Saturday, August 8, 2009

It's a screwdriver and it's .. sonic.

The worst thing that can be said about the new Doctor Who series is that it's bloody stupid. The Doctor solves most of his problems by stumbling across the equivalent of a red button that says "press here to magically put everything back in order". Which he does, and everything is put back in order. Hooray.

Time travel paradoxes are solved or ignored in whatever way is most convenient for the plot. In one episode, the Doctor's sidekick confronts him about this. What about the butterfly effect? He shrugs it off. Who cares? Let's go and meet Shakespeare!


But he's right. Who cares? There are worse thing than stupid & fun sci-fi. Stupid & serious sci-fi, for instance, of which there's plenty in these days of dark and gritty. Watched with the right lack of judgment, Doctor Who is brilliant.

Part of the reason for that is its cheerfulness. The Doctor's first reaction in any crisis is enthusiasm. It's not that the problems he faces are small, on the contrary. It's that he doesn't brood. He takes in the situation, laughs, and seizes the initiative.

So does the show's many minor heroes, people who have their world turned upside down, but quickly grasp the new reality, uses their head, and does something clever on their own initiative. Feeling sorry for yourself won't protect you from the werewolf outside the door. Thinking and acting will. What a wonderful message.



At 12 August, 2009 06:01 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right. Bad Sci-Fi but a great outlook on life. That's why I watch it :)


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