Doctor Who: An Obsession

So at what point does a show go from being a passion to an obsession.  I’ve loved Doctor Who since I was about five years old.  Back in the day when Tom Baker was just getting started,  I’ve always loved the show.  Barely a week has gone by when I didn’t watch at least one Doctor Who, whether from the Classic series or the new series.

Then came the 50th celebration.

My passion for the show went into overdrive!  During the week leading up to that 50th anniversary episode I watched Doctor Who every single day.  Multiple episodes at that, from both the classic and the new series.  And in fact a day hasn’t gone by SINCE the 50th that I haven’t watched at least one episode.  Even today I watched two.  It’s all I tweet about on Twitter.  I’ve started to blog about it, I’m currently reading a Target novel, and of course I keep watching it.

A mad man who stole a blue box.

What is it about this show that excites so much passion?  I see from people I follow on Twitter that I’m not alone in this.  I was at Gallifrey One convention in LA earlier this year.  The amount of people in cos play was amazing.  People all over the world love this show.  It makes me so proud to be a Whovian.  I’ve been mad about the program since the time when it was a nerdy thing and was considered uncool.  Look at the show run now!

I guess there really is nothing else like it out there.  There are plenty of creative and imaginative shows on our screens.  But nothing, NOTHING like Doctor Who.  Wouldn’t we all love a TARDIS of our own.  On the outside, it’s just a simple blue police box.  But when you see it on your screen you know something magical is happening.  That’s the only way to describe Doctor Who.  Magical.

Right from its humble beginning, as a filler to give families something to watch after the sports and before the prime time shows come on, the show captured the imagination of a nation. Athough there was neither the budget or the technology to match the ambition of the producers, they tried to show us things we had never seen before.  Ok, so the effects were often cheesy.  But the stories weren’t.  Classic Who has given us some unforgettable stories and monsters scary enough to chase us behind the sofa.  Ok, I only hid behind the sofa once as a child, but some of the creatures were frightening.  Daleks.  Cybermen.  Sontarans.  Ice Warriors.  Zygons.

Now the show has caught up with technology enough to be able to produce some amazing effects.  Episodes like Planet of the Ood and the Rings of Akhaten have shown us spectacular alien worlds.  The monsters are scarier still.  The show goes on. And on. And on.

Hopefully for another fifty years.

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Happy Birthday Doctor Who!

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I am a huge Doctor Who fan.  I have been since I was six years old.  I won’t say how long ago that was.  But I will say Tom Baker was my first Doctor.  I guess that’s kind of a hint…

So, this is a big week for us Doctor Who fans.  You could say it’s been fifty years in the making.  Yep, Doctor Who is fifty years old this week.  Making it the longest running sci-fi show in history.  And this Saturday, the 23rd november, marks the show’s 50th birthday.  Happy birthday, Doctor!  you don’t look a year over 900!

I follow a lot of Doctor Who fans on Twitter.  Some are of the old guard, like me.  Others came in for the new series.  I’ve noticed certain trends among Who fans on Twitter.  Some still bemoan the departure of David Tennant.  Others are unhappy because the next actor to play the role is going to be an older actor.  Newsflash:  All the Doctor Who actors in the Classic series were older men.  When Peter Davison took over the role as the 5th Doctor, the media were complaining he was TOO YOUNG!  How times change.  Ok, so Peter Capaldi is not a young pretty boy.  He’s still a good actor and I’m sure he’ll bring something special to the role. Much as I will miss Matt Smith, I’m looking forward to seeing what Capaldi has to offer. If anything, perhaps the show will calm down a bit now and stop with the endless running around.  As much as I love the New series, I do miss some things about the way Classic Who used to work. 

I just want to say that as a long time Doctor Who fan I’m used to the constant changes that go with the show.  The hardest one for me to adjust to was the departure of Tom Baker.  Apart from the fact he was my first Doctor, he was also the longest running Doctor in the show’s entire 50 year history.  And he was, in my opinion, the best actor to play the role. He played the Doctor for six years. Through most of my childhood.  In all my years of following the show, one thing I have learned is that no actor is bigger than the show. And I mean NO actor.  Not Tom Baker.  Not David Tennant.  And not Matt Smith.  As much as I will miss him, I will be ready for the next incarnation. 

In its fifty years, Doctor Who has been blessed with some truly remarkable actors playing the title role.  Every one of them has been replaced by a quality actor, stepping up to fill the shoes of the previous actor.  I am confident that Peter Capaldi will not disappoint.  Any true Doctor Who fan will accept and welcome the new actor.  The king is dead.  Long live the king.

Whatever else happens, the show will go on. And on.  And on.  Here’s to the next fifty years of travelling in the TARDIS.

Six Million Dollar Fan

Yes, it’s time I outed myself.  I am a HUGE Six Million Dollar Man fan.  And The Bionic Woman.  I mean the Classic Bionic Woman series, not that train wreck of an attempt of a reboot.

These shows played a huge part in my childhood.  Even though they ended when I was only ten.  And with that, I’ve given away my age!  Never mind.  Even though the show ended so early in my life, I have such vivid memories of watching the show.  I love everything about both shows.  Yes, even those cheesy bionic sounds.  They might be cheesy today, but they are FUN!  The cast was top notch.  Lee Majors and Lyndsay Wagner were fantastic in their roles.  As was Richard Anderson as Oscar Goldman.  Just fantastic.  And the intro to the show is without doubt the BEST intro to a show ever. 

In case anyone who reads this hasn’t heard of these shows, a brief description is in order.  In SMDM, Lee Majors plays the role of an astronaut called Steve Austin, who is almost killed when a plane he was test flying, crashes.  He loses two legs, his right arm and his left eye.  It just happens that a secret government agency are in need of someone they can rebuild using a new technology called bionics.  And Steve fits the bill perfectly.  The pilot is a made-for-tv movie.  It’s much darker than the series goes on to be, but it’s an excellent psychological study.  Steve isn’t too happy when he wakes up after a series of operations and finds out what’s been done to him.  He feels like a freak and it takes a while for him to come to terms with being bionic.  Before the series proper starts, there are two further movies, Wine, Women and War, and Solid Gold Kidnapping.  Both movies are just ok but when we get to the series proper things really take off.  The show ran for five years in the mid 70’s and it even spawned a spin-off when Steve reconnects with an old flame, called Jaime Sommers.  They fall in love and set a date to get married.  Then one day they go sky diving.  Jaime is almost killed when her chute gets tangled up.  She shatters her legs, an arm and an ear.  And guess what?   She goes on to become the Bionic Woman.  And gets her own show.  Both shows work really well and they even get to work together in several cross-over episodes.  I kind of put the two shows together in my head and call them my second favourite show.  My first favourite is Doctor Who.  Nothing can ever top that show in my heart, but the Bionic series’ manage to run it a close second.  I have all three Bionic Woman seriest on dvd and the first three series of Six Million Dollar Man.  Season four comes out next month and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.  It has my all time favourite episode: The Death Probe.  One of the episodes I vividly remember watching in my childhood.  Some shows you love as a child, can make you cringe when you watch them again as an adult.  That never happened with these two Bionic shows.  I love them as much now as I did when I was a child.  In fact, I probably love them more now as I can appreciate aspects of both shows that I might never have noticed as a child.  So what shows did you love as a child?  And do they still hold up now as you watch them as an adult?

 

These shows hark back to the golden age of television, when the networks were creative and adventurous and not afraid to take a risk.  And best of all the stink of so called Reality television hasn’t reared its ugly head.  While there are a few pretty good shows out now, Once Upon A Time is one of my fave current series, and now two new shows have started, Blacklist and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and both look very promising.  But Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman will always have a special place in my heart.