Episode 209: Dissecting Doctor Who

November 28, 2013

Episode209

The Sci-Fi Christian – 11/28/13 The Sci-Fi Christian: Dissecting Doctor Who” featuring Matt Anderson and Ben De Bono

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7 comments on “Episode 209: Dissecting Doctor Who

  1. This is the second episode I’ve skipped listening to due to the spoiler. And this one’s sure to have plenty of ’em. I listened to the first minute or so, though.

    Back in 2012 I started going through Doctor Who. I got out of it at series three, but have returned to it, since. But there’s no way I could blast through them like Matt did.

    It’ll be awhile until I hear this episode, so the wait will be just a little longer! 😉

    • Hi Wes,

      It will be fun to hear your thoughts when you get back into Doctor Who. I think the best seasons of the show are series 3, 4, 5, and 6, so it sounds like you stopped right before it got really good. Keep us updated on what you think.

      • Hey Matt,

        Yep. I’m back in! Not only have I conquered half of series three, thus far, but I’m writing quick reviews for all of the episodes on a private blog some friends of mine and I take part in. Quite fun!

        While I watched an incredible pair of episodes last night, (“Human Nature” and “The Family of Blood”) the rest of the series, for the most part, has not held up to my love of the first two seasons.

        While Doctor Who is a campy, gimmicky, monster-of-the-week type show, it is legitimized by the Doctor and his relationship with his companions. This is why I fell in love with the first two seasons. In the midst of all the zaniness, great stories were told with faces like Rose, Mickey, Captain Jack, and the show had a great magic.

        Series three has been flatter for me. A good slice of it is the absence of Rose. But episodes like the ones I saw last night really elevate Martha above that simple replacement, to an acknowledgment of that loss for the Doctor and the viewer.

        So the series is picking up for me, now.

  2. Michael Dec 3, 2013

    C.S. Lewis blocking Doctor Who? Nah. I think Lewis would have liked the TARDIS – very much a “wardrobe” (as the 2011 Christmas special made painfully obvious).

    I enjoyed your discussion! Completely disagree with your take on the Anniversary Special, but I’ll save that for a TARDIS Talk. Matt, even though I like the show much more than you do, I am exactly the same way – I am far more forgiving of its “continuity” than with any other show. It’s just so entertaining, how can I help it? Besides, the Doctor is firmly established as mysterious and enigmatic, and far “bigger” than we can grasp… so it’s okay. I think the line in the 50th — “unless I’m lying” — just makes the point. You’ve heard of unreliable narrators? The Doctor’s an unreliable protagonist! And he’s under no obligation to tell us or show us every single possibility about himself that exists.

    Just so you know, no, the Doctor’s name is not “Doctor Who,” but William Hartnell was credited as such in the earliest episodes’ end titles; and Peter Cushing played a character named “Doctor Who” in the 1960s Dalek movies (not really regarded as canonical). All that said, I really do love what Moffat has done, turning the title of the show into “the First Question, the Question that Must Never Be Answered.”

    “Dobby Doctor” not one of the show’s finest moments, no, except I liked the idea that story can have a salvific power.

    Ben, you should check out Paul McGann’s audio adventures as the Eighth Doctor. They’re very good… http://www.bigfinish.com/ranges/released/eighth-doctor-adventures.

    No, River’s not “half Time Lord,” but she is said to have Time Lord (or TARDIS?) DNA mixed in with hers because conception in the Vortex has unpredictable effects. (“A timehead or something.”) I dunno, River’s not my favorite character either – she hasn’t really been interesting since the Weeping Angels two-parter in series five — but it made sense enough, I guess, at the time.

    I have never liked Tennant’s exit from the show. Why would he be so upset, knowing that he will regenerate? I guess regeneration is more serious, maybe, than some doctors have let on – not death, but not quite non-death, either. (How’s that for making sense?!?!)

    Ben, your final judgment on Amy cannot be that she is a terrible person, because she grows tremendously from the time we meet her in “The Eleventh Hour” to her and Rory’s departure in “The Angels Take Manhattan.” (BTW, yes, they should have talked about the kidless thing, but (1) they were both unhappy in the marriage and in on that decision, the episode made clear, and besides, they didn’t stay divorced; and (2) I believe “Asylum of the Daleks” specifically established that whatever the Silence did to her at Demons Run during her pregnancy with Melody/River made Amy unable to have any *more* children. So no continuity error there.) Amy and Rory both grew, frankly, but especially Amy. You have to evalute her character arc in full, just as you did Rose’s. Amy grew in maturity and in her understanding of love. She’s my number one, too, Matt! (Although Donna’s a close second, for certain!)

    Donna’s grandfather is named Wilf, and he shows up in several episodes. Harrumph. (Still grumpy that Ben dislikes Amy so!)

    Fun episode, guys! Geronimo!

    PS. I think Ben should now end every podcast with an extemporaneous poem.

  3. guys! i tried so hard to make it all the way through this episode, but i see we just don’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to compelling story. i made it to the “top 9 episodes” section and when “Vincent and the Doctor” barely made one list and didn’t make the other, i couldn’t see this discussion getting more well-rounded. it would have been great if you had someone who liked the show a lot more to bounce differing opinions back and forth with.

    • Ben De Bono Dec 17, 2013

      Sorry it wasn’t your cup of tea, Mikey. Whenever we discuss an issue, we try and offer something outside the norm. In this case that resulted in a more critical conversation. There is a plethora of sites that give tons of praise to Dr. Who. Repeating those same conversations wouldn’t have been a good service to our listeners. We hope you’ll keep listening though and find some episodes that are more to your liking!

      • oh yeah, no worries. i like the show guys– keep it up. i didn’t expect another fan drool over doctor who, but when critical, i feel it helps to have people who see it from different perspectives. this just felt like a lambasting of a beloved show.

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