeping human drama or tons of crazy twists and turns, but then again it's unlikely to leave you with "psyche! WE'RE the second earth!" type shit either. Never had a problem understanding the show and I generally operate under an ALL CAPTIONS ALL THE TIME philosophy.

Vulpes (#946)

@Rod T Amuselouche is right: they're way to different to really make a good comparison.

Also, maybe I can confess it here, but I'm still heartbroken about the ending. I mean, the emotional and character endings were so perfect, but the whole "New" Earth/mitochondrial Eve/it was all in the past thing? Devastating. It was literally the one ending that I didn't want, and that's exactly what we got.

macartney (#1,889)

@Rod T Doctor Who all the way. Battlestar was too angsty and too American, at its very core. There's something about a post-empire culture creating art that has a tongue-in-cheek, we know we've seen better days, that is just too divine.

Max Clarke (#3,635)

@Rod T Yes. It has the ability to sometimes be very serious, and other times not take itself seriously at all.

And the current 2-parter even has Romo Lampkin!

As for intelligibility: The British accents are not too thick for these Yank ears, but given the rapid-fire pace of some of the dialogue, you may need to replay the occasional line or two.

Matt (#26)

Look, man, I like it as much as anyone but it's not even the best song on the album. "Daddy Don't Live in That New York City No More"? Come on.

Also, worth nothing, Fagen and Becker are still not satisfied with the recording quality and they may never be.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Relax, we know you're not a nerd.

davidwatts (#72)

I have seen the new season, and it is marvelous. And scary!!

Philo Hagen (#3,619)

I'm so excited for Season 6 I think I just peed myself. Best show on TV. :)

boswellsjohnson (#10,122)

Yes, yes, on all points yes! It is the show I most enjoy that I am least likely to admit enjoying (mostly because of the cardboard aliens).

Speaking of British shows accessed online by crafty American viewers, is anyone else watching The Crimson Petal and the White? Because it is fantastic.

stray (#11,335)

@boswellsjohnson Yes, and yes.

joeclark (#651)

Nouvelle formulation Doctor Who has been on Canadian TV continuously since the early Eccleston epoch, with something of a bidding war between CBC and Space, the latter being the current host broadcaster.

My esteemed colleague likes it one full order of magnitude more than I do. But we can both muster very serious arguments in favour of Caprica.

growler (#476)

I have nothing to add but this:

rj77 (#210)


'sup, mah nerds…

joestudd (#11,334)

Amy Pond's eyes, like the second sun rising on Gallifrey, so beautiful…
and she looks good in a police lady uni!
Of course, any scifi has an absurd and frustrating ability to have something impossible happen to get the end right. If you don't like that, you won't like what happens when two wands with the same core interact.
It's a fun obsession, cheaper than collecting.
And Jon Pertwee will always be "my" Doctor.

Jared (#1,227)

Police Box! (newb) ;)

And actually the show is more gay-friendly than you make it sound. I can't think of the situation, but I seem to remember the suggestion that the Doctor found some guy attractive? Or am I just thinking of [spoiler], a major character who is in fact gay?

cherrispryte (#444)

@Jared The Doctor definitely flirts with Jack Harkness. And possibly Shakespeare?

rj77 (#210)

@Jared @cherrispryte He seemed pretty close to Van Gogh too. But that just might be the natural affinity of the mutually mad?

macartney (#1,889)

Can I just say how excited I am that BBC America is showing the episodes at the same time as BBC regular? I remember how last year I couldn't read Choire's posts because he was two weeks ahead, watching them, cough, illegally, while I waited, as a compliant citizen, yes, but mainly as a person who owns an HD TV and hates the poor quality of bootlegs. Huzzah for both sides of the Atlantic equality!

Tully Mills (#6,486)

Whatever, nerds. When is the BBC going start up Lovejoy again?

rj77 (#210)

@TullyMMills Mom?

Tully Mills (#6,486)

@rj77 Go back to your room.

It doesn't have nearly as much cursing as "The Inbetweeners."

ps: been watching since I was 5. Used to leave friends' houses early to go home to watch it. Never managed to convert anybody to it. Ever. So good luck with that.

hypnosifl (#9,470)

What I think is off-putting to Americans, in particular, though probably Canadians too, because they're so humorless, is the "Doctor Who" willingness to go cheesy-lowbrow comedy-drama. Foreign TV has foreign conventions!

To me this doesn't seem that foreign, there was plenty of comedy/soap operatic drama on Buffy the Vampire Slayer which was pretty popular in its time and still has a cult following…Russell Davies actually said that was one of his inspirations in the style of the revived show. I'd definitely recommend New Who to any Buffy fans out there! (especially the Davies era, Eccleston and Tennant, I'm enjoying Moffat's take too but I feel like he's not quite as good with character writing)

Wolf Rhys@twitter (#11,348)

I lost interest when they switched to the current Doctor.

It's telling that this is a show for children in England.

There were some excellent episodes ("Blink" being the best) but it's run its course.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@Wolf Rhys@twitter Wrong! Thank you for playing!

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Sorry, that was obnoxious.

What I think is telling is that the show debuted November 23, 1963.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

@Wolf Rhys@twitter So now that the writer of your favorite episode is running the show, you have given up on it? YOU'RE LETTING THE BRUTE FORCE AND CYNICISMISTS WIN.

Max Clarke (#3,635)

@Wolf Rhys@twitter The beauty of DW is that it is endlessly self-renewing. That's why it's been around for almost 50 years. But I understand: some people imprint so strongly on the era in which they start watching that they can't roll with a new Doctor/companion team and/or a new show-runner's take on the concept.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

By the way, Pond's bedroom is one of the allusions in Superchunk's Fractures in Plaster, right?

lifesgrandparade (#8,417)

Bah. Wake me when the new season of "Are You Being Served" premieres. So many questions… What became of Mr. Spooner's pop music career? How is age treating Mrs. Slocumbe's pussy?

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@lifesgrandparade We Got Served

Renee Dumas (#7,992)

The only thing I mind about the show is that I keep running into boring stories that fall completely flat for me, and then I go on Wikipedia and always, always find out that they're gratuitous callbacks to embarrassing parts of the old show.

It's just part of watching a show with a legacy, I suppose, but to find out that the creators wedged in another trite zombie plot so that they could wink and nod to a dude wearing ACE bandages and accordion tubing on his head . . . it makes me feel like I'm in the middle of a hotel conference room surrounded by sweaty, ugly, costumed men. Considering how well the show avoids that sensation, it can be jarring.

TimChuma (#9,158)

I like the earlier stories as much like the Goodies/Monkey it was played over and over in Australia in the 80s due to being cheap. Tom Baker is still my favourite doctor and I liked the cheap sets.

TrilbyLane (#1,318)

'Accented', forsooth. Americans claiming that British people have 'accents' is like saying that milk is 'flavoured' when it doesn't taste of chocolate.

hypnosifl (#9,470)

@TrilbyLane Hey man, everyone's got an accent.* Sure, you guys originated the English language but then again we must remember that in Shakespeare's time everyone talked like a pirate, so the current British accent is probably just as far from old-school English as the current American accent (with the possible exception of those from the West Country, who still sound kind of like pirates–for those not familiar with British accents by region, just think of Hagrid).

*except babies

Tully Mills (#6,486)

@hypnosifl During the colonial days, British accents were actually closer to modern American accents.

Yes, it's camp and daft and frequently ludicrous.

But just as frequently it's laugh-out-loud funny and finely-written enough to get some really thinky ideas about narrative, causality and modern physics across without detracting from the fun. More so now that Steven Moffat has taken the reins. Russell T Davies (he of the upcoming new "Torchwood") had a talent for *wildly* uneven finales.

And it's for kids in the same way that The Simpsons is for kids. Exactly like that.

Post a Comment