Tag Archive: tv


Doctor … what?


Up until a week ago I have never ever seen an episode of Doctor Who.

I will pause for gasps from the geeks in the audience now.

:checks watch:

:opens new tab and starts playing Angry Birds:

:checks watch again:

Look, you’re eventually going to need to breathe out again.

I wasn’t feeling well on Monday so I stayed home from work. I was browsing through my Netflix queue and stumbled upon the Doctor Who series I had added I can’t even remember how long ago. I’ve always liked British movies and TV shows and had heard about the show for years and years but other than the bits and pieces I picked up on the ‘net, but I have never seen an actual episode, so I decided “What the hell” and started it.

And then watched eleven more episodes in a row.

I am beginning to understand why the show has amassed such a huge following – it’s terrific. Very engaging and imaginative, a nice mix of serious and silly. I still haven’t seen any of the episodes from the original series, but I do plan on adding them to my list. After that I’ll probably want to watch theses episodes over again, I’m sure they are chock full of in jokes that I’m not getting. For one example, I thought his name was Doctor Who, but it isn’t. He doesn’t have a name, he’s just The Doctor. I didn’t know that.

And I’ve decided what I want for Christmas this year.

The Doctor

Dear Santa; Bring me this, pretty please. You don't even have to wrap him.


I love Netflix.

I especially love the streaming video offered by Netflix, although I still get discs as well.

Next on the Netflix agenda...

Lately I have been watching the original The Twilight Zone series, with the eventual goal of watching all one hundred-thirty eight episodes. So far I’ve seen fifty and I’m moving at a fair clip. It’s been a while since I’ve seen any of them and I’ve noticed a few things. Besides the rockin’ theme music.

Do-di-doo-doo-do-di-doo-doo

Production values – typical for the time period (the series began in 1959) and if you watch enough episodes you see some very obvious recycling of props and scenery. That’s to be expected, shows do that even now. I did spot a “rocketman” wearing what appeared to be an old-fashioned (by today’s standards) leather football helmet that had been painted what I assume was silver. It is in black and white, after all. All the settings, even those that are supposed to be in the future, look very Sixties. In the second season there were about a half-dozen episodes that look very odd because they were shot using videotape instead of film in an effort to cut the budget. The lack of freedom and the quality of the picture put an end to that. Similar budget concerns regarding the number of actors involved in the series led to one of my favorite episodes, The Nervous Man in the Four Dollar Room which has exactly three roles and two are played by the same actor.

A classic of dramatic self-exploration brought to you because of budget cuts.

Story – Ah, the stories. Classics now and rightfully so in my opinion. Wonderfully written and amazingly creative even by today’s standards. The very first season has many of the episodes that would go on to become classics. The second season, so far, is good but not quite as good as the first.

Many of the story elements used by other series originated with Twilight Zone. Rod Sterling used the vehicle of science fiction and fantasy as a way to sneak social commentary past the censors of the day. Aside from the few minor anachronisms, mostly regarding the prices of various items, the progress of technology, and the omnipresent smoking, the episodes stay pretty relevant. My very favorite episode is, of course, Time Enough at Last.

The look on his face ... it breaks my heart every time.

I am an old-school reader.

Give me a book and I’m happy. I could, and have, read for days on end.

I also wear glasses, big thick glasses that I would be nearly blind without.

Stylish, ain't they?

If I somehow survived a nuclear holocaust, I would probably do exactly what Burgess Meredith does; secure enough reading material to last me until the day I die. I would line the walls of my bunker with paperbacks.If I ran out of food I would eat the books I didn’t want to read anymore.

Low in nutrition but high in fiber.

All in all, if you have Netflix and can watch the streaming video, I recommend the original The Twilight Zone. It’s a wonderful series, masterfully written and timeless.

Watch it.

Now.