Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Follow the Leader: Episode 94: Dr. Who!

Martinex1: You keep on suggesting great topics every Tuesday, so we keep playing Follow the Leader!  Who will start the conversation today and what will the category be?  Movies, literature, comic books, television, music, trends and historical culture?  Let's find out!

16 comments:

Charlie Horse 47 said...

There is a new Dr. Who! But what does Dr. Who mean to you? The good Dr.'s premiere show drew a whopping 40% market share the other day in the UK which is huge (at least by USA standards).Yet, it is all to easy to find folks in the USA who haven't a clue about Who. So who is Who to you? Love him / her, like him/her, have no thoughts?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I have tried several times to watch Who on the PBS stations that broadcast him / her. Most recently, I gave Who a go this past Saturday since BBC America was running Who all day given the new female Who premiering this past weekend. Yet I just haven't been able to stick with it. I wonder if I am an oddball, in the comic world, in this regard? Do all you folks enjoy Who?

Steve Does Comics said...

I love Doctor Who. The earliest memory I can put a date to is watching the 2nd Doctor's first adventure, way back in late 1966. Its capacity for reinvention is extraordinary and it's hard to think of another show that's ever managed to combine starkly contrasting tonal shifts the way it does and pull them off. One moment it's being totally silly, the next its tugging at your heart-strings. One moment it's doing overblown grandiosity, the next its gleefully flinging itself into willful bathos.

On top of that, the current season has done a lot of filming in my home city, so I'm doubly excited by it all.

Anonymous said...
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Disneymarvel said...

Back in the late '70s, Maggie Thompson would write gushing praise towards "Doctor Who" in her "Beautiful Balloons" segment of The Comics Buyers Guide. Unfortunately, our local PBS station didn't show DW until 1981. By this time, I was in college, but I gladly used these broadcasts as a much-needed break from engineering studies, even though it meant watching from 10:30 pm on Sunday nights, since most households didn't own VCRs yet.

These showings started with the stories of the 4th Doctor, Tom Baker, from 1974, and I was immediately hooked! I even started buying up the paperback adaptations at the local bookstore. Tom Baker remains 'my Doctor' and, even more so, Elisabeth Sladen will always be "my Companion." You never forget your first, as they say.

Of course, by today's standards, these early DWs were much slower paced, but the science-fiction scripts were intriguing and the actors were excellent, which was needed, because the show's budget was sometimes embarrassing. To this day, I can't convince my wife to watch the older shows, but she loves the reboot from 2005 on.

I attended my first Doctor Who convention in 1984, held in St. Louis, MO, which had a large following of the show. This was a fantastic first con, as I was seated at the same table as Tom Baker during a dinner 'extra' and he was such a fun and sweet person to get to know. By this time, he had left the show 3 years earlier, but was still the main actor featured on PBS reruns. It was at this con, though, that I got to see viewings of the first 3 Doctors and really enjoyed them, as well.

I continued to watch all the Doctors, as PBS moved on into the 5th and 6th regenerations of the Doctor. I watched the 7th, as well, but didn't like the writing as much and soon the show was put on hiatus by the BBC. The 8th Doctor movie was okay, but it was the reboot in 2005 of the 9th Doctor that really brought back the show, with a much higher budget for special effects and fast-paced scripts for a modern audience.

As I've said, the 4th Doctor will always be my favorite, but the 10th and 11th are modern favorites. As a volunteer at a local convention, I even got to be an assistant to Matt Smith and Karen Gillan - the 11th Doctor and Companion Amy Pond - for a day and had a blast getting to know them.

We haven't watched the new female 13th Doctor, yet, but I'm sure we'll enjoy this newest regeneration. Doctor Who is part of my Bronze Age, but has continued on into now!

Mike Wilson said...

I thought Jodie Whitaker did a good job, although I'm not sure if she's completely found her own voice yet; it almost seemed to me like she was channeling Tennant at times. The new companions are good too, especially Yaz.

I generally like the New Who; Tennant is my favourite and Donna is the best companion in my opinion, but each iteration has high points (and the odd low one).

ColinBray said...

Dr Who the show never really clicked for me, the charisma of Tom Baker aside.

However, the Target-published adaptations were fantastic. So many library trips searching for that missing Terence Dicks title...

Humanbelly said...

I do love Dr Who----
Tom Baker was "our" Doctor for my wife and I shortly after we were married, and would show late. . . late. . . OH so late on our local PBS channel on Saturday nights-- and they'd have the occasional fund-raiser mini-telethon around it as well. The station did keep the 4th through the 8th Doctors in rotation for quite some time- although it didn't come close to doing complete runs of #4. Myself, I'm not above looking past comically (tragically?) low budget production values in order to appreciate the work that the writers, directors, and actors are doing in spite of it. It's even kinda inspirational sometimes.

And---TRULY love the current series--- right from its first season. The scope and scale (read: "self-indulgent and off-puttingly broad) of the writing during the Matt Smith era was without a doubt the low point for me so far-- but I still enjoyed it quite a lot. And Peter Capaldi is high on my list of all-time favorites.

And geeze-- I am DELIGHTED to see a woman Doctor-!! I've said this a lot--- but after the wonderful portrayal of The Master as a woman ("Missy"), I can find no patience at all for pouty fan-boys who insist their lives have been ruined because it's just. . . "wrong". Geeze. (Also-- that's the hilarious, cliche'd response EVERY SINGLE TIME there's a regeneration. The tears shed by 14 and 15 year olds when Capaldi was introduced were just the height of teenage absurdity. . . )

HB--- (and no kidding, I came home this evening intending to watch a bit of #9's season!)

Anonymous said...

And Doctor Who has one of the greatest theme-tunes of all time!
I just wish the show was properly scary again with less of the humour.

Redartz said...

Interesting conversation; admittedly I've not seen an episode, and only scarcely remember the issue of Marvel Premiere in which he appeared. Like HB, though, I feel it a great positive to hear about a female Dr. Who. And I hear there's consideration of a female 007...

Martinex1 said...

I first learned of Dr. Who in college. A guy that lived in a nearby dormitory dressed like the Tom Baker character every day - wearing a hat and a scarf. An early instance of cosplay I guess - but I had no idea who he was emulating. At home on holiday break, I caught a run of the show late night on PBS, but it was an older version of the character (Jon Pertwee I believe) and I liked those episodes. I catch an episode here or there but I never am compelled to follow the program regularly. I do tend to like some of the oddball aliens and twists though.

As Redartz indicated, Marvel Premiere had four issues of Dr. Who from #57 to #60. Never read them though.

J.A. Morris said...

I'm a fan of the series, but I didn't became a real fan until the revival with Christopher Eccleston. However, my introduction to the character was the story published in Marvel Premiere (that Redartz mentioned). Since it was never broadcast on a regular basis in my area, for a long time I just thought the Doctor was a Marvel Comics character!

Plug:
I co-wrote a review of a holiday-themed Doctor Who episode a few years back:
https://holidayfilmreviews.blogspot.com/2013/12/doctor-who-unquiet-dead.html

Humanbelly said...

For those of us that distinctly and fondly recall the original/classic run, it's a bit jarring to realize that the "new" Doctor Who is now into its 10th season, right? By almost any yardstick, making it an "old" show all by itself-- ! Hmm-- the effect might even be more pronounced for our sizable British contingent, here. . .

(Total side-question-- is there a cultural "nickname" for British folks that might be considered slightly derogatory, but other folks might not realize that's the case? Sort of like "Yanks" for Americans, I guess--- although that name doesn't really carry much derision, tbh-) (Just don't wanna call anyone the wrong thing outta doofus-ness, y'know?)

But hey--- the couple of mentions above about the show not being scary anymore? I would have to rebut that by pointing out BRILLIANTLY effective horror episodes like BLINK; MIDNIGHT (one of the best ever); SILENCE IN THE LIBRARY; UNDER THE LAKE-- and several others, really. I think the Matt Smith run didn't lean into this genre as much-- or maybe as effectively-- but it's been one of my favorite aspects of the modern run overall.

HB

Steve Does Comics said...

HB, the only derogatory nicknames I can think of for Brits are, "Limey," which I don't think anyone's used since World War Two and, "Poms," which the Australians use. Every so often, someone in Australia tries to get their fellow Aussies to stop using it, on the grounds that it might cause offense but the truth is that no one in Britain is offended by it.

I agree about there being scary episodes of Nu Who. Listen is the one I found scariest. Who would have thought a bedspread could be so terrifying? It would appear, from Twitter, that the bad guy in this week's episode gave quite a few children nightmares, so it's nice to know the show's still doing its job of ruining childhood for everyone.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

This was pretty good commentary! To be on TV since the 60s is simply amazing. I'll try yet again to see if it grabs me!

Humanbelly said...

Steve--- Right!! Forgot about LISTEN-!

The old "Limey" was the only one I could think of at all. I know that we used it in our kids games in the 60's still, using it as "tough talk" if someone was pretending to be a British character, say. NO CLUE if it was offensive of course-- it was just a funny sounding word. (I'd assumed at the time that it had something to do with Lima Beans---) And I gotta say. . . "Pom" just draws a thousand-mile blank stare from me. I can't even begin to guess the association that would make it offensive. Might as well call someone a turnbuckle or a kazoo--- I got nothin'. . .

HB (at the last---)

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