Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Who's on First? The Doctor (Moderate Spoilers)

     When people find I'm a Doctor Who fan they ask why? I reply no, Who. We then try to avoid a SciFi version of "Who's On First" I first saw The Doctor on WOSU, the local PBS station in the Sixties. Even in my early teens, already a scifi nerd, I wasn't impressed. The writing? Good. The acting? Good. It was the cheesy (even by 60's standards) VFX. It was also so......British. I had barely mastered American English. My absurdest,eclectic tastes were still in flux. Unformed. And it wasn't Star Trek.                                         It was cancelled in 1989. I didn't notice.                                                                                                       Like Star Trek. Doctor Who was revived by the BBC. Under Russell T. Davies. Filmed in Cardiff,Wales. The new Who starred Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper as the Companion. (The Doctor always travels with a companion, usually an attractive young woman) Had no idea who they were.                                                      the Doctor(just the Doctor) is a 900 year old Time Lord. A master of time and space. He travels in a blue police box from the early sixties called a TARDIS. Time And Relative Dimension In Space.It is bigger on the inside. A running joke. A TARDIS is a sentient vehicle that itself exists in all of time and space simultaneously.                                                                                                                                                          With the first episode I was intrigued. A quirky little show that had a robust sense of fun. The Doctor's sense of wonder as he showed Rose(the companion) Time and space. The far future. Chasing ghosts with Charles Dickens. game and reality show Earth. They met a charming scoundrel from the future named Captain Jack Harkness during the Blitz.                                                                                                                                                  The show works on many levels. Adventure for the kids. A nod and wink for the adults. The season was loaded with dry wit, near slapstick, poignancy, tragedy and heartbreak. Thus in the season finale, The Doctor was fatally injured. Here's where we see the best gimmick ever to replace the lead.                           Regeneration,                                                                                                                                                               From the start in 1963, when the lead decided to leave he morphed into a new version of the character.Same Doctor. New package and new personality. Eccleston was the ninth Doctor. His Doctor had a dark edge but was quirky, humorous and sad. .He regenerated into Tenth Doctor . Perennial fangirl favorite, David Tennent.                                                                                                                               The First season hooked me. The show was a mad adventure. Led by a mad man in a blue box. The show is character driven. They grew into people we cared for. A world we enjoy. The shows peculiar British sensibility makes it charming and endearing.                                                                                                             The Tenth Doctor was the first to appear in a Christmas Special. It has become a Christmas tradition. A bridge between seasons it helps with withdrawal.                                                                                                         Tennant's Doctor was a lighter take than Eccleston's. Not as hyper but a little goofy. He was funny, witty charming and capable of darkness. And deep compassion. During his three seasons there were three companions. Rose, then Martha and finally Donna.                                                                                       Rose was trapped in an adjacent universe and the loss devastated the Doctor.                                                                    Martha moved on so as not to compete with Rose's ghost.                                                                           Donna was a pal. All she wanted was to see everything.                                                                               During his tenure Tennant saved the universe more than once. Reset time after it was altered by a renegade Time Lord named the Master. He met the mysterious Professor River Song. A woman from his future who seems to be more than a friend or companion. She knows his name. Her response to The Doctor's queries. "Spoilers, Sweetie."-                                                                                                                                                        During these three seasons the story arcs became more grand and powerful. A battle between Cybermen and the Daleks for the Earth. Time was reset after a renegade Time Lord took control. The Daleks were defeated after trying to destroy reality. T The victories and tragedies took a toll and after season four The Doctor regenerated into the eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith.                                                                             Smith''s Doctor is more eccentric, more joyful and fun loving. As with the others there is a hidden darkness u                     under the Humor.                                                                                                                                                         Season five,six and the Just finished seventh have been a Joy. Amy Pond. The Girl who waited was the next companion. Along with her husband Rory. They adventured across the universe. They rebooted the universe in season five.The Doctor had to repair shattered time after it was torn asunder by River Song in the name of love in six. Seven saw the Ponds move on. And a new companion.                                                                                                       The mystery of River song was unraveled.                                                                                                                       This Doctor was in turns, witty, silly, strong, compassionate and devastated. Season six and seven saw Neil Gaiman pen two episodes.                                                                                                                           The mystery of Clara, the new companion was solved. The impossible Girl.                                                                                      Now it;s a wait for the fiftieth Anniversary special on 11/23/2013. The Return of the Tenth Doctor and Rose.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Since 2005 the show has maintained a high level of quality. It has spawned millions of fans worldwide. This well crafted, character driven vehicle has maintained it's place in the World's heart with a blend of intelligence, wit, charm. an endearing eccentricity and heartbreak.  We triumph with them. We suffer with them. Laughing, crying. Thank you Doctor for these travels with a mad man in a blue box.

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