Why is Doctor Who so awesome? (Or should I say “Fantastic”?)
Many reasons. Here, I wanted to talk briefly about why I think the writing in series 1 (which is the first “new” series from 2005 with Christopher Eccelston) is amazing.
Let’s take a look at the uninitiated soon-to-be-Whoovian. That was me in April of last year. I knew little to nothing about the show. I didn’t even know that his name wasn’t “Who”. I thought it was. I thought he was a human who traveled through time in a police box kind of like Bill and Ted. I didn’t understand what the fuss was about, and I generally thought it was just another TV show. Oh, the foolishness of youth (this, again, was last April).
So how do they introduce him? Brilliantly. They start with a regular human. We immediately sympathize. She works at a shop. Clearly dissatisfied with it, but like all of us, she understands there isn’t much more she can do with her life.
First of all, her accent is lovely. Absolutely lovely. Immediately we are set in the mood of the show. The dingy basement she is sent into on a mundane task turns spooky. There’s the show, right there! The first 5 minutes of the show and we get it.
Then the Doctor shows up like a spitfire, the whole theme of the show is different now. He changes everything.
So there we have it, the first minutes of my exposure to the show and I’ve been sold already. Never been exposed to any of Doctor Who except the occasional pop-culture reference and within minutes I’m hooked.
Think about how they present so many things! The Dalek, first time we see one. Now I knew nothing of Daleks at the time, and the first thing we are presented with is the Doctor freaking right the hell out. All I see is this giant pepper-shaker, not frightening in the slightest. But the Doctor, a character I’ve learned to love at this point is freaking out for the first time ever. This get me nervous. What could possibly frightening him that much? I’ve never seen him scared before and it made me scared of this giant tin toy. There we have it! A villain established.
Then, let’s talk about the 9th’s departure (spoilers, if you haven’t guessed already). This is also brilliantly done. When 9th leaves, we get a moment of the new actor’s, David Tennant’s, best asset, his brilliant smile. Strike one to me liking this guy. Then, the next episode, within the first few minutes he drops unconscious from unknown reasons. They make him vulnerable, and our first reaction is to care about him. We don’t know this new Doctor at all, and we just lost our first beloved Doctor, and brilliantly they make him vulnerable, and we’re reminded just how much the other supporting cast loves him and we love him, too.
While 9th was my first Doctor, and the series was so brilliantly written that if I can tell a story half as well I will consider myself a great writer. Despite that, the 10th Doctor is MY Doctor. I don’t necessarily like the Matt Smith series, but it’s not Matt Smith I don’t like, it’s more that I don’t much like what Moffat is doing with the show, but that’s a topic for another post.
I love that show so much, it’s not even funny.