Throwback Thursday

Last year, I decided to take this class because I was already a Doctor Who fan, but it was way back in middle school and early high school. I had not watched it in a very long time, and this class has really made me realize how much I missed the show.

Even though watching the episodes takes a lot more work this time around (looking specifically for diversity and taking notes), I feel like I appreciate the show much more now. Being able to take a deep look into the episodes makes me feel like I truly understood the plot more than I would have when I just mindlessly binge watched all the episodes in very few sittings. However, it also made me question the show much more than I used to. I was just soaking in the show and letting everything be. Now, I see all the plot holes throughout Moffat’s writing, and to be honest, it kind of frustrated me. I did not see why it had to be made so complicated for the audience. It made it so if you missed one episode, you were completely screwed over. The whole Riversong story in general is hard to follow and confusing for a general audience. It is great for those who are wanting to deeply think about what they’re watching, but it is definitely harder for the younger audience. But I did happen to find a hilarious picture of the Doctor and Riversong’s timelines that I have attached at the bottom. It is accurate in my opinion.

In a lot of my episode notes, I have a lot of sarcastic little comments, favorite quotes, my reactions to different things in the plot, etc. Although some of my notes are all over the place, they make sense in my mind. I put little song references to make my own life a little more entertaining.

Overall, I am super happy that I decided to take Diversity and the Doctor as my IS 201 class because I feel so nostalgic watching all of these episodes, along with excited because I hadn’t watched much of the Capaldi episodes. I think this has just confirmed that I am forever stuck in this fandom, but that’s okay. They will probably still be making Doctor Who episodes past the day I die. My kids, grandkids, great grandkids, and I will just all be singing OOOOH WEE OOOOO together, and it will be a wonderful bonding activity for us all.

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Looking Back

Since this is my last post, I just wanted to give a short “review” of my experience with the show. I have never watched Doctor Who before this class. In fact, my only knowledge of it was the fact that it is my ex boyfriend’s favorite TV show, so you can only imagine the opinion I created before I started watching it. I would say I like some science fiction, but I am more interested in the dystopian side than just aliens and extremely advanced technology like time travel.

I found the show to be interesting. I think it had a little bit of a slow start for me, nothing had really hooked me. The first thing I really held onto was the episode with the Dalek. For me, this was the first time that there was substance to the show, rather than just landing in the time that needs the Doctor and Rose to help rid the city of aliens. I did enjoy that Rose and the Doctor started as a juxtaposition. I think it added some good levels to the show.

I did enjoy the mysterious, seemingly tough Christopher Eccleston, however, David Tennant definitely won me over. He is so flamboyant and says everything with a purpose. It seems as though he does not want to waste any words. I was also pleased with the extra dimension of the Doctor that was revealed. I think Tennant is the one that subtly shows his loneliness just enough to keep the audience thinking about the fact that he not only is the last of his kind, but he has been living by himself for hundreds of years, and that anyone he has ever gotten close to is no longer by his side.

I will say, when Rose left, I was heartbroken. The hopeless romantic in me was dreading the moment as I knew it would happen eventually. I think Rose brought out so much in the Doctor, especially when Tennant was in the role, so seeing her say goodbye was tough.

I liked the contrast of Martha and Donna, especially since Donna was actually introduced first. I think Martha just thought she was living in Rose’s shadow and that’s all she would worry about. On the other hand, Donna was stubborn and knew that she was important and made sure that she never felt inferior to anyone. Both characters were the same in the way that they were both incredibly smart and made sure to bring the Doctor back to reality.

Once the eleventh Doctor was introduced, I sadly lost quite a bit of interest. I think I was such a big fan of Tennant’s character, that whatever followed just would not quite do it for me. I enjoyed Amy and I thought her accent was always fun to listen to . The main thing that kept my focus was wondering who the mysterious River Song was. I feel like I figured it out rather early, so when it was finally revealed, I felt a little disconnected again.

I guess that there are only so many different aliens to fight and there are only so many broken hearts the Doctor can handle before the show gets a little redundant and tired. I enjoyed my experience with the show, but I don’t know that I am sitting here waiting for more.

 

What Doctor Are You?

For this post, I decided to take a personality quiz to see which Doctor I match with the best. I found this on the BBC America website, link here: (http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2013/11/personality-quiz-doctor). With the rise of media companies BuzzFeed and PlayBuzz in the internet age, fans have no shortage of quizzes they can take to determine what characters they are most like. This particular quiz ask questions such as “What is your dream car?”, “What do you look for most in a companion?”, and what strategies I would use given a scenario where daleks take over my neighborhood. As I made my way through the quiz, I found some answers to questions that were obviously tied to a particular Doctor. At the same time, there were some where I had absolutely no clue what Doctor went with each answer. In the end, the quiz told me that I was the Eleventh Doctor. This is its description: “You’re truly one of a kind. They not only don’t make ’em like you any more, they never did in the first place! Somehow, even the most mundane of things can be transformed into a unique statement in your wayward hands. Your ability to raise eyebrows everywhere you go – while still somehow being entirely admirable – is unparalleled. OK, sometimes you make bad decisions and perhaps you’re too keen to let your reputation speak on your behalf, but you are a hard person to forget, and that is how you have come to have a reputation in the first place.” I have always thought personality tests are very much akin to the descriptions of horoscopes. The descriptions are always just vague enough that they can really apply to anyone. Spoilers, the way the stars happened to look when you were born does not contribute or shape your personality. I think this rise of personality tests and the revival of horoscopes is simply the need for people to be affirmed in some sort of identity by an outside source. Even with the Myers-Briggs test, which, admittedly is more specific and intensive than other personality tests, feeds into the ambiguity in identifying people. There are a lot of different personality types in Myers-Briggs, but it is still finite. I think the categorization of personality takes away from the nuance of individualism. When asked what my Myers-Briggs personality type is, I often respond with “Don’t put me in a box!” then eventually admit that I’m an ENTJ. So, do I think a Doctor Who personality test is harmful? No. However, I wish more people understood that though you may be categorized as a Cancer, or an ENTJ, or the Eleventh Doctor, that personality is not a concrete thing that can be categorized, no matter how questions you answer.

Vincent van Gogh & The Doctor

One of my all time favorite episodes of Doctor Who is “Vincent and the Doctor.” It is one of my favorites for two main reasons.

First, van Gogh is one of my favorite artists. I love his paintings and his style. The van Gogh section was the first thing on my list to see at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City both times that I went. One of my favorite van Gogh paintings is titled “Wheat Field with Cypress.” I like it because of the color and the way the painting makes me feel like I’m standing right there in the field. And of course, all of van Gogh’s sunflower paintings are great, I especially like them because sunflowers are my favorite type of flower.

Here is a list of fun Vincent van Gogh facts:

  • He had a brother with the same name as him who died at birth.
  • He was planning to be a pastor like his dad.
  • He painted “Starry Night”, his most famous artwork, while in a mental hospital.
  • He wrote over 800 letters in his life, most of them to his brother, Theo.
  • He only sold one painting while he was alive.
  • In the last 10 years of his life he made around 900 paintings.
  • His most expensive painting, titled “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” is valued at $148.6 million.

 

The second reason I like this episode so much is because I love that the Doctor shows van Gogh how important he becomes to the world. I love that, even if it is only for a few minutes, van Gogh has hope of what the future will hold for him.

I think that we all need a little bit of that at some point in our lives. We all reach the point where we don’t know what’s coming next or if anything is coming next, and though is is impossible to jump ahead and see what’s coming, I think this episode shows that you never know what great things could be waiting for you ahead.

 

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The Caring Doctor

With every new Doctor comes new companions. The actors and actresses change along with them as well the overall feel of the show. With all of this changing though, one thing thats has always stayed the same is the way The Doctor cares for his companions and everyone he meets during his traveling.

For the 9th Doctor he cares for his companion Rose the most out of anyone else on the show. Making sure she is okay and safe at all times, The Doctor watches her every move. From the very beginning as a viewer you can tell that The Doctor is a caring person. Grabbing Rose’s hand, someone who the doctor does not know at this time, in the first episode to save her from the plastic living manikins shows his caring personality. After traveling with The Doctor for some time, Rose begins to develop strong feelings for the Doctor and even more so when he regenerates into the 10th Doctor.

The Doctor’s true feelings towards Rose come out during Season one, episode 13 titled The Parting of Ways. In this season one finale, The Doctor faces up against an entire army of Daleks. In order to keep Rose safe, The Doctor makes the couragous decision to put her in the TARDIS and send her back home in present time. By doing this he risks his life for hers. As we all know at the end of this episode it is Rose that ends up saving the day ironically.

Another episode The Doctor shows how much he cares about Rose is in season 2 episode 14 titled Doomsday. In this episode The Doctor and Rose are fighting the Daleks again in a dramatic season finale. At one point there is a bridge that opens up in a wall connecting to some other universe. During the end of the episode this bridge begins to be strong and and sucks anything and everything around it into it including all of the Daleks. At this time The Doctor and Rose are holding on for their lives until suddenly Rose loses her grip and starts to be sucked into the bridge. When this happens, as viewers, you can see The Doctor in immediate panic as Rose creeps closer and closer to the wall. Seeing all the panic in his eyes at this moment in time shows how much The Doctor truly cares about Rose.

As a doctor you usually care for your patients and for The Doctor in Doctor Who there is no exception. The way he protects Rose in every episode making sure she is okay at all times is the way The Doctor is. He is that loving character that helps everyone and anyone that comes his way during his traveling.

Why Rory is the BEST Character in the Show

Over the course of exploring this show, Doctor Who’s audiences have been exposed to hundreds of unique and interesting characters that offer unique perspectives to the show. Among these characters, there are countless fan favorites, many of which Doctor Who fans will adamantly argue that theirs is the best character and any dissenting opinion is incorrect. At first, I held a certain disdain for this kind of fanaticism for a character. Then the Doctor met Rory. Ever since the beginning of Matt Smith’s run as the eleventh Doctor, Rory has been my favorite character on the show for a plethora of reasons, namely his loyalty, his realistic viewpoint when addressing the Doctor, and his devotion to Amy.

Rory is introduced in the very first episode of Matt Smith’s run, and I must admit that I wasn’t extremely impressed with him from his kind of craven attitude to juxtapose Amy’s bravery. However, as he developed in his travels with Amy and the Doctor, I saw Rory grow and improve. In the episode “Vampires in Venice”, Rory showed he could be heroic for the first time in their travels. He stepped up several times throughout the episode to do dangerous things selflessly, such as infiltrating the vampire lair with Amy and stepping between the younger vampire fella that was attacking Amy. I also appreciated Rory’s ability to understand and stand up to what the Doctor suggests, often having valid points against the Doctor throughout the episode. He doesn’t necessarily trust the Doctor 100% of the time, which behooves him in that the Doctor is often deceitful or misleading with what he tells his companions!

Finally, probably the best aspect of Rory’s character is his loyalty to Amy. I think literally any guy would ditch her after all the foolhardy and headstrong things that she did in the show, and whether from attachment or just plain stupid love, Rory sticks with Amy even when it actually gets him killed. I actually cried when Rory waited for Amy two thousand years as her protector while she was inside the Pandorica. Rory was loyal to her and his friends no matter the personal cost to him. Rory is my favorite character for this reason, he is selfless and does what’s best for not just him, but for him and those he loves even under great personal stress and pain.

PLUS THAT PONYTAIL, THOUGH!!! 🙂

Why do some people like Doctor Who?

Doctor Who seems to be this show that has fans from across the spectrum. By spectrum, I mean that some people are die-hard fans of the show while others are on the complete opposite end where the absolutely hate the show. There are people on both ends and there are those who are in-between. Doctor Who is a very interesting show in regards to the population’s response to it.

Over the years I have shown Doctor Who to quite a few people in hopes of them turning into a fan of the show just like I did. Sometimes this works well, other times it does not. I think it really depends on when they start watching and what their initial reaction to the show is. I think I saw mine after seeing a spoof of some sort on youtube or something. I guess I thought the doctor looked pretty cool and tried to find out what was going on with this whole Doctor Who thing. I must have really liked it cause down the rabbit hole I went.

Some of the people I have shown the show to have taken well to it. I remember, I showed it to one of my really good friend about a week after I started watching it and she was hooked as well.It was exciting to be able to talk to someone about this new show that no one else that I knew was watching (at that time I was not aware of the massive online forum or blog presence in the Doctor Who fandom). She liked the show quite a bit, enough to name her car “Rory the Rav 4.”

I have also shown people the show and the response has been less than hopefull. My friend and I showed one of our mutual friend an episode from the fourth season of Doctor Who hoping that our friend would love it and binge it all like we did. This did not go as planned. We watched the episode and after we asked: “What did you think”? She responded, “Didn’t like it.” That was a fail on our part. Who knows, maybe she will watch an episode in the future and suddenly become a fan but, probably not.

In the end, Doctor Who is just one of those shows that people will think what they want. It is also one of those shows that can lose fans due to a new Doctor and regain them a few years later after that Doctor’s time on the show. The show truly is one of a kind.