Monday, November 18, 2013

Doctor Who and Me

It's true, I'm a Whooey! Most Doctor Who fans call themselves Whovites or Whoites - I prefer Whooey. Every Doctor Who fan has "their" Doctor, usually but not always it's the first Doctor they saw when they started watching the show, and it is so with me. See the weirdly sexy guy up there by the blue box? That's Christopher Eccleston, Doctor #9, the first of the "modern era" of Doctors, and *my* Doctor. While I acknowledge David Tennant (Doctor #10) is a better all-around Doctor, Eccleston will always be the one for me.

Do you know the story of Doctor Who? Very briefly - Doctor Who is an alien, he's from a planet called Gallifrey. The planet's indigenous inhabitants are called Time Lords, and I guess Time Ladies? In any case they can travel through time and space without limits and they live for a very very long time. Doctor Who, due to very complicated circumstances does nothing but travel across space and time and  pretty much somehow saves the world or the universe every week.

The show debuted in London on BBC on November 23, 1963, the day after President Kennedy was assassinated. An inauspicious beginning indeed. Yet - here it is and here we are on the verge of celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Appropriately I think, I got into Doctor Who through the marvels of cyberspace and virtual reality. "Mat", one of my best friends in Second Life (we'll get into that another day) is a HUGE Doctor Who fan, and he was forever talking about it and showing me Doctor Who stuff, he even has a TARDIS and can regenerate in SL. I asked him about it one day and that opened the floodgates and, I guess changed my life, in at least a small way.

It started with him giving me a brief explanation and some You Tube clips to watch. That in turn, god bless him, triggered 73,914 questions which Mat calmly-ish answered (he gets a little riled on the "Why can't the Doctor be a woman?" question). So I gingerly tread into the Whoverse via streaming Netflix. I asked Mat with what episode I should begin, and he recommended one from the "classic" Doctor Who period - those are the ones that ran from 1963 to the mid 80s. I think the one I saw was from the 70s or early 80s. That was a mistake. I simply couldn't get past the cheesy dialogue and the horrendous "special effects". This was years after the original Star Trek and the effects were so inferior I just couldn't get into the story.

After that failure Mat told me to just start watching the modern era - the ones that started in 2005 with Eccleston as the Doctor. I was hooked with the first episode and I've been falling down the time hole ever since. Now, I'm atwitter with anticipation for this weekend's 50th anniversary episode "The Day of the Doctor". Who would'a thunk it?

Later, in December, in "the Christmas episode" the current Doctor, played by Matt Smith (not my favorite but he's grown on me a bit) will leave the show, therefore regenerating into the next Doctor to be played by Peter Capaldi. With Capaldi, they'll be returning to an older Doctor, which should he interesting given that his companion is played by a very young Jenna Louise Coleman.

We'll see where the new Doctor takes us - but before that we have a grand adventure coming up this weekend!

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