Monday, August 20, 2012

Give the Old Boys a Go

Today's guest post is from friend-of-Anomaly Simon Meddings.  He is a writer at Martian Creative, a podcaster thrice-over (Waffle On, The Tipple Cast, and the MASH 4077 podcast) and has even appeared on Anomaly from time to time.  You may know him as "Meds."  He is a long-time fan of Doctor Who, and has a bit of a "public service announcement" regarding one of his favorite television programs.  Allons-y.

I have a three year old daughter who pointed at Roger Daltrey singing “Who Are You?” on the TV and said, "Oh look Daddy! It’s the Doctor!" and she is an Anomaly.

Now this little bit of writing is not about my daughter and her fondness for Tom Baker. It’s about me and my slight annoyance at certain blogs written about Doctor Who. Now, one of my regular status updates on that there Facebook thingy is this: "Doctor Who did not start in 2005." I write this, often, because I have just read someone’s viewpoint about how David Tennant is the best Doctor, or when someone says "Oh the Cybermen were made by that bloke from ‘Only Fools and Horses’ who's a bit dim". This is like a stab in my brain, heart, and possibly groin - yes, it causes me that much pain.

Now, before everyone starts sending me sonic hatred or, heaven forbid, throws me in the eye of harmony (google it), let me say this: I have nothing against modern Who. Well, not all of it. And I welcome all new Whovians with open arms. After all, it’s you lovely time lords and lasses who will be keeping this show going when I'm dead and regenerated. My issue is the lack of acknowledgement of the previous 42 years (Douglas Adams, I salute you) of Doctor Who. The early stories of the Cybermen and Daleks are fantastic and you can see why kids (and occasionally adults) hid behind the sofa as the metal-clad creatures loomed on the screen and gave the impression of impending doom and horror.

My biggest roll-of-the-eye moments come from are the occasional ignorance of the classic series. Such as the strange announcement that the Ninth Doctor was just in his 900s. WHAT?? In a photo available anywhere on the internet, the Second Doctor is holding his 500 year-old diary. That means in the space of six lives, he's only lived a further 400 years. That's really rubbish and frankly a bit haphazard in wasting lives, considering he can only have thirteen of them (although this can be changed via dodgy Time Lord deals). Also, ex-producer Russell T. Davies's overblown egotistical writing for the Tenth Doctor’s swan song has him pop around to see all his new mates to say "see ya" and ignoring his past thirty three companions (including two K-9s) was bloody facepalm awful. Hrumph...

Now my love of Doctor Who is being heart-massaged by Matt Smith and Steven Moffat, as these two are bringing the show back to how it used to be, and it seems the new fans are loving every minute of it. And for that I have every faith in this marvel continuing for many years after the 50th Anniversary. So what’s the point of this scribe? Well apart from getting it off my two-hearted chest, it’s to plead with new fans to go out there and seek out classic Who.

I know regular Anomaly contributor Sarah enjoys watching classic Who and holds viewing parties with her husband Andrew, so I am fully aware that there are some new fans who really enjoy old Who (and you are all fantastic). So please encourage other fans to jump on board one of the old TARDISes (there were four different styles before Eccleston’s shiny new box) and join in with the old stuff.

Ok so that's my bit of moaning done. The new series starts in August [editor's note: September in the states] and maybe, just maybe, after watching episode one of series seven (actually series 33) you new fans will go and stream, buy, or search for a few episodes of classic Who (just don't watch “The Happiness Patrol”).

Cheers and Geronimo.

Anomaly Guest Writer
Writer - Martian Creative
Podcaster - Waffle On, Tipple Cast, and MASH 4077 Podcast

1 comment:

Lachiades said...

I love the old boys, and have since 1982 when I first found Dr. Who on PBS. I spent many nights hiding out in the den, watching on a tiny black-and-white set. I still try and get my wife to watch any of the old shows, but it just doesn't stick with her. I think there is a fundamental divide that's hard to cross if you don't have the nostalgia of your first experiences with the old boys. Plus, it's hard to compete with the flash and heart-throbbery of today's Who. It still strikes me as off when I see any kind of romance or innuendo between Doctor and companion. That behavior wasn't just understated in previous Doctors, it was non-existent. But, today's writers and Doctors have made it work with much success, and I'm ecstatic that the show enjoys such a robust revival. I got a text message just yesterday from two of my friends that took the plunge and finally started watching Drs 9 and 10. They are hooked... Thanks for your post, Meds!