Discussion in 'Fortean Culture' started by Mighty_Emperor, May 27, 2006.
I'm an American, so I came relatively late to Doctor Who. I had a friend in university (late 80s early 90s) who was a big Doctor Who fan, and we even had a Doctor Who/Star Trek fan club, where we'd get together on weekends and watch Doctor Who (my friend had dozens and dozens of video cassettes), Star Trek, and the WORST movies they could find (which we would then laugh and ridicule our way through, not unlike MST3k, to which I'd be introduced much later).
I even saw the American Doctor Who movie with Paul McGann (8th Doctor) when it originally aired on TV.
I've since watched all of Series 1-8 (not to mention all of Torchwood, and a tiny bit of the Sarah Jane Adventures), and am slowly working my way through Series 9.
So while admittedly I am not as passionate as some people are about Doctor Who, I'd say I'm a bit more than just casually acquainted with The Doctor.
As such, I honestly have no problem with a female Doctor. On the contrary, now that I think of it, I'd think it a bit odd if The Doctor didn't regenerate into a woman about half the time from here on out.
Personally, I think it'll add a much-needed lift to the series in that it could potentially explore an as yet unexplored dimension of The Doctor's personality.
Outrage seems... an overreaction, to say the least. But this is the most publicity the programme has received in ages, so doubtless the usual millions will tune in to see how it plays, as meanwhile those outraged lose out on one of their favourite TV shows.
I'm in a similar boat to you. Though I've gone back and watched the original series and now follow the comics and the Big Finish audio productions.
Apparently though that still doesn't count me as a "fan."
Which strikes me as the sort of toxic fandom that surrounds every franchise.
Yep. There are those for whom it becomes creed. I went to the opening showing of Fellowship of the Ring in my city, and half the back five rows were people in costume. One actually walked out, angrily, muttering to his companions that "That's not what Elrond looks like!" Because we all know what people in a book are supposed to look like. But he knew, and he was dressed as an elf, so knew better than us fools that weren't. LOTR to some is a documentary.
I'm usually pretty good about separating my personal mental version from what will appear on other adaptions.
I'm beginning to chalk it up to my long standing addiction to comic books, where the voice and look of a character varies by artist and writer. And changing the character filling in the roll is pretty common.
Still I get concerned about seeing adaptions. Robert Downey Jr. is as perfect a pasting as you could hope for, for Tony Stark. A the same time Ronan the Accuser while well casted had his character filed down to looks, if that.
I was hesitant to listen to the audio versions of some of my favorite works of fiction, because I had a certain voice in mind for the characters or view point character. In the case of the Dresden Files, I was pleasantly surprised the voice actor sounded almost the exact same as my mental image.
On the other hand, the reader for the Codex Alera was not nearly as good.
I'm quite the same way, but rather because I'm a fan of theater, especially "small theater". In theater, leads can look quite different from one another, and can interpret characters VERY differently.
As well, depending on the cast, it's not unusual for even main characters to change (traditionally portrayed) race or gender.
Then, because many small theater groups are quite poor and have to improvise, it's quite common to reinterpret and change the story to fit the sets, costumes or props that are available, hence "modernized" versions of Shakespeare.
Many directors also like to experiment and "play" with the story, because it's kind of like doing a "cover" of a song. There's no point "covering" a song if you're just going to imitate the original. The whole point of a cover is to give a different flavor or technique or version, in the same way that some really talented artists try to make each live performance in some way unique.
So this is why "all-female reboots", or changing the race of character, or reinterpreting a reboot into something vastly different than the original has never bothered me.
Daleks in wheelchairs. You know it's gonna happen.
Daleks with Greek names. That as well.
Dalek Sec, Dalek Caan, Dalek Thay, Dalek Jast and Dalek Demis Roussos. With his exoskeleton patterned like a kaftan. Actually Davros could have a twin called Stavros.
I was just thinking of Davros, but you went a bit further.
I'm all about the story. And I'm pretty lenient on the story as well. As long as I enjoy it enough to ignore or excuse the faults of it, I'm happy.
Edit: For example, i didn't like the new Ghostbusters. Not because of the casting, just thought the story was bad.
On the other hand, I went back and watched the originals and... without nostolgia I don't know I'd like them as much as I do today.
More, some of it was pretty vile. Like the roofie joke.
Not even when Marathon bars became Snickers?!
I won't lose out on my favourite TV show as that is already gone. Whatever they are going to show it sure as hell won't be Dr Who. The new series was never, ever as good as the classic 60s / 70s Dr Who anyhow. Of late many of the scripts like Kill the Moon and Forest of the night feel like they have been written by mental patients or acid casualties. They make zero sense and are not even entertaining.
That did tick me off a bit. And when opal fruits became starburst.
I remember when they were still Vauxhall Fruits, and the internet was in black and white...
Seriously, even though (complete guess, albeit following your clues!) I'm only a few years younger than you, and have very fond memories of the "old" Who, I'm still perfectly happy with the new version. Well, maybe not perfectly.
It's not the same, no, not least the format - we used to get stories spread over 4 or 6 episodes (occasionally 7, but I've only seen those on DVD), with cliffhangers every 22 minutes. Yes, those cliffhangers were often somewhat contrived, but they built up a huge sense of anticipation for next week's show. And the music - properly eerie, it was! The new format of 45 minutes, sometimes 1 hour, all in one chunk, feels unsatisfactory, and the music has lost its edge a bit.
Nonetheless, I've enjoyed the new Who since Eccleston - it's a bit more throwaway at times, with plenty of stories (not just the ones you mention) not standing up to a second viewing, but there have been some real highlights as well. Some great new monsters, and the much-anticipated return of some old ones, some great companions (and Donna...) and some worthy woes (plus Peter Kay...). All in all, a mixed bag, but one with more good bits than bad.
5 years ago, I'd probably have been somewhat opposed to a female Doctor, but now - well, he has always been an alien, so I'm not as hung up about it as I might be, as long as the actor is a decent one. Mind you, if it had been the much-touted Olivia Coleman, I'd have probably joined you in turning off. Great actress, but I just couldn't see her as a Timelord.
What am I getting at? Probably that your decision to stop viewing might turn out to be your loss. Yes, you can consider 20th and 21st century incarnations to be two totally different shows if you like, but I see them as complementary sides of the same coin. Different, but the same.
I agree with most of what you say. When it got it right the new show could do great things, Human Nature, Girl in the Fireplace, Blink but more often than not it was just dull. Back in the 60s and 70s you got a season of greats and maybe one or two duds. Now that's reversed . I loved Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. He reminds me of Jon Pertwee a bit. But he got some real crap to work with scrip wise.
I recall watching Rose back when it first returned and thinking of all the great things that could have been done with the Autons but were never explored. The chance at seeing the Lovecraftian Nestine monster rendered properly for one. I could watch the new show once or twice but i'd never watch stories again and again like i would with classics. and changing the Doctor's gender is a step too far for this fan.
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