I’ve been geeking out with Doctor Who recently. I used to watch the original series all the time growing up. It was my favourite show without a doubt at the time but in retrospect it’s incredibly cheesy. It went of the air in the 90s but they resurrected it (fans would say regenerated) a few years ago. The difference between the old and new series is comparable to the difference between the old and new Battlestar Galactica.
The new series is totally different to the original in style. When you watched the old series you got the feeling the BBC had hired a bunch of out of work stage actors on the cheap whereas the actors in the new series definitely know how to act for TV. Also, rather importantly, the budget is obviously massive by comparison and so production standards are commensurately higher.
It was kind of fun when watching the original series to pick out what piece of off-the-shelf crap they were using as a cheap prop/special effect. My favourite was probably when they tried to show a guy was morphing into a space slug by having bubble-wrap wrapped around his hand. It was spray painted green so you knew it was space-slug-morphing bubble wrap.
Anyway, the cable service here ran marathons of the first and second seasons of the new series over the weekend. More than 12 hours each day – geek heaven! Apparently the merchandising for Doctor Who in the UK is a bit over the top, there are Doctor Who products everywhere. Including the mug in this video, sent over from England for my girlfriend’s little boy from his grandma.
The sound samples built into that mug are of the coolest of all Doctor Who Monsters, the Daleks. The second coolest are the Cybermen. Both have been resurrected for the new series and Doctor Who geeks got their ultimate wet dream when the two were brought together at the conclusion of season two. For this Doctor Who geek, the ultimate moment came when the Daleks and Cybermen started trash talking each other.
The Cybermen suggested an alliance with the Daleks (which would have been bad news for our heroes) but the Daleks rejected the Cybermen as inferior. For a couple of emotionless robotic races they got pretty shitty with one another, having an exchange that went something like this:
Cyberman: Why not join forces? Our systems are compatible although your design is inelegant.
Dalek: Daleks have no concept of elegance.
Cyberman: That is obvious.
Dalek: We will exterminate you!
Cyberman: There are millions of us, how many are you?
Cyberman: You will defeat us with only four Daleks?
Dalek: We would defeat you with one Dalek!
Pwned! Take that cyber-bitch!