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Science Fiction, TARDIS, Time Travel

[Geek] Doctor Who audio drama goodness whee!

So, a while ago, I blew more money than I should have ordering two CDs from the UK. (Especially 'blew more than I should have,' having learned since then that there's an American reseller who would've been cheaper. Ah, well.) The other day, they arrived.

I now am in possession of my two favorite Eighth Doctor audio serials once more: Storm Warning (the first Eighth Doctor adventure post-movie in the audio serial continuity, introducing Charley Pollard), and The Chimes of Midnight (considered by many to be one of the best, and creepiest, Doctor Who serials period).

I spent a chunk of time converting the multi-CD radio-style dramas to iTunes/iPod audiobook format (nicely split into the component episodes), and am muchly pleased with the result. This both makes it easier to listen to, AND means I won't have to order copies AGAIN. (First copy of Storm Warning, stolen. Second copy of Storm Warning, lost during a move. Third copy is bloody well being backed up digitally.)

Next, I really still do need to get another copy of Minuet in Hell, which I only ever heard a friend's copy of (and never heard the final episode of), and which has my favorite recurring Doctor Who ally (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart). I'd also like to get all the ones leading up to the Zagreus saga (including NeverLand, where Romana appears), which I've never heard. So many to catch up on since I last heard.

I'm sane and sensible about most of my fandoms, a casual fan. But, Doctor Who? Noooooot so much. ;)
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Sadist. :P
Not a Doctor Who fan, then?
I only just started watching the first season with Christopher Eccleston - if any of the earlier shows were ever broadcast in my area, I've never seen them. Hopefully I'll be able to find the previous Doctors on DVDs with subtitles!
My closest exposure to Dr. Who is having a friend with the last name of Hu who we all encouraged to go into medicine for the sake of being able to call her Dr. Hu.

So, he's a time traveler in a phone booth, yah?
Not exactly. He's a Time Lord, from the planet Gallifrey. Time Lords have some degree of immunity to paradox, but do not meddle with things... save for a few rogues. The Doctor (who is sort of an intergalactic do-gooder), the Master (his evil counterpart, who wants to rule the universe), the Meddling Monk (not precisely a villain, and also not seen since episodes in the 1960's or so) and the Rani (a scientist who feels the ends justify the means).

Time Lords, when about to die, can 'cheat death' by regenerating -- changing their body, taking on a new form. They can do this 12 times (for a total of 13 incarnations), before the energy in their cells runs out. Their personality can change somewhat with the regeneration, however; Doc's been through 9 regenerations so far, for ten Doctors. (William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davidson, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant.)

Doc almost always travels with one or more Companions. Companions come and go, but they're usually (not always) humans; they serve the narrative purpose of being someone for the audience to identify with, and giving the Doctor an excuse to make expository explanations when the plot requires.

Doc travels in a TARDIS -- Time And Relative Dimensions In Space -- which is a time-ship normally able to disguise itself (the inside is in a different dimension, so the outside can take any form). Unfortunately for the Doctor, his TARDIS doesn't quite work right. Doesn't always end up where or when he means it to, and the circuit which disguises it broke when he landed in 1960's London at the beginning of the series. It disguised itself as a 1960's London police call box -- a box which had an emergency phone, and into which you could stuff criminals and lock them until a paddy wagon arrived -- and then the circuit fried. The TARDIS has been stuck as a blue 1960's London police call box ever since.

For more information, I should probably just point you at the comprehensive Doctor Who article on Wikipedia. :)
Of all the things in the world to ask Rachel, the question "Who is Doctor Who?" is the one least likely to get an answer lasting less than half an hour.

You win! ;)
Most fandoms, I am casual in. I like Babylon 5. I like Stargate: SG-1. I like Stargate Atlantis. But I cannot discuss them for hours and hours and hours on end.

Doctor Who, I am a complete frothing fan, and always have been. :)

My closest exposure to Dr. Who is having a friend with the last name of Hu who we all encouraged to go into medicine for the sake of being able to call her Dr. Hu.

And did she?
I believe she's applied for med school, but I don't know the status beyond that. ;)
So what do you think of the re-orchestration of the theme music?

Myself, I think it's sad that they didn't keep the original by Elizabeth Parker and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The "symphonic" version just isn't punchy enough.

Anyway, you'll love the latest episode. Once again, the writers and actors delivered a performance that surpassed my (already high) expectations.
I found myself liking Mickey despite my first intention to the otherwise though I did think the ending was a little too cliche (and obvious, I think the entire audience was rolling their eyes at the doctor, even the five years on the fear factor page figured out what'd happen).
Actually, I like it. I know many people think the 'proper' version is the one introduced in the early 1980's, the re-orchestration of the theme on a proper synth which added the 'scream' to the beginning of the opening theme, as well as the ending... and I'd tend to agree. HOWEVER. I don't think that would've gone over well with audiences here, and they /did/ want to market Doctor Who overseas. Most US viewers don't know the original series, and wouldn't care about the original theme; they'd just think it sounded dated.

This one sounds good -- I like the version for the Tenth Doctor better than the Ninth (there /are/ differences, beyond just the restoration of the middle 8), but I like it overall. It's directly inspired by the 1980's version, but the original 1960's theme is sampled underneath it if you listen carefully; he reused instruments from the very first version. There are also the TARDIS engine noise, the Dalek ray gun, and the March of the Cybermen all sampled in as part of the background.

To me, it was a great work, really. It sounds 'modern' and won't make the show feel dated to newcomers, but it also still /feels/ like the Doctor Who theme to me... and the samples of the old noises really tie it all together.

As for 'The Girl in the Fireplace,' I enjoyed the episode, though there were a few things I thought were silly. And it suffered coming after 'School Reunion,' which was THE BEST EPISODE EVAR. Still, enjoyable... and anything with 18th century clockwork androids earns bonus points with me. And next episode looks like it will ROCK. :)
Doctor Who won three awards at last night's British Academy Television Awards, including the award for best drama series and the Pioneer Audience Award, which

aims to honour the show that has helped define television in 2005, receiving critical acclaim through its original approach and capturing the public's imagination. The award is unique as it's the only accolade that has been decided by the public vote and looks set to become one of the most coveted in the industry.

Billie Piper accepted the Best Drama Series award, accompanied by a dalek.