|How I knew who Tom Baker was, I don't know. Perhaps my hyper-awareness of the goings-on in pop culture began before I knew it. Perhaps I'm just a giant nerd.|
Then in 2005 or thereabouts (it might have been 2006 when it started in America), I saw ads that the SciFi channel was going to start broadcasting a new version of Doctor Who, and I ranked it right up there with the SciFi Saturday night features like The Big Radioactive Skunk Terror starring Dana Plato and Willie Aames.
|Dude, you gotta have a poker face like me.|
The first episode of Doctor Who I saw was called "Father's Day," half-way into Series One. Christopher Eccleston is the Ninth Doctor, and Billie Piper is Rose, The Doctor's current companion. (Another aside for the neophytes: The Doctor regenerates when he gets wounded. He can die, but he doesn't. He just changes shape and looks different. This is convenient, obviously, as a new actor can play The Doctor and we don't go, "Why is Darrin Stephens a different man now?" And The Doctor almost always travels with a female companion. It's not as creepy as it might sound.)
|Don't worry, Rose, I'll soon be invisible on Heroes.|
Anyway, Rose lost her father and never knew him. In this episode, Rose goes back in time and meets her father on the day he's supposed to die. Of course Rose wants to save him, even though The Doctor is adamant about not changing certain events in time. They all end up being trapped together with a wedding party in a church that's threatened by some bad CGI bat-things The Doctor calls Reapers. I would have been turned off by the shoddy effects, thinking that they could have tried to do things better than they did thirty years ago, but I was already drawn in by funny dialogue, a clever time paradox story, and stellar acting. By the end of the episode (no spoiler here: you know Rose wouldn't be able to save her father), I totally felt Rose's loss and I loved the way The Doctor handled the situation.
|He married her. Who needs an Emmy?|
Most of the effects are passable, despite my complaining, but for some reason the main baddies are still just as cheesy as they looked back in 1973. Maybe they're working with models that were created so long ago and felt they shouldn't change or something. But it is a lot to ask us to consider the Daleks the worst threat in the universe when they sound like they're speaking through a harmonica and they shoot death rays out of the toilet plungers jutting from they're bejeweled, soda-can casings.
|Why do even angel statues look sinister?|
|What's that on your forehead?|
|Sing Blue Silver for me, would ya?|
I've tried several times now to watch some of the old shows with all the old Doctors. I still can't stomach it. Someone needs to tell me why I'm wrong.