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An Apple a Day, won’t keep this Doctor away.
-By Stephen Kelley-
-Presented by DMG Ice.com-
-A threat to UK security, good doctor...-
As I have stated in a previous article I am a huge sci-fi fan, and a fan of British television. It’s no wonder that some of my favorite sci-fi television shows are British. And now without further adieu, I subject you to my favorite sci-fi show of all time. That show is “doctor who.”
As a small impressionable young kid, not much excited me more than playing with my die cast planes and tractors, playing with my cats, and my Saturday nights with my Mom. These Saturday nights consisted of me being able to stay up real late and watch “Doctor Who” on the local PBS station.
Most PBS stations were airing the 1970’s and 1980’s episodes as part of their British TV block, which usually consisted of the odd episode of Monty Python, and Poirot. This was the late 80’s and there were as many Who fans in the US as British fans. It has even been said that before Star Trek: the Next Generation was created Who fans (we call ourselves Whovians) outnumbered Trekkies by quite a bit.
After I was around 7 or so, they cancelled the show off of our local PBS and I did not see it for around 16 years. I was sad that it was not on, but I was a kid; so I could not just run out and buy tapes of it. We also did not get or need a VCR until I was a bit older (VHS was expensive then……yeah, I am that old)
One year ago, my father passed away, and I needed something to keep my mind off of things, so I got a Netflix account. After a few rentals of various episodes, I was hooked again. I even got around to seeing some old episodes that were in black and white, and I was very impressed. This show was not like some of my other childhood favorites such as He-man and Voltron, where after I got older and tried to watch them on DVD; I was surprised at how crappy they truly were. Yes, there is a nostalgia factor, but that only goes so far.
Right after I rediscovered my childhood hero, I realized that the show itself was going to be placed back on the air on BBC1, (a British television channel) the show has now spread to Canada, Australia, and a few other countries. We fans in the US still await the show with baited breath, but most fans (including myself) have already seen it from the internet.
And now what is this show about, huh Steve?
Summing up more than 40 years of a television show can be quite a task, but it can mostly be summed up follows: “Doctor Who” is a long-running British science fiction television program produced by the BBC about a mysterious time-traveling adventurer known only as "The Doctor". The Doctor and Various companions have traveled through both Time and space in his Craft called the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), which has been locked by a faulty cloaking device into the appearance of a British police box. He explores any planet or dimension at any point in time, including the very end of time itself.
“Doctor Who”, which is the longest running Sci-fi show of all time, has left its influence on quite a few other sci- fi shows and movies, including Star Trek, The Hitchhikers Guide series, and even the Matrix. Since entire books can be written on who or what was exactly influenced, I will leave you with two of the largest examples of this influence.
One of the biggest and most obvious influences on Sci-fi from good old “Who” -especially in the 21st century- is the concept of “The Matrix”. The term “the matrix” was first used in an episode of “Doctor Who”. In the 70s era episode "The Deadly Assassin", the Doctor finds himself fighting for his life inside THE MATRIX, which is the computer that holds the entire knowledge of his people's [the Time Lords] civilization. And when a Time Lord enters The Matrix, they find themselves in a virtual reality landscape. The Doctor once again fought for his life inside The Matrix during the 80s era season entitled "The Trial of a Time Lord," where the Time Lords once again put him on trial for his life for his persistent interference in the affairs of others. The direct precursor to the Hollywood movie, a book entitled “Neuromancer” by William Gibson, came some 10 years after “The Deadly Assassin.”
My second example involves the Star Trek villains “The Borg”. For the most part, "The Borg" are the same thing as a group of reoccurring villains from as far back as 1964 known as “Cybermen”. Even the quote “Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated" that is said by Star Trek's "The Borg" is originally from Dr. Who, and was stated by the "Cybermen."
A reason the show became so influential is because it ran non-stop for thirty years. The show has recently come back after a short hiatus. The show has lasted so long because of a creative idea on the original writers’ part. This idea was that, once the doctor “dies” he regenerates into another personality of himself. This allows for the creation of a show that will, in theory, never end. Although it is likely that the series will end eventually. Currently there have been 10 actors to play the Doctor. At the moment, he is played by Scottish actor David Tennant. David Tennant will appear later this year as “Barty Crouch Jr.” in the new Harry Potter film: "Harry Potter And the Goblet of Fire."
The 10th Doctor and his assistant “Rose” in front of the TARDIS.
From Wikipedia on the future of the series:
“Doctor Who was ranked third in a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programs of the 20th century, produced by the British Film Institute in 2000 and voted on by industry professionals. In 2005, the series came first in a survey by SFX magazine of "The Greatest UK Science Fiction and Fantasy Television Series Ever".
After a long period off screen, a new series of Doctor Who started in 2005, continuing the program from the original 1963–1989 run and the 1996 television movie. Produced in-house by BBC Wales with some development money contributed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the 2005 series has concluded in the United Kingdom, and the program will be returning for a Christmas special later in the year, followed by a second and third series (including a second Christmas special in (2006).”
Here are a few links of further reading:
If you like science fiction, please check out Dr. Who, one of the most influential and greatest shows of all time.
Steve’s Brief picks:
Movies: Even after hearing nothing but bad reviews, my fiancé and I saw “The Brothers Grimm” Last week and it was pretty good, not the best film I have seen, but it was a tad above average. Terry Gilliam has a tendency to go overboard in his films, and that is what I think happened that kept this film from being great.
The film gets a tad bogged down towards the end with “let’s see how much cool imagery we can toss in” and kind of loses sight of its own narrative. At the very end everything comes together, but its not quite 100 percent the greatest ending the movie could have had.
At least it was 1000 times better than the monstrosity that was "Transporter 2". That movie blew Donkey balls. If I were Jason Statham (the main character), I would have kicked somebody’s ass after the premiere. I also can not understand why Ebert and crew have been giving this P.O.S. rave reviews when it was the worst movie I have seen all summer.
It was like a Vin Diesel movie, that even Vin diesel would have turned down. What I think went wrong was they (the producers) got a better budget and ran with it, but instead of a good film, they came up with a huge pile of special effects layered together like an MTV music video.
I dunno, I liked “Brothers Grimm”, and “Hitchhikers Guide”, which the critics pissed on. And I hated the cookie cutter MTV inspired garbage that was Transporter 2 which they all champion as the saviour of action movies......
Anime: I am not sure if it really counts as “anime” per se, but the last really good Japanese animated Film I saw was “Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.” Seriously, go see that movie, it rules. The plot is kind of thin, but that is not why you see it, and unlike “Transporter 2” the action really carries the movie. To me, it was what we all wanted “Final Fantasy: The spirits within” to be.
Books: Have not read too much aside from textbooks and the manga for “Bleach.”
Music: Not enough time to really listen to music in the past few weeks, I guess I have dropped the “Advent Children” soundtrack in a few times.
Until next time, where I talk about the Nintendo DS….
-Editorial by Stephen Kelley-
-Property of dmgice.com-