Obsession of the Moment: Doctor Who

The Eleventh Doctor & Amy Pond.  Image copyright BBC.
The Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond. Image (c) BBC.

Ok, I lie.  This has been an obsession of mine, oh, since I was about 7.

Doctor Who (Wikipedia link for full and wondrous history) is a science fiction TV series produced by the BBC.  Its initial incarnation ran from 1963 to 1989. I am a Brit, and I grew up with it.

It’s about a mysterious time- and space- traveling Time Lord who goes by the name of the Doctor, and is a great mix of science fiction, mystery, fairy-tale and old-fashioned adventure romp.  It’s funny and thrilling and cheesy in just the right balance. The clever trick is that Time Lords can regenerate their bodies, so that when an actor quits the series, he can be replaced by another. My doctor was Tom Baker, complete with awesome scarf (which, naturally, has its own website with patterns for the different versions from different seasons).  The series sorta petered out in the 1980s.

But in 2005 it was brilliantly revised by Russell T. Davies and his team.  And this new incarnation is, IMHO, even better than the original.  It’s funnier and thrillinger and cheesier, but all still in perfect balance. We’re on our third Doctor of the new incarnation, Matt Smith, and he’s turned out to be terrific.  No-one was sure he could fill the very large shoes of David Tennant, who left last year;  just as no-one was sure Tennant could fill the very large shoes of Christopher Eccleston, who was the initial relaunch Doctor. But each has made his own impression – and in the case of David Tennant, what a delicious impression that was.

The latest series is running right now in the UK on BBC One, and in the US on BBC America. (Choose your link carefully – the US is two episodes behind the UK, and the UK site has spoilers for upcoming episodes.)

If you’ve not given it a go, start with the Christopher Eccleston series.  Knitting television of the finest order – and not just because there is a knitter in the recent episode, Amy’s Choice.

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11 thoughts on “Obsession of the Moment: Doctor Who

  1. Anne

    I have recently rediscovered Dr. Who, and now my 7 year old is obsessed. Obsessed I say! We have a bazillion eps on the TiVo and he’ll watch them any chance he gets.

  2. Thea

    Yes! I love love love doctor who. Of the three Tennant is still my favorite. There was also a bit of knitting in that episode with the cat guy …

  3. Jenna

    I am right there obsessing with you! It’s funny, engaging, and sometimes scary. The perfect tv to knit to, just so long as it isn’t a super involved pattern.

  4. Alyson Nelson

    Doctor Who has been a long time favorite, and the re-invention of the series is absolutely amazing. And for some reason, DW and crafting have always gone together. Back in the day, my “craft of choice” was cross-stitch. These days it’s knitting and there are some awesome “Who-themed” knitting projects out there. Just check Ravelry!

  5. melissa

    I have had such a long-standing obsession with Doctor Who that I have a Doctor Who Pinball machine…the best part is the Dalek on top!

  6. Jennifer

    And Netflix currently has the first four New Who seasons (and some of last year’s specials) on Watch Instantly! I’m afraid I have a David Tennant addiction right now…

  7. EileenG

    I too have loved Dr Who since my teens. It ran on Public TV, so I was thought weird for watching that anyway! I’m not so sure about this new Dr Who, seem a bit spastic and lacks the charm of Tennant and Eccleston. I’m still giving him a chance though.

  8. TravelingAnn

    Oh I Love Dr. Who!
    Still getting used to the new incarnation and think the first two episodes were a bit hit and miss. We’ve been watching them on-demand so we’re way behind this season.
    I remember my step-mom tried to introduce me to it when I was in, oh, first grade–late 70s early 80s–and the opening sequence scared me!
    However PBS solved it all in High School.

  9. 2paw

    Although the First Doctor is B&W and like the Second has some whole serials missing, you could easily start with the Third Doctor, Pertwee, who has an episode called Inferno, quite like The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood. Then Tom Baker, Peter Davison and so it goes on. I think you should start at the very beginning, a very good place to start: shaky sets and lines written on cuffs notwithstanding.

  10. Seanna Lea

    The doctor who scarf is probably the one scarf I will never make. It was just too much darn garter stitch! I think I’d fall asleep.

    Though, a Dr. Who inspired throw or blanket for a pet…

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