Monday, August 2, 2010

A Citizen of the Universe, and A Gentleman To Boot

Welcome, sentients and memes, to Mike's All 'Doctor Who' month.


Suck it up.

I'm about to get all Gushy McFanboy and you can either like it or lump it: if bookmonkey can write a Twilight month then you'll take Doctor Who month and you'll LIKE it!

'Doctor Who' is Brit Sci-Fi TV serial which turns 47 this November. Well..., it ran from 1963-1989, one night in 1996, then 2005-Present. Also there are more novels, comics, and audio adventures based upon it than there would be baby Adipose in the streets of North America if all the dormant baby Adipose were activated at once. I believe the scientific term is a crapload.

Yes, it's a TV show, but it's a cultural phenomenon, too. That's why the tiny plastic simulacrum of a man 35 years dead was spotted in my back garden today.

That's right, Axon-boys and Zygon-girls, it's the Doctor himself! As he appeared when he first stepped out of the TARDIS onto the distant dead planet of Skaro and saw its strange and mystifying sights. If Skaro were my back garden.

That's the thing about 'Doctor Who'. It was produced for about as much money as my little photo shoot, and despite its limitations it had and has pound-for-pound more and better sci-fi concepts than 'Star Trek'. (I apparently have to knock 'Star Trek' to get my point across, but truth to tell, I love 'Star Trek' and I wouldn't trade it for every episode of sixties 'Doctor Who', even all the ones that got thrown out and taped over, so I guess there's some hypocrisy there.)

What I mean to say is there are DEFINITELY episodes of late '90's 'Trek' I'd delete from history if it meant I could bring back 'The Wheel In Space' or 'The Macra Terror'. Not least because I bet classic 'Whovians' would carry me on their shoulders and maybe make me a sarnie or something.

I'm rambling. Rambling like the Doctor himself, across space and time, in my magic machine that looks like a shed.

Back to the First Doctor. From 1963 to 1966, William Henry Hartnell, hard-jobbing thespian trying to dodge typecasting as various comedy soldiers, embodied the mysterious man from the stars who racketed about the place with his granddaughter and a passel of other companions. At first shifty, quick to anger, and self-involved, but essentially upstanding and morally decent, The Doctor was beloved by children the world over. Children who presumably wished an old man would kidnap them away from tedium into adventures as he did Ian and Barbara. Absent-minded, obscure, and irascible, but kind-hearted, the prime Doctor tended toward historical adventures where he helped the underdog, or wacky hijinx featuring bemused stagehands lumbering about dressed as giant ants.

Favorite Hartnell Story: 'The Dalek Invasion of Earth' (they even made a movie version with Peter 'We Will Then Crush the Rebellion With One Swift Stroke!' Cushing & Bernard 'I Make Wha'eva I'm In Bet'ah!' Cribbins)

Least Favorite Hartnell Story: 'The Smugglers' (I assume. It's a missing story, so I'm basing my opinion on a synopsis. I haven't seen everything before 1970, and some gaps in my Who-via will likely never be filled.)

Favorite Quote: 'One day, I shall come back... Until then, just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.'

Face facts, Chatterton: you've got a dashed exciting bloody month to look forward to! Now spack off!

1 comment:

Velvet Android said...

"Make you a sarnie"? They'd make you a saint!

Just found this blog, from googling my favourite ever Doctor Who quote and it matching your post title! Loving the first few posts – am going to have to wade into the rest soon, I can tell. Your comment about "wacky hijinx featuring bemused stagehands lumbering about dressed as giant ants" made me grin – I wonder if you'd enjoy my own DW blog from a few years ago, from when I watched all the surviving episodes back-to-back in four months flat and attempted to review each story as I went along, until realising around Terror of the Zygons that I was fatally compromising my available watching time by doing so... The Web Planet though provoked what was, if I say so myself, probably my most amusing piece of reportage from the saga – that story really is out somewhere all by its own unique little self, isn't it?!

Here's my 'Doctor Who – Survival' blog – the first post describes what it was all about :)

All the best