[[image:who01.jpg:Who’s being displayed onscreen here?:center:0]]… but it’s not that kind of doctor. Now, when he’s got shampoo in his hair, he fancies himself as the Gallifreyan Time Lord, known as the Doctor from BBC’s Doctor Who series. Specifically he wants to be the Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant.
He keeps going on and on about travelling about in a TARDIS, having his own K9 and enjoys the fact that every week the Doctor (along with anyone in his vicinity) has to run from something chasing them – be it disease-ravaged human constructs, werewolves, Judoon policemen, or Cybermen, or Daleks. If the Doctor has to flee for his life, Irfan digs it a lot.
Not too bad, really, cause I haven’t seen Doctor Who since the Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor and I still thought BBC’s production of the series is constrained by a lack of budget. When I first saw the new Ninth Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston, series back in 2005 I thought that it had a great production design and fantastic special effects, even if the fleeing from the Auton attack was quite stereotypical… but the story is still quite off the mark, thanks to the attack of killer shop window mannequins.
[[image:who03.jpg:It’s really not a good idea to invade Earth at Christmas time:center:0]]However, it got better, much better in terms of writing and designing of the series. And now the series is something of a contradiction ont itself and somehow works.
[[image:who02.jpg:Heeeere’s Johnny!:left:0]]It has a backstory that is older than anything on Star Trek with a millieux that spans the dawn of time to the end of time, on and off Earth, within and away from our spacetime continuum. However, even with such a legacy, Doctor Who still manages to tell vivid imaginative science fiction tales unencumbered by the precedence of what has come before. Last year, the Tenth Doctor has come across skull headed space invaders, went to a planet in another galaxy 51 billion years in the future, was in town for the 2012 Olympics, saved Madame du Pompadour in the 18th century from clockwork robots from the future bent on her evisceration, met what seemed to be the devil on an impossible planet, and help avert invasions from his long time mutant and cybernetic arch-enemies.
[[image:who04.jpg:Just hanging around in the traffic jam:right:0]]Just this year, he’s found himself evading a platoon of alien rhino-headed policemen searching for an alien vampire in a hospital displaced on the moon, then helped William Shakespeare himself avert the manifestation of an alien scourge using his skills as a wordsmith at the same time taking some jabs at Harry Potter.
The point is that if you have a Doctor Who story about a talking cyborg zombie armadillo from the 72nd century which can extract the essence of luck from the moonlight of the third planet of the Alpha Ophiuchi system back during the Pliocene era with the help of singing killer remote controlled cars…. it probably can be done with a good writer. The thing is that to me the stories really feel like the golden age of science fiction tales, as opposed to the rigidly structured (and eventually predictable) stories of Star Trek. Battlestar Galactica is, however, a whole new kettle of fish.
[[image:who05.jpg:A view of the moon from… a hospital balcony?:left:0]]In the meantime, I will enjoy this incarnation of the Doctor whose stories are just the right mix of science fiction, some history (well, it is BBC), loads of fun and a slew of 21st century digital visual effects. And it has quite a hilarious script. Where else can you find a person telling Queen Victoria in 1879 that he’s a doctor and he recommends a light jog because it’s good for the health… while being chased by a werewolf. What does the future hold for our intrepid traveller of time and space?
“You are not alone.”
As for Irfan, he’s asking for more Daleks.