Saturday, April 28, 2007

Patience is Obsolete

Please excuse me for a moment while I geek out.

When I was a teenager, I spent my Sunday nights watching Channel 11 (i.e. PBS). The schedule looked like this:

10:00 PM Monty Python's Flying Circus
10:30 PM Dave Allen At Large
11:00 PM Doctor Who

I only watched Dave Allen because it felt like it took too much work to change channels. Also we got cable towards the end of my high school career, around the same time WTTW started messing with their Sunday night lineup, so my Sunday night allegiances switched to The Young Ones, The Comic Strip Presents and 120 Minutes. But for all intents and purposes, this was how I spent Sunday nights for the first three years of high school. Yeah, I started the sleep deprivation thing early (but my issues with sleep are a whole 'nother blogposting, if not a whole entire blog of its own.)

Where was I?

Oh yeah, I spent my late Sunday nights watching Doctor Who. Alone.

When we first started living together, I tried to introduce Fred to the Doctor, but they didn't get along (Fred may be a mechanical engineer, but a SciFi Geek he is not). Fred watched the shows, some of which were older than both of us, and saw the crap sets and special effects and couldn't get into the plots. He always said he just couldn't get into science fiction, but this is the man who called The X-Files his favorite show for half a decade. The truth was, he had no emotional connection to Tom Baker's wackiness, Peter Davison's frailty, or Colin Baker's smugness. It broke my heart, but he just couldn't feel the same excitement when he heard the sound of the TARDIS powering up.

But it didn't matter, really. It wasn't like Doctor Who was still being made and rebroadcasts of the shows were decidedly down market for the shiny, classy, rich public television station that our local PBS affiliate grew into. Yes, for awhile, the PBS station from Northern Indiana showed Doctor Who on Saturday nights, but we were often out doing stuff. The truth was that I got into Doctor Who in high school, at least in part, because it was on and I wasn't doing anything else. I wasn't going to not live my life for a television show.

And then I discovered the new series and suddenly scheduling life around a TV show didn't seem all that ridiculous. I am a stay at home mom, it isn't like I have that much of a life to schedule. It seems kindof wonderful, in a way, that once again my social life dwindles to nothing and the Doctor reappears to fill the void.

The thing is, there is absolutely no reason to schedule my life around a TV show because, as I said, some very nice people in Britain are uploading the episodes on YouTube.

I may be speaking heresy (the science fiction equivalent, perhaps, of saying that your favorite James Bond is someone other than Sean Connery), but it is my considered opinion that this new series of Doctor Who has the potential to wipe my mind clean of all memories of any other Doctors. Yes, I have a huge crush on David Tennant (which, by the way, if you are reading this David, call me). Yes, this new series is phenomenally well written and the special effects look real. But, perhaps most importantly, for the first time in my life, I am able to watch episodes within hours of their broadcast. Which means that the 2007 jokes and references actually make sense to me (as opposed to seeming stale and/or going over my head). And the truth is, there is an excitement in watching something current, in knowing that you aren't consuming a television version of year old coffee cake.

So, when you have a chance and are looking for a good time, I recommend you watch The Shakespeare Code now. Don't wait until the fall when (if) the SciFi channel broadcasts it because the references to Harry Potter won't seem nearly as exciting (because, presumably, you will be have read Book Seven between now and then).

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1 Comments:

Blogger Isen said...

Yay for Dr. Who! I've only seen two or three episodes with David Tennant, but I very much love him as the Doctor. I think perhaps I should go dig out the old VHS tapes full of episodes with Tom Baker, K-9, and that scarf!

2:32 AM, May 02, 2007  

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