Monday, November 25, 2013

Fashionably late Doctor Who tribute



If you live in Britain or one of the other 93 countries that broadcast Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary specials this weekend (they made several), you’re probably pretty damn sick of Time Lords, Daleks and that bloody bass line by now. I like the show, but even I need a hiatus after being encouraged to binge over the last week thanks to the BBC giving this show unprecedented freedom to indulge the fandom.

I don’t even consider myself a hard-core Whovian (as they like to be called), but not for the usual reasons someone who quite likes the show may be wary of being associated with it. As a child Trekkie who accessorised his blue school jumper with a comm badge and completed his further education by writing a 10,000 word English Literature dissertation that basically boiled down to ‘Who Is Better? Kirk or Picard?’ (not much of an exaggeration), I’m not shy about my sci-fi fandom. If anything, my stupid reflex is to be repelled by a cult hit gaining huge popular success, in the self-destructive way you might curse mainstream radio for not playing the alternative music you like and then brand the band sell-outs and their new fans as posers when they get their big break.

But 50 years for a continuing sci-fi show (on and off) is a pretty damn fine achievement – Star Trek’s due for the golden anniversary in a couple of years too, so look forward to that getting on your nerves, non-nerds! For once I don’t have any room for cynicism, and have just accepted that while Who might not be my #1 favourite show, it’s a hell of a lot easier to lose yourself in when there’s so much of it out there and the creators have the devotion and the funding to write massively fan pleasing installments. I’ve loved it all, and any discussion over whether it'll suffer or improve after Matt Smith hands over to Peter Capaldi is trifling, as the show will soar as long as it’s under the diligent care of Steven Moffat. I’m not going to write a 10,000 word dissertation on Moffat vs. Davies, the internet already exists. And alright, I am a little excited about Capaldi.

I just watched the anniversary episode a day late online, thanks to being in the jaded half of the world that opts out of imaginative TV, and caught up on the related poignant and whimsical dramas that marked the milestone for this show that I can finally accept among my favourites. I'm coming out of that surprisingly spacious closet, and I even felt compelled to bash out a hastily written short story tribute. Hopefully I've missed the anniversary bandwagon and this will be satisfyingly superfluous, I’d hate to be mainstream. The tale doesn’t really capture the joy and enthusiasm the show has given me in my new non-travelling, work-heavy life, as it ended up being no more light-hearted than any of the other horrible stories I occasionally write. Maybe I watched too much Breaking Bad. But trust me, I’m doing okay.

So I guess I wasn’t killed in the devastating Philippines typhoons then. See you in two months for another update that mentions nothing of any real-world importance!