As a blogger who posts a lot of travel photos (the 21st Century equivalent of forcing your friends to watch your vacation slideshow) and vegan recipes (who doesn’t love those?), I am clearly quite in tune with the kinds of things that excite the interests of the public. So heed my warning here: If you are not a fellow geek or at least geek-friendly, then this will hold no interest for you. This is all about Doctor Who, the most amazing science fiction franchise of all time. Suck it, Star Trek!
After a lot of song and dance from the BBC, Doctor #12 was announced yesterday to be veteran actor Peter Capaldi. I was relieved, as it meant I could safely visit fansites or Facebook pages again without seeing speculation from brain dead morons that the new actor would or should be a major celebrity, American, Billie Piper, or some other bit of nonsense. I was also relieved to find that the actor chosen was in fact an adult, reversing a trend set into place by the current show’s producers to make the character appear progressively younger. Capaldi is also a great actor, and likely has a lot to offer the show.
The hype surrounding this episode did its intended job; it got the fans excited and/or angry, and it got them talking. Though I never bought that any writer or producer would ever be stupid enough to actually name the Doctor (“The Question That Must Never Be Answered” is as much a metafictional reference to the show itself as it is about the character/plot within it), I admit I can at times get swept up in hype. What will they reveal? It’s a misdirect, but from what are they misdirecting? Will we find anything out about Clara? Can we get through a finale without bringing in Daleks or Cybermen? This season has had some great episodes, but some stinkers as well. I thus viewed it with some cautious optimism.
Why am I just getting around to writing this review a week later? I have a good reason. The episode is so full of glitz and excitement, I wanted to watch it again to make sure that alone wasn’t flavoring my perception. Now that viewing number two is complete, I feel more confident about making a decision. It had some problems, but over all it really was spectacular.
NON-SCIENCE FICTION FAN WARNING: I am really geeking out here and it may be embarrassing for you, so you are welcome to leave now. Or at leas keep the eye-rolls to a minimum.
For three years in a row, my partner and I had been attending a Doctor Who convention in Los Angeles called Gallifrey One. Moving to Europe got in the way of attending this year, so we wanted a consolation prize. FedCon, Europe’s largest science fiction convention held yearly in Dusseldorf, Germany, seemed like an adequate substitute. This con was less specific than the primarily Doctor Who themed Gallifrey One, and promised scads of stars from a variety of shows, including Star Trek (both Deep Space Nine and Voyager), Doctor Who/Torchwood, Battlestar Galactica, etc. Overall, there were some disappointments and guest cancellations, but we made the best of it by getting out and seeing the city when the schedule thinned out. Getting to meet John Barrowman, Eve Myles, and a few Voyager cast members made it worthwhile, but it really made us appreciate and miss the extremely well-run Gallifrey One.
Doctor Who has finally returned from hiatus. I can’t say I’m particularly fond of the new format of divided seasons, but then it isn’t up to me. So I’m learning to deal with it. There has been much discussion in fan circles over what to call this season, but I’m sticking with “second half of series 7.” In any case, it’s back and all the fans are happy.
Before I begin, let me insist I love this show. I have since childhood, and it will always have a special place in my heart. I also like to give tough love, however. So don’t think I’m not showing the proper respect. I just like to be bitchy sometimes. So here goes…
I have been a fan of science fiction for most of my life. In my youth, this alone did not define me as a complete dork (band, show choir, competitive debate, lack of athletic ability, and acne all played an important part), but I did carry an appreciation for it into adulthood. Where the genre is concerned, though, there is precious little that can compete with Doctor Who. In celebration of its 50 year anniversary this year (its debut episode aired the day after the Kennedy assassination in 1963), it is my mission to indoctrinate additional fans. Before you judge or reject me outright, read the following list. I’m going to outline the seven stories from the new series (the classic series is an acquired taste, so let’s start slowly) most likely to engage someone with no familiarity with the series. I promise that no prior knowledge of the show is needed to enjoy any of these.