Chris (pokeypenguin) wrote,
Chris
pokeypenguin

The First Bit of the First Doctor

After an unreasonably long time, I have finished the first season of Doctor Who. The one from the 1960s, is what I mean. I gotta say, it's an interesting show, very, very different from the one we're watching now.

Not in the obvious ways, like the special effects budget. Honestly, the first season hardly had any effects. The majority of the episodes were spent wandering through earth's history (Marco Polo, the French Revolution, One Million BC, the Aztecs) with no alien interference of any kind; the Doctor was just really good at being separated from the TARDIS for days or weeks at a time, so there they would be, providing a history lesson of some kind. The only thing I recognized were the Daleks, and let me tell you how weird it was to see them not recognize each other. (I may watch that one again, it was pretty short and seems relevant, y'know?)

But mostly what has struck me as odd about the show is how different everyone is. Sure, okay, the Doctor is different every time, and by design, but I mean the way he interacts with his Companions. For one thing, he has a granddaughter, which is really weird in its own right. But the brain-hurting part is Ian. (The companions, I should mention, are the granddaughter, Susan, and two of her teachers who followed her home one night because she seemed odd and they wanted to check on her, and suddenly Ian and Barbara are caught up in these adventures when the Doctor, a classically grumpy old man, proved to them that everything Susan was telling them was true out of pure spite.) So, anyway, this guy Ian? Most of the time, he's in charge. Yes, the Doctor has all the actual power over the machine, where they go next, etc. (except when he doesn't and they end up in the wrong place, and man do I love that it's not a new trope), but whenever things start to go wrong, Ian always seems to be the one who takes charge and assigns the troops and etc. The Doctor still has good ideas now and then, and he usually wins when he argues, but the fact that he argues so rarely and especially that sometimes Ian wins? That is so not the Doctor to me!

But at the same time, it's really interesting to watch, it's not like I have decided "This is bullshit!" and ditched it or anything. I don't guess I have a particular point, I just never thought I'd see the Doctor be as different as all that. In unrelated news, I am impressed at how well-made the reconstruction episodes have been, so far. Both that there is enough information to do a really good job, but also the care that has been taken in doing it. Still, I look forward to getting a few seasons ahead, out of black and white and into "we have all of these from now on, honest" territory. Next season is the same people all around, I wonder whether the Doctor will start taking more charge, as he seems to be doing finally?

(I have no idea when I'll actually get to next season, but I bet it will be kind of a while.)

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