Doctor Who : Awesome, British and Cult !
It's time for my last article here (maybe another one will be done to summarise my Erasmus in UK). Today, as I said since a long long time, we will talk about Doctor Who.
First of all,, why did I choose to talk about Doctor Who as my free subject here ? Well, for those reasons :
- I'm a huge fan of the show (and of the universe aside... Torchwood, the comics, Cap'tain Jack Harkness ^^). I will maybe say some things that are fan related but I'll try to keep this as more relevant as I can :)
- Do you know these new gates in airports ? The one for biometric passport (that you can see just right there). Well, when I was coming back in UK after my trip in Budapest, I use this type of gate (Wow! Amazing story ^^) but the thing is that one guy there had the old passport (that aren't with the biometric thing in it) and made the gate bip. At the sound, an english man who was in the queue start imitating a Dalek and make laughed the majority of people in the queue. That's why I think that I should take about this TV show that is a huge part of the british culture.
- This is the sound of a dalek. (Yup, it's similar to the bip of the UK frontier gates ^^)
- And because it is a pillar of Sy-Fy and a pillar of english culture. And also because it is so british. As said Dr. Britton here : “Even we did science fiction, it never looked like Doctor Who. That’s because it’s so strange and odd from the start. After we started to get American imports like Star Trek, for a long time the oddity tickled the British fancy. The eccentric English-ness of it is also part of its popularity.”
Oh some point that are not related to the show itself but in UK, words for shows are differents than in the US. TV Show is more for UK as Series is more for the US. And Series in UK means Seasons in the US (Yup, for TV shows addicts, read "Series Finale" for a british show is sometime stressful if we don't know that ^^)
So, why Doctor is so british and why is it so cult ? Many people in France thought it's awful or kitsch. But, nah ! :fan mode activated: Doctor Who is an adventure that follows an alien, sure but that talks a lot about humanity. (And it is also a show that could possibly hurt your feelings like no shows before). I will answer later the two questions above. But the first, I will present the show.
After 50 years, summarise the story of Doctor Who would be a bit messy but we can say something like that. We follow the adventures of the Doctor, an alien that is more of 900 years old. He visit the world at different time with his T.A.R.D.I.S. (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) and always with a companion. The special power of the Doctor is his ability to regenerate (because he is a Time Lord).
Yup, I made the pitch pretty basic but it is enough to give some details. Thanks to this, the show is the oldest one. Yes, believe it or not, but this show was created in 1963. An interesting fact is that, at the beginning, one the creator of the show, Sydney Newman, wanted all episodes to be just an educational trip to different time and places in the world with the Doctor and his daughter. But, the other creator decided to change the story of the first episode by creating the Daleks and the show started to became cult and one of the pillar of sy-fy.
So now, you know a few about the show. (yup, it's really nothing but talking about this show should take at least 1000 pages and I don't want to bore you to death ^^). But let's talk about why it is so cult ?
There is many reasons that could explain why Doctor Who is now the cult british show ever created. I will give some of them but, of course, there are others and everyone has his own opinion and view on this :
- First of all and one of the main assets of this : the humor, the tone of the show. Yes, if there is a lot of drama and others moments that will rip your heart, there is also the famous british humor. The british humor is something weird, something obvious and also undefined. Sometimes, it's just common sense and sometimes, it's the most unexpected situation. And, that's one of the best part of the show : this humor is inimitable and special.
- The theme tune is cult. I don't say that as a fan but as Mr Nobody. ^^ I mean, listen to the sound below and I'm sure you'll think you heard it somewhere. Created in 1963, it was one of the very first electronic themes recorded for television and it is almost the same 50 years later.
- The villains are cult. Yup, okay, on that point, I may play the fanboy of the show but it is true. The Dalek, the Cybermen are the most famous (and the most recurrent one in the show) but as a british show, the showrunners excells in the art of making you afraid of anything.
- The characters. On this point, a distinction will be made between the Doctor and his companion :
- The fact that the Doctor can regenerate himself is good (to make the show continue. Show must go on !) is a part of what make the show so cult. Every doctor is different. He has his own personality and behaviour that no other Doctor had or will have. Leaving a Doctor is the hardest thing for a fan, replacing him by another one is also hard (because we still remember the last one) and when we start to love the new one, the showrunner decide to change him again. (The guy saying "Amateurs" is Steven Moffat, the actual showrunner of the show.)
- The companions are also a big part of the show. In fact, they are somehow the human being to whom we can relate. The companions change as frequently as the Doctor. The main point with them is that they constitute our curiosity. Everyplace they visit, everything they live, it's like we live that. That's something only british managed to do with a show.
- It's still educational (well, not always but it still happens to be). We can visit and travel from Victorian England to the London Olympics. The show revisit history of England and for british or foreign watchers of the show, we can still learn something about the country. But, still with some humor. Like this part of the show where the Doctor and his Companion met the Queen Victoria.
- The last point was found thanks to The Huffington Post : The show is loved by children and adults. Children will love the monsters, the creatures that the Doctor will encounter while the adults will appreciate the twists of the season.
- Oh and the most important thing : The TARDIS. A Police Box that was a sort of symbol in UK (at least something that we found there. Since I am in London, I still haven't seen any of it but maybe one day, at the corner of a street. ^^
For the moment, that's it for this article. I hope you enjoyed reading it as it was a pleasure for me to write it. Anyway, I will probably write a last article later this month to summarise my Erasmus. Now, you know what to do : start this fantastic show ^^. It was a good experience for me to write on this blog. See you soon :)
And don't forget, have a fantastic life. Enjoy every thing you discover ! And I'll let the Doctor conclude this article :
Tags : Doctor Who, BBC, Doctor, Cult, TV Show
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