Magazine article Metro Magazine

Doctor Who? (TV Eye)

Magazine article Metro Magazine

Doctor Who? (TV Eye)

Article excerpt

I MISS DOCTOR WHO. SOMETIMES I wonder if there's any significance in the fact that it was axed when I was just entering adolescence, some sort of symbolic signal that it was now time to put away childish things. By rights I probably should have recognized this, but for some reason there was something precious in that tatty old show that I desperately wanted to hold on to. Something that patronising adult words like 'kitsch' or 'nostalgic' failed to describe, something that wasn't childish, but childlike. Fantasy and science fiction is always going to be absurd, but the worst examples of the genre are nearly always those that seem inhibited by notions of realism, lacking that childlike imagination. Doctor Who, for all its faults, was that most exciting sort of fantasy that refuses to be reined in and unembarrassedly insists that travelling through time and space in a police box is magical rather than silly.

Considering television's inherent conservatism and the fact that the vast majority of programmes rely on standing sets and situations, it seems extraordinary that Doctor Who was ever looked upon as feasible. From a creative and a budgetary point of view, every week there was an entirely new locale to construct, an entirely new culture to dream up. The fact that the writers refused to sacrifice the format's ambition and audacity as they attempted to feed the show's constant hunger for new ideas is remarkable. All the rules of television should have forced Doctor Who to surrender to reality. But it didn't.

This iconoclastic drive appropriately finds its clearest expression in the character of the Doctor himself. …

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