Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Doctor Who? Oh yes, I know him.

I have seen the blue phone box, and it is good. Yes, “Doctor Who” has won me over. After years of people nudging me to give the show a chance and me, well, not, I finally gave it a try following David Tennant’s Nerd Man win last month. Lo and behold, the Converse-wearing Time Lord has reeled me in, and I feel ready to stamp the word “fan” on my delicate, dorky forehead.

I had shied away from Doctor Who for so long because A) the show’s been on for approximately 117 years and I felt like it was too much to catch up on; B) I had the 1970s-era “Doctor Who” with its gaudy, brightly lit sets and football-scarf wearing Doctor etched in my mind and thought it looked cheesy and C) I wasn’t sure if I could welcome another show into my already crowded, TV-addled brain. I’m happy to report I have leaped over all those hurdles. The reason? Well, let me just warn you. It’s a shallow one:

David Tennant is pretty adorable.

I know. I’m not only stating the obvious, I’m drawing pictures of it and calling it Susie. (I’ve no idea what that means.) Everybody and their mother seems to know about this Tennant thing, and I’m very likely the last one to jump on a very huge bandwagon. I feel I should get credit though for realizing the error of my ways and publicly acknowledging my pop culture crime. Even if I’m tardy,* I still made it to the party. (A rhyme!)

Beyond the aesthetics, I’ve enjoyed the vibe of the show. I know nothing of the backstory, but the show is written well enough for me to dip my toes in without feeling overwhelmed. All I really need to know is that the hot Scottish dude in the long coat travels through time bringing chickies with him and solving problems. Easy enough. I like, too, that the show has a very good dose of humor. Tennant does a nice job of being arrogant, wry and whiny all at the same time without ever losing his charm. And I like that there’s still just the right whiff of subtle cheesiness about the whole thing, what with the slightly rubbery aliens. And although I don’t know the characters well enough to be too invested yet, I get the sense that there’s a strong emotional depth at play. It’s a complete package and it reminds me in a way of “The Avengers,” a show that could be goofy, ridiculous, action-packed and enormously touching in unexpected and welcomed ways.

Now that The Sci-Fi Channel has paired “Battlestar Galactica” and “Doctor Who” together on Friday nights,** I’m in it for the long haul and am looking forward to getting to know the good doctor even more. Even if I am 116 years behind schedule....

* Speaking of “tardy,” the word “Tardis” still makes me think of tartar sauce. Will that ever go away?

** Yes, I stay in and watch sci-fi on Friday nights. I would say it’s a result of getting older but let’s face it, I stayed in and watched sci-fi when I was in college and supposed to be cool, too. Did I mention I’m a big nerd?

13 comments:

Steph said...

If you're in on Friday nights with Sci-Fi (Like, um, me) then you should check out The Sarah Jane Adventures as well. It's a kids show, but still fun, and a Dr. Who spin-off. The best part is that the main character, Sarah Jane, is a middle aged woman, and her sidekick is a teenage girl. Rock on, women in sci-fi! :)

eightk said...

Yay! I'm a relatively new Who fan and I have fallen head over heels for the awesome that is the Doctor.

I recommend starting with the beginning of the new series, Christopher Eccleston era, as it gives you the perfect amount of back story without making you feel as though you have 117 years of episodes to catch up on.

Kathe said...

Welcome to the club!! I was a late comer to the good Doctor as well (didn't get to love it until the third season). I too had watched the 70's series and didn't think anything could be as fun as that. After catching up on this new incarnation (I went back and found...er..."free" episodes of season 1 and 2 online) I must admit I really liked Christopher Eccelston to. But David Tennant just HAS IT. Anyway, glad there could be another convert out there! If you get the chance, it's worth renting the first 3 seasons, there is a lot of backstory that's going to come out this season. Enjoy! :)

tgrfan23 said...

Hooray! Welcome to the cult.

Once season 4 is done, I highly recommend requesting seasons 1-3 on DVD from your DVD purveyor of choice. Since the show is going on a bit of a hiatus next year, you're probably gonna need something to fill in the gap. :)

hoolia goolia said...

I'm a fan of both Eccleston and Tennant. They have slightly different flavors of manic cheesiness, and both are quite entertaining Doctors.

And...*cough* you are not the only one staying in on Friday night and curling up on the couch with your spouse for an evening of sci-fi :)

Black Eyed Gurl said...

If it makes you feel better, not only do I stay in on Friday nights to watch Sci-Fi. When it is on, I will waste a Saturday night watching Torchwood (or as a friend has so lovingly coined it "Touch-wood" (if you saw it, you'd get it, as it is dirty, did I mention Spike makes out with the hottie male lead? SPIKE MAKING OUT WITH A MAN, for real!)) on the BBC America. Granted when I lived near civilization we would watch Sci-Fi Friday night programming and then all convene at the bar and talk about Battlestar or whatever else we wanted to watch. We were cool geeks who went out in public and binge drank over Caprican politics!

I miss Christopher Eccleston, as he will always be the Doctor I love the most. I just can't get into Tennant. Then again my brain is currently on overflow with TV shows, and I am saddened to think I might have to refile some favorite episodes of Roseanne to get the new season of Californication in there...

Amanda said...

You have to watch the first season or a bunch of references totally won't make sense.

Take Torchwood for a test drive too. (The sexy grown up Doctor Who spin off.)

Camera Obscura said...

BBC-America runs the last three seasons of Who, and they just started up again. You can even catch the shows on demand at their website. So while you can't catch up on all 117 years (it's only 45, honest, and that's not counting the time it was on hiatus from the airwaves) you'll at least have Nu-Who under your belt.

Sam Wise said...

Definitely go back to the beginning (of the 2005 revamp, that is) to really get in touch with the deeper emotions involved with the show. I would also suggest watching them on DVD, as the ones on Sci-fi and BBC-A have been slightly messed with; sound is weird, bits have been cut, etc.

~Sam Wise
Founder, Sacramento Whovians

Anonymous said...

You don't need to watch the old series to appreciate the new (you might miss out on a couple of jokes/ references, but the new series is structured deliberately keeping in mind that some viewers may never have watched the old show). Any time a creature or character from the old series pops up, who/ what they are is explained in all the detail you need to know, and if you really want to know more, Wikipedia is happy to help you! : )

But definitely check out seasons 1-3 of the new series. Seasons 1 and 2 seriously rock (be sure to have tissues handy at all times; some of the episodes are heartbreakers, in the best way possible). Season 3 is a bit weaker, IMO, but still fun. Season 4 may well be the best yet (don't want to say that too loudly; knock wood!). And then you can check out the two spin-off series, Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood.

David Tennant is beyond awesome. Check out some of his interviews that are posted at You Tube--IRL he's so funny he'll charm your socks right off.

Liz said...

Anonymous, I'll definitely check out the interviews on You Tube. One of the reasons I decided to really give the show a chance was because I saw Tennant on Top Gear and thought he was wonderfully charming. And looks pretty hilarious in a helmet as well. :)

Camera Obscura said...

Ohhhhh, you're wanting to watch Dav in action as himself... Then you need to check out his latest appearance on The Friday Night Project. His reaction to fan-fic alone is worth the effort. First part here, with links to the rest.

Helen said...

Lets not forget Torchwood with the Yummy John Barrowman.

Can't get enough of Jack and Ianto!