Saturday, 11 December 2010

True Who

Among the ruins of yesterday’s sulking, there is a gleam of hope.  I read the start of Working Title: Afterwards, the ‘humans are no longer the dominant species’ story, and it was actually quite good.  It wasn’t consistent, but considering I thought it was all tripe, I had a nice surprise. 

I’ve probably gone as far as I can just typing without planning.  And planning is much more boring than just writing as I go.  The plans never stay the same anyway.  I think in every one of my novel mss, what I originally intended as the focus of the plot has ended up as a minor subplot that may be cut altogether in a later draft. 

I believe strongly in starting a story as late as possible.  And I’ve certainly done that here.  I have reams of back-story (originally intended to be the story) that no one will now hear.  So what I have to decide is what is the actual plot going to be?  Major question that involves me sitting down and thinking, and I’m sure to get restless and distracted.

If I sit down and think, people tend to come over and say irritating things about me staring into space.  So I have to close the eyes.  And then I fall asleep and the plans turn into gibberish.  A good walk is more conducive to thinking and it’s good for the emotions too, plus the body, so overall, a good idea.  However, it is freezing outside and there’re clumps of ice all over the pavement.

Still, I should probably pop down to the local town to buy some Christmas cards from a charity shop.  If I walk, that’s half an hour each way so that’s a good long think and plan.  Or maybe I should just send e-cards.  That’s more environmentally friendly.  But who cherishes e-cards?  No, I’d better stick with the first idea.  As always, I meant to do the cards early this year and yet again didn’t notice it was December until last night when it’s already a third of the way through. 

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the holiday.  I do like all the pretty lights, decorations and music.  I like the magic of commercialism and Christianity come together.  But the actual day is just a day and when it comes down to it, I’d rather be writing.  Although I’m actually almost looking forward to Doctor Who this year.  I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to it before.

My relationship with the show is rocky.  It was around when I was a kid, and therefore I had a soft spot for it, and Sylvester McCoy was my Doctor.  I recently read a story I wrote in Junior School I think, in which a girl was living with an avuncular but slightly darkly dangerous genius she called Professor in an old air-raid bunker and they had wacky adventures.  I’m sure that was heavily influenced by the whole Ace/Doctor thing. 

Then when they made the TV movie, I watched it and was traumatised by the sight of my Doctor being shot to death.  I didn’t recover from this for many years.  The Stantz re-introduced me to the McCoy years, and attempted to get me into the Peter Davison stuff, since I was a big Davison fan of The Last Detective and Campion.  But his Doctor was lame.

Along came 2005, passing me by.  I caught a bit of the new stuff and didn’t like it, and mostly tried to ignore it.  I didn’t enjoy the 2005 Christmas special.  But eventually, in the last days of uni, The Friends and I decided to for once actually sit down and watch it with The Housemate who normally had to go sit on his own and watch it.  It was the cyberman episode and was so terrible we nearly laughed ourselves unconscious.  But after that, I had a soft spot for the show again and actually tried watching it on a weekly basis.

I thought David Tennant terribly cute (though I never really believed he was the Doctor), but I couldn’t stand his companion and couldn’t wait for her to die.  Shame, turned out she was lying and she didn’t die at all (I never really wanted her to die, because then the Doctor might actually miss her).  What a nasty, selfish little character Rose was.  I quite enjoyed the 2006 Christmas special, despite it being so noisy, flashy and fast I was nearly sick.  And I especially liked Donna choosing not to go with the Doctor.  I too wanted to slap him.

I started series 3, but was disappointed that the Doctor seemed to have had a lobotomy and was now a miserable little git.  I fair fell in love with Martha, but not so much for what she brought to the show, but because I felt so cripplingly sorry for her (I always fixate on the undervalued characters).  The Doctor treated her like dirt and I began to loathe him.  I sat through the series for Martha’s sake.  But when she left, so did I.  I skipped the 2007 Christmas special; I actually had to sit in the kitchen on my own to do this. 

I watched a little of series 4, mainly to catch Martha’s pointless return and leaving again.  I was saddened that Donna had joined the Doctor after she was so strong for telling him to get lost the first time around.  And he continued to be a nasty, whiney little worm.

I don’t know exactly when, but I began to want to know about previous companions.  I wanted to know which had been the best.  So I started at the start.  I’ve now seen every William Hartnell episode (bar The Crusade), even the ones that don’t exist (thanks to the painstaking efforts of geeknerds on the internet).  I’m really quite shocked how good it was in its first three years.  The ideas are all much more imaginative than these days, there are many genuine surprises which again, never happens these days, and William Hartnell is ultimate when it comes to the Doctor.  Because he is the Doctor.  And Ian Chesterton is clearly the best companion ever.  Just my luck that he’s the first companion ever. 

So at some point I still have all the other Doctors to sit through.  I got as far as Patrick Troughton’s first story but was too traumatised by my Doctor’s death.  Again.

I did watch the 2008 Christmas special, and the Easter one.  That was so awful, I skipped the next special, but by Christmas 2009 it was back on again.  I didn’t follow a word of it, although that could have been because there was food to be eaten and presents to be opened.  Then came New Year and Tennant finally shoved off, which I wasn’t altogether happy about because I hated the Doctor so much by this point I had been hoping for the last three years that he might decide to stop being a total jerk before he quit.  But no.

Then along came Matt Smith, and I didn’t care.  Only then Matt Smith was amazing and did everything right.  The material’s a lot better these days; somehow even when it doesn’t make sense, I don’t mind.  There’s still some rubbish floating around and yet Smith is such a good actor he saves every scene.  I’m astounded, but deliriously happy.  And now I would actually call myself a fan and I happily tune in weekly. 

I’m a fan of the first Doctor (True Who) and the last Doctor (New Who).  So bring on Christmas 2010.

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