Tag: doctor who

Doctor Who and the Little Man

I mentioned how the Little Man was sick yesterday afternoon. After his nap, still not feeling one hundred percent, he climbed into bed with me as I sat down to watch an episode of Doctor Who. Now, for those who don’t know, I’ve only seen a handful of episodes of Doctor Who. The first one I ever saw was not long after a TARDIS appeared across from my house. It seems that there were quite a few people out there who found it unbelievable that a science fiction writer had never seen Doctor Who. I tried to explain that I was not a fan of most television and movie science fiction. I’d grown up reading science fiction and that is what I enjoy. That said, people convinced me to watch one episode of Doctor Who and the episode they selected for me was “Blink,” which I enjoyed.

Since the, I acquired the first two seasons of the new Doctor Who with the thought of eventually watching them. I generally don’t have much time for television, and when I do, I’m usually looking for some form of relaxing, enjoyable entertainment. Last night, I was in one of those moods where that was just what the doctor ordered, so to speak.

So I put on “Aliens of London” from Season 1 of Doctor Who. (I’d already seen the first three episodes) and explained to the Little Man that this was a show with spaceships and aliens. For the first few minutes, the Little Man (who is nearly 3-1/2, by the way) kept asking where the spaceships were. Of course, we saw one crash into the Thames soon enough.

“Is that the Enterprise, Daddy?” the Little Man asked.

“No,” I said, severely. “Listen, it’s fine to make that kind of mistake in here when it is just you and me. But you have to be careful in the outside world. You could make some people very unhappy by misidentifying which franchise it is you are watching.”

The Little Man just blinked at me.

Of course, he kept asking for spaceships. I tried to explain to him that the TARDIS was a spaceship, of sorts. He was having none of that. With more than three years of experience in this world, the Little Man knew a spaceship when he saw one and the TARDIS was most definitely not a spaceship.

Perhaps the funniest moment came when the Doctor had cornered the (presumed dead) alien at number 10 Downing Street. They had the alien trapped and the creature tried to make his escape. It was a tense scene and the creature was about to reveal itself. Now, if you’ve seen the episode, you know exactly what’s coming. But I hadn’t seen the episode and neither had the Little Man. So when the alien was finally revealed, I sat there momentarily confused. Not so the Little Man. He burst out laughing at the top of his lungs, “Daddy, it’s a pig!”

I guess you can say that the Little Man’s first experience with Doctor Who was a good one. It cheered him up when he was sick and it made him laugh and feel better. And isn’t that what doctors are for?

Doctor Who’s “Rose”

Last night (while in the grips of a battle with nausea) I finally got around to watching the first episode of the “new” Doctor Who series. The episode is called “Rose” and it is the episode that kicks things off for the rest of the series. It is only the second Doctor Who episode I’ve ever seen1

“Rose” was a pretty entertaining episode and I enjoyed watching it, but I did not think it was nearly as good as “Blink.” There was one thing about the series that struck me right away, and perhaps long time fans of the series can confirm by perspicacity on this (or tell me that I’m imagining things). Doctor Who is a “dramedy,” a kind of combination of a drama and a comedy. Not only that, the humor in Doctor Who is distinctly Wodehousian.  So many funny things are said with a completely straight face that I could not help but think that if P. G. Wodehouse wrote science fiction, this is what it would be like. This is to the show’s (and the show’s writers’) credit. I think this is a very difficult humor to pull off, but Doctor Who did it successfully in “Rose” and for me, that’s what made it a worthwhile episode to watch. I do not think this type of humor would have succeeded or worked if the show were done in America.

One thing I will say is that unlike some series, I did not feel compelled to immediately watch the next episode. But I think this works in the shows favor, too. As I’ve said before, I prefer “series” over “serials” and the first episode of Doctor Who felt like a series show to me. (I understand that there are multi-episode arcs, but I’m just talking about “Rose” for now.) In any case, I enjoyed the episode and will watch another one when a free time slot comes available in my schedule.

One last thing. I mentioned in the previous post that I was feeling pretty horrible last night and among the horrible things I was feeling was fever dreams. I don’t remember them clearly, but what I do recall of them were all Doctor Who-related.

  1. The first was “Blink” which I watched back in December after many people recommended it as a good introduction to the series.

My first ever Doctor Who episode: “Blink!”

The back-story, for those who missed it:

A few weeks ago, I noticed a TARDIS parked across the street from my house and managed to capture a picture of it before it vanished. This got signal-boosted and I was bombarded by an incredulous Internet who couldn’t believe a science fiction writer had never seen a Doctor Who episode before. I tried to explain, mildly, that while I am indeed a science fiction writer, I grew up reading science fiction books and stories and never really got into the movies and TV shows. I’ve seen some, of course. I’ve even enjoyed some. But when I’m not writing, I’d rather spend my time reading science fiction than watching it. Still, the Internet is persistent and so I agreed to watch an episode of Doctor Who if the wise fans of the show could agree on a recommendation.

What was recommended was a show from Season 3 called “Blink” which I purchased from the iTunes store that very day, but which I didn’t have a chance to watch until yesterday. Well, dear Internet and Doctor Who fans, I’ve now watched the episode you recommended and I have a few comments to make on the experience, if you’ll indulge me.

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