How I came to love the Time Lord
First, a confession: I’ve always liked the idea of Doctor Who better than the execution of the old British series (which ran, what, more than 30 years?). And I could never stomach Tom Baker, everybody’s favorite Doctor (of 9 or 10 of 'em). But the BBC’s all-new Doctor Who series, the first season of which now runs Friday nights on SciFi Channel, is a joy. Christopher Eccleston’s interpretation of the Doctor is terrific, all grins when things are at their worst, and I’m sorry to hear he’s already dropped out of the show’s second season. Fellow-traveler Rose, played cute-as-a-button by Billie Piper (who will stick around for season two), is appropriately blonde, spunky, and devoted to the Doctor’s mission. And the special effects are top-notch.
Last Friday’s episode, sixth of the first thirteen, was titled “Dalek,” and it’s set the show’s high-water mark for the time being. Yep, you heard me right — Dalek. You remember them from the old shows, right? The Daleks were a killer mutoid race, each member living in its own giant vehicular salt-shaker. Well, this outstanding episode depicted the inevitable final confrontation between the last Dalek and the last Time Lord (Doctor Who). Wonderful.
There’re only seven episodes of Doctor Who left this year; I don’t imagine season two (now showing in England) will be available in the U.S. until next spring. So catch it quickly, if you haven’t already. (By the way, if you do miss it, this first season with Eccleston will be released on DVD in July.)