We’ve been talking about motif and metaphor in the McD course on unity, and I referenced “The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances” episodes of Dr Who. There’s so much to talk about in the Who-verse: some of the episodes are works of art and some of them are abysmal (I hate “Love and Monsters” with the passion of a thousand firey suns) but they’re all worth taking apart for character, structure, conflict, metaphor, all that good stuff. The problem is, we don’t have time in the McD classes. I offered to do it on the class blog as an option, not a requirement, and then I said as an afterthought, “Or we could do it on Argh.” They voted for Argh on the more-the-merrier principle, so I’m running the idea by all of you now.
My plan, which can change depending on the comments, would be to take one Dr.Who episode a week, selecting stories that I think would generate good craft analysis. We’d concentrate on the new series–Doctors Nine, Ten, and Eleven, aka Eccleston, Tennant, and Smith–and I’d choose a couple of stories from each year (there are seven years, we’re not going to do them all) to see the arc of the new Who. I think the change of showrunners between ten and eleven (Davies to Moffat) does interesting things to the stories, too. So I’d choose a show (feel free to nominate in the comments) and then I’d put up a post on Sunday with a short intro and a starting discussion question and let the rest of you take it from there, talking about whatever you wanted to in regards to the storytelling (I bow to no one in my ability to squee over Eccleston, Tennant, and Barrowman, but it’s not terribly fun or helpful to read that stuff, so let’s stick to the writing).
As an experiment, let’s do “Rose,” the first episode in Season One of the new Who, free on Amazon Prime. (I’m ambivalent about Amazon in general, but Amazon Prime is a great deal.) If it works, we’ll keep going, picking at least three stories per season (some stories are two-parters so we’ll do both parts) and taking them apart to see how they work, the good and the bad. Three times seven is twenty-one so that’s about four months of Who Sundays if we decide to go for it. If we start and then it turns out to be a dud, I’ll pull the plug, but it could be a good time.
So is this something you’d like? What would you want the series to cover/concentrate on? (I’m thinking writing craft, but I’m open.) For those of you who are already Who fans, what episodes must be covered? (“The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances,” “Blink,” and “Let’s Kill Hitler” are already in as far as I’m concerned.) Feedback please. And then we’ll do a trial run on “Rose” on Sunday.
So what do you think?