Tuesday, October 30, 2012

There's a Doctor in the house

So I'm used to being late to the party, but not fifty freaking years late. The first series of Doctor Who ran on the BBC from 1963 to 1989, and I watched my first episode (the first of the "new" series 5), um, last night, at the urging of frequent guest blogger Jonathan Alexandratos. And now there's no going back. "The Eleventh Hour" reminded me of a funnier, more charming, and less self-important variation on my all-time favorite premiere episode, the pilot of Lost. It managed to establish what matters on the show (aliens, adventure, the interplay between Amy and the Doctor) while still telling a compelling story (I love that Amy and the Doctor's relationship is founded on a fundamental disappointment--he keeps failing to show up when and where he says he will).

So now I've become acquainted with things like TARDIS and sonic screwdrivers, but I'll be honest--there's a lot I don't yet get about the Doctor Who universe. So I understand that "Doctor" is more a title or position than a character, and different beings inhabit that role. But do they have the memories of previous Doctors? Or are they entirely new beings? Smith's character spent a good twenty minutes learning how to walk, learning what food tasted like, etc. Had his consciousness been disembodied somewhere previous to his incarnation? Will there be a meta-storyline? An overarching villain or mission that structures the Doctor's hops through time? Or is it still loyal to the serial structure of the earliest episodes? And what the hell is a dalek?

There's only one way to find out. Like I told Jonathan, it's very dangerous to introduce someone with an obsessive personality and a lot of time on her hands to a pop culture phenomenon with a rabid fan base and a complicated and convoluted mythology. Though I'd prefer to watch each episode in order (see above: obsessive personality), I think that might be a fool's quest, especially since I want to start RIGHTNOW, so I'm going to make like a Time Lord and hop around in the series's chronology, from Hartnell to Eccleston and back again, and master this world, Doctor by Doctor.

1 comment:

  1. It'll be interesting to hear what you think by skipping around and not watching in order. I'm too OCD to do something like that. If you had started with Eccleston and Tennant then you'd have the answers to the questions about previous Doctors. Sorry, I'm still in shock that you skipped over 9 and 10.