Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why aren't you watching Doctor Who?

Doctor Who is probably a show you've heard someone talking about or read about some where. You also probably associated it, well in America at least, with those same geeks that speak Klingon, quote Yoda and whine about how Fox killed Firefly. Though there is probably some truth to that assumption you would be missing one of the greatest sci-fi shows ever aired if you didn't take the time to watch it.

Now that Netflix has put up the first 6 seasons of the new Doctor Who you have the chance to see why this show, that has aired since the 1960's, is still counted as a national treasure in the United Kingdom. It has a simple principle to it, take a little bit of time travel and mix it in with a dash of space opera and then add in that one ingredient that makes it what it is, the human element.

Doctor Who takes television to a level you wont see in America, the CGI (the fancy graphics we all love) is excellent, the acting superior and the script on any given episode will rival any blockbuster sci-fi movie out there. Yet still I can count on one hand the amount of American's who have taken the plunge and watched this fantastic show.

Each show takes a wild and thourghly absurd premise and turns it into a journey where we suspend our doubt's and disbelief's to let ourselves get lost in the story. A story driven by the main character, "The Doctor," who is as complex a character as any you've ever seen. The Doctor is an amalgamation of Captain Kirk, Yoda, Han Solo and Gandalf all rolled into one man (well Timelord), who's almost human, except for his two hearts. I often think of the two hearts as a metaphor for a man who feels more than most and at the same time has seen more pain than most. That emotional attachment and distance is what draws you into the deep affection the fans of the show feel for this often changing character.

You see there are several incarnations of The Doctor, each time he has died he is regenerated into a new body, which not only look different but also have different personalities, but the same underlying idiosyncrasies. To do this and make it believable, they manage to bring in actors that the fans learn to love, even though you often hear the fans bemoan how they killed, "The Doctor," it doesn't take long before they are once again cheering for their new protagonist. Yet The Doctor would be nothing with out a stellar cast that make up his companions.

The Companions are what round out The Doctor. They follow him around, mere mortals, who thrust in the often surreal and astounding universe they never knew existed become the Yin to his Yang. The Doctor, it could be argued, is only as human as those companions he takes with him. As you go through each season you see an assortment of men and women accompany him and add all the personality and subplots that make a space-opera so engrossing. Each one you start rooting for as much as The Doctor himself and in doing so you find yourself caring about them. All their insecurities and doubts, are pushed aside as they succumb to the same overwhelming wanderlust that drives The Doctor from episode to episode.

So with that being said, I ask you, "Why aren't you watching Doctor Who?" It's on Netflix and BBC America in the United States and it's one show that anyone who loves Sci-Fi or adventure needs to watch, because at it's heart it's one of the few shows that really is something the whole family can watch. Something that is an oddity in the United Kingdom, where so many of the drama's are targeted at the adult crowd, this show manages to still be family friendly.

So take the time and watch a few episodes, season 1 starts off slow but as you get into season 2 things really light up and if you are still watching by then, you will be like me, complaining that we have to wait too long for the next season of Doctor Who to air in America. I hope you take my advice and I'm sure you will enjoy your travels with The Doctor.

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