This week’s Flashback Friday: My First Doctor.
This post is Doctor Who themed in honor of Anglicon 2015, which is where I currently am this weekend.
I’m way behind the curve here.
Growing up, we didn’t have TV until I was in 3rd grade, and we didn’t have cable until 4th or 5th grade. We certainly didn’t have any extended channel package, and PBS was what “liberals” watched, so my exposure to BBC was pretty much nil until friends in high school exposed me to the world of Monty Python.
I’d heard them mention The Doctor, but there words made no sense. They were a foreign language I didn’t speak. I could yammer about Star Wars and Star Trek, but this Doctor Who wasn’t in my vocabulary, nor would it be for another fifteen years.
For a long stretch of my 20’s, I didn’t get British humor. It went beyond that though–I didn’t get it and I didn’t want to. It was snarky and dry while I’d been raised on a diet of slapstick Xena and Hercules. Nevermind that I’m a very wry and sarcastic person myself, and my writing even more so.
More in particular, the episodes with Donna when he’s forced to remove all memories of himself and their travels from her mind to keep her from dying.
I had no background and no context for the scenario, but the writing and character development was done well enough that I knew this Doctor cared about her greatly.
I had to know more.
And that was it. I’d been sucked into a world with the Doctor. I went back to Christopher Eccleston and flew through to the end of Matt Smith’s run. Then I watched some of the classics.
Before I knew it, I’d been sucked into a world of Black Mirror, Orphan Black, Sherlock, Blackadder, and so much more. The tightness of the writing astounded me, but my ability to enjoy the humor floored me. Somehow, being older, I got it. I understood what had bored me as a child.
So as I said–I’m behind the curve. I’m slowly catching up on generations of British TV and learning from the wit and the writing. I think every writer should be made to watch certain classics.
Doctor Who (& others) taught me the importance of character arcs and tight writing. I’m a better writer having discovered it. I only wish I’d found it earlier! Now I’m off to do a panel on British TV conversion. 😉 Go watch some British TV for me.
(Image from Doctor Who is Copyright BBC and used under Fair Use for the purpose of review/criticism.)