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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

‘Doctor Who’ blogging: still madly in love with the Doctor

Just so we’re perfectly clear here: I am not “reviewing” Doctor Who. I am geeking out over it. I never pretend to be “objective” about anything I write about here, but I’m putting everyone on notice: I have absolutely no interest in debating the merits of this show. As far as I am concerned, if you’re not madly in love with the Doctor and wouldn’t drop everything to hop into the TARDIS and probably end up getting killed on some alien planet eight million years in the past by Daleks or Cybermen or Slitheen, then there is an unbridgeable chasm between us, and we have nothing to talk about.

So the assumption here is that you’ve seen the episodes I’ll be talking about — there will be spoilers galore, and I’m not gonna waste time recapping the plots — and that you love them, even when they’re not very good. (And there are a couple not-very-good ones coming up, I’m sorry to say. But Doctor Who is like sex: even when it’s bad, it’s good.)
Oh, and though I say there will be spoilers, I promise not to spoil anything to come in episodes that have not yet aired in the U.S. on the Sci Fi Channel. (I’m more than halfway through the series that just began last night on Sci Fi, thanks to the miracle of instantaneous global communication, easy digitization of video broadcasts, and high-speed Internet access. And I expect to be all the way through by the end of this week.) And I’ll thank everyone who has already finished watching this series on the BBC not to post in comments any spoilers for future episodes.

Some readers may remember that I started blogging about the Christopher Eccleston Doctor Whos over at Geek Philosophy last year; see all that here. Though I never finished, and never got around to the first batch of David Tennant episodes, I do need to do that ASAP. (Of course, I’ve been saying that for months, so you might not want to hold your breath.) I plan on writing some Totally Geeky Guides to the new Doctor Who, and so all this stuff is something like an outline for a first draft.

On to this week’s Sci Fi Channel episodes, which were sponsored by men’s Rogaine foam. Oh, god, we geeks are gettin’ old…:

The Christmas Special, Episode 0: “The Runaway Bride”

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  • Cthulhu

    Wasn’t the best point of the episode though when the Doctor asks Donna if she remembers the Sycorax spaceship on Christmas Day and she replies:

    “Hangover.”

    An absolutely perfect response!

  • LuckyLeo

    Man, you are so right. Doctor Who is like sex; even when it is bad, it is good. And when it is good…WOW!

  • Lady, I don’t know you, but I love you! We are twins separated at birth when it comes to Doctor Who. I was a total fangirl in the old days–went to two cons and was lucky enough to meet Jon Pertwee (the reason I went) at them both. Cherished memories!

    When I saw the show was back on, I glanced at it, wasn’t impressed by Christopher Eccleston, figured the glory days were past and moved on. Then I happened to see the lovely Mr. Tennant in the role. WHAM! Right back into obsession! He has actually nudged Jon Pertwee out of Favorite Doctor status, which I never thought could happen.

    And for the Eccleston fans–I’m watching his episodes now on DVD and I was totally unfair to him on first glimpse. He’s excellent. Just doesn’t make my little heart go pittypat the way David does. Loved the scene with the toddler stealing the TV remote in the story about the fat farting aliens, and the comments about his Northern accent (“lots of planets have a north!”).

    So yes, it is utterly miraculous that this great show is back and is being done so much better than right. How often does that happen?

  • MaryAnn

    I used to go to DW conventions, too, and I met all the actors who played the Doctor from Patrick Troughton through Sylvester McCoy. I think Colin was my favorite in person — he was very charming! Though Sylvester was a close second.

  • zoetree

    If I weren’t so far behind, I’d be very unhappy about not being able to see the newest episodes as they come out on BBC. However, Doctor Who is a new obsession for me. Having finally started with the current series, (I just saw Runaway Bride) and having watched the first few episodes of the First Doctor from 1963, I am in that happy phase of new love and wonder with plenty of unseen episodes to anticipate for a long time. I finally gave up trying to see anything else on Netflix for a while except Torchwood sprinkled in here and there.

    I’ve listened to a couple of podcasts where they are very into Doctor Who, but they get hypercritical, constantly being disappointed with this or that compared to what they would have expected, and that can get pretty boring and tiring after awhile. So it’s a relief to switch over here and read the writings of the “Madly in Love” because I’m fast and happily going under myself.

  • Paddiemae

    “As far as I am concerned, if you’re not madly in love with the Doctor and wouldn’t drop everything to hop into the TARDIS and probably end up getting killed on some alien planet eight million years in the past by Daleks or Cybermen or Slitheen, then there is an unbridgeable chasm between us, and we have nothing to talk about.” I think that about sums it up. I may view a couple of blogs about the Doctor, but I stop reading when they start critiquing. I never saw the early episodes, but I hope to someday. Meanwhile, I look forward to every Friday and Saturday night (Scifi and BBC America, respectively) and when I really need a Doctor fix I put in Season 1, 2 or 3 and just relax and enjoy–They are just wonderful! Thank you for your blog

  • Weimlady

    Didn’t quite know where to put this as you haven’t blogged the 2008 Christmas special yet (understandably) but it’s too good not to share. I’m totally psyched for it now, whereas I wasn’t based on the description “Cybermen in Victorian England”. Sigh. More Cybermen. But this:

    The real heart of it is the beginning: the Doctor arrives, hears a damsel in distress, the Doctor steps forward to save her… when this other man [to be played by David Morrissey] swings in, dashing, brilliant, amazing, clever, witty, saves the day. The Doctor says, “Who are you?” The man says, “I’m the Doctor!” Good scene. The Doctor becomes his companion. I like that. Sweet. There will be a beautiful woman too, of course, but really it’s the Doctor paired with a new Doctor.

    [snip]

    The best title for this episode would be The Two Doctors… but maybe not. The New Doctor, perhaps? Or The Next Doctor? I quite like The Next Doctor. I’m glad to have started, though worried by what’s to come. I had a fair bit of Cybermen-in-Victoriana worked out, but this two Doctors story, the real story, is so strong that it’s sort of knocking out everything else. That’s good. It shows that it’s a strong concept. But it’s kind of left me clutching broken bits of story. Then again, a lot of that Cybermen stuff was dark – graveyards and things – whereas this new stuff is fun and lively, it’s even going to get knockabout, and that’s good for Christmas Day…

    “The Doctor becomes his companion.” What a juicy line that is! Christmas can’t come too soon!

    The above is excerpted from this article.

  • MaryAnn

    I *have* blogged about the upcoming Christmas special!

  • Weimlady

    Oops. Doesn’t pay to assume, does it?

  • Weimlady

    Just for fun…

    Two of my favorite exophthalmic gents.

    Yup. Still madly in love with the Doctor. Great chap. All of them.

  • We just recently go hooked on Doctor Who and Torchwood. Now we just have to watch every episode available! The Library has boxed DVD sets that we are checking out, and it’s free!

    Reading your episode posts, but not before I’ve watched them. btw, have you seen this cute comic:
    Torchwood Babies?

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