The Official Blog of Author Tristan Vick
I only started watching Doctor Who last year. Friends have been telling me for years that I'd love the series, and that I ought to watch it. But, for whatever reason, I hadn't gotten around to it until this past Christmas.
I took a wild stab and started with season two of the new series. Little did I know this was the best place to start, as this begins with David Tennant's incarnation of the Doctor. Also, I by chance, lucked out of skipping season one and then coming back to it later, and I'm so glad I did too, because that season was, in my estimation, less than impressive. So much so that I feel it would have soured me for the rest of the series and I only would have reluctantly continued watching, if at all.
So I burned through all the Tennant episodes, watching the 10th Doctor and Rose, then onto Martha Jones, and Donna Noble. It was epic. As I was viewing re-runs on WowWow (the HBO/Netflix of Japanese paid viewing) I had no choice in the omission of Christmas specials, and had to track them down later. Also, they ended at season 3 of Tennant's episodes so I began series five, with Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor, before finishing series four. All very confusing, I know.
But I fell in love with Matt Smith's Doctor right away. And the fact that season five is written like a fairy tale was so well tailored to this new Doctor Who universe that I fell in love with Stephen Moffat's vision of the Who Universe.
But more than this, I am head over heels in love with Karen Gillan who plays Amy Pond. As if I ever stood a chance in hell.
Now, many people loved the David Tennant Doctor because he was handsome, charming, and a dash overly romantic. I liked him fine, but there were times where he seemed too much of a sentimental sap. Other times he would go into "rage" mode and wanted to kill everyone and everything that defied him. Other times he was mellow, sociable, and other times he had such a God complex that I could hardly stand him. The tenth Doctor was always on the verge of a mental and emotional breakdown, it seemed. And although that made for interesting drama, I found it also made the character a little less than believable. Don't get me wrong, I like flawed characters as long as they are written consistently. Dr. House, perfect example. But the tenth Doctor was sometimes a bad-ass and sometimes a bit wishy-washy, and this made for some major eye-rolling.
So when Matt Smith came along, and played this eccentric, brilliant, alien entity who was trying to act normal, but suffering a bit of awkwardness in every attempt, made him enduring. His rage is more on the sleeve, making him less emotionally compromised and more direct in his intentions. I like the fact that Smith can play the character as both somewhat of a doofus but a super-genius all at the same time. I like how he genuinely seems to love children. As a father, this is a quality I think all benevolent beings would inherently have, and I'm sorry to say, David Tennant's doctor seemed to lack such a quality.
I like character stories, and the new Doctor Who episodes are mostly about character. This is good for a newcomer, because it makes the whole Doctor Who universe (all fifty years of it) less overwhelming. I don't need to know all the details which most Whovians know inside and out. All I have to do is sit back and watch great performances, spot-on dialogue, and first class television writing and production.
All of these things combined together made me an instant Doctor Who fan. It's only been less than a year, but I am caught up on all the new Doctor Who episodes. I don't have any inclination to go back and watch all the old ones, although I may be apt to check a few out.
The real question becomes, which do I like more, Original Trek or the New Who? It's hard to say. I grew up with Star Trek, and although I am adamant about my excitement for Doctor Who, I have to tread carefully. Although they are both sci-fi, they represent different ends of the genre's spectrum. Star Trek is hard sci-fi and Doctor Who is soft sci-fi, meaning, it strays away from the actual science when it suits the plot instead of trying to stay true to science and force the plot to adhere to it. It's not a bad thing, but it means Doctor Who is more fantasy driven. In the end, I like both equally, for different reasons.
By day I am an educator and a cultural ambassador. By night I entertain notions of being a literary master. In reality I am just a family man and ordinary guy who works hard and loves writing just about as much as I love my family. Just about.