August 4, 2009

5 Reasons to Watch Classic Who

With all the hullabaloo about David Tennant's final episodes as
Doctor Who, it's easy for newer fans to think that there will be an almost eternal wait until Matt Smith.

However, as a public service to those of you who have to wait, and taking my cue from another, better blog - here are 5 reasons for you and your pals to watch "classic" Doctor Who.
  1. It's like getting multiple aspects of the Tenth Doctor, one actor at a time - From Hartnell's moodiness to Troughton's playfulness, Pertwee's Holmesian approach to Tom Baker's almost Harpo Marx-esque approach, from Davison as hero to Colin Baker as snob, from McCoy's dark manipulator to Romantic Hero, Tennant has pulled bits of each actor into his portrayal. (No, I didn't forget Eccleston - this is classic Who, remember? And I would lump McGann as classic Who, despite being made in the 1990s).
  2. Episodes tend to be slightly decompressed and have different styles - instead of the instant whiz-bang of classic who, four and six parters may have a slightly slower pace, but it helps the stories open up, making them a little more accessible. Plus, whatever your taste, there's a story for you...and 90% of classic Who is family friendly.
  3. All the cool writers - and bloggers - watched it - Quite frankly, practically all of the writing staff of new Who grew up on it. Plus, bloggers like Rich, Siskoid, and Nik all dig it. So do podcasts like Podshock and Radio Free Skaro. You should, too.
  4. As much as New Who "brings the sexy", so does classic Who - don't believe me? Ask Siskoid.
  5. Gain insights into another culture - much as Star Trek has informed a lot of contemporary pop culture, Doctor Who has had a similar effect on British culture. One is about exploring because it's our destiny and a great national effort; the other because you can right wrongs and fight injustice. (The closest show in America that matches the spirit of classic Who, I'll argue, is Dark Shadows, or "Twilight for grownups, which had its own 90s-era reboot)
Much classic Who is available on DVD, and readily available for purchase at this blog's online store. So if you're dealing with an uppity Who fan, feel free to sit them down and make them watch. Or just point and yell "Suck it up, pedantor!" Unless you're at your place of employment, in which case, might I suggest asking for suggestions to be included in a future podcast?

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