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Jonesing for Doctor Who

April 2nd, 2007 · No Comments · Culture, Doctor Who, Lit, Media, News, Science Fiction, TV

Doctor, Martha, & JudoonSeason 3 of Doctor Who is off to a great start, premiering on the BBC this past Saturday night to an appreciative 35.9% of the UK TV audience. Episode 1, “Smith and Jones,” served up rhino-headed aliens called The Judoon, a hospital on the moon, and of course the debut of the Doctor’s new companion, medical student Martha Jones.

Outpost Gallifrey News reports that a publication called The Express has accused Russell T. Davies of ruining every Saturday night in which there isn’t a Doctor Who episode, and that sounds about right.

Also, three stories from Season 2 of Doctor Who have been nominated for the 2007 Hugo Awards: “Army of Ghosts/Doomsday,” “The Girl in the Fireplace,” and “School Reunion.”

The episodes are nominated in the “Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form” category, which Doctor Who won last year for “The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances” two-parter.

Meanwhile, many PBS stations around the US are starting to air the Season 1 episodes with Christopher Eccleston. WTTW here in Chicago starts showing them April 22. The shows will air on Sundays at 10pm, Saturdays at 11pm. (Tip of the sonic screwdriver to Jim S.)

Finally, The Telegraph argues that “It’s now time to take Doctor Who seriously,” calling the show “an extraordinary study of loss”:

I apologise if it seems silly to be taking Doctor Who seriously. But Russell T Davies and his team of scriptwriters, it seems to me, have produced one of the best and most artful pieces of popular television in years. And what has made it so resonant is not the cast of silly monsters, the excellent jokes, the jolly special effects, and so forth — but its underlying deep melancholy.

Mr Davies has taken a rickety old 1970s science-fiction series, and — by applying a little psychological seriousness to the premise; by asking what it would mean to be able to travel through time, and to live more or less for ever — turned it into an extraordinary study of loss. Its deep theme is loneliness. Loneliness goes through the series like the lettering through a stick of rock.

Read the full piece here (warning — there are spoilers for both Season 1 and Season 2).

… As a side effect of reading that essay, I wound up ordering a copy of The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Anyone read it?


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