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lordandrei

Andrei's Universe

One man's journey from infinity to nothingness


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Dalek
lordandrei

March Madne... er questions... #3

Why do you like Doctor Who?

Bless you to the person who wrote this.

I was a kid in the 70's and Early 80's. Let's just start there. Cartoons really had gone to complete sh*t by the time we hit 1984. I knew that Warner Brothers cartoons were 'way old' and that the 70's hey day of Bullwinkle and Rocky and other such shows were being replaced by He-Man. And no matter how much we joke. He-Man really was a crap of a cartoon.

So let's look at science fiction in the 70s and 80s. Star trek was history and all we had was the filmation Star Trek cartoons. A wonderful article posits:
Between groundbreaking classics that were light years ahead of their time ("Star Trek," "The Twilight Zone," "The Prisoner"), envelope-pushers that were canceled far short of their creative peak ("Battlestar Galactica," "V"), and overcooked turkeys that should never have been green-lit in the first place ("Galactica 1980," "Automan," "The Starlost"), Phillips and Garcia give each of the successes and the failures their balanced, fun and informative due.

And I remember all of these very clearly. I should point out... Prisoner came out when I was about 5... Way over my head. Similar with Galactica. It was ships. That's the most I really remembered until I rewatched later. V was historical SF.

So there wasn't a whole hell of a lot.

And one weekend around the age of 10 or 11 I was watching TV. My friends and I liked "Benny Hill" and "Monty Python" because... well, the Brits were cool. Well, the shows weren't on. What they did do was run 2 of 4 episodes of Doctor Who. "The Pyramids of Mars". Fortunately the first 2.

A side note here. You know when you've been into a long running show... you catch episodes in syndication. You ever notice it's like the same 5 stories out of 100 that you always see? For Doctor Who it was "Pyramid of Mars"

So here I was... 11 years old watching this cool guy in a big scarf. Mummies, pyramids, egyptian gods... I hadn't gotten anything like this since The Shazam and Isis Power Hour or even Electra Woman and Dyna Girl. (The latter of which I loved and I will not take any more SHIT about it)

But this... this was magnificent. Even if the interiors were all shot like TV and the exteriors were all shot like a movie. (Yeah, the 11 year old figured this one out) There was story, there was character... It went somewhere... And after 90 minutes on PBS (back when the single episodes were 45 minutes but part of a story).....GAH CLIFFHANGER. Backed into the corner... bad guys attacking cliffhanger!

I was going to be back... Then I started looking up where it would be airing. And then were cons. And helping pledge drives. And mom getting a friend to make me a scarf. And buttons. And collecting the novelizations, and fact books. And all the stuff. It was awesome.

But the one thing that is amazing is having a child. You see, you don't buy stuff for the toddler. You buy stuff to feel your own childhood again. It's why I bought my favourite books for 'him'. "Are you my Mother" "Monster at the end of the Book"... I bought 70's kid shows to share with him.

So then the amazing thing happened. The BBC after 15+ years said.. they were bringing Doctor Who back.

And yeah... I was terrified. This was not just 3 years of my life. This was 12 up to my late 20s. This was well over 10 years of learning a mythos, finding old episodes. I was terrified what they'd do to "MY DOCTOR WHO"

Imagine what would happen if Tim Burton announced that he was doing a Babylon-5 movie without JMS? Um...scary.

All I knew was that the guy that invented "Queer As Folk" was going to be reviving Doctor Who. Not that QAF was a bad show. I've seen a few and it's deep. I saw a few before Doctor Who. So I was terrified.. but admittedly excited.

I was so excited that I grabbed the leaked to the net pilot and burned a DVD with extras and watched it 15 minutes before the show aired in Britain.

And I was THRILLED. The show lived up to the past. It stayed pure to the things I needed to feel. But was deeper. It'd grown up with me. It didn't show the world thru the eyes of a 12 year old.

But the thing that will now always cement the show with me is two fold. One a fact.. one a spoiler.

We watched episodes with our infant. The first season ended before he was born. We watched on DVD. I remember the day we put on an episode and our child got excited to hear the theme. Many friends have seen Aiden to the "Doctor Who" dance. He loves the theme. I honestly think the show is just noise to him. But the theme. Music that is updated but unchanged from my childhood, connects to my son. And this thought alone really makes me begin to sort of get misty. Because it's a kind of bond. It makes me foolishly happy.

The second comes from a short Holiday special that American's are not likely to see until the new season releases on DVD in about 8 months. The show acknowledged in the special and does so in all the extras... that the people working on the show now are there because they loved the show as kids. The current star who plays Doctor Who got into the acting profession because he loved this show and wanted to be the Doctor one day.

It's a show of wonder and dreams. It's a show of magic and science.

It's a show that makes you want to tell your high school friends that your car is your Tardis and the trunk is really bigger on the inside than the outside.

I love the show... I hope this explains why.

It's not just entertainment. It's a fundamental building block of who I am as a person.

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Hmm. So mebbe you'll show me more than the first few episodes then?

You need to meet my brother Jim.. no, really, you do...
get him talking about Dr. Who, you'll know why :-)

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