I am probably going to be lynched for saying this but… I never quite got into Dr. Who. Sure, as a child of the sixties, I can remember Peter Cushing and the Daleks being on TV and found the stories twee and totally lacking any edge. The only thing I liked about the series was the theme song!
So it rather surprised me to find out that in recent times, the Doctor had become something of a scifi phenomenon. With that in mind, I watched the recent Dr Who specials viz. “The Day of the Doctor” 50th anniversary and “The Time of the Doctor” 800th episode/Christmas event.
The former introduced John Hurt as a previously unknown regeneration of the Doctor and the latter represented the exit of the Matt Smith-Doctor and ushered in the newly regenerated Peter Capaldi-Doctor. If this all sounds confusing to you, well, that’s what it is, I suppose.
Which is part of the problem of a full appreciation of Dr. Who for a newbie – the 50 years of continuity that is sometimes impenetrable – and you thought superhero comic books were complicated! The other issue I have is that 50 years later, Dr Who is seems just as “wet” (English slang) as it ever was and seems written for little children. The villains are all fake and plasticky looking and non-threatening so… where does the conflict and tension come from to sustain a viewer’s interest?
That said, Matt Smith’s characterization of the Doctor is a joy to behold with all its quirkiness and I suppose that has been the lasting appeal of Dr. Who. Considering that a record TV audience was garnered for Smith’s last appearance and Capaldi’s first as the Doctor, the folks behind the scenes must be doing something right!
And so… a new Doctor is in the house (or should I say, TARDIS?) and it seems like the perfect jumping on point for newbies like me. I am at least going to give Dr. Who a fair chance to convince me that the series is anything but twee and deserving of all the hype.