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Topic: Who is this....Doctor? Post Reply | Post New Topic
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Robert Shepherd
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 30 March 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 802
Posted: 22 January 2017 at 10:14pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I have to admit, for some reason, I never came across, or paid any attention to any mention of Dr.Who. 

In fact I was at the San Diego Comic Con perhaps 5 years ago, and saw a kid dressed up as a phone booth? I was like HUH? His mom stated he was dressed up as a Tardis (like I was supposed to know what that was).

Since then, I've learned that, as everyone here but me knew already, Dr. Who is a very long running and very successful British show - movie - show.

So my question to all Dr.Who fans. What is the secret to it's success?

I'm considering watching the series (if I can find older episodes to start) so what can I expect to discover??? What is your general review?
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 107304
Posted: 23 January 2017 at 6:52am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

So my question to all Dr.Who fans. What is the secret to it's success?

What's the secret of any TV series' success? People like it.

WHY do they like it? Well, to paraphrase an old joke, ask 5 DOCTOR WHO fans why they like the show, and you'll get six opinions.

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Anthony J Lombardi
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 January 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 9285
Posted: 23 January 2017 at 10:16am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Robert a few years ago BBC America did a series of shows called Doctor Who revisited.  They were a part of a year long celebration of the 50th year of Doctor Who's existence. Each of these revisited shows talked about the different Doctors. They also showed a show from that Doctor's series. 

I think they would be a good way for you to get to know what the show is about.
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Andrew Saxon
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 19 June 2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 123
Posted: 23 January 2017 at 11:08am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

It beats me why Doctor Who is as popular as it is in America when it is so terribly British. Maybe it's the anarchy that appeals to Americans (in the same way that Monty Python seems to)? Rather than the US milltary in space, you've got this crazy old man tumbling through time and the universe in something that looks like a phone box, that (in the early days) he can't even really control. Long before Han Solo needed to give the Millennium Falcon a good thump to get it going, the Doctor was doing the same thing to the TARDIS.

The series has a built-in reboot that occurs every so many years when the leading man changes. If a particular Doctor isn't to your taste then just wait a few years and the next one might be more to your liking. The show has evolved over the years - in the 20th century, Doctor Who was a cheap and cheerful effort that most likely will look very 'stagey' to sophisticated 21st century eyes. But I think that is where Doctor Who got its heart (hearts even), because the people working on the show didn't have the budget for fabulous special effects they had to convince you through inventive script writing (21st century Who has slick special effects but a lot less charm - my opinion). If you do go back to watch the very earliest stories then maybe it would be a good idea to think of them as stage plays on film.

As an enthusiast (at least for 20th century Who) I hope you'll be won over. Early Doctor Who was Narnia meets Dan Dare, made at a time when Britain was still recovering from the war but looking to the future.


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Andrew Hess
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 9764
Posted: 23 January 2017 at 1:06pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Here is at least ONE man's opinion as to what makes The Doctor popular:

Craig Ferguson Doctor Who Opening
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Steven Brake
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 01 January 2016
Posts: 28
Posted: 05 February 2017 at 7:10am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Andrew Saxon wrote:

But I think that is where Doctor Who got its heart (hearts even), because the people working on the show didn't have the budget for fabulous special effects they had to convince you through inventive script writing (21st century Who has slick special effects but a lot less charm - my opinion).
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J.G Ballard made a similar point when writing a generally scathing review of Star Wars (or ANH), remarking how despite lacking anything like a similar budget, the best Doctor Who episodes - I think he may also have mentioned Star Trek? - still had engaging ideas at their heart that compensated, or at least went some way to compensating, for lacklustre visuals, which he much preferred to what he saw as the empty spectacle of SW.

Peter Davidson also mentioned in "The Story of Doctor Who" documentary how he felt that during his sojourn as the Doctor the BBC were trying unsuccessfully to compete with cinematic sci-fi by attempting similarly epic special effects that not only fell short of matching the production values of the big screen but also didn't reproduce the eeriness of the B&W episodes he'd watched himself as a kid.
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Early Doctor Who was Narnia meets Dan Dare, made at a time when Britain was still recovering from the war but looking to the future.
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What a nice turn of phrase!
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