Not in the rain, not on a train

I do not like old Doctor Who.

I am really sorry about that. I don’t do it on purpose. I just don’t like it.

For a really long time I resisted ANY Doctor Who because of the odd snippets I had seen of old Doctor Who. I decided that the only way to enjoy Doctor Who, similar to things like bitter melon or tripe, is to have developed a taste for it during childhood. I finally relented under extreme pressure from multiple sources and agreed to watch some 11th Doctor. Initially skeptical, I sat through a few episodes and became hooked. Once finishing up the 11th Doctor, I went back and enjoyed the 9th and 10th. (Though to a lesser degree. There is something to be said about loving one’s first Doctor.) I happily passed the disease on to my children and to my mother, who is in turn spreading it through her friend group. I am thoroughly hooked.

On David Tennant and Matt Smith. And that other guy was okay too, especially in the Empty Child episode.

But here’s the thing. My husband was clearly hoping to provide the NEW Doctors as a sort of gateway drug through which to hook me on the old Doctors. And it didn’t work. I actually wanted it to work, because once I ran out of new Doctor Episodes I really did want more. I tried the fourth Doctor, who everyone loves so much. I tried the first Doctor, for historical context. I tried bits of the third and seventh. And it seems to range somewhere between mildly interesting (if you try hard to ignore the costumes, and the special effects… and the acting) to downright dreadful. I still think Daleks are silly, even when viewed in their historical context. I can understand why one MIGHT have found the Cybermen scary when one was seven, but for me they just can’t hold a candle to the Weeping Angels. Or the Silence.

I still think you had to have watched it as a kid.

And yes I KNOW that Douglas Adams wrote scripts for the fourth Doctor. I tried to watch one of those. It was horrid. Sad but true.

I know it was originally a children’s show, meant to teach science and history in the 1960’s. I can appreciate that. I just don’t enjoy it. Because I am not a child in the 1960’s. And I am not particularly fond of silver lame and rubber monsters. Plus there is just no excuse for the 1980’s Doctors. Or the companions. Or the scripts.

No, Ace is not plucky and endearing and a strong female character. She is annoying.

And unlike Donna (**shudder**), she does not have David Tennant to offset her horrible personality flaws. The Seventh Doctor is downright cringy. I know I imprinted on Matt Smith, but I want the Doctor to be adorable and quirky, not… whatever that was.

Here is the crux of it, for me, and I find it does not only apply to Doctor Who. Television and movies are a visual media which rely on sets, costumes, special effects and acting to tell a story. Depending on the genre, you can skimp on some of those things. Basic dramas or romances can usually get away with a pretty spartan budget if the acting is good. Science Fiction far less so. Even assuming good acting, which you really couldn’t assume at all. For instance the original, and One True, Star Wars had great costumes, sets and special effects and told a pretty good story. Acting? Not so much. 2001 was good on everything except the story. But all in all both worked quite well. They were also huge, glaring exceptions in a sea of schlock. For the most part Science Fiction did not translate well onto either screen until fairly recently.

And I love Science Fiction.

Books.

Nothing ruins a good Science Fiction book like a crappy adaptation.

And my tolerance level has gone down, not up.

I grew up watching and LOVING Star Trek. But I can hardly tolerate it any more. I’ve tried to watch old, well loved episodes, but I can barely stomach the cheese. Perhaps I have grown lactose intolerant in my old age, but this stuff has not aged well. I understand that the budgets were nearly non-existant and the technology of the era was worse. I am not expecting it to be any better than it is, I just don’t want to watch it.

It pains me.

I’m sorry. :-(

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