Friday, January 16, 2015

Modern Doctor Who Finally Wins Me Over!

I'm on record as not being a huge fan of the modern Doctor Who show. I'm much more a fan of the original run from 1963 to 1989 with their low budgets, silly monsters and inventive scripts but I've always found the 21st century version to be a little too off from what I like in Who. Not that I haven't enjoyed the show in general but I've found the reliance on stories set on present day Earth irritating since they clearly have a LOT more cash to spend on the show than past producers. During the years of the much beloved 10th Doctor I became increasingly pissed by this fallback setting until things got to the point that I would turn an episode off once I discovered that, once again, we're in modern day London. I would eventually return to finish the story but I did it more out a sense of obligation than desire. That is not a good reason to watch a television show.

So, once they switched actors in the lead role I stepped away from Doctor Who and ignored the Matt Smith run of episodes regardless of the praise I read online. After all- I had heard the same talk about the first four years and had been only occasionally pleased by the onscreen results.

About six months ago, at the insistence of author Steve Sullivan, I decided to finally watch the first Smith episode and I was impressed - but not impressed enough to watch more. Cut to this past holiday season when - for no good reason - I watched the second episode of the fifth season/series and was very happy with it! The Beast Below is set in the far future and in deep space where the city of London has been set on course for a new planet. Yes! This is the kind of setting that I think of when I think Doctor Who! So I watched the next episode and it involved a trip back to WWII London to help Winston Churchill deal with a nasty Dalek problem. YES! The past AND Daleks! Perfect! Then the show presented a two episode tale that brings back the most impressive modern addition to the Who rouges gallery The Weeping Angels while pointing toward future events that the Doctor has yet to experience. "You had my interest but now you have my attention." Later in the season the Silurians return giving us one of those great links back to the old Doctors and there is even a reoccurring nod to first few incarnations of the character that show real affection for the full history of this great program. This is a modern version of Who I can completely enjoy!

The only problem is that I noticed about a week ago that, as of the first of February, Doctor Who will be dropped from NetFlix. This means that after that time it will be very difficult for me to watch more of the show as I don't really want to purchase the newer series. Damn.  I should have listened to Steve sooner and caught up faster. Oh well- let's see how far I can get into season/series six before January is over. The ending of season five was excellent!


Hunter said...

Hopefully, Netflix will renew their agreement (there are dozens of BBC movies and series that are ending at the end of the month).

In the meantime, if you have Amazon Prime, Doctor Who is also available on Amazon Instant Video.


Rod Barnett said...

The series is staying on NetFlix! Woo hoo! Now I just have to power through the rest of the Matt Smith run.