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.


6 Responses to “Doctor Who”

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The science was always there… Except for all of hartnell’s series, much of Peter davison’s and when we were busy trying to see up jamie’s kilt! -Sarah

There was some science in William Hartnell’s time. I must admit I haven’t seen much of his episodes, but the Doctor Who geeks in the house are making sure I catch up! I’m sure I was much too naive to try to look up Jamie’s kilt.

Another great blog post. I grew up a fan of doctor who and ‘loved’ the show, especially during the 80s.

It has such a following, UK and worldwide that I’m proud Sir Terry Pratchett, spoke up.

I’ve found doctor who lacking for quite some time. Not the fantastic actors, but the writing and the fantasy aspect especially. Fantasy has it’s place in the world of tv and books. Though it’s firmly ruined my recent Doctor Who experiences.

I wish Doctor Who was solid sci-fi, but alas it never could be due to the subject matter and target audiences.

I recently watched the doctor who episode when he visited good old blighty in the second world war. There was so much fantasy and cheese involved that the episode became unbearable. I felt the fantasy aspect allowed the writers too much freedom to generate special effects and bend the plotline this way and that at their whim, without skill and making the storyline weaker.

For me personal I will remember the older episodes with fondness from my childhood and have said goodbye to the doctor.

Know I don’t comment often, but subscribed to your rss feed. Good blog posts.

Now excuse me whilst I use my sonic screw driver to fix anything I darn well please….err I’m not bitter to what they’ve done with the series….really.

I don’t think it possible to have a purely sci fi TV show as that would appeal only to the pure geeks and there just aren’t enough of them/us around. It would be interesting to see something like this though.

I do remember you from your last comment, Andrew. I treasure each comment I get. Great to see I’m on your RSS feed, though. Thank you for the compliments.

Oh NO Suz. You must keep going. Don’t you think Matt Smith makes an excellent doctor? He seems to have that Dark side down quite well. I am really surprised I like him because I was an enormous DT fan and actually cried (may have had PMT though) on the last episode he was in.
I also hope they are going to keep Amy’s fiance in – Rory. He seemed to tap into the Doctor’s conscience so he will make a great addition.

And I agree with you about Karen Gillan making an excellent Doctor. She is just about the best assistant yet.

I really think they’ve got this season, and cast mix, really well. Although I do say that every season đŸ™‚


p.s. What’s your take on River Song? Wife? Sister? Or the mysterious daughter that hasn’t reappeared aagain?

I thought Matt Smith was okay to begin with but now I’m not certain. He seems to have just continued the same personality as David Tennant and that’s not right as he should have his own personality.

Anyway, I’d probably continue working on my computer while the rest of the family watched it so if I wanted to actively stop watching it I’d need to move to the other end of the house. Don’t want to do that.

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