Doctor Who is an ancient staple of British sci-fi,
dating back to the early days of BBC black and white. The Doctor
is a traveler of time and space, able to be anywhere any time
and for the most part able to fix just about anything. According
to the canon, the Doctor is bound by a set of laws that dictate
what he can and can’t do temporally, and is locked in
a huge war in time (which we learn over the decades is with
the Daleks, pepper shaker-looking uber-powerful bad guys).
The Doctor is a Timelord, one of a rare breed with strange
abilities, among which is the ability to attract hot chicks
to follow them through time and space. I’ll get at that
later, so settle down. The Doctor is at times dashing, erudite,
mad, violent, pacifistic and remote. Everything one would want
in a quasi-godlike being. He has two counterparts: his sonic-screwdriver,
an omni-device capable of almost everything a tool can do, and
the TARDIS. The TARDIS is the Doctor’s semi-sentient space
and time ship capable of destroying and recreating reality.
The new season finds a re-invented Doctor Who in the guise
of very capable actor Christopher Eccleston (28 Days Later).
He has a tremendous sense of fun that is balanced by a
profound sense of pathos as the season progress. You realize
he is the last of the Timelords, adrift after the last great
time war versus the evil (and way cooler now) Daleks. The new
Doctor has all the classic traits of invulnerability, love for
those around him and a deep sense of hope. At times during the
series he is flat-out moving.
Our good doctor is of course balanced by the hottie he gets
along the way as his assistant, Rose Tyler (played by the U.K.’s
version of Britney Spears, Billie Piper; hopefully she will
hook up with less of a deadbeat . . . but I digress).
Rose is plucky, adventurous and compassionate, a quality that
sometimes escapes the good Doctor.
Being a love interest on Doctor Who is some what like being
the first Redshirt down on a planet in Star Trek; a
recipe for disaster. In the new Doctor Who it's initially
much the same, with the one kid Rose picks up being dumped back
on Earth with a hole in his head and the second being the pansexual
Captain Jack, who seems to be something of a love interest for
both the Doctor and Rose, and who we last see fighting the good
fight at the end of season 1-mark infinity times infinity.
Even in this day and age, the special effects of Doctor
Who are mixed, and sometimes laughable. But they're always
in context, so you forgive them a bit.
It is the plot lines that get you. In one, Rose goes back to
meet her father who died when she was young, much to both of
their detriment. In another we realize that the Doctor’s
meddling with time isn’t as perfect as it seems. All of
them are well thought out, sometimes heart -wrenching but always
worth watching. There are subtle story arcs, gut-busting humour
and sadness worthy of tears. These are twelve episodes of Good
If there are kind and good forces in the universe, this will
be available on DVD soon for the U.S. It seems as if the producers
avoided any sort of pop music (which killed getting Spaced
over here) so it could be fed to the hungry American sci-fi
masses. Do yourself a favor and snag or at least rent the set
when you see it.