View Full Version : Why do people like Doctor Who?
June 8th, 2011, 01:23 AM
Before you read any further, I should clarify that I didn't make this thread just to spout invective about my hatred of this show, because I don't have any. My objective is only to understand the appeal of it. I have tried to watch it several times before and found the premise ridiculous, the production cheesy and the writing terrible. What is it that makes this show so beloved by people?
June 8th, 2011, 01:49 AM
Because, in the UK, it's practically the only high quality sci-fi show on "standard" TV? It also appeals to the kids (And thus the parents often watch with the kids), along with nostalgia factor for Dad, who remembers the Tom Baker era as if it were yesterday.
June 8th, 2011, 02:32 AM
along with nostalgia factor for Dad, who remembers the Tom Baker era as if it were yesterday.
Ahh, those were the days! Makes me feel old though.:(
As a kid I used to love Doctor Who, and as Cheerwell said, it was the only scifi show on tv. The daleks were a favourite and I always liked the theme song, plus Tom Baker was the best Doctor (though Jon Pertwee was also good).
But yes, I tried to watch an episode a while ago and did find it too cheesy. A similar thing happened with The Goodies - loved as a kid but tried to watch an episode as a thirty-something and there's little appeal.
June 8th, 2011, 02:59 AM
Yes, Doctor Who is incredibly cheesy. Yes, the "science" - such as it is - leaves a lot to be desired. And yes, the premise is fairly ridiculous.
Nevertheless, I think it's a great show. For one thing, especially in the 5 seasons they've done since the show started back up (I haven't seen any of season 6, being in America and not having Netflix or iTunes), the character that it's centered around is interesting. I think The Doctor is a fascinating character, and though it would be hard to say that we learn more about him as the series goes on, or that he really evolves as a character, I think he is sufficiently interesting character to make up for these flaws.
Additionally, I think the show explores interesting philosophical themes. To be sure, they have almost nothing whatsoever to do with the "science" part of the show. But part of what makes the show - and especially The Doctor himself - interesting is the ethical ground the show covers. It's far from clear that The Doctor is all that good of a guy, in that he typically demands huge sacrifices from ordinary people in order to save the world. And those huge sacrifices very frequently come as the result of his refusing to employ violence or some such thing. So I think there are some genuinely interesting philosophical questions that the show, perhaps unwittingly, explores.
All this said, these aren't the reasons I love Doctor Who. I love Doctor Who because it's straight-up fun to watch. Campy as hell, to be sure, but I enjoy the stories.
June 8th, 2011, 05:19 AM
(I haven't seen any of season 6, being in America and not having Netflix or iTunes)
Isn't it on BBC America?
June 8th, 2011, 06:54 AM
It doesn't hurt that the show is just plain fun. Too many genre shows these days -- especially on US TV -- seem to think they have to go all grim-dark in order to justify or balance out their more fantastical aspects. Who embraces those aspects and, much like the Doctor does with his companions, doesn't ask you to try to make sense of them, but to just come along for the ride.
June 8th, 2011, 06:57 AM
Isn't it on BBC America?
It may very well be, but I don't own a television.
June 8th, 2011, 07:26 AM
I must admit I only still watch it because it's Doctor Who and I loved it when I was a kid.
If I'd come into the "new Who" without having grown up on the old ones, I doubt it would have held my interest to be honest.
June 8th, 2011, 11:07 AM
Why do I watch it?
Because it's GOOD...and the BAFTA awards agree with me (the only year since 2006 it didn't win something was the year it was on hiatus).
Because it runs this interesting knife's edge between campy and frankly terrifying (watch Blink...but not alone, not late at night and keep the lights on).
Because it breaks every rule their is...including, often, it's own. Because the creative team doesn't care about whether something works in terms of physics or science...only whether it works *as story*.
Of course, some people aren't going to like it. There's plenty of quality television out there *I* don't like. I'm not going to judge people for thinking it's this campy, poorly written stuff that makes no sense.
It's all just timey-wimey stuff anyway.
June 8th, 2011, 12:46 PM
It goes ''ding'' when there's stuff.
Also, the Eleventh Doctor (series 5/6) has somewhat of the same gleeful improvisatory nature (coupled with a few great lines) as Captain Jack Sparrow on a good day. So there's definitely an appeal there. That's basically why I watch it.
And you can also try www.iwatchdoctorwho.com for the more recent stuff that's not widely available in the US.
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