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[personal profile] krpalmer
Quite a while ago now, when I'd been posting to this journal for just a few months, I mentioned the start of the second new season of Doctor Who, and after that I didn't say much about the show. I suppose I could think of enough other things to post about in between saying something about every episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, but thoughts that "sometimes it might be better to not have to pin everything down and present it; you might even enjoy something more when you're not so serious about it that way" might have come to mind once in a while too.

Where a little while before, looking at the journals of others with the feeling I "ought" to watch something "live-action," "recent," and "dramatic" like them, the new Battlestar Galactica had been ready to hand (and while I didn't trace the same weary path some other people wound up vocal about, it does seem the strong impression the very beginning of the regular series had on me gently lessened over time), the appearance of the new Doctor Who might have been more just casual and pleasant. Years before, the educational channel in Ontario had shown the old series, and I'd watched from the final years of "the Fourth Doctor" to a literal cliffhanger for "the Seventh Doctor" (although the episodes were shown years after they'd aired in Britain, something I suppose would be a little trickier nowadays), but I do have the impression that of the fragments still stuck in my mind the majority come from earlier on. Again, though, once things were under way anew they seemed easy to be interested in.

One thing about just overhearing others discuss "long-format series," however, is the impression was all too easy to form that it seems somehow "inevitable," in the cases where studio executives don't meddle things to an untimely end and draw the annoyance upon themselves, that what "serious" fans were interested in from the beginning will always wind up seeming neglected by what builds up through genuine repetition and disillusionment will set in. (From my own experience, of course, that can happen just in the three months a short anime series runs, but at least there something new will be along soon.) Part of keeping my interest in the proper minor key was not seeking out too many other opinions, but I still picked up things in passing. While the new Doctor Who might not require waiting years for some make-or-break conclusion or even demanding every week add another vital piece to the whole, it did seem that Russell T. Davies had worn out his welcome with certain people by the time he was replaced as producer by Steven Moffat, and that some of those still interested were quicker to get annoyed with Moffat's own style. This might have had its own effect on me after all when it happened I was off on vacation when the first episode of the seventh new season aired, I had some difficulty trying to catch up through official online means, and all of a sudden I'd "lapsed" with only the occasional pang of concern about how this "put me back where I'd started" so far as watching "live action" went. Where I'd recorded the episodes off cable and wrote them to disc for the rest of my family, now I was just buying "half-season" sets, but still with the uncertain sense this didn't help my sense of disconnection.

When I heard there was going to be a special fiftieth anniversary episode, though, I did start to step back into the place of the "casually interested" pulled in by a "special event" (even if I can remember comments in different contexts about that sort of thing not building "proper" recurring audiences). Watching the episode, all the multifarious concerns alluded to here just seemed to slide away, and I got caught up in it. When it was over, I did wonder how much final push had been provided by the surprises at the end in a way that might be easy to dismiss on reflection, but with some actual thought the different parts of the episode, capturing different parts of the whole experience, did seem to pull together. The only problem was the continuing thought that does occur to me at times now of wondering just how other people would find a way to criticise the whole thing.

So far as commemoration of the anniversary goes, I was also interested to hear about a "TV movie" about the very first years of the show. It was also entertaining in its own way, although I wound up wondering how much "poetic simplification" it had applied for the benefit of someone like me, who doesn't know much detail; with what it showed, it did seem able to suggest the beginning involved some "period outsiders" surprising yet intriguing to a modern viewpoint that might otherwise just be amused by the recreation of the original production's values. At the same time, though, with actors playing the original actors, I started daydreaming about what something like a period adventure starring them might be like. That, though, could very be an idea those more familiar with the actual cast would just brush off out of hand.

I know there's going to be another Doctor in the series soon, even if I wonder how many might say this just affects the "surface." Even before that, though, I am able to think I might yet get around to properly returning to the series.
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