HobbyHarri











{February 26, 2012}   Doctor Who – An Introduction

As I know a fair number of my readers aren’t too familiar with this beloved series, I thought I ought to do a little introduction before I land them with my upcoming fan-story (fanfiction’s become a dirty word really, this isn’t going to be that kind of story).

.

Doctor Who

This is a long-running British TV series and a huge part of British culture. Typically defined as a sci-fi show for kids, what it really is is an action-adventure-thriller-fantasy-comedy with a sci-fi premise which allows them to get away with the grandest and most wonderful fantasies while still somehow seeming quite reasonably realistic, and which kids and old people and everyone between can enjoy. It ran for a long time, starting in the 60s, but disappeared from the airwaves for some time. It then came back with instant popularity in 2005 and has been recorded almost every year since.

.

The Basic Plot

Doctor Who is about a wonderful alien with a love for humanity and a time machine. This man, The Doctor (his true name is unknown, hence “Doctor Who”), travels through space & time with companions from Earth (in the TARDIS), getting into trouble, righting wrongs and generally saving lives, worlds and even existence sometimes. It’s all incredibly epic, trust me. In general though, I’d say, the plot itself isn’t that important. It’s what’s beneath it. Through all these hundreds of stories about madness and wonder and sciency stuff, the real genius of it is the humanity that shines through. I can tell you all this rubbish about it being about an alien and his human companions saving worlds, but really it’s about the human experience. I know this sounds terribly pompous and such but it’s true. It’s about love and fear and every kind of relationship and our beliefs and speculations and our kindness or selfishness and… everything! With adventure, thrills and laughs on top. If you’re not familiar with Doctor Who, find a friend with a DVD of any of the new series and watch one, then you’ll know what I mean.

.

The Doctor

He’s a Time Lord – a human-looking being with 2 hearts, an intimate knowledge of both history and future and the power of regeneration. This means that if The Doctor dies, he can recover by creating a totally new body. Which is how the series has had 11 different actors playing The Doctor so far. Each time you get a new actor, you get a new Doctor, with a new face and a new personality. It’s a wonderful way for the series both to keep going when the lead actor wants out and to keep reinventing itself. A Time Lord can regenerate 12 times, so far the Doc’s had 10. The current incarnation, played by Matt Smith (above) has made tweed fashionable again. I like tweed, but as far as Britain was concerned it was perhaps the least cool fabric in the world before he started wearing it as the Doc. Now that is the power of a timelord. Also now cool are bowties, fezzes and stetsons, except they were already cool.

He hates violence and guns, arming himself instead with his trusty ‘sonic screwdriver’, a tool that can open any lock and do many other tasks. Kind of like a space-age swiss army knife.

The Doctor is also the last of his kind – all the others and his homeplanet, Gallifrey, were eradicated in a great war between them and their mortal enemy, the Daleks. The aftermath of this was a running, angsty topic for the first 4 series of the new show, but it’s pretty much background knowledge now.

.

Companions

In general the Doctor’s companions have been people from modern day Earth, specifically Britain, but there have been some from different times, planets or continents. Usually women too. Often if there’s a guy in the TARDIS it’s because he’s tagging along with a girl. Whoever they are, the companion(s) are the ones who help the Doctor through all of his life-threatening adventures and help to push him to become a better man, to do the human thing, not take the Time Lord stance. At the moment we have (from left to right) River Song, Rory Williams and Amy Pond (she’s the main one). Rory is Amy’s man, and they’re travelling with the Doctor because… he met her, a long time ago. You need to watch it – it’s too magical, I refuse to spoil it for you. It’s episode 1 of series 5, a good place to start if you want to get into the new stuff fast. And River, well she’s just one big spoiler in bombastic wrapping. Go on, watch an episode. You want to get to know them.

.

The TARDIS

The Doctor’s time machine – stands for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. Outside, it just looks like a normal Police Box (common in Britain in the 60s), but inside… well, let’s just say it’s a bit bigger. And it’s alive. The Doctor’s constant companion.

.

Enemies

.

.

.

.

,

.

.

,

.

.

The Doctor has lots. The nature of the show means that there’s pretty much a new foe every week, but there are some recurring dudes that are as part of the show as the Doc himself. These ones are infamous for making comebacks, no matter how they were previously beaten/killed/vapourised.

Daleks: Monsters bent on destroying all other species in existence to become the master race. They keep their frail bodies encased in unbreakable pods, which have the ability to fire instant-kill lasers (“EXTERMINATE!!!”) and to fly. I cannot explain the plunger.

Cybermen: People who have been ‘upgraded’. These emotionless metal soldiers live to convert or “delete” the inferior human race.

The Master: Another Time Lord. Used to be friends with the Doctor back on Gallifrey. Apparently just went a bit mad and decided that universe-domination and fighting the Doctor were everything, but of course that’s not the whole story.

.

I think that’s all you need to know to jump into pretty much any episode of the new lot, bar series finales.

——————

Stay tuned: 7:00pm on Monday, I post the first in my 7-part daily story, “The Hollow Room”. If you want to know more, check my blog ‘The Promise of Geek Paradise’ for what to expect (if you’ve read it before, check again – I’ve updated it). It’s become a very interesting project for me, so I’d love for people to have a read, and of course I’d appreciate any feedback you can offer. If you know anyone who might be interested in the story or who could give me good advice, please tell them about this.

x

See you later dudes.

Advertisements


et cetera