Anybody Interested in Who Sundays?

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?

45 thoughts on “Anybody Interested in Who Sundays?

  1. “The Doctor’s Wife”

    But, really, any excuse to watch and talk about the good doctor is a cause for rejoicing.

    0
  2. This sounds like so much fun. I just discovered Doctor Who a couple months ago, and I’m so in love I leap at any chance to watch it over again and talk about it. Promise to restrain the Tennant gushing.

    As far as episode nominations, 3 from each season? Hmmm…for the Ninth, the only one other than Empty Child/Doctor Dances that springs to mind is Father’s Day. And then I guess Aliens of London/WWIII – it’s just a great disaster movie. Then Girl in the Fireplace, and Army of Ghosts/Doomsday. I want to say Idiot’s Lantern but that might just be because I find the Doctor and Rose so adorable in that episode, so take it with a grain of salt. This is getting long – other than those, I’d vote for Eleventh Hour, The Doctor’s Wife, The Girl Who Waited, and Midnight. I find Midnight incredibly unsettling (it’s the only episode that outright scared the crap out of me), but I also think it’s great writing.

    0
    1. How could I forget The Girl in the Fireplace? That was amazing.
      Plus there are the specials, too. Could be a long summer.

      0
  3. I love this idea. I’ll have to get busy watching – I have a thing for watching it in order, but life interrupted, and I’ve seen a few Ecclestons, no Tennants (because I was trying to finish the E’s, and many Smith’s until we got out of order and couldn’t catch up. I don’t know how I’ll do – so my attendance may be sporadic, but I’ll be an enthusiastic reader/participant when I can.

    0
  4. Yes! I’d love that discussion! Might I suggest all three/four episodes that feature the weeping angels? Interesting to see the changes in how they are depicted.

    Martha Jones episodes – Human Nature/Family of Blood is very interesting, The Shakespeare Code is a rather fun one

    Also some more Donna episodes – the Fires of Pompeii “The Wasp and the Unicorn”?

    Amy & Rory years – The Beast Below, Amy’s Choice, Vincent and the Doctor, The Lodger, The Doctor’s Wife, The Girl Who Waited and I’m not sure yet from this season… There was a reference to Amy in one of the recent episodes, even though she’s supposed to be gone.

    0
    1. Yeah, the book was written by Amy, in the beginning with Oswina and the girl. When she’s still a complete computer idiot.

      0
  5. YES!! The Tennant episodes with The Master. How The Master is hinted at early in the season, then how he takes progressively takes over. Also, The Doctor’s Wife, The Wasp and The Unicorn, and the ones with the weeping angels. Plus River; LOVE River!

    0
  6. Yea Who! I’d add a vote for Human Nature/Family of Blood and suggest Silence in the Library

    0
  7. Please don’t hate me, but I’ve never watched a Dr. Who episode. (Nothing against Dr. Who, I just don’t carve out much time for TV) So the question is where should I start? I’d love to participate in this, but don’t want to be completely lost if I don’t know the characters, etc…

    0
    1. I’m a Dr. Who newbie too (yes, I have been living under a rock). Would love to participate though.

      0
    2. We wouldn’t hate you, but we would drag you in front of a TV.

      The first 26 seasons are Classic Who, and I’ve seen only a few. The New Who starts with “Rose,” the one we’ll talk about Sunday, Episode One of Season One. The link to watching it free on Amazon Prime is up in the post. I think the first five seasons of the new Who are free on Prime. If you have a Roku or a DVD player that says it plays Prime, you can watch it through your TV, but be careful; I just bought a new LG player and while it has Hulu Plus, it does not have Amazon Prime, which I was not happy about.

      0
  8. Cool.
    Test run. Using spare/new mobile. Later.
    Hi Argh people, cherries, Betties , Refabbers and MacDaniellas.

    0
  9. I’m intrigued just because I watched three loved one and was only meh on the other two and then wandered away. Could be a good time.

    0
  10. Luckily I’ve gotten through a few seasons – I’m a newby too. First saw who in the early, early days (yes I’m old) and I thought it looked hokey so I didn’t join up. Although I love british tv in general. Just watched the last regular Rose episode and my boys are teasing me because I cried. So I’m in, although I’ll have to write it on my calendar to remember. Life’s a bit full at the moment.

    0
    1. Listen, I weep when I see the excerpt of that on You Tube. Not to mention the last episode of the first scene when he says, “What you need is a Doctor . . .”
      Excuse me, must go get a kleenex.

      0
    2. Oh I cry every time I see the end of Doomsday. Just like I cry every time I see the season 2 finale of Buffy. I’ve stopped fighting it.

      0
  11. I’m a die-hard Whovian, so I think it is a lovely idea. But do you really need one more thing to do? Just wondering…

    If you’re doing it, I definitely vote for the Vincent episode (although it made me weep) and the Doctor’s Wife. Did you see the ghost story episode this last week? It made me think of your book…

    0
    1. I’m two episodes behind.

      The thing about the work load is, this isn’t any. I’ve felt guilty about not posting here because I really am swamped, but this way, I can just say, “Talk about something I really love to talk about and I’ll play, too.” It’s no work except I’ll have to watch the episodes again. Which means some time this week I have to watch Captain Jack say, “Who looks at a screwdriver and thinks, ‘This could be more sonic,'” and tell Rose he likes her shirt.

      0
    2. What about just once or twice a month (the xth Sunday of each month, or the first and third Sunday), rather than once a week? Even if it’s fun, it’s still time-consuming, for both you (Jenny) and participants.

      0
  12. The new Doctor Whos are on Netflix streaming, too. I have only seen the old Doctor Who shows and they didn’t click with me, so I haven’t watched any of the new ones. I will try to join in on Sunday with Rose and try it out.

    Any particular time?

    0
    1. I’ll just post in the morning on Sunday and anybody can chime in any time.
      It was fun when we did the chat room watch-alongs on PopD, but the logistics were a nightmare.

      0
  13. I’ve been struggling to get into Doctor Who so I’d love an excuse to watch them with you. I love most of BBC’s other shows, especially Sherlock, but I just can’t seem to get into Dr. Who.

    0
    1. Have you seen “Rose,” the first one from the first season, or did you join in later? I think Matt Smith is terrific, but I have to admit that most of the time, I don’t have the visceral reaction to the newer episodes that I did to the Nine and Ten. I don’t think I’ve cried over the Eleventh Doctor at all, but I’ve wept buckets over Nine and Ten. OTOH, the Eleventh Doctor has by far the glossiest production values. Those episodes are visually amazing. Nine’s year is particularly low rent, but I still wept buckets at the end.

      0
      1. Just watched Rose with my husband and now I am hooked. I watched it a while ago on my tiny Kindle screen and it lost something in the translation. Since we can now stream on our TV I enjoyed it much more. Looking forward to the series.

        0
    2. It took me two tries to really get into it. Definitely start with Nine; halfway through that season, I got addicted. Eleven is fun, but yeah, he’s not Nine or Ten. Although Rory and Amy go a very long way in compensating for that.

      0
  14. I’ll be there. How about Silence In the Library/Forest of the Dead and especially The Beast Below. I just discovered seasons 1-6 of the recent doctors on Amazon and watched them all over about a month. It made for an odd Easter for me as I realized that Christ’s resurrection sounds an awful lot like the Doctor’s regenerations. Death followed by life where those who knew you don’t recognize your appearance.

    0
  15. Yes, yes, yes and I suggest Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways, and Dalek for 9. For 10, The Next Doctor and Runaway Bride. For 11, definitely The Doctor’s Wife and then Vampires of Venice (my 13 year olds suggestion).

    0
  16. Yes, please! Dr Who, talking about story craft, chatting with people who don’t think I’m (too) weird for crying at television… Yay!

    0
  17. A resounding YES to Amy’s Choice, which is the episode I originally came here to suggest. However, I think somebody else mentioned my absolute all-time hands-down number one favorite episode (probably): The Doctor’s Wife.

    I still haven’t quite bonded with Eleven the way I had done with Nine and Ten, but Amy and Rory just get me every time.

    I also dig Vincent and the Doctor, primarily because I like Richard Curtis. And gingers.

    0
  18. Now is a good time to watch some of the episodes again – what with the anniversary special later this year featuring [spoiler] and [spoiler] and [spoiler]. Oh and the [spoiler]s.

    0
    1. I’m bummed that Eccleston won’t be back for that, but evidently when he left, he slammed the door pretty hard.

      I still think his was the most complex interpretation. Okay, okay, Tennant’s was complex, too.

      0

Comments are closed.