The Doctor, you know who, returns to the Sci Fi Channel tonight in his time-traveling blue phone booth, a testament to growing popularity in the United States, I presume.
The third season of Doctor Who just concluded its run in Great Britain last week, while it took a year for the first season to make it to the U.S. If you've visited here often, you know I'm a fan, and Who fans don't just watch, they proselytize, or try to at least.
No Goof No Glory
A mixture of goofiness and hard science fiction, horror and hope, the new Doctor Who is one of the grandest science fiction television shows ever. If you couldn't take the videotaped versions from past years, the production values are on a par with Star Trek: TNG or any of the new Trek series.
The Best Period
And it's one of the best written television shows period. Amid all of the frantic action sequences and time travel that goes further than anyone's gone before, character-driven stories are the series' heart and soul.
A Show For Writers
This is a show that's great for writers--even of the very different prose medium--to observe. In the first two seasons, The Doctor (Christopher Eccleston who morphs into David Tennant) is paired with young British shop girl, Rose (Billie Piper), and their relationship is the underpinning for all of the first two seasons, culminating with an incredible two-part finale that airs as part of a marathon this afternoon (July 6) on Sci Fi. (Check local listings, what am I the TV Guide Channel?)
The new season, Series 3, begins in the evening with the 2006 Christmas special, followed by the first episode of Season 3 which introduces a new companion (Freema Agyeman) for the Doctor and promises to continue the quality of the first two seasons.
Previous seasons have drawn on the wealth of Doctor Who tie-in material including scores of novelizations, and that continues once again with a two-part story based on a novel actually featuring an earlier incarnation of The Doctor, the one played by Sylvester McCoy. When actors change, ah, just read the Wikipedia entry.
The Human Nature novelization cum tele-story is offered by the BBC in ebook form, so it's a way to get a taste of the Who universe while waiting for prime-time to roll around.
Trust me, if you're not a Whovian, you should be. If you don't like goofy. Wait a few minutes and it's poignant.
After you read or watch, check out the BBC provided online commentaries available by iTunes. Also check out the wonderful Who Podcast, Podshock.
(I know the TARDIS is not really a phone booth, by the way, that's just short hand.)
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