Who Hops Through Mediums

The storytelling medium of Doctor Who that I found to be the least satisfying was definitely the video game. I probably felt this way because I am not a gamer at all. For me, this medium of storytelling failed in the narrative component. While I was playing, I realized that gaming depends entirely on whether or not the player is actually good at the game (which…of course, I wasn’t); therefore, I missed out on several plot elements I heard my peers around me experiencing, while I kept trying to get out of the way of the cyber org’s lasers (and failing miserably each time).  I don’t believe that the failure was intrinsic to the story itself, because it seemed to have been extremely well imagined and very detailed. I think the failure is just intrinsic to the medium itself (if people who aren’t proficient gamers are trying to play, and are expecting to get the same narrative experience as the experts).

Conversely, I thought that the other storytelling mediums were all very effective. My favorite was definitely Steven Moffat’s episode we watched (with the weeping angels). It was extremely strong in its narrative power because of both the visual and audio elements in the episode. I was definitely terrified of the stone angels, and had my eyes covered for half of the episode. I believe that the cause for this episode’s strong storytelling component was its complex narrative. Much like Mulholland Dr., I was unsure of time sequencing throughout the entire episode until it was revealed towards the very end. And even then, I was still confused.

A Weeping Angel

Carey Mulligan on Doctor Who

In addition to the Carey Mulligan and weeping angel Doctor Who episode, I felt that the second most effective storytelling medium was the audio drama. Although it didn’t have the strong and complex visual components (like the TV and comic episodes), it allowed for me—as a listener—to use my imagination and be creative. I thought the comic episode (by Grant Morrison) was going to do more for me than Robson’s audio drama, but in the end I felt that the audio drama was more effective because I could hear complex narrative elements, and then interpret them in my own creative imagination.

There were several underlying factors in the Doctor Who narratives that were universal throughout the different storytelling mediums. One of them was characterization. Two characters always stayed the same, regardless of medium:  1) Doctor Who, and 2) his female assistant. Supporting characters varied, as did locations; overall though, Doctor Who was trying to pass through time to save a certain situation from some evil force.

Regardless of the seemingly simple theme in the Doctor Who episode plots, complex narrative elements were present in all of the mediums. For example, in each storytelling medium we all seemed to be confused with time sequencing. (This was one of Jason Mittell’s elements of the definition of a complex narrative.) Doctor Who jumps backwards and forwards in time throughout all of the episodes (and in the video game), but the time jumps were totally random. In the weeping angel episode I found myself making parallels to Mulholland Dr. and its non-linear plot.

Overall, I really enjoyed Doctor Who. It was fascinating to see the different components of a story that allow for it to transcend different mediums over time.

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About elliesepiphanies

I am a senior at Trinity University. I am a Communication major, and I have started this blog for my Transmedia Storytelling class.
This entry was posted in Blog 3. Doctor Who Case Study and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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