Our Own Adventure Through Time and Space

Here at Wot4thW, we love good sci-fi. We are also particularly fond of British actors and British TV exports. So it follows naturally that we are Doctor Who fans, and are eagerly anticipating its return for Series 8 this Saturday, August 23rd. We do not, however, claim to be hard-core Whovians who know every foe or every planet. We came to this thing called Doctor Who quite recently in its timestream.

Kristin Marie: I started watching Doctor Who ahead of Series 7 (Season 33) airing on US television (summer of 2012). Like many other first-time Doctor Who watchers, I was initially judgemental of the effects and the weird theme music. But despite that I kept watching, in love with the layers of sorrow, joy, anger, and playfulness of the Ninth Doctor. By “Aliens in London,” I was hooked, even with the most juvenile of modernDoctor Who enemies: the Slitheen. And like a true Whovian, I was convinced that no one could ever be as good of a Doctor as Christopher Eccleston. Until David Tennant. And no one could ever be as good of a Doctor as David Tennant. Until Matt Smith. I’m excited to be proven wrong again this season.

Kirsten Leigh: I love John Barrowman in the way that only a girl raised on a steady stream of the corniest of show tunes can love John Barrowman. Back before Netflix had streaming rights to nearly every show ever made, its selection was fairly paltry, but it did have a quirky and dark British import, starring Barrowman, called Torchwood. I spent a muggy Pittsburgh summer holed up in a basement apartment, devouring the show while I studied for a foreign language exam. I knew it was a spin-off of Doctor Who, so some references went over my head (A hand? In a jar? And why is he so happy to see this Martha?), but it didn’t hinder my enjoyment. Well done, Russell T. Davies, well done.

Despite loving Torchwood and having extremely nerdy inclinations, I had no interest inDoctor Who. I assumed the show to be kind of hokey. As a small child, promotional images of Tom Baker as Four scared the bejeezus out of me when the show aired on PBS in the United States. However, one by one, some of my closest friends fell to Whovian fandom (not least of all Kristin), and I relented. I promised I would watch – after all, watching Who meant more Captain Jack. And so, I spent a rainy spring in an apartment in Serbia marathoning seven straight seasons of Doctor Who, including all of the related minisodes and webisodes, and then rewatched Torchwood to boot. (A word of advice to anyone attempting this in the future: DO NOT under any circumstance watch the end of Series 4 and the David Tennant specials in one sitting. The human body is not designed to feel that many emotions at once.)

In the end, I was ready to follow the mad man with a box anywhere – and still am.

So Kristin, who’s your Doctor?

KM: David Tennant. Without question. I am not immune to a good fangirl swoon and his portrayal of the Doctor just blows me away. He manages to fill the screen with anger, hurt, love, and silliness. And then he speaks. Watching “The Family of Blood” is like watching a master class in acting. The shifts in his face and carriage, the pattern of his speech. It’s amazing to watch.

In your heart of hearts (or hearts of hearts), who is your Doctor?

KL: While I will watch literally anything that David Tennant is in, regardless of quality (go watch a Scottish rom-com called The Decoy Bride and tell me if I’m lying), mine is Matt Smith. I love Eleven for the same reasons I love Season 6 of Buffy – despite his glib and goofy exterior, Smith is the dark, dangerous, and twisty Doctor. The Moffat years can be uneven, but Smith’s elastic face and ability to switch tones on a dime is electric – just watch him play chess against his Cyberman-self in “Nightmare in Silver” to see the best of both Smith & Eleven at work.

Our Doctor Who coverage will include weekly recaps of the show (coming on August 24th!) as well as musings on everything from costume design (Does Clara own pants?) to whether the lack of a female Doctor hurts feminism (no). Do you have something you want us to dive in to in the Time Vortex? Comment below!