Anybody else been watching the new Doctor Who?
I was always a bit lukewarm towards the show when I was a kid – it seemed slow moving and awfully cheesy by 80’s standards – but I’m really starting to like the new version. So far, it’s lampooned the rush to war in Iraq only a couple weeks before the election – “massive weapons of destruction” indeed – and now has gone on to attack 24-hour cable news in last night’s episode. I don’t remember the old Doctor having such political content.
The Dalek episode, though, was pure fan service.
Doctor Who was always something of a working class science fiction program. The Doctor didn’t circulate among the rich and powerful – he always moved in working class circles, travelling in that now extinct but once ubiquitous landmark of the British urban landscape, the police box. But this new Doctor seems more explicitly designed to reach a middle class audience. I loved the line about how he sounds like he’s from the North, to which Rose (the new assistant) responds, “Well, lots of planets have a North.”
This new incarnation appears to be the work of Russell T. Davies, the man responsible for the original British version of Queer as Folk. I imagine he must be responsible for the sharper edge in the new Doctor.
Anyway, I’m hoping this will lead to more sharply written BBC science fiction. I want them to bring back a more grown-up version of the Tomorrow People, which offers even more prospect for being snarkily political.