Archive for May 23rd, 2010

Doctor Who

Posted on 23 May 2010. Filed under: Rant and Rave Time | Tags: , , , |

Doctor Who, is it science fiction, fantasy and does it matter?

I was reading a slightly aged article today written by Sir Terry Pratchett about Doctor Who and why he keeps watching. Doctor Who is one of those love-em or hate-em programmes, I haven’t found anyone who is in-between. The original series until they were revived with Christopher Ecclestone had very dodgy sets and incredibly cheap special effects, one of the episodes had monsters covered with bubble wrap that had been sprayed green, you can’t get much cheaper than that. The science was always there and you knew a lot of it was possible, but in the current series the science is very much out there in the realms of the totally impossible, that assumes that it’s actually based on real science and not just made up.

Pratchett talks about the laws of narrative and that if there’s an axe in the room in an obvious place then it will be used at some point. He also talks about deus ex machina and how the Doctor really has become a god from the machine. Now I’m not entirely happy with that as one of the appeals of Doctor Who is that he was always very much human and he generally pointed out he wasn’t human by mentioning his two hearts. Now, his behaviour is very much alien and very bizarre. He doesn’t listen, at all, in Tom Baker’s day you knew he was listening and then pretending it was his idea, but at least he was listening. Now, these companions are just there to be talked at and that irks me, most especially as I still believe Karen Gillan would make a fantastic Doctor Who, she has so much potential just waiting to be tapped and she’s being kept sitting around with her mouth covered so she can be a sounding board.

I did start off with an actual goal in mind with this article, but that was several hours ago and I’ve managed to watch another episode since then. I’m beginning to not want to watch Doctor Who any more. It’s crossed the border and is mostly in the realms of fantasy, the science is rather scarce, the fantasy is rather dubious and the new Doctor just doesn’t excite me. The writing has ventured beyond the border of fandom and has stopped being the Doctor that I knew and loved, it seems to be more about the special effects and less about the story and the characters. I do understand that the Doctor has always been a little different but I think they’ve taken that interpretation way too far.

Next week I’ll be asking myself if I really want to watch this episode. That’s always a challenge as my computer gives me a decent view of the TV so even if I’m not watching it I’ll still be able to watch it…if you see what I mean. I have three other people in the house who will watch it.

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