Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why I love the TARDIS

To understand why I love the TARDIS, I need to address it's core concept, time and space travel combined.

Although time travel is inherently fictional, it has been a heavily written about subject. I think the first time I saw time travel was in Back to the Future. Although I must say The Terminator and T2 are all time favorite time travel movies of mine as well. The idea that you could travel in time and nudge your own life into shape, almost sculpt it, is fascinating to me.

Now, when you take the concept of time travel and you add the dimension of space, I think that officially brings the entire idea into an exceptionally fantastic place. Time travel and space travel put together, truly stretching the limits of the human mind. You can now travel anywhere, absolutely anywhere. Although your personal time line travels one way, you may create that path any way you like.

Doctor Who is acted with such conviction that it is truly moving and when you add the fact that absolutely anything is possible, well, the entire thing is amazing. It's an amazing concept.

The TARDIS is the vessel that carries that entire concept. The TARDIS is amazing, right?? It is alive, it knows the Doctor, it knows the time lords, it knows Gallifrey, it has a heart, it's blue, and it can do anything and go anywhere. Plus it has that shield that can hold off Dalek blasters, which has definitely come in handy. I also love whenever he lands it and the door faces a wall so he has to move it. I love that it took human form and interacted with the Doctor. Think about that meeting, then think about the wonderful Beatles undertone. When the Doctor things she wanted to say "Goodbye", but she really wanted to say "Hello." "You say goodbye and I say hello. Hello, Hello! I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello!" I really feel like that little part is a Beatles tribute. They've worked in fantastic obvious music references in other episodes. Like the Flesh episodes where they constantly say "Us and Them", such a Pink Floyd reference.

The TARDIS rewards the Doctor and guides him on his entire journey to help and save worlds in danger. It is absolutely as important as the Doctor himself.

So, yeah, that's why I love the TARDIS :-)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The designer of the Daleks has passed away.

Ray Cusick, the designer of the Dalek, has passed away.

This is such sad news. The Daleks are my favorite villain throughout the series. I love it when the 10th Doctor gets right in their face and talks about how sad it must be that they never feel anything ever. Trapped in a cage from birth until death, perhaps that torture presses the Daleks to hate as much as they do. Their design is amazing because its basically a tank that can rotate in any direction at any time. The Dalek eye can rotate 360 degrees, which makes for some incredible conversational moments in the show. The design of the Dalek truly leant itself to functionality throughout the series.

The Daleks, trapped in a permanent moving cage for a mutated being, are so wonderfully iconic and I cannot imagine Doctor Who without them.

The Who villains have gotten crazy and more inventive over the years, but the Daleks will always be the number one alien that is both the mortal enemy of the Doctor and beloved by Whovians.

Thank you Mr. Cusick, Rest In Peace, your gift to the world expanded our imaginations.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why the 11th Doctor Who is the best Doctor Who so far.

Why the 11th Doctor is the best Doctor so far.

The answer to this starts back with Doctor #9. The Ninth Doctor showed us the darker side of the Doctor. He's been traveling along for some time at that point. At least he's by himself when he meets Rose Tyler in the basement of the department store.

He bears a cold and lonely heart on his sleeve. He talks to Rose about the destruction of his home planet, as his face crimps with a deep frown. He lets Cassandra dry and explode. He has traveled and he has frozen himself into solitary, one that he is desperately trying to break out of. You can almost see it on his face, he hates how cold and miserable he feels but he's just not sure what to do about it. Then he figures out exactly what to do, he sacrifices himself to save Rose. Although she is the one who saves them all, his act leads to his regeneration which is the beginning of the best Doctor to come. I would also like to note that Christopher Eccleston was essential to bring that "Manchester United" feel to the 9th Doctor. Although he has been heard saying he didn't enjoy playing the 9th Doctor, I still love that season and it has some absolutely fantastic moments in it. The story of Rose and Bad Wolf carves its way through the first season and leads to an incredible finale. A fantastic finale fitting of Doctor Who.

Now, on to the 10th Doctor.

Although the 10th Doctor is widely regarded as the "best" Doctor of the new seasons, I am still using the piece to argue otherwise. That being said, the 11th Doctor would NEVER have been possible without the 10th Doctor. Let's start at the appropriate moment, shall we?

A Christmas tree is smashing Jackie's apartment and it is closing in on Rose, Jackie, and Mickey. Rose only needs to whisper "Help Me" in the Doctor's ear, he then springs from his regeneration coma and saves them all. We know this is definitely the same Doctor in a different body with one simple action. Classic. Then, just as our heroes are about to bite the dust again, he awakens fully and saves the day. As the 10th Doctor's story went on and on, it only tied all our collective heartstrings tighter. From Bad Wolf Bay through The End Of Time, we are taken on an absolutely brilliant journey. Remember Pompeii? or Turn Left? The writing of the show only continued to prove how incredible this show really is and why absolutely it needed to stay on the air.

The 10th Doctor also took us through our first experience with the Weeping Angels, perhaps the most vicious of any villain we have yet to meet. However, we also have The Waters Of Mars. Remember that one? The Doctor, our hero, decided he was officially above all the rules of time and space. Yes, he did this partially out of his inherent need to save. He also did what he did to show that he, in fact, was in charge of time and space. The Doctor went from being a helpful and loving alien, to playing God and not blinking an eye. The Universe took only a moment to snap him back down from his high horse. Perhaps that was truly when the Doctor fell further than he's ever fallen before. He may have not wanted to go, but the Universe definitely had other plans.
I think this is a case where, as described in my previous post, Death clipped the Doctor pretty hard.

Finally, we come to the 11th Doctor. When he crash lands into Amelia Pond's backyard, he is all smiles and, strangely enough, kinda looks like a combination of the 9th and 10th Doctor. He's definitely got the hair, but with the stronger and more dominant face. No offense Tennant, but seriously. Can we all agree that Matt Smith is perhaps the most stoic Doctor in a long time?
Anyway, had it not been for the history we get with the 10th Doctor, the 11th Doctor would not have been able to handle the villains he met.

The 11th Doctor winds up in a war with the Silence, perhaps the coolest Doctor Who villain to date. This war approaches Doctor vs. Dalek proportions as it weaves through time in a spider web fashion. It builds out, then retracts, then builds again, always staying connected. The 11th Doctor does slip though as we get into his adventures. He even goes so far as to pull a gun on a very real threat. Despite that it was a western set-up, it is a well known fact that the Doctor never uses a gun. The Doctor uses a screwdriver.

Then there is the absolutely stunning episode "The Doctor, The Widow, and The Wardrobe". I defy anyone to watch this episode and not cry. It is executed brilliantly. It touches on the pure magic of Doctor Who in an almost "Amazing Stories" type of way.

All of those previous facts considered, combined with the Doctor's most recent journey to continuously find his new companion, put #11 at the top of my Doctor list. He would not have been possible without #9 and #10, as well as 1-8, I am not suggesting that he ever could be the product of any other precession. The Doctor is indeed the product of all who came before him and everyone who works on the show, and I feel that the current crew, combined with Steven Moffatt, and Matt Smith, is taking us through the best Doctor yet.

Allons-y! Get your coat!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The time vortex and the grim reaper

The time vortex and the Doctor's constant brush with death.

The Doctor travels in the TARDIS through time and space via the time vortex. The vortex is a set of pathways through time and space.

I know, duh.

But I think the vortex represents brushing with death constantly. Space is deep, dark, and lonely. The deepest parts of space are almost like death continuously coming after the Doctor. Maybe that's why he is always on the run, traveling, helping. Yes, part of that is because it was his adapted name due to his constant desire to help and heal. However, I think he needs to run because he travels through the time vortex. Perhaps traveling through the vortex changes you internally. Well, we know it does. In fact, it was looking into the time vortex that created the race of time lords.

Perhaps as death chases the Doctor through his long life, the Doctor must always continue to zoom past the grim reaper, in the tardis, in the other direction. Perhaps it's simply because death can't catch the Doctor, that the Doctor lives so long. Maybe even a higher power provides him with the ability to regenerate. Maybe the Doctor, and the entire race of time lords, are some sort of miracle.

Maybe sometimes, just sometimes, Death is able to clip the Doctor as they cross paths. Perhaps it is this that brought the Doctor and Rose back to Satellite 5 in the Bad Wolf episode. Actually, a few times the Doctor is either running from predators (the Family of Blood) or getting swept into dangerous situations (psychic container anyone?). These seem random at times. Perhaps it's death nudging the Doctor just a little bit, before he loses him again.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My favorite Doctor Who episode : Midnight

Doctor Who: Midnight

Note:Spoilers, the episode Midnight, season 4, episode 10, doctor 10

I decided to launch this officially by blogging about my favorite episode of the recent Doctor Who.

In MIDNIGHT, the Doctor tries unsuccessfully to get Donna to come along on a sight-seeing shuttle to the Sapphire Waterfall. He then enthusiastically boards the shuttle himself and sets out on the adventure with a handful of other people from all walks of life.

Right away this episode grabs me. The Doctor gets on the shuttle and everyone is starting to get lost in their own little world, as travelers often do. The fellow passengers are plugging in and tuning out, but not the doctor. The Doctor wants to engage his fellow travelers. With a flick of the 'ol sonic screwdriver, he shuts down all the entertainment and suggests they all get to know each other.

This reminds me of going to punk rock shows in the years before cell phones. When you would meet cool people in line while waiting to get in, then you'd meet more cool people when you all settled your places in the crowd. Back when you used to be able to smoke at all indoor concerts here in NY, these little circles would form throughout the general admission floor crowd. Simply getting into a circle or two would almost guarantee you a new friend or two. Back then, you'd actually have to TALK to each other to pass the time. I've met some great people chatting it up with fellow punkers between bands. In fact, it's how I've met some absolutely amazing people.

So, the Doctor settles in with everyone and they all get to know each other. Then the tide of the episode starts to turn. It isn't often that the Doctor is out, alone, away from the Tardis, and gets himself into a situation that is so sticky you can't see his way out from your couch. This episode strikes that chord dead on. Within minutes, the Doctor is on the verge of being thrown out of the shuttle and to his certain death. These passengers do not know him, or the wonderful things he has done, they only know they are afraid and will do whatever they can to survive. Just when it looks like it's all over for Doctor Who, the flight attendant grabs the real enemy and throws them both out the door. She saves the Doctor's life.

It's rare that a person, who is not a companion, saves the Doctor from certain death. Every time it happens is magic, but this one was really something. She saw through the situation and saved him, at the cost of her own life.

Then the Doctor returns to Donna, who has been relaxing and getting pampered, and gives her a solid hug. The relief is written all over him and it hits you just how close even he believed he was to death. He then sits with Donna and tells her everything so they can reflect and assess what happened. This moment reminds me of the end of the "Turn left" episode, where one of the main characters has been through an incredibly traumatic experience. It is refreshing to see that a series based on leaders and companions can still branch out and give our heroes separate mountains to climb and conquer.

Doctor Who For Life Blog

I started watching Doctor Who about 2 years ago when my fiancĂ© introduced me to the show by having me watch the episode "Blink". Yes, the perfect episode to start with to determine if you are about to become a Whovian (huge fan of Doctor Who). I became a Whovian after that and spent the next few months watching every Netflix'd episode of Doctor Who that I could. Catching up was so much fun, we would have Doctor Who days, just watch 5 or 6 episodes in a row. My favorite villain is a tie between the Daleks and the Silence. I'm probably still more of a Dalek fan. I definitely cheered at the end of an episode during the "next time on..." scenes when they showed the Daleks. They're so legendary to the series and their update was fantastic coming into the 2005 reboot of the series. 


The real question is, why do I love Doctor Who? 

Aside from the fact that it's acted with such conviction that you can't help but let it absorb you...

I love Doctor Who because it inspires me everyday by reminding me that anything is possible. The concept of the show is fantastic in and of itself. You have an aging alien that bears the direct likeness of a human that travels through time and space showing his companions remarkable things and places that they would never see without his help. Not only that, this alien is compassionate and routinely saves entire worlds from falling into the deep darkness of space. The journeys of the Doctor, in the TARDIS, through the time vortex truly represent the journey through life that we all experience.

The time vortex is life, but life only goes one way. Perhaps that's why the Doctor is so old and yet still so young, his life goes in many more directions than ours. Hence, he is always traveling through the deep darkness that can consume anything, perhaps it even represents death and that's why he is always moving. His age reflects his constant journey away from death by crossing it's path all the time? Just a thought, I'm sure I'll blog about that later. 

That little paragraph right there is the perfect reflection of why I love the show. It inspires me to think, to live, to wonder. The sheer concept of the show is so wonderfully insane that it reminds me anything is possible, anything can be thought of, and life can take you to fantastic places that you never thought you would go. 

Expect this blog to be an incredibly enthusiastic jaunt into speculations about upcoming episodes, reflections on my favorite episodes, and lots of fan gushing about the series.