Days of Change

Who Knew? | August 24, 2014

The more things stay the same, the more they change.

The BBC series Doctor Who is nearly 51 years old. That spans two or three generations of TV watchers. Those of us in the United States mostly started watching in the late 70’s to early 80’s when PBS picked up episodes in syndication. I’m a first wave Doctor Who watcher, having seen the various incarnations of the character up to the early 90’s when reruns dried up on Public Television. I even watched the incredibly low-rated movie on Fox which was the only appearance of the Eighth Doctor.

Fans were excited about the appearance of the new incarnation premiering last night. The actor playing him, Peter Capaldi, was one of those kids watching the show in Scotland. In fact, there’s a letter written by him to the BBC Radio Times when he was 15. He’s also one of the oldest actors to play the character, bucking a trend of actors under 40 or 30 playing the role.

My excitement was in the idea of a true fan of the series was going to be a more mature character and hopefully reverse some of the God-awful writing and plot twists of the last half-dozen years. That didn’t quite happen.

I see people who are not starting to watch the new series in their adulthood because of the nods to the earlier series, the weird obsession with steam punk technology and the creepily ultra-modern sensibility. I think there are two kind of Doctor Who fans; those who watched as children and those who started as adults. Unfortunately, those watching now as kids have been exposed to a stream of America-bashing, human-bashing, polyamory, inter-species bestiality, a messianic main character and a series of companions who moon over him like a teenage heart throb. Most of that was still there last night, included with hand-wringing about how old the Doctor looks now.

Culture sucks all over.

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1 Comment

  1. The closest I’ve ever come to “Dr. Who” is a term paper by a scarf-wearing freshman comp student.

    Comment by Mary — August 24, 2014 @ 10:07 pm


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