Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Another small point of pride becomes a thing of the past.

There was a time when I used to say, "Sure, I'm a nerd, but I never watched Doctor Who."

Well... I can't say that anymore.

The 21st Century version(s) of the Doctor have an advantage over the 20th Century versions.

It's called a budget.

I've started watching the first season of The New Who and I have to say, three episodes in, it's pretty good. Christopher Eccleston plays the mysterious alien timelord, and he's got a sweet way about him and a great goofy grin. When he tells the girl who will become his sidekick that he's an alien, she replies "You sound like a bloke from the North."

"Lots of planets have a north." he answers, a little put off.

So in the first episode, they save the world. The second episode takes place five billion years into the future when the world ends, and the third episode takes place in 1869. In Cardiff.

What's so all fired interesting about Cardiff in 1869? Well, Charles Dickens is on tour. And who do they get to play Dickens? Simon Callow, the terrific British actor who was so good in Four Weddings and a Funeral, Angels In America, Shakespeare In Love and No Man's Land and so many other roles, including Charles Dickens several times.

Callow should never be mistaken for Simon Cowell, the British blight on humanity most famous for American False Idol. I wanted to make that clear.

Even if the episode were complete bollocks, and it's not, Callow's presence pushes it up a couple notches.

If you have Netflix, you can get many of the recent seasons of Doctor Who on streaming video. I haven't watched them all, but it's a hell of a lot better than that nonsense from the 1960s that some people have a fondness for, caused by misplaced nostalgia and the onset of senile dementia.

Matty Boy says check it out.


Lisa said...

MathMan and I used to watch Dr. Who on WTTW in Chicago in the early 90s. Now I'm truly a fan and I can thank Christopher Eccleston for that. He is still my favorite Doctor.

namastenancy said...

Now, you've got real 21st century nerd cred. Eccleston is my favorite of the new incarnation of the doctors but the other ones are good (if not great). The stories are wonderful and some of them are fantastic - like the one with Callow playing Dickens.

Abu Scooter said...

With the bigger budget has also come dramatically improved soundtrack music. That alone has made the newer series much more enjoyable than the 1960s and '70s runs.

As for the nostalgia, it's always been about the characters. Goofy, likable Doctors like the Tom Baker version helped a lot of us just plain ignore the poor plots, rotten special effects and weak villains. [And the Cybermen are just as lame now as they were in the 1970s!]

Anyway, welcome aboard!

Karlacita! said...

I thought you'd like it! We are now nerdcred updated!!

Eccelston is brilliant, but the next doctor grew on me after a season or so.

Danielk said...

It's not just the budget (which isn't that much bigger by the way, it's just that effects are cheaper) it's the very smart writing.

Kimberly said...

I took pride in not watching the earlier versions of Dr. Who and shook my head gravely at Who Heads. However Christopher Eccoleston makes the new series divinely watchable and I think I'm hooked. The mom character is really annoying.