Saturday, June 10, 2006

Is this just a cult thing?

For the life of me, I've never been able to get in to Star Trek. I've liked individual episodes, and I liked the IDEA of Deep Space Nine, but even as a kid, I just couldn't get in to the show (though, curiously, I really liked the movies at that age). So when people talk about how great the show was and how they're excited for J.J. Abrams to revive the franchise, I have to tightly purse my lips and nod along.

And that's kind of how I'm feeling about this Doctor Who reinvention. It's solid, B+ entertainment all around. There hasn't been an episode that's less than engaging. And the two central performances from Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper are always on the dot.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with having something that's purely entertaining on the television dial, a non-guilty pleasure, if you will. But for some reason, I just can't get in to Who like I have other pure-pleasure shows (the first two years of Alias, for example).

Honestly, the whole thing makes me feel like I should be getting nostalgic for something I know nothing about. It hews so closely to the originals (I assume) that it's playing off of feelings I don't necessarily have because I've NEVER seen an episode of Who before this incarnation.

I dunno.

I've still got a few episodes to get through before the finale, and I'll do the customary wrap-up.

Is it just me? Am I just too used to the newly in vogue gloomy U.S. SF to enjoy this?

All right. Off to bed.


Joshua Houk said...

The revamp of Doctor Who doesn't really stick closely to the original. It's still the same show, technically, but the writing, the style, the emotional impact, the production, and the special effects are all orders of magnitude greater than anything the series did pre-1990. Compare the classics of the old era to the new - say, City of Death to The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, and the difference couldn't be greater. (Mind you, City of Death is great - but clearly a different ball of wax, if perhaps from the same candle.)

What I think may be hampering your enjoyment is that Doctor Who is meant to be family entertainment. You couldn't put half of the greatest moments in Battlestar Galactica in it 'cause the kids are watching. It's the nature of the show (and this it was continued from the old series) and you either accept it or you don't. Having said that, the new Doctor Who does broach some seriously dark/mature issues, the two big ones being wide-scale atrocities and alienation. I think it does a lot with those issues within the paramaters it sets.

I'd give the series the rest of the season to win you over (the last half way exceeds the first), but if The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances and Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways don't rock your boat, then it probably will never hook you in completely.

Lee said...

At least not until The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit two parter that just finished.

Trust me, that is well up there with anything you have reviewed on the blog so far.