The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

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The Moth Chase welcomes a new friend to our conversations, Michael, to respond to Travis’ previous post on Dr. Who – click here see Travis’ original post.

Hi, Travis,

I’m sorry it’s taken me a while to reply, but you’ve given me a lot to think about. Like you, having grown up in the United States my childhood was deprived of Doctor Who. I first encountered him while in graduate school in New York City, when PBS affiliate WNED was broadcasting some of the 1960s episodes. I think my first Doctor was the fourth (played by Tom Baker), and I’m pretty sure that he and his companion were being threatened by Daleks. It’s a safe guess, anyway. That was about twenty years before the series reboot, which, unlike you, I watched from the beginning. Perhaps it was more accessible from the start here in Canada, being broadcast (at least initially) on CBC. In any case, being a sci-fi geek longing for good sci-fi on TV (to my everlasting shame, I entirely missed the reboot of Battlestar Galactica), and knowing a bit about the Doctor from my first encounter and from a few other bits of information I’d picked up over the years, Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

October 20, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Time can be rewritten: reflecting on Steven Moffat’s Doctor Who

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I’m pretty new to Doctor Who; I jumped on board with the well-publicized “soft reboot” of the 11th Doctor and the fifth season (sorry, “series”). Like many an American viewer, I initially found the campy style and entry-level effects a bit off-putting (my wife never made it back), but I was struck right away by three things. First was frenetic, explosive energy of the story and Matt Smith’s acting, which was matched by the irresistible chemistry of Smith and Karen Gillan, and the out-of-the-gate mythos that “The 11th Hour” gave Amy Pond. But more than anything, I was struck by the awareness that here was an entirely different kind of hero: unabashedly intellectual, deeply eccentric (not, God help us, “quirky,” but really and genuinely…alien), and most of all, totally unrelatable. I mean that, not in the sense that Matt Smith’s Doctor isn’t sympathetic, because Smith is a profoundly good actor whose emotional register can turn on a dime; but rather, that “Who” is premised on the idea that the Doctor is not like us – which of course is the reason the Doctor always has a companion (or two), to provide that place of both identification and disorientation that allows us to be swept off our feet by the adventures of the man from Gallifrey. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by teables

October 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm