Saturday, 7 June 2014
Did Someone Call A Doctor?
For the uninitiated, Doctor Who is a long-running British television show that began in 1963, and recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. The central character is the Doctor, of a race called Time Lords. He travels through time and space in a ship that looks like a 1960s British blue police box on the outside. When a Time Lord dies, his body "regenerates" into a new one - thus enabling a new actor to step into the part when the need requires.
Both my husband and I have been fans of Doctor Who since we were teenagers, and we've recently introduced it to our daughter. The episode we chose was a Fourth Doctor story called Pyramids of Mars (1975). The Doctor and his human companion Sarah Jane Smith stumble upon a plot to release the Egyptian god Sutekh from the place where he had been imprisoned by Horus millennia ago. As with many Doctor Who stories, the body count goes up as time goes on, before the enemy is finally defeated.
The show is extremely fun and loaded with in-jokes, literary references, and social commentary. One example, from another Fourth Doctor episode: "Oil? An emergency? Ha! It's about time the people who run this planet of yours realized that to be dependent on a mineral slime just doesn't make sense." I wouldn't recommend showing any episode to very young children because they can be quite scary - and some stories are purposely so.
A great many of the shows and specials are available on DVD and BluRay. The latest series is scheduled to begin airing in September.