Saturday, January 26, 2008


I've been sick since Wednesday night. It started with a sore throat, which was followed with my ears and sinuses plugging up and a fever. My throat has never been so messed up- I can barely talk. Thursday was really bad. I slept most of the day. I only had water and crackers to eat. This afternoon I was finally feeling good enough to sit in the bathtub and exfoliate off 2 days of sweating and greasy hair. Then I was able to go to the drug store and grocery. Now I have medicine, juice, and soup. I don't have much of an appetite but I am thirsty, so liquids are good.
I ran out of my usual television shows this afternoon, and started watching BBC America. This re-acquainted me with British comedy and sci-fi, and lead to an amazing discovery- Doctor Who is back in production! For the less geeky among us, Doctor Who started in 1963 with the premise of a "Time Lord" (a guy, known as the Doctor) who can travel in time and space using the "TARDIS" (Time and Relative Dimension(s) in Space), a 1950s London police box, which is much bigger on the inside than the outside. The really clever and critical twist to the show is that the Doctor, besides having 2 hearts, a sonic screwdriver, and a passion for dropping in on various civilizations and planets and saving the day, is that he can regenerate into another person. This means that when the actor playing the Doctor decides to leave the show, they just have him regenerate into the new actor and the show continues. The original run lasted until 1989, with 7 Doctors (and number 8 in a 1996 movie). The series started up again in 2005, and is now on Doctor 10. While I usually find the Doctors to be charming and likable in a wacky and humorous way, the real draw for me as a teenage girl were the sidekicks, known as "companions".
The Doctor's companions were usually picked up in the course of an adventure, join forces with the Doctor, and accompany him for a time on more adventures. Some died, but most bowed out at some point, to continue fighting in a revolution or something like that. There have been about 30 companions. The companions are usually female, independent, rebellious, smart, brave, stubborn, and very pretty. I love them. One of them, Romana, was a Time Lord herself, and arguably smarter than the Doctor (especially in her mind) but less experienced perhaps. She even regenerated once on the show. My favorite companion, though, was Leela the savage. You didn't want to piss her off or you'd get a poison dart. Ace was also a favorite both with me and Craig, my fellow high school Doctor Who and Monty Python geek. Ace was punky chemist adventurer who enjoyed blowing things up, as a form of creative expression of course. And Tegan Jovanka had the coolest name I'd ever heard. (The picture is of Rose Tyler and Doctor 10 saying their goodbyes.)
The idea of running away with an asexual humanoid alien and having exciting adventures on other planets and in other time periods, requiring bravery and heroism, was incredibly appealing to me as a teenager, and the new version certainly has its charms. The companions are still brave and independent, although the Doctor is no longer asexual. The companions were often sexy in the original version, but the sexual tension between the Doctor and the companions has been ramped up considerably. Doctor Who was revived by BBC Wales, which is also responsible for the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, featuring sex scenes, gay smooching, and smoking hot Welshies. (I'm a quarter Welsh, by the way. We're hot.)
The more things change, the more they stay the same. I'm home on a Saturday night watching Doctor Who like I did when I was 14, except that I'm full of snot and bummed I couldn't go with my friend to one of her bizarre parties. Not her party, exactly, she gets invited to unusual parties and sometimes brings me along. They are adventures, to be sure. At least I'm comfy on my couch watching adventures in my warm apartment, with soup.


Anonymous said...

When I was maybe 4 years old, I saw one of the "regeneration" episodes of Doctor Who and it scared the hell out of me. It was really horrifying to me.

Tealrat said...

you should watch it again now and you will say, "oh, the doctor is so cute" and your traumatic memories will fade away :)