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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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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. :)