Dr. Who Is Your Daddy!

First of all, sorry about the title. I have no self control when it comes to an opportunity for a “Who’s Your Daddy?” joke.

Second of all, Oh dear lawd and lady, I love me some Dr. Who. And yes, I know EVERYONE ELSE has already been loving Dr. Who for years now. And I’m also well aware that it’s completely lame I wasn’t loving him from the start, since I lived in Britain for six years including the years he was resurrected.

But I’m bad about telly (don’t own one now) and have always been rubbish about watching series when they were first aired. I finally got around to watching Dr. Who because I now have Netflix, and I’m trying to “relax” and “not work” for a few hours each day (crazy! I know!). So I started watching. And I haven’t been able to stop. Why, you ask?

Because I’m good like that, here are my top five reasons to watch Dr. Who, if you haven’t already:

Number 5: The Casting

Could the casting be any more brilliant? Seriously? First of all: the Doctors. Christopher Eccleston is one of my all time favorite baddies (I always had him mentally cast as my character, Jarl). So to cast him as the Doctor? Brilliant! It was so unexpected, and therefore genius. And David Tennant couldn’t be more adorable if you put him in a pink fluffy bunny suit and made him wiggle his nose. And the women! The women! First of all, Billie Piper. She is AS adorable as David Tennant, and should really be wearing a pink, fluffy bunny suit at all times. And I love how she’s adorable but she’s also normal. She’s not a stick insect scary model lady from the bowels of planet Norexia. She’s so lovely, but in such a normal human girl way that she would never be cast in America. And then they had Catherine Tate! THE Catherine Tate! One of the funniest women ever to walk the planet, but, again, not cast simply because her dead, dead eyes are framed by slightly starved symmetry. And I’m just starting Season Three, so I can’t wait to see who comes next.

Number 4: The Patriotism

Until China and/or India usurps the title, it’s tough for Americans to be the superpower. When you’re at the top, a little humility is expected, and Americans are no exception. So we’re taught either to be self-conscious of American patriotism, OR we’re taught to be self-conscious about our self-consciousness regarding patriotism. So one of the things I most enjoyed about living in Britain and that I enjoy about watching Dr. Who is how the show revels in, and reveals, New British Patriotism (pronounced with a long “a,” daaahlings). It’s both fun and enlightening for me to see how the most recent superpower before America has recovered its sense of place in the world. We’re gonna be scrambling to think of something soon, my dears, so we should all watch Dr. Who as a crash course in cultural realignment. And in the meantime: God Save the Queen!

Number 3: The Heroism

It is unapologetic! Nary an episode goes by when someone doesn’t offer themselves up to save their friends, or simply for the greater good. People die right and left in this show, but only after we’ve come to really know and like them. Then some monster comes along and is all, “I’m gonna destroy the Earth! Because I’m a MONSTAH!” and the doctor is all, “Dude, I need more time to jimmy-jack some shit with my Sonic Screwdriver!” and the person we just came to know and love is all, “I will make a stand in order to buy you enough time for your jimmy-jacking of your shit! And I will die terribly doing so!” And then they DIE! For real! Okay, not always for real. Sometimes, if they are extra sexy-spicy (Captain Jack! Captain Jack!) they are brought back in all their omnivorously sexual glory. But usually they are really dead! REALLY dead! In the meantime, I think that shows a hell of a lot of chutzpah on the part of the writers of Dr. Who. Heroism is so nineteenth-century, and here we are in the Noughties! Maybe we’re getting into a cycle of retro-heroism? Or maybe the writers just know we all need a little hope, as a species. Which leads me to . . .

Number 2: The Philosophical sub-currents

I could write a million things under Number 2 (snicker) but I’m going to focus on just one: I love how this shows plays with the expected Sci-Fi trope of Bad Humanity. Most current Sci-Fi seem to have accepted that, as a species, we are all a bunch of fuck ups. Take Avatar, for instance. You have to stop being human, in that film, to be worth anything. But not in Dr. Who! Dr. Who is constantly excited about humanity. In the Doctor’s estimation, what makes us so stupid makes us so great, and vice versa. We’re not simply damned, corrupted humanity. Instead, humanity is shown in all it’s ridiculous, divine, complicated glory: as capable of greatness as we are greatly capable of pig-headed acts of purely narcissistic self-destruction. So yay for  humanity!

Number 1: The Seventies Aesthetic

It’s AMAZING. When Americans remake shows from the seventies (BSG!), we’re all, “Obviously we’re not going to use that CRAZY SEVENTIES SHIT they came up with back then. We’re gonna soup everything up and make it look modern! POST-modern, even!” But not Dr. Who! The Daleks still look a bit like the Jetson’s maid. If an American studio were behind the show, they would have been upgraded to look like the Jetson’s maid, if she had been designed by Dyson. That robot would clean the fuck out of your house–serious, black hole suckage, people. Not Dr. Who, however! The old enemies haven’t changed all that much, leaving all the fancy-schmancy computer graphics for the new enemies. And the Doctor, himself, hasn’t changed his old ways. When he builds stuff, it still looks like it was built with the contents of an Antiques Roadshow: Bakelite Edition. It’s amazing, and I like to imagine that the show’s aesthetic is a bit like what you’d get if Graceland were a spaceship. A thought that makes me happy, on about four-hundred levels.

So these are just some of the reasons I love Dr. Who. Oh yes, my friends, it is wicked nerdy. But so fun, so joyous, and so smart! Do check it out if you have a spare hour or two . . . I guarantee, you will be hooked.

(And yes, every number before 5 consists of a single entry: Captain Jack! Captain Jack!)

Posted by Nicole Peeler

Author, Professor, Lover, Fighter

16 thoughts on “Dr. Who Is Your Daddy!”

  1. Love this post Nicole! I adore Dr. Who myself and I couldn't have put together a better list if I'd tried. 🙂 Bravo! Oh and season 3's companion is Freema Aygeman (I probably misspelled her name horribly) and she's great too. Rose is still my favorite, but Martha Jones (Freema) is a good companion too.

  2. Heather: Just watched first episode where she was introduced: adorable! She's rad!

    Rayna: I can't even start on Torchwood. I will just gush. LOL LOVE LOVE LOVE THAT SHOW. I want to rewatch it when I'm done with Dr. Who.

    Corinne: They're SO good. And all available for autoplay on Netflix if you have it.

  3. I'm new to Dr. Who also. I finished watching the seasons on netflix and caught the "specials" on BBCA. I think it is one of the best shows ever! Now I'm watching Torchwood and I'll I can say is…Captain Jack! Captain Jack! Captain Jack smooching on the men and a few ladies:)

    I was watching the Looney Toons Back in Action movie last night with my 6yo and there is a DALEK in the movie. I was laughing hysterically and the kid was looking at me like I was CRAZY!!!

  4. I love Doctor Who… Tom Baker did rock it, but I am a David Tennant girl at heart. And I do love Catherine Tate.

    If you haven't tried Torchwood, please do. Oh my good goddess… You really need to know Ianto Jones. And Gwen. And everything about that show is near perfect.

  5. Oops… I see that you are familiar with Torchwood already. You should have seen me when the James Marsters liplock happened. I was a happiness mess for days.

  6. I don't own a telly either, but still have to pay TV liscence. BBC makes you pay TV liscence for the priviledge to watch their shows online. Long ago, you didn't have to pay for watching on demand, you only had to pay if you owned a piece of equipment with a TV tuner card. Now you have to pay if you have an internet connection because you can recieve their corny shows online. Booooo!

    But, yeah, Dr who is fabulous. I watched every single episode from the first to the last 🙂 David Tennant. Mmmmmm. Bliss!

  7. I just finished season two on Netflicks and I was pretty pissed off. So beware, the ending is not what you think it would be. But I loves me some Jack Harkness. Too bad he is gay though or is he? I am so confused with him.

  8. Carrie: That's hilarious! I'll have to check out the Loony Toons thing! How fun, thanks!

    Julie: I don't think I watched the entire first series of Torchwood, but I definitely saw the last big chunk of it. The ending of the first series blew me away! I'm definitely going to rewatch when I'm done with Dr. Who. 🙂

    Natalie: I didn't know that about the online thing! But believe me, I'd rather be paying the BBC a TV license than live with American TV. *shudders* British TV officially ruined me for American television!

    Rayna: Jack's sexuality is explained in Dr. Who when he's first introduced. Basically, he's from like the 51st or 52nd century, after humans have set up shop all over the universe. So, like Captain Kirk with his green lady, one of the things that intergalactic travel has allowed humanity to do is become the ultimate swingers… who cares about man versus woman when you're picking up flying, egg laying arachnids with two heads? So he's not just bisexual . . . he's omnisexual. Very seventies! Just imagine those space station key parties!

  9. So, Nicole, what you are saying is that you are down with all the Whos down in Who-ville. 🙂 (Hee…hee…i will laugh at my own bad joke, but I couldn't help myself.)

    Anyway, I have not seen Dr. Who. It hasn't made it to my list of fantasy shows. I LOVE me some Santuary and Warehouse 13 on Syfy. Plus, my new guilty pleasure is Vampire Diaries on the CW. You have to check those out.

  10. Vampire Diaries very good, yes. Dr Who, Torchwood, Adventures of Sarah Jane? YES OMG YES. Sorry, but she's right. Nobody does it better. Those of us who have BBC America (oh happy day) are spoiled. Netflix is amazing!! However, I've been told by SEVERAL people all over the place who just got the box and don't have cable that they get ACTUAL BBC and get Dr Who BEFORE BBC America. *gasp*

    Okay, just my two cents and obviously outdated. But it's the DOCTOR!! Oh, and Martha rocks too. Then the great Tate. But it's the new Dr that I'm torn about. *sigh* Tenant…well, he's just…Tenant. When he said if he didn't retire now they'd have to pry the key to the TARDIS out of his cold dead hand…well frankly, I could live with having him be the dr another gazillion seasons or two. He could do a Tom Baker run at the very least.

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