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In Praise of… Dr Who

So, as anyone who’s been muddling along with this blog for a while will know, I love Dr Who.  And it’s taken me an age to admit it, because, let’s face it, there was a very long while when loving Dr Who was sorta like saying that you kept a comic book about farting hidden inside your copy of War and Peace.  I mean, it was tragic, it was sad, it was, all things considered, really nerdy without any hint of redemption to love Dr Who, particularly if you happened to be a woman born after 1980 (which I am).  And then came along Russell T. Davis and suddenly I found myself in the same room as my Dad watching plastic monsters rampaging through London and, for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on, I wasn’t totally ashamed!  And the more I watched, the more the sneaky suspicion dawned on me that actually, maybe Dr Who isn’t total rubbish and you know what, there are other people watching too…

By the time David Tennant took over as the Doctor, I’d discovered a whole corps of people at LSE who were quietly addicted.  We were, admittedly, a group of people at the technical theatre crew/Dr Who lovers/Cluedo playing end of student society, but, and this is the bizarre thing, we weren’t ashamed of it… I mean, if nothing else, let the new series of Dr Who go down in history as making it practically acceptable, maybe, and this is a big maybe, but maybe even kinda cool to be a nerdy science fiction/techno-geek… which is a blessed relief to me, because, really, I was never really going to shape up to be anything else.

I have no quiver of cultural shame when people say ‘it’s a kid’s program’.  Sure, it is, but it’s a kids program with jokes for adults, and huge ideas, and witty scripts, and great big rollicking story lines and, frankly, a lot more craft in its big toe than the average 9 p.m. weekday fare has in a whole fist of themes.  I mean, at its most basic level, the setup of Dr Who allows you to do pretty much anything.  Any place, any time, any situation, any species, any state of mind – anything.  I’ve been meaning to write this blog entry for a while, but it was the fact that last weekend the plot of Dr Who included – and please avert your eyes if you haven’t seen this already – the entire universe going phut and then some – that really kinda nudged me into thinking that the time had come to mentioned how much I enjoyed this series.  You gotta love the combination of tragically geeky and utterly cool, of ridiculously domestic and world-shatteringly big.  Your average episode of Dr Who jumps in with forty something minutes of space to play with and an idea to dabble in and just charges.  It’s funny, hugely entertaining, (huge in general) and I love it.  More, please!

(And if anyone finds themselves reading this the day after I wake up to discover that any of my works, as either Kate Griffin or Catherine Webb have soared to huge international success… then yes please, do hire me as a writer.  I mean, there’s being cool… and then sometimes there’s just plain, unashamed, unabashed being a nerd…)