It took me a long time, but I finally see what people see in Dr. Who–although I can also totally understand why some people have such a hard time getting into the show. Denisa and I sit down most evenings and try to figure out what we want to watch. Sometimes it’s simple: we’ve only got about a half hour, so we go for a Cheers or a Dick Van Dyke show or some other sitcom. If we’ve got a couple of hours, we shift over to a movie of some sort. It’s the times when we only have an hour that it becomes tricky. Ideally we have a TV show that fills that gap, but we’d burned through most of the ones we’d found and liked.
As you’ll recall, we’d been giving Dr. Who a shot. It wasn’t the easiest show to love. The characters rotate quickly, and the setting and conflict from one episode to the next can be wildly different. So for the first long while, we’d watch an episode and then not return to the show for a week or two.
But we kept coming back.
We finished the second season (of the reboot), and I suddenly realized that we weren’t debating “which show should we watch” as much anymore. Each evening, if we had the one hour slot open, we just turned to the Doctor. Not only that, but when we had the two hour slot open, we’d go for two episodes instead of just one. And the true test of whether or not we’re fans of the show? The dreaded cliffhanger episode that pops up when you’ve already planned on going to bed.
Do you stay up and watch the second part, or do you turn it off and come back to it later. West Wing, Veronica Mars, Buffy, Battlestar–those were shows that I was willing to lose sleep over. Dr. Who hadn’t been in that category . . . until one day it was.
Really, once you’re into the show and understand how it functions and what the dynamics are of the characters, suddenly it all starts to click together, and it can make for some very compelling television. I’m glad we stuck it out–it’s paying off very nicely at this point. How so? Some of my favorite recent episodes include:
- Army of Ghosts/Doomsday–the end of Season 2. Really powerful stuff there.
- Shakespeare Code–A bit ridiculous, but fun nonetheless
- Gridlock–Very intriguing premise
- Tooth and Claw–A fun diversion
Really, there’s so much breadth to the show, and I enjoy never knowing quite what I’m going to get when I start a new episode. That said, that can also be to the show’s detriment. Sometimes the ideas just don’t gel together. But on the whole, it’s a price I’m willing to risk each time.
Still, I stand by the point I made so long ago: no show should have this steep a learning curve. Period.