Saturday, 15 September 2012

A Whovian's Complex...

Anyone reading this who knows me will not find it surprising that one of my first proper blog posts is about Doctor Who. It being pretty much my favourite TV Show and all.

The picture above is the main picture from tonight's episode, A Town Called Mercy. Doctor Who is now in it's 7th Series (since it's return in 2005), or it's 33rd Season (if you're a Whovian like me, who quite likes to know exactly how many full series/seasons of the show there've been.

I love Doctor Who. I wasn't actually one of the many people of my generation to watch it exactly from 2005 onwards, I actually started a little later and subsequently went back (but that's another story in itself). But the one thing that you often have to come to term with as a Whovian (Who fan, for those who've been wondering if I was referring to some odd form of OCD), is that there are always going to be episodes which are...not as good as others, shall we say.

Now, obviously, with any TV programme, there are bound to be some episodes that are not as good as the ones surrounding them. But the one thing that I can bring myself to critically say of my favourite show is that, quite often, it's at extremes. For the most part, when it's good, it's really good, when it's bad, it's really bad, and when it's average, it's...well, you get the picture.

Thankfully, there aren't that many bad episodes of Doctor Who, and as Whovians we can often sit quite comfortably watching our favourite show without the fear that we'll need to be critical of it.

But there's always the odd episode that just doesn't stand up to the regular standard of the rest of them, and so far, this series seems to have had it. (Last weeks Dinosaurs On A Spaceship).

Now, it being Doctor Who, there are always things to enjoy about the bog-standard episodes. The Mitchell and Webb robots being one, for last week. I have to say, I enjoyed the series opener Asylum Of The Daleks immensely - it'll probably become a fan favourite, and it certainly deserves to be treated as quite historical in the ongoing saga of The Daleks.

The thing Doctor Who (and Sherlock, come to that) struggle with a lot at the moment, it seems, is that there's always some sort of overall storyline that's weaved through each of the episodes. Don't get me wrong, as fans, we love it, but the sometimes damaging thing about it means it puts pressure on the episodes that are leading up to the bigger stories that affect the overall storyline of the show to make an impact.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's just something about Dinosaurs On A Spaceship that doesn't feel up to scratch. This often happens with me - I will always enjoy an episode as it goes out, but the ones that I don't enjoy as much are not easy to pick out the specific flaws with until I have a bit of hindsight.

This week, with A Town Called Mercy, the standard was raised back up again. Not as good as Asylum Of The Daleks, but that had the added weight of being a season-opener, so you'd struggle to actually top it as such.

But I could very easily name episodes of Doctor Who from the past 6 series that really weren't on par with the others.

Some people will stop watching if Doctor Who has a few bad episodes though. Okay, granted this will often be the people who will watch every week but not call themselves "fans", but I do find that sad. Doctor Who just sometimes needs a little patience. Even if it has 2 or 3 bog-standard episodes in a row, I don't think that's a legitimate reason to assume that "the shark has been jumped."

But should I? Is it just because I have declared myself an out-and-out, unashamed Doctor Who fan, that I look past the less consistent episodes that, if it were any other show, might disuade me from watching?

Or is it just the way that I as a person work? There have been a fair few TV Shows where my parents and friends have stopped watching but I've wanted to persist (Glee would be a prime example). Thinking about it, while I know really good quality telly when I see it, something often has to have really gone downhill to the point that it's quite bad for me to want to stop watching it altogether. (The X Factor took long enough...)

Perhaps I should've called this post A Henry's Complex instead...

But really, I do think that as a fan, you should be prepared to stick with a TV show through good times and bad. Doctor Who has the unspoken guarantee that even if you've had a bad episode or two, there's always one really amazing one round the corner, that old Steven Moffat or one of the show's other brilliant writers has penned.

But some people just don't seem to get that.

It's only a TV programme. It shouldn't bother me.

But every time someone tells me that they've stopped watching Doctor Who, I do feel that little twinge of disappointment.

P.S. I should clarify, the disappointment is mainly just from the point of view that I have one less person to discuss the show with in the world, I rarely think (that much) less of you as a person if you stop watching :P

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