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Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Few Brief Thoughts on a Series Close to My Heart.

     So, it's been a few weeks, the dust has had time to settle, and I think I've finally managed to gather up a few thoughts. Next week, maybe, a bit of guff about the anniversary shows, but this week maybe a reflection on why the relaunch series is dear to me. I have a very hard time remaining objective about Doctor Who, as it was my first immersion into Science Fiction. I lived overseas at a tender age, and that's what was on, and when I moved back to the states, it was *still* on, on PBS, at my uncle's house in Massachusetts, and on VHS tapes that I'd dig out of old boxes even years later. Even though I'd watch a Star Wars film, or stay up late to watch Star Treks TNG or DS9, it'd always be that block of PBS programming of Doctor Who and Red Dwarf that I'd look forward to the most.

   Now don't get me wrong, the classic series will always be important to me, and Sylvester McCoy will always be *my* Doctor, but the new series has resonated with me in a very personal way, and that's what I'd like to think about today. 


Image courtesy of BBC America

     The majority of fandom these days tends to overlook that rough first year of the relaunch. I don't want to think that it's because David Tennant was the first pretty Doctor of the new series, but let's face it, Tennant was the first pretty Doctor of the new series. Eccleston's wounded golem of a man appealed to me, though, as I was in the middle of a war that was near invisible to the people around me at the time, to, but took no less a toll on anyone that happened to be near enough to it. I identified with this broken, beat-up, shell of a man. Then he left.

     Tennant came in at a weird time for me, as I was still in the heart of my own personal war, but now my Doctor (my new one, at least) had left me, and been replaced by this cheerful twat (apologies, Erin, I know he's your fave) with sticky-uppy hair and pointy chin and big goofy grin. It wasn't until I'd gotten out of my bad, dark, painful place and gotten some distance that I could see that man was still hurting, he was just trying to forget it at the same time. Trying to move past what he'd been through and smile again, even if the hurt would forever be in his eyes.

     Then, just as Tennant was growing on me, his Doctor hit a wall. And I hit a wall. I spent a while pretending I was OK around the same time that Ten was out and Eleven was in. I look at Matt Smith's alien, unfamiliar face, and those ancient eyes buried in the misshapen skull of a younger man, and I see someone that's very old, very tired, but won't let the world know just how old and tired. You look around the walls of my apartment and you'll see Lego kits, action figures, posters, and electronic gadgets. Given how isolated I am from the world right now, I really do feel like I'm living in a cloud bank over olde London Towne, and I need a good mystery, but am unwilling to go look for one.

     Yeah, I definitely feel like maybe I can put some thoughts down about the anniversary shows, now that I've put some of the newer stuff in context with my own life. Be warned though, I kinda like Matt Smith better than David Tennant, I don't hate Moffat, and I'm really rather fond of River Song. More so than Captain Jack. But not by too much.

2 comments:

  1. My introduction was through PBS as well. It was that same block actually. I would do extra chores throughout the week to earn some time with the Nintendo, then secretly watch it on my 13" black and white TV which would only pick up PBS. On a related note, I think in 2014 I will make an honest attempt at bringing the word Smeghead back.

    A lot of your thoughts with the recent series reflects my own. I love all of the recent Doctors. My love for the older Doctors has been reinforced with the audio dramas produced by Big Finish. Eight in particular has been spectacular in the audio dramas. It was a chance to get to know him beyond the confines of the movie. I was one of those that squeed at him mentioning audio companions in the special because while Big Finish has to run every story through the television team, the audio dramas are not canon. I digress. My point is though that I love them different as they are. I even love Captain Jack, but did not care for him in Doctor Who. Torchwood let him shine.



    I look forward to future blog posts and your views going deeper into the subject of the Doctor.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tom Baker is the only Dr. ;)

    ReplyDelete

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