So after many years of gentle and not so gentle prodding I have finally started watching Doctor Who.  In the past I have seen snippets of the new series, and generally walked away muttering “…alright …that was odd…don’t see much point in that.” However my friends BatMatt and Doc kept suggesting I try it (much the same way we kept suggesting Rich try watching Firefly…) and since I share a lot of tastes in
common when it comes to TV shows and comics a few months ago I relented and let Doc know that I had come to terms with fact that someday I would eventually ended up watching some Doctor Who but needed to know where to start.

Fast forward to two weeks ago when my father had me open a Netflix account so we could figure out why Netflix streaming wasn’t working for him (no streaming outside the 50 states and DC…you lose out if you live in a Commonwealth of the US it turns out…bummer).  Since I had started the clock on my 2 week trial I figured I might as well take advantage of it once we were back in Rochester.

So early last week I started out watching Season 1 of the New Doctor Who series, starring Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor. The first 13 episodes are available via Netflix streaming, and I have watched 12.

If you haven’t watched the series yet…you might as well stop reading unless you want to be spoiled as to how I reacted…

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Over the last week, I watched the box set of McCoy's first season.  I only ever had any of these on off-the-air VHS recordings, so it's been a loooonnnggg time since I re-watched any of them.

Still a flawed season in many ways, but viewed from 2021 it's so easy to see how much of an influence the "Cartmel Years" (and all those "in the wilderness" novels) were on RTD and The Moff.   The late-50's me is willing to  forgive the actors and production team*** for trying to go big on limited resources, even if they frequently fell short.

I was going to say that the best thing about this season is watching McCoy figure out in real time just who the Seventh Doctor really was.  That's sort of true ... but honestly, by the time he steps out of the TARDIS in Paradise Towers and tips his hat to a piece of junk, he's most of the way there already.

The best thing about this box set (for me) is Matthew Sweet's interview with McCoy, almost none of which is about Who.  It's fun to see just how on the ball and funny McCoy still is, and fascinating to hear him just spin stories about his life. 

*** Except for Pip and Jan Baker.  They get no mercy from me.

"I watched the box set of McCoy's first season."

I've seen these at B&N. I wish they had those back when I was assembling a collection. due to space considerations, I wish I had them now.

I'm back here today to refresh my memory of what episodes I brought to our last Thanksgiving (two years ago now) so that I don't duplicate any this year.

Our second annual Doctor Who marathon was an utter failure. For the previous one (two years ago), I chose a mix of "new" Doctors plus William Hartnell's first episode. At the time, our friends' daughter (then in the fourth grade) asked. "Aren't there any girl Doctors?" So this year I brought Jodie's Whittaker's entire first season (just in case) and a selection of "classic" Doctors as well. We started with "The Woman Who Fell to Earth," but about half way through the girl got up, walked from the room without saying anything, and never came back. I can't really blame her, though. That episode was boring, especially in comparison to what those kids are used to watching. Some Doctors have good introductory episodes (Eccleston, Smith), others (Capaldi, Whittaker) not so much. Capaldi and Whittaker are two of my favorite Doctors, but I'm hard-pressed to choose any standout episodes. 

We all mutually decided to watch Squid Game instead. 

If I were to show a Whittaker episode to a non-viewer, I think I would pick the 2019 Dalek special.

The current story arc has a lot of interesting ideas but it's as coherent as a multi-issue crossover from the 1980s but peopled with a lot of characters we don't actually know. It also leans heavily, entirely, into the notion that the Doctor is a special chosen one on whom, secretly, all of Gallifrey's society was based, with numerous erased past lives she doesn't recall (at least one of whom has been shown in the past, piloting a Police Call Box Tardis). I really dislike this retcon.

And while I'm complaining, I don't get that they have a money for impressive visual effects and gratuitous but interesting extra settings, but two of the major Big Bads, perhaps the Big Bads, look like refugees from a neighbourhood Halloween party.

But Whittaker is excellent as the Doctor in these, or as excellent as she can be shoved into this plot, while John Bishop makes a great new companion. Pity the two of them have been separated for most of the season.

"I really dislike this retcon."

It is the Star Trek: Discovery of Doctor Who.

Funny thing is, I found that Seasons 2 and 3 went a long way towards explaining and addressing their retcons. I had great hope for this season with its new premise, but I'm finding it lacking.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"I really dislike this retcon."

It is the Star Trek: Discovery of Doctor Who.

PowerBook Pete, the Mad Mod said:

If I were to show a Whittaker episode to a non-viewer, I think I would pick the 2019 Dalek special.

Apparently this is not included in the series twelve set...?

That is correct.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

PowerBook Pete, the Mad Mod said:

If I were to show a Whittaker episode to a non-viewer, I think I would pick the 2019 Dalek special.

Apparently this is not included in the series twelve set...?

Apparently it is available... now. I think what happens is I buy the sets early on, before the specials have aired. The specials are included in later versions of the series sets. This is not the first time this has happened to me; it is, in fact, the fourth. I hate when they do that. The set I bought was titled "The Complete Twelfth Series" but I maintain it should have been "The Twelfth Series" and the version with "Revolution of the Daleks" should have been "The Complete Twelfth Series." 

In any case, it was "The Timeless Children" I wanted to re-watch prior to this weekend's conclusion to "Flux" (and I kinda wished I would have backed up to "Ascension of the Cybermen" too because it leads directly into it. I also plan to re-watch "Fugitive of the Judoon" before Sunday, because it plays into "Flux" as well. We'll have a separate version of "Ascension of the Cybermen" from Amazon tomorrow. Perhaps it's time for me to make my way through all of the JW episodes to better cement them in my mind. I've watched them only once each; PC's too.

"It is the Star Trek: Discovery of Doctor Who."

...and "The Division" is Doctor Who's "Section 31."

"Our second annual Doctor Who marathon was an utter failure."

My mistake was choosing "The Woman Who Fell to Earth" to represent the 13th Doctor. And I had two years to think about it! I don't always choose the first appearance of a particular Doctor as representative I chose "Night of the Doctor" rather than the TV movie for the 8th Doctor,  "Blink" rather than "The Christmas Invasion" for the 10th, and "Twice Upon a Time" rather than "Deep Breath" for the 12th (and the 1st). What I should have done was choose "Fugitive of the Judoon" for the 13th Doctor (and the "Fugitive" Doctor). 

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