Sunday, July 12, 2009

A rare moment of unabashed geek

I was handed a DVD set of Doctor Who around three years ago. I had no desire to watch it. I never liked the original series and the idea of yet another reboot did nothing for me. One rainy evening and two episodes later I thought "Damn. Another timewaster," and have followed it ever since.

The Doctor himself doesn't appeal to me. None of his incarnations have been much more than wisecracking Boy's Own garden-variety rogues. The present version wears second-hand shop suits and hi-tops, a shorthand for 'cool rebel' that was old and hoary when the Bowery Boys dared such a thing. But there's a hint (a faint one) of self-parody to this; The Doctor isn't aware enough of humanity to know his outfit is passé.

The present writers are smart enough to play it up. None of The Doctors have been particularly empathetic to the human race in day-to-day dealings since they're not socialized to human response. But if you put the species in peril, the wider idea of humanity kicks in and signs of both heroism and intense loneliness come to the surface. What else is there to do when you're a Time Lord but try to find somebody to chat with and get irritated when they reveal they're not omnipotent?

Even geeks can embrace being geeks, and there's something to be said for good pulp fiction. Each season has been made up of all-out camp, adequate mass-market entertainment and genuinely inspired science fiction. The three parts can balance against one another in a single episode which is a gift, rather than an accident on the part of the creators. It doesn't always work. But when it does, the fusion is exquisite.

This is a fan-edited compilation which runs through the best of the David Tennant incarnation. Thanks to Hembeck (who gets introduced here) for the link; you'll love or hate it.

4 comments:

Norm Wilner said...

Wow. That was flippin' awesome.

Anonymous said...

Ain't it?

Brenda said...

I dunno....never really got "into" Doctor Who. Just got back from Polaris, and there were some cute little Daleks running around, zapping people with toilet plungers. And looking crushed when the targets did not vanish is a puff of steam.

There are better uses for the time...
I will be selling my swords and armour at SFX in a couple of months. See you there...grin!

Brenda said...

(Oh and I just realized that I posted this on Brenda's account instead of mine...oops, my bad.)

stag.

http://southtowerarmouringguild.blogspot.com

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