Saturday, June 1, 2019

Three stages of Who

The new Doctor Who might be lacking a bit of ambition, but there's 50+ years of other stuff to enjoy. I've been doing a rewatch of the whole series for the past couple of years, going through every episode, right from the start. It's been an enormous amount of fun.

I got all the way to the Colin Baker era but got stuck on the Rani story, and haven't been able to get to the second part of that story, not when there are documentaries about the Wu-Tang Clan and the dark side of professional wrestling to watch instead.

I know I will power through it soon, finish off the Baker and shoot through the McCoy. I got through the Savages, I can get through this.

I tried, but I didn't get very far into the Big Finish audios, which seems to be the primary form of new Doctor Who stories these days, with dozens of plays and dramas produced every year.

I bought a bunch a few years ago, when they had a special deal, and after getting through the ones that were universally seen as the best, I still haven't listened to them all, and the few I did have never really stuck in the mind, despite all that praise.

Audio adventures are just not my thing.

No, I was always a New Adventures kid, and got a little bit too emotionally attached to them in the 1990s for a while. They're still the biggest and most obvious influence on the direction of the TV show since 2005, and I still like them a lot. 

I only came in halfway through, so it took me years and years to get all the books, and now that I have them all, I've started reading the series in order since the beginning. It's taken me almost a year to get seven books down, but I'm still steadily getting through them. Having two books of Ace roaming a surreal landscape in search of a missing Doctor was a mistake, even with two extremely talented writers involved, but there is enough variety to keep things going.

They're very, very 90s, with writers a bit too enamored with cyberpunk, and full of earnest attempts to Mean Something, but at the stage I'm at, they're starting to do things with the Doctor Who concept that had never been done before, giving the concept and characters new depths unmatched by any other version of the Doctor. That's what really keeps me going.

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