Doctor (Media) Who(re)

We’ve consumed quite a lot of Doctor Who media over the past few weeks.  Each medium of storytelling proved to be unique, with respective strengths and weaknesses.  As a non-Doctor Who-er, it was nice to enter into the situation unbiased and fresh. I was able to try out each story without comparing it to a favorite or judging its place in the series and adaptations as a whole.

Before I go on about the Doctor and all the different stories, I’d like to acknowledge the overall impressiveness of the series/everything else it is.  It has survived and thrived in so many ways, and I am looking forward to a possible feature film coming our way soon.  This seems to be one franchise that has benefited from the endless adaptations and the fan support and everything that surrounds it. And the character of the Doctor is irresistible.  A young time-lord-thingy who’s really charismatic, funny, flawed, and sometimes attractive? Who could resist? Not many people, it turns out. At least in the UK.

The first Doctor Who story was an episode entitled “Blink” from the David Tennant episodes.  I loved it quite a fair bit.  Not only am I a sucker for time travel, I think Carey Mulligan is pretty awesome.

Carey Mulligan! Hoo. Ray.

To be honest, I have a great deal of qualms with time travel, no matter how it is presented.  Regardless of how much I love Back to the Future, Lost, or the first two Terminator films, time travel remains unperfected in any theory.  I think it’s because no one has ever done it, so I’m not going to blame anybody. But alas, I digress.  I think the way it tried to explain things was admirable. I also thoroughly enjoyed the crying angels and all the mystery and eventual terror that surrounded them.  They were EXTREMELY creepy.  And not once did we see them actually move. I must give huge props to Doctor Who at this point.  Strong ideas coupled with superb editing made one of the coolest things. Ever.

Then there’s the Grant Morrison Doctor Who comics that we read. I like comics and I was intrigued to see the Doctor in graphic novel form.  I liked the story, the animation, and the fact that even though I knew nothing aside from the basic facts about the Doctor himself, I could still follow along and enjoy the ride.  My main qualm with this story is that the “World Shapers” seemed a little too easy in a number of senses.  These villains with some great, ultimate power of control, and the simple defeat through a sacrifice of a small character all seemed a little normal, I think. Now, this revelation only revealed itself unto me after having read the comic.  While I was actually reading, I was completely sucked in. Credit must be given where credit is due.

Which means I have to give credit to the radio play we listened to, Doctor Who: Invaders from Mars. There was, of course, a great deal of detail put into the sound design, which I greatly appreciated. The characters were pretty solid to my perception, mostly because the voices were all distinct from one another.  But before I continue with my evaluation, I should mention that when we listened to this during class, I had not slept in 24 hours, so I was a bit out of it.  I didn’t follow the story as well as I should have, but I am proud to say that I did not fall asleep, despite the darkness and the comforting, British voices. This disconnectedness served to be an advantage in some way.  When I would lose focus and drift away, the voices would take bodies and I was vividly half-dreaming of what was being said. It was a great visualizer.  The reason this was not my favorite is because of the restrictions put on a radio play.  There are certain descriptions and introductions and words that must be said to communicate to the listener what is happening, and it stunts the growth of the writing and the show, in my opinion.  While it is a necessary evil for this medium, it sets the show back in my evaluation.

Worst for last: The video game. Blood of the Cybermen. I must say that it was AWESOME playing a video game for class, but I did not value the actual game too much.  The graphics were pretty shotty and at sometimes, funny.  When the Doctor would try to stroke his chin thoughtfully, it looked like he was rubbing his nose.  The voice acting was much less than stellar, and the lack of freedom the game allowed was frustrating.  I had a good time trying to learn it and work through the many challenges (some intentional, some not), but overall, I was disappointed with the story.  Granted, we didn’t get that far into it, but I just didn’t like where it seemed to be going. Robots. Danger. Ahhhhhhhh……. But it was free. So that’s cool.

In the end, “Blink” served to be my favorite.  The unique story, the integration of extra characters, and the way the episode itself dealt with Transmedia-ness, in a way was cool. David Tennant was really entertaining as the Doctor, I have to admit. I just really enjoyed the experience.  The mood was well-balanced between sadness and hilarity and it was a great hunt for the audience.  My one disappointment is this: At the end, when Sally grabs Larry’s hand after they find the Doctor LITERALLY 30 seconds after she tells Larry that there’s nothing between them.  Not only is it not realistic, it’s not fair. I’m jealous of Larry.

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About nhg8

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