Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Anniversary

On 23 November 1963 the first episode of "Doctor Who" aired in England. That makes yesterday the 45th anniversary.

Many people think poorly of the original series. They appeared to spend more on tea than they did on sets. The Doctor often had to face the horrible mop monster or the creature from the bubble wrap lagoon. But they had some great actors and better writers. They were good enough to make giant salt shakers seem scary. They were good enough that the show kept on going despite changing the cast every few years.

Or at least until the 80's. Then the writers turned to crap. We thought the actors were crap, too. It wasn't until someone started making Dr. Who audio programs using Doctors 5 through 8 that we realized that Doctors 6 and 7 were actually pretty good and that it was the material they were working with that was awful.

The new series operates a bit differently. The writers are great, the actors better, only now they have an actual budget. The show holds such a special place in British culture that they get to do things that no other show can pull off. Like "Star Trek: The Next Generation" did here, celebrities jump at the chance to do a cameo on the show. But probably the biggest thing they got to do was film inside Shakespeare's Globe Theater. Nobody gets to do that. Nobody.

To give some indication of how far it's come, I give you the first ten minutes of the pilot episode "An Unearthly Child".

5 comments:

GreenCanary said...

"Wot? Wot?!"

Thank you for introducing me to Dr. Who. I love that show, even though Rose Tyler is gone and that damn Martha Jones is there. (But not for long! When do we start the next season? I need to wash my brain of Martha Jones.)

Ibid said...

We could start tonight. I thought I'd show you some old school "Genesis of the Daleks" first.

GreenCanary said...

Beautiful!

Sweetly Single said...

OOOOO genesis of the daleks is awesome!!!

ibid way to go - your turning Canary into a geek.... there will be no stopping her now!!

Ibid said...

Alas, Yummy was short on blood and fell asleep on my lap early on. She started muttering about babies crying when the mutant things that go inside the Daleks screamed.