Monday, January 28, 2013

In which I discuss Doctor Who.

Disclaimer: I'm currently near the end of series four. I'm trying my best to avoid real spoilers for anything past that, so please keep that in mind if you comment. :) Also, I haven't seen any of the classic episodes yet, though I want to eventually see a few from all of the previous doctors.

This is the story of how I met the Doctor. :)

Over the last couple of years, I had occasionally seen references to Doctor Who online. Finally I decided to check it out on Netflix, which was a completely overwhelming experience. Basically all I got was that it was a British television show about space and time travel...and there was this neat-looking blue box. Mostly I was confused because there were new shows and old ones from the 60s and specials that you have to watch in between certain seasons and it was all just a bit crazy. {We have the DVDs, not streaming, so I don't know if the streaming is better organized on Netflix.}

So over the next few months I had the idea in the back of my mind that I should check out at least a couple of episodes. I kept coming across more people writing about Doctor Who, and even a DW blog party, so finally I gave in. I remember I googled something like "where to start watching Doctor Who," and after doing a bit of research, decided to just begin with the new revamp that started back in 2005.

And I am hooked. Completely hooked.

I have never been a sci-fi, spaceish person. I think that the stars are beautiful, I've played the Star Wars Lego computer game with my younger cousin, and I really enjoyed Beth Revis' Across the Universe trilogy. But that's it. I've never seen anything like Star Wars or Star Trek, and I've never had any desire to.

But now I watch Doctor Who. The Doctor travels through time and space in a blue box. He saves our world and the universe again and again from aliens. There are always aliens. Every problem in the course of history was apparently caused by aliens. It's science fiction in a huge way, and I love it. And I did not expect to. :)

The show in general is all over the place. It can be quirky and hilarious and fun and campy. There can be villains that are laughable because they're so weird and cheesy. But then, in another episode or even just moments later, things can get really serious. Everything and everyone can be in danger. There are moments that are so sad or profound that I'm grabbing tissues, or villains that are so creepy that I think it was probably a bad idea to watch Doctor Who after dark. To me, it's always an amazing thing when a show or book or movie can do all of this, and do it well. It's not jarring when things shift. It's just sort of seamless.

I'm not going to lie...most of my favorite episodes so far have been the ones that take place in the past, not the future. Because if I had access to a time machine, I would obviously want to go back in time. So far the Doctor and his companions have met Queen Victoria (I didn't even mind the werewolf aspect) and Shakespeare and Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie (1920s England and a murder mystery at the house where Agatha Christie was staying?? *swoon* The awesomeness of this episode was only marred by...the giant wasp. Seriously? That's the best they could do?). They've visited Pompeii and WWII era England. I love that kind of stuff.

But I think my absolute favorite episode so far was Blink. I had heard a lot about it and was afraid it wouldn't live up to the hype. But it did. The weeping angels were creepier that I would have ever thought possible. :) The whole episode was incredible. {I even convinced my parents to watch it, though I don't think they'll be becoming DW fans anytime soon.}

Another thing I love about Doctor Who is that since it's by the BBC, all sorts of familiar faces show up as supporting cast. I was keeping a mental list at one point: Barty Crouch and Barty Crouch, Jr. from Harry Potter, Kitty Bennet of P&P/Ada from Bleak House, Tattycoram from Little Dorrit, Fanny from Mansfield Park, Mrs. Crawley from Downton Abbey, John Chivery from Little Dorrit (poor guy always seems to spend most of his onscreen time crying), etc. I'm always curious which period drama actor or actress is going to turn up next. :)

Okay, now I have to talk about the actual doctors. You should know that changing actors in a show or movie series is one of my pet peeves. {Love Comes Softly series, I'm looking at you. Sometimes you needlessly killed off characters to bring in new faces, which was bad enough, but sometimes you didn't even bother doing that.} But if you have to, DW has found a pretty clever way to get around it. Because the Doctor doesn't die...he regenerates. How convenient! :)

I thought the Ninth Doctor was awesome. He was funny and kind of tough, and I couldn't imagine anyone other than him and Rose. When I was almost finished with the first series, I had a real prejudice against David Tennant, who I knew was about to become the new doctor. But wait- before you leave me threatening comments for saying anything against the Tenth Doctor, let me explain.

First of all, he wasn't the Ninth Doctor. I don't like change, people. :) Second of all, he's Barty Crouch, Jr. in the fourth Harry Potter film...a bad guy who I had this permanent image of in my mind. Thirdly, he spent most of his first full episode weak and sleeping. I was stressed out because this is the Doctor! He's supposed to be helping people, saving the world, etc. And he was completely worthless at that time.

But I was wrong. Because when he finally woke up, he had a sword fight with the bad guy while still wearing pajamas.

And now I'm all: how was anyone other than David Tennant ever the Doctor? Because he's the best. I totally have a crush on him and I don't even have to explain it...if you're a girl and you've watched Doctor Who, you know why. :)

He's a bit wacky and enthusiastic. He's handsome and smart and funny. He always wears a suit, which reminds me of how men dressed in classic films. He once spoke using lyrics from a song from The Lion King. He said that he cried while reading the last Harry Potter book. :) He can say things like, "I'm the Doctor, I'm very clever," and you don't think he's arrogant. He's not bragging, he's just stating a fact.

And now that I know that the end of the Tenth Doctor is approaching, I'm already feeling devastated. I'm dreading those last few episodes and specials because that means the end of David Tennant as the doctor. But I'm excited, too, about a new doctor and new companions.

Speaking of companions, Rose was my favorite for a while, but now I actually really like Donna Noble, too. I didn't like her in the one earlier episode she was in, because she was sort of brash. But in season four, she's really grown on me. I like that she actually sought the Doctor out after that first time, and I like that she's not as super-skinny and conventionally pretty as Rose or Martha. :)

P.S. Have you ever browsed Etsy for Doctor Who stuff? Absolutely amazing. The nerdy level of some fans blows me away. Also, I need these salt and pepper shakers. And this TARDIS night light. It "discourages nocturnal Dalek attacks." Oh. My. Goodness.

So...please be all Doctor Who fangirly with me in the comments! Who's your favorite Doctor? Who's your favorite companion? What episodes do you love and which ones are you not so crazy about? Which bad guy do you think is the creepiest?

Until next time,


  1. I've never really enjoyed Sci-fi either, but I do love this show! I, too, only discovered it this year, after I kept hearing and seeing all these references to DW.

    My favorite doctor is...Aa! I can't decide! It's both 9 and 10...whichever I've seen last. They are both so awesome and doctor-ey. I love Donna too, but Rose...Rose is my favorite companion. She's sweet and adorable and fun. She and the doctor are so perfect together, and you can see the love they have for each other (LOVE IT!). My favorite episodes are "Father's Day," "The Doctor Dances," "The Parting of Ways," "The Christmas Invasion," "Idiot's Lantern," "Doomsday" (well, maybe not a favorite...but SO SAD and touching, I just can't help but watch it), and "The Run-away Bride." I've only just delved into series 3, but I'm sure I'll have more favorite episodes soon.

  2. I absolutely love Doctor Who! My sister got me hooked on Christmas and I am currently smack in the middle of season 3! I had the same thought of not being able to imagine anyone but 9 and Rose but then 10 came along and I fell in love! He is just so crazy it is pure awesome. I have only gotten to Martha as a companion but I'm pretty sure Rose will always be my favorite! I was surprised by the fact that I actually did like Martha since I was sure I'd hate her for not being Rose. And I'm not sure how I'll feel about Donna but I'm sure she'll grow on me! My sister has seen all of the episodes so whenever I watch one I text her quotes from it and we are constantly referencing the show when we talk! I love getting all fan-girly!

  3. I totally agree with you on Donna Noble, and the Angels are by far the most frightening creatures, next to The Silence (which you'll see soon enough in the next two series.) Um, I hate change too! That said, I love every Doctor, for their own merits, but after Tennant left I thought I'd die...and then Matt Smith came along and rocked my world! ;) I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on series 5, 6 and 7 after you've poured through watching them! They are my favorite series by far! Now I need to go watch some Classic DW! =)

    1. Echo @Sarah. The best is yet to come, Kristen. Just you wait. :)

      "Bow ties are cool."

  4. Yay, Kristen! You did it! :grin: I was looking forward to this post ever since the DW blog party;D

    I'm totally with you on not being a si-fi sort of person in the least - however, my best friend influences what I watch in a rather big way (which I love, because she has awesome taste... and watches *a lot* of movies;) and she said I had to see Star Wars. I saw all six episodes last two summers ago for the first time, and definitely consider myself a Star Wars geek. They're awesome in the same way that DW is - that intricate blend of old world and futuristic, with some fabulous British accents thrown in. For starters. :grin:

    Nine & Ten. Absolutely. You said it best. I haven't seen anything past S4 yet, so I don't know about Matt Smith, but I totally have the prejudices going on that you mentioned for Ten's appearance! I watched the first four seasons in a matter of about two weeks last fall while I was home alone, and haven't had the time in my life to obsess properly over DW to dive in to the next seasons, anyway:)

    Of Rose, Martha, and Donna, I'm torn. Rose is the comforter - the compassionate and loving giver, not overly technical, but fully able to get the job done - and I see a lot of myself in her character. Which may be, in a way, why she (whispers), just the tiniest bit, gets on my nerves at times. I know it sounds like heresy, but there it is. ;D And we love her unconditionally because The Doctor does.
    Martha is chock-full of brains, good sense, and is the perfect right hand man... in other words, she obeys orders. I love that in her. However, she's like the middle child in a way, and I feel so sorry for her, coming on the heels of Rose like she did. We would all be in her plight, in her place - and we all secretly wish he would fall in love with us, too. So we sympathize with Martha for our own sakes.
    And Donna. Donna's AWESOME! I love that she and The Doctor get to be 'good mates', nothing more. It's like a brother-sister relationship, and I adore how they bounce off each other. Donna matured so much during her journeys - in the beginning, she was brash - and rude, and ginger. But she became a compassionate, wise, amazing woman by the and, and her fate affected me more than all the others. That was diabolical on the part of the writers!!
    All that to say I love them all for their own unique characters. And I'd better sign off now before I find I've been typing all day long;D


    P.S. Personally, the Vashta Nerada got me the worst... Ahhh! Dust particles and the dark... and libraries. That is so mean.
    P.S.S. Haha!! Your mental image of David Tennant pre-Doctor made me laugh so much! David's such an amazing actor. ;)

  5. Even though they were only in one episode, I really liked Sarah Jane Smith and K-9. I'd like to go back and watch the old 1970s episodes they were in.

  6. YAY! Another Doctor Who fan! I am SO in love with David Tennant as Ten. It was gut-wrenching when his run came to an end...but you're in for a treat with Eleven. He took a bit to grow on me, but Matt Smith has really made the role his own and some of his episodes -- oh they are just STELLAR.

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Kristin! I popped on over here to your blog and was THRILLED to see those two words that strike the thrills through me - Doctor Who! Girl, we love Lark Rise and we love Doctor Who - lets be friends! :D You're introduction to Doctor Who is basically the same as mind - I got tired of EVERYONE online talking talking about it and me being the ONLY one with now clue. :)

    I was just like you about Christopher Eccleston - he was my doctor and I was seriously prejudiced against David Tennet for awhile. I thought the chemistry between Rose and Nine was alot better. But I got used to Ten(nent), and he's the man! I was nearly in a state of mourning when Rose left, but frankly, looking back, Martha is I think my favorite companion now. Although Amy Pod (who you're about to meet!) is a close second.

    Okay and I just have to say...I've seen Harry Potter but it was awhile ago and it was before my Doctor Who days...AND I DID NOT KNOW THAT BARTY CROUCH JR WAS DAVID TENNANT!!! It honestly took your picture for me to even believe it!! But yup. That's David Tennant in all his glory.

    I don't know what are my favorite episodes...the one that scared me the most though, was the one with the werewolf. Okay, that creepy guy with the black eyes TOTALLY was freakin' me out! And my LEAST favorite episode was that TOTALLY RANDOM episode where the Doctor was like not even in it - the one that was that guy's video diary and he was in love with "Moaning Mirtle." Wierd.

    Matt Smith will tame some getting used to and I was even MORE determined to dislike Matt Smith than I was David Tennant but now I'm fully acclimated and I do rather fancy him and his bow ties. But I don't want to give anything away, so I'll stop there. :)

    Boo-yah, sister! Doctor Who forever. ;) Have you seen Merlin? I LOVE Doctor Who...but I confess I like Merlin even more. If that's possible. ;)

  8. I just HAD to come back and comment again after reading your "about me" page. Because my middle name is "Anne without and e" and I've also never been able to quite forgive my parents for that grievance! I always want to cringe and hide when Anne makes that comment about Ann without an e looking "absolutely dreadful." BUT I love the name Ann, so I'm at least glad I got it, even without the "e." ;)

  9. Like you, I've been seeing Dr. Who referenced everywhere by people whose nerdly/geeky instincts I trust, so my hubby and I decided to see what it's all about. We watched the very first firstly firstest episode from the 1960s, And then the second one. And we haven't had time to watch more, but we intend to, and we keep quoting parts of the second episode because they make us laugh... so I guess we're on our way to fandom too!

    But anyway, David Tennant is awesome! I LOVE him as Hamlet -- do try to find it, if you haven't already, as he's marvelous. And Patrick Stewart is Claudius in it, and possibly the best Claudius I've ever seen. And, as my might have guessed, I've seen a fair number of versions of Hamlet.


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