Thursday, May 5, 2011

Doctor Who

Kim and I haven't had a chance to watch the newest episodes of Doctor Who yet, we've had the Impossible Astronaut downloaded and waiting practically since it aired. I'm not sure exactly why we haven't watched it yet. Mostly I think it's due to the fact that Kim has been sick and we want to be able to really pay attention to the story. This requirement that we pay attention could be seen as an affirmative answer to's question "Is Doctor Who getting too scary or too complicated?". I do think that Doctor Who has gotten scarier and more complicated under Steven Moffat and I don't think that's a bad thing. I like that it's scary and complicated. It reflects the show's rich mythology and dark tones that have been present ever since it rebooted in 2005. I think the show is maturing. Of course it has some complex story lines, it has time travel in it!
As far as "too scary" or "too complicated", I would ask for whom? I know that Doctor Who is considered a family show and I love it. the thought of families gathering together to watch the Doctor warms my heart! Maybe some young children won't follow the story all the time but is that all bad? Is it bad to challenge kids with a complex story? Should we be worried that maybe some kids won't understand what's going on and as a result dumb it down? I don't think so and David Mitchell would agree, sometimes it's good to be confronted with our own ignorance. If the kids don't get it would it be so horrible if they just had to ask someone to explain what's going on? 

Too scary? Some kids may end up watching the show through the cracks between their fingers or from behind a blanket. Again I ask is that all bad? Is it bad for kids to be scared? Especially when it's fear of something make believe? It's one thing to be afraid of nuclear war as I and many of my contemporaries were, quite another to be afraid of being erased from existence by a mysterious crack in your wall. I watched some stuff that scared me as a kid and ended up with nightmares but I survived. I think kids need monsters. I think being afraid is an important part of developing as a child but then again I am neither a parent nor a child psychologist. I don't have to get up in the middle of the night to calm a crying child and assure him or her that there are indeed no Cybermen in the closet. Take my opinions with a grain of salt.
Our failure to watch the newest episodes may also have something to do with David Tennant, or rather the lack thereof. I think Matt Smith is great but Tennant was brilliant and left some big shoes to fill and I don't feel that Matt Smith has filled them yet. Although I think I would keep watching the show if it was nothing but one hour of Karen Gillan. I think Kim would too but we have slightly different reasons for that.
I have some downtime for the next few days so hopefully we'll get it watched!


  1. Kimdianna JonesMay 5, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    I think that the "scarier" episodes/story lines are way more interesting then some of the cheesy stuff they used to turn out, but I do know that they want to try and keep Dr. Who as a family show. I hope that these little kiddies buck up so that these scarier/interesting storylines continue! Ok, maybe they will need to get rid of Matt Smith too, that would also make the show more interesting…

  2. I agree Kim. Keep the scary and lose Matt Smith!

  3. I recently introduced one of Gunnar's friends to Godzilla. Like, '60s Godzilla: clearly a man in a rubber suit. He apparently had nightmares! I deliberately introduced slightly scary stuff to the kids' narrative/visual diets as they grew up, because I'm a firm believer in the Grimm's Fairy Tale approach to children's fiction. I had the shit scared out of me by a Hardy Boys episode when I was a kid, but I loved it. I think being scared and conquering fear is part of growing up. Bring on the scary clockwork dolls!

  4. Nightmares from Godzilla! Awesome! I had a theory when I was a child that if I watched something scary I would have a nightmare the next night following watching the scary thing. However if I read 10 chapters from the bible I would be OK. Strange, like a magic spell.
    I agree that "being scared and conquering fear is part of growing up". Trying to protect kids from anything scary is along the same lines of the "medal for everyone" society where kids are given a medal just for showing up and never being told that they are rubbish at something and encouraging them to try something else. the world is scary and you will fail. A lot. Pick yourself up, deal with it and move on.