Sunday, March 25, 2012

March 25th: A Doctor Who Appreciation Post

I stayed up all night watching Doctor Who. Literally all night. I'm rewatching all the episodes in order (the episodes since the reboot that is, not since the 1960's) and last night I finished the first season (or as the British say, series). Among a lot of Whovians the first series is the least popular because the Doctor during that season is pretty abrasive and kind of an asshole at times, and especially at the start of the series, the episodes aren't really that great. If you started watching the show for the first time with the first episode, you'd probably not want to tune in next week. But halfway through the season it's like there's this change and everything clicks and suddenly the characters are better and the plots are cleverer and it's not just a rude alien and his chav companion running around for no reason. I have not seen every single episode of the ones made since the reboot in 2005, so that's why I wanted to start from the beginning. I wanted to better understand the characters and fall in love with them. I was never a massive fan of Rose, but watching her story line from the start is making me like her more.

If any of you are interested in watching the show, I can't tell you where to start. Everyone gets into it in a different way and while everyone has their own opinion about what the best first episode to watch is, and mine isn't the same as everyone else's. The first episode I ever saw (which I just finished watching) is called New Earth and while there are a few things that might not make sense to new viewers, it's quite good plot-wise. It was only my first episode because I'd been hearing about the show for ages and noticed it on TV one day, and the episode happened to be New Earth.

I think the show is exceptionally hard to explain and no synopsis does it justice. I wouldn't have started watching the show based solely on the plot description. There are two things that made me want to watch, the first of which is this quote by Matt Smith, the actor who is currently playing the Doctor:
“That’s what interests me about The Doctor because, actually, look at the blood on the man’s hands. 900 years, countless very selfish choices, and he’s literally blown planets up. His own race, you know, that’s all on his hands. Which is why I think he has to make silly jokes and wear a fez. Because if he didn’t, he’d hang himself.”

That quote made me stop and think. It made me consider that maybe this isn't just a sci-fi show about aliens and spaceships, that is was a show with emotions and fascinatingly deep characters.
The second thing was a piece of music that showed up on my Tumblr dashboard the day after the 2010 Christmas Special episode. It was a song that had been in the episode and I noticed there were lyrics listed, and that confused me. I didn't think the show was some sort of musical, so I decided to listen. What I heard was one of the most gloriously beautiful songs ever, and this made me think, "Wow, this isn't some ordinary TV show. If it can produce a song like this, then it's something special." Here is that song, called Abigail's Song, song by the legendary Katherine Jenkins and written by Murray Gold:

And so I started watching the show, and I fell in love. Undoubtedly there are some poorly constructed episodes, some weird characters, some things I don't like. But the show as a whole is absolutely brilliant and I'm so glad I found it.

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