Aug 22, 2007

doctor who?

Seeing as I grew up in England, I have a huge interest in Doctor Who. Tom Baker was the doctor when I was young and to me he will always be the best Doctor. I suppose my interest in Doctor Who is similar to others interest in Star Trek. It was one of the few 'sci-fi' shows on TV. But really Doctor Who had very little in common with Star Trek. It was less sci-fi and more horror. My most vivid memories of the show were those of hiding behind the couch being utterly terrified. Usually by Daleks. As the Doctors changed over time I grew a little less enamored with the show. And eventually stopped watching entirely.

Not long ago I heard rave reviews of the new doctor. Unwittingly I ordered what I thought was the latest version from Netflix. Turns out I ordered the previous Doctor. BBC Wales reintroduced the show and Wales is to England as Ford is to Mercedes. I say this as a Welshman. It was pretty bad. Not only the doctor uninspiring but the writing was relatively lame and the special effects, while improved greatly, looked just as pathetic as the old Doctor Who was for its time.

I then realized there was a subsequent doctor played by David Tennant. I'm happy to report that this doctor is on par with the Tom Baker episodes. Even better in some regards. Tennant is the first doctor apparently to be voted more popular than Tom Baker. Sacrilege for sure, but a testament nonetheless.

The special effects are still hokey. But the writing is dramatically better. It's much more modern in its themes. Introducing religion, emotions, and dare I say it, sex. Not full frontal of course but the complete lack of sexual tension between the Doctor and his assistants is an obvious oversight of all previous Doctor Whos. It's less scary and less sci-fi than before. But the characters are much more fleshed out. They change over time. They are happy, sad, lonely, depressed. They grow and their relationships change. They also make historical references such as the show that brings back Sarah Jane Smith (Tom Baker's assistant), making references to how hard it was for her to move on with her life after the Doctor left her. It's really a very different show than it has ever been. And to seal the deal, the new doctor is witty, charming, meaner, and funnier than almost any other doctor. And he wears a suit which I find so cool.

If you have any interest it is worth a peak.

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