I ain’t your brother, I’m heavy. With all due apologies to Bobby Scott for turning his lyrics around, yeah, I’ve been super heavy with this blog and I did promise I wouldn’t always be. I have been known to get riled up pretty easily, so I cannot, in good conscience promise that will change terribly much over the coming months and years, but for today it will. Today will be about fun, it will be about adventure, it will be about high-geek art (is that a term? Can I trademark that?) Today will be about Dr. Who!
I first watched the good Doctor over thirty years ago. My dad (probably much to my mother’s chagrin) would let me stay up late on Saturday nights to watch Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen as they traveled both time and space. Later K-9 would come along, Ms. Sladen would leave (“goodbye, my Sarah Jane!”) and Mr. Baker would “die” and be regenerated into Peter Davison. I would discover Dungeons and Dragons and my libido and forgot about Time Lords and the TARDIS for a while.
The next decade or so my Saturdays consisted of either gaming, clubbing or working. I discovered alcohol and marijuana, started school late, rediscovered sobriety (I understand it’s not for everyone) and walked through life finding a dozen or more entertainments.
Then just a handful of years ago, I was up late after getting home from work. I turned to PBS to watch the Red/Green Show (Canadians have such a wonderfully quirky sense of humor) and afterward, something amazing happened, I saw that vortex and heard that theme music. I was a kid again! I watched this new Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston, tackle gas aliens in Victorian Cardiff (alongside Charles Dickens no less!)
I did not get a chance to watch it very much after that. It would be a few more years before I would have access to Netflix and be able to watch the entirety of the first five new series (that’s seasons to us Yanks.) I fell in love (Jack Harkness, Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, take your pic) and fell into a new habit. Russell Davies and Stephen Moffat would spin wonderful tales. Some of them heady, some of them light, some made me cry and some made me angry as they held up a mirror to our world.
I will always have fond memories of that old Who series. That small child hiding in the back of my mind and the bottom of my heart will always see that wonderful, tall Liverpudlian with the curly hair as the only Doctor. That said, I love this new series so much more. It tackles so many philosophical problems and entertains wonderfully at the same time. It’s kind of a “what if the Waschowski’s had a low budget and people who would edit their writing.” Eccleston remains my favorite of the new Whos. I loved the look and attitude, and he was the first. David Tennant is just pretty and in a way his Doctor was lighter and darker at the same time. Finally we have Matt Smith. I don’t know how to judge the 11th Doctor on his own, because the story lines are just so awesome. Where else are you going to see Vincent Van Gogh help a time traveler fight a ten foot tall vicious parrot-monster?
Everyone’s taste is different. My Whovian inclinations may hold no sway over others. Still, if you don’t give your chance to try it, you are missing out, if nothing else for a fun new experience.