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Dr. …. Who?

by Karen Tortora-Lee on April 20, 2009

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I like to think I’m pretty up on things when it comes to pop-culture. Armed just with a subscription to Entertainment Weekly and a healthy curiosity about all things Hollywood I’ve been able to fake my way through DOZENS of conversations through the years.

I once had an 8 year old’s mother (who brought her child to work on “Bring Your Child to Work Day” and then promptly parked her at my desk for the next 8 hours and asked me watch her) who was convinced that I knew all the Pokemon by heart. I did not.

I knew how to say Pikachu using one of the variants that Pikachu uses some times “Pika-pika … CHOOOOOO” and I just happen to remember (in detail) one episode I saw when I was home sick. Armed with the names of merely three Pokemon I was able to converse with this child all afternoon. Because, really, all a child wants is to babble about their favorite thing in the hopes that you know all about it too.

So I nodded enthusiastically and when asked “Who’s your favorite Pokemon?” I simply replied “Beside Pikachu? Well … that’s hard, but I’d have to say … Charmander … or maybe Jigglypuff.” She nodded seriously and said “Yeah, they’re good … but I like … ” and then she named some little critter with a crazy name and I said “Oh! I forgot all about that one!” and so a friendship was born.

I do the same thing with other shows too. I’ve never seen one episode of The Office (not that I’m avoiding it … I think I must be busy that night or something …) but I know stats about it that I could report on for days. I know story lines, actors … the name of the company they work for … all because I pay attention to all the pop culture channels that criss-cross this great state of ours. So mired in pop culture am I that my dream is to be not Faulkner or Beckett but Cody. Diablo Cody. EW column, Oscar and all. (Well, not ALL … I’m a bit over the hill to pull off the stripping thing …)

So imagine my surprise when Stephen starts netflixing Doctor Who and I reply … Doctor Who? Imagine how even more startled I was to find out that EVERYONE I mention this to says “Oh!!! I LOVE Doctor Who!” ??? WHO?

Imagine my even bigger surprise when I Google “Dr. Who” and came upon a treasure trove of information that would rival the sites devoted to LOST, Babylon 5, Star Trek AND Star Wars … COMBINED! I felt like Truman … from The Truman Show … the Doctor-Who-less world I’d lived in for the past (mumble) years was a FAKE UNIVERSE because Doctor Who is some sort of God that I am only finding out about now. It’s like not knowing Mr. Rogers. Actually, it’s worse. Because apparently Doctor Who is very, very, very cool (and Mr. Rogers is only very, very, very cool when you’re still counting your age in months.) Cool enough to warrant his very own “The Weakest Link” episode!

So now I’ve spent the last few weeks watching (or rather, falling asleep to) the early Doctor Who episodes while Stephen watches, enthralled. I’ve stayed awake just long enough to eye roll my way through the bad over-acting in the pilot episode, the horrible “special” effects, and the long, long, long, long exposition scenes. People tell me the show gets better … I’m sure it does. Nothing that sustainable can be that bad. And because Stephen is such a devoted fan I’m sure I’ll see that arc happen right before my sleepy eyes, since he’s put every Doctor Who available to man in his netflix queue. He even, for my benefit, broke chronology and got “The Five Doctors” so I could get a sense of the marvelous, amazing Doctors to come. Well, I did manage to stay awake for that one … sorta. And I do see how it could be charmingly kitschy, hysterically campy and just good ole fashioned fun. But it turns out that my favorite part of this whole phenomenon came from the bonus materials.

For some reason, while I’m not yet aware of all the inside jokes, I could watch this first clip over and over again. It simply gets funnier and funnier every time I watch it …

… and this clip has become my favorite simply because at least they’re aware of how campy the whole thing is. And therefore NOW I LOVE THEM.

Meet you in the TARDIS … Doc-TOR!

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