Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Good Doctor

     Ok, slight confession. I have a tendency to latch onto new things and develop passionate, deep, and incredibly emotional obsessions. I've gotten better recently in curbing my overwhelming (and often short-lived) enthusiasms, however, this time, I have been unsuccessful. Now, what on earth am I talking about? Well, I shall tell you since I have no one else to pour my soul to after I spent several hours last night crying into my pillows (I say crying, I really mean sobbing uncontrollably).  

     Doctor Who. That's right. This summer I have latched onto and devoured that great BBC classic. It was on Netflix and I thought 'why not?' Life forever changed. I started with the 2005 re-vamp - which is a good place for new people to get on - and haven't been able to stop. I'm even considering buying all the episodes ever (all 700 and something). Anyways, I thought I'd do a T.V. show review because this needs to be shared before I 'splode... I do that sometimes
  (anyone get that reference?... No?... OK).

Violence: 9/10
     Good news on this score! This is a remarkably bloodless show. There is some actiony type stuff but it's pretty family friendly. Some of the aliens might scare smaller children, but they look pretty B grade so there you go. *Warning on scariness: Some of the episodes scared the poop out of me. They're not violent, just incredibly suspenseful and I don't deal well with stress. Note- aliens always do it.*

Sexual Content: 7/10
     I give it that score only because of the BBC's agenda. There's no sex of any kind ever. Some characters kiss, but not that often. However, they do irritate me with all the references to homosexuality. Every single show the BBC produces throws it into the mix. In Downton it's Thomas. In Sherlock it's Harry Watson (who doesn't even exist) and all the jokes about John and Sherlock being a couple. In Doctor Who it's several nameless aliens and humans who mention their life with their same gender partner. Also Captain Jack. But Jack is pretty keyed down in Doctor Who, but also you can still tell that he's kind of slutty. He would pretty much sleep with anyone - regardless of gender, or species. I really only know that he's the way he is because I read about his spin-off series Torchwood. Plus, he's only in like 4 episodes. Still, at the end of the day I'm like "OK BBC! I get it! You support that life-style. Move on with the story please." But again, this is more of a general irritant than a Doctor Who specific complaint.

Spiritual Content: 8/10
     This is a show that assumes a naturalistic worldview. As a sci-fi show that worldview pervades everything. That being said I don't find naturalism very threatening. For some people the concept of Doctor Who is exciting because it presents a realm of possibilities (the thought that there is life out there waiting to be found. Also the hope that some handsome stranger will show up in a blue box to take you away... or is that just me?) for Christians, however, it's just a fun show, kind of like a fantasy. Some aliens worship other gods and goddesses. There is one episode with a Satanic monster that was supposedly locked up before time began. This one did rub me the wrong way, I don't remember what the episode was called though. That's really it, pretty nonthreatening if you know what you believe. It's not trying to covert you or anything.

Plot: n/a
     The greatness of the plots varies with each individual episode. Some stand out as my favorites, some just weren't that great.

Character: 10/10
      CHARACTER!!!!!!!!! I've been waiting for this one. Forgive me if I ramble. For those who don't know Doctor Who follows the adventures of the Gallifreyan Time Lord known simply as the Doctor. He travels through time and space in his T.A.R.D.I.S (time and relative dimension in space) with various companions. Last I heard he was 906 years old and still looking great. This is because whenever a Time Lord gets old or is fatally wounded he regenerates. He gets a new face and a new personality. But, this is where the greatness of the show comes is because the writes can write a whole new personality and still, on the inside, keep the doctor the same exact person. I started with the 9th doctor and am currently on the 11th. I liked the 9th doctor, he introduced me to the show. He had some great development as a character, but he only lasted one season. All the doctors are great, but ten is, by far my favorite. 
nine, ten, and eleven respectively 
I loved ten, I can't actually describe it to you. The actor, David Tennant, idolized Doctor Who as a child and getting the chance to play the doctor was a dream for him. He brought that love with him and it showed. I watched him die last night and it was heartbreaking. I've never been that attached to a character before. I will say I don't envy Matt Smith (11), because Tennant is a tough act to follow. Ug, thinking about it still makes me want to cry. Ten didn't want to go (the character not the actor), and, quite frankly, I didn't want him to go either, at least, not like that. 
     Also the Doctor frequently travels with companions, normally of the female variety, but not always. I've liked all the companions so far, but it's sad when they leave. I liked Rose Tyler a lot, but Donna Noble and Wilf were my favorite. And as for enemies, the Doctor has many (my favorite - the Daleks) but he always shows them compassion and mercy even when they don't deserve it. That is all I shall permit myself  to say on the subject.

Theme: 9/10
     Most T.V. shows don't have themes they explore but, once again Doctor Who separates itself from the rest. Mostly I've found that the show touches on themes of life and death. There's a line, I think that nicely sums up the point of this show: "When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it'll never end, but however hard you try you can't run forever. Everybody knows that everybody dies and nobody knows it like the Doctor, but I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever, for one moment, accepts it." -- River Song. Everybody dies. This is a fact, but that doesn't mean that we stop valuing life, stop trying to save it. Life is a very precious and valuable gift. You can't stop death, but, especially as Christians we know, that, in the end, life conquers all. 

Overall Conclusion: n/a
     I could pretend to give an unbiased score but I'm not going to. I love this show. It appeals to everything in me. That said, it's probably not for everyone (no, but it is). As always do your own research when deciding to watch something and use your own discretion. This was designed to be a family show so it's pretty safe minus a little bit of language and a few references to homosexuality. I love it and, like I said if you know what you believe then you should be able to enjoy this show. Your eyes have been opened. Welcome to the Whoverse.   


  1. This is my favorite show as well, and it has been my favorite ever since 2005, I love it!

    Smith and Tennant are about tied as my favorite Doctor, both are brilliant and had some amazing episodes.

    The only thing I dislike about the show is what you mentioned, the unnecessary homosexuality.

    Excellent review! I am glad that the Whovian fan base is growing, it was rather small in American when I became a fan.



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