No, I Haven’t Seen That Show Yet. Here’s Why.

I’ve often heard it said we’re living in the era of Prestige Television (or Peak Television, if you prefer).  Regardless of the terminology, there is the general sense among people who think, write, and talk about these things that the 21st century has seen the rise of a Golden Age – if not The Golden Age – of Television.  The caliber of what’s being offered on TV is generally considered to have risen.  There are more “high quality” shows generating more critical acclaim than ever before.  The line between “TV star” and the once-more prestigious “movie star” is blurring.  In fact, these TV shows with shorter seasons, renown casts, and complex storytelling, are often touted as six (or ten (or thirteen)) hour movies, broken up into smaller installments.  You couple this with the rise of streaming services (and the accompanying “streaming wars” where each service tries to outperform the others to earn your subscription fee) alongside the culture of binge-watching and our experience of television’s been transformed.  It is a remarkable time to be consuming such content and the excited query, “Have you seen [fill-in-the-blank-show] yet??” drives our pop culture conversations like never before.

The thing is, my answer is almost always “no.”  Like 9/10 times it’s “no.”  And here’s why.

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Impressions of the Third Doctor – A Journey Through All 695 Episodes of Classic Doctor Who

I love the Third Doctor.  I love the Third Doctor so much!  In many ways, Russell T Davies’ basic Doctor Who blueprint – the Doctor travelling through time and space with one female companion – was born here.  Despite the familiar model, the Third Doctor’s era held a strikingly unique storyline for Doctor Who with the Doctor stranded on Earth for three of five seasons!  This is the third piece in my series exploring all 695 episodes of classic Doctor Who.  Like its predecessors, it considers my feelings/impressions upon meeting this regeneration of the Doctor as well as considering the “firsts” the Third Doctor’s adventures bring to Doctor Who.  Jon Pertwee’s time as the Doctor covered five seasons, Series 7-11, spanning 3 January 1970 to 8 June 1974. 

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Three’s Company: Why the Thirteenth Doctor, Yaz, and Zoe Heriot are a Dream TARDIS Team

The finale of Doctor Who: Flux aired Sunday night.  I’ve lots of thoughts and lots of feelings.  But they’re still percolating so, instead of writing about Doctor Who: Flux, I want to write about the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill) and the dream TARDIS team I’ve had bouncing around in my mind since I finished watching the Second Doctor’s era of Classic Doctor Who last summer.  While I struggled at first to connect to the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton), the wonder of his era came alive for me when he and his longtime companion Jamie McCrimmon (Frazier Hines) began travelling with Zoe Heriot (Wendy Padbury).  As soon as I met Zoe the seeds for this piece were sown.  I want – nay, I need – some sort of story (be it novel, audio drama, comic, or all of the above) where she reunites with the Doctor to travel with her and Yaz.  It would be perfect!  I think it’s a story that needs telling, too…and here’s why.

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Impressions of the Second Doctor – A Journey Through All 695 Episodes of Classic Doctor Who

Literally my first impression of Patrick Troughton as the Doctor was he seemed stern.  I thought this long before I saw him play the Doctor or even knew his real name.  It was just my immediate reaction to the images/pictures the BBC usually chooses when they show all the Doctors.  Maybe it was the dark hair?  Maybe it was the piercing stare?  I don’t know.  But once I began my journey through Classic Doctor Who I knew I’d see if there was any truth to my uninformed first impression (my bet was there wasn’t).  And my journey’s progressing!  This is the second installment in my series of feelings/impressions upon meeting each Doctor!  Patrick Troughton’s run as the Doctor would span three series, from 5 November 1966 to 21 June 1969.

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Desperately Seeking Susan: What Happened to the Doctor’s Granddaughter?

When I began watching Classic Doctor Who, it was like a whole other world.  The show – from its pacing to style to the character of the Doctor – felt very unfamiliar.  But I soon found my rhythm, loving it for what it was and how it flowed into the Doctor Who I fell in love with.  I was immediately fascinated by Susan Foreman, the Doctor’s granddaughter!  So often I’ve seen the Doctor mourn their lost family, grieving all those who died when Gallifrey burned, leaving them the last of the Time Lords.  But here Gallifrey still hung in the heavens and the Doctor was travelling with his granddaughter!  I couldn’t wait to learn all about Susan and her relationship with the Doctor.  It left me wanting to explore her character, what it felt like to meet one of the Doctor’s blood relatives, and ponder what happened to Susan after she parted ways with her grandfather.

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Impressions of the First Doctor – A Journey Through All 695 Episodes of Classic Doctor Who

It was only a matter of time.  I love Doctor Who and the show means too much to me (not to mention how my crazy completist mind works XD) to not go back to the very beginning and watch its original 1963-89 run.  The timing was motivated, in part, by continued pandemic life leading to much more time at home…but I was always heading here.  At first I was hesitant to get another streaming service but I realized I’d be watching 695 episodes of classic Doctor Who.  I’ve not watched 695 things on Netflix if you add up everything I’ve ever seen on it and I’ve had it for years.  I’ve not watched 300 things on Netflix!  Nor Hulu.  Nor Disney+.  Nor HBO Max.  So 695 episodes of Doctor Who means I’m getting more for my money with BritBox than any service!  To commemorate such an undertaking, I felt a series of impressionistic pieces as I met each Doctor was apropos.  Naturally, I began at the beginning with William Hartnell, whose run as the Doctor went from 23 November 1963 to 29 October 1966.

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