A reader writes:
Thanks for the Doctor Who theme mashup. I think that show and I switched DNA somewhere when I was a kid, as evidenced by the uncontrollable smile and comfy TV chair dance I do whenever I hear the theme song. Thank you also for bringing up the Doctor’s inherent decency. It’s funny to reflect what the show has meant to me in my life having had sort of a typical broken family experience and having been raised in some small way by the TV as a result. Choosing The Doctor as an early role model wasn’t the worst thing to happen to me!
Here's an amazing thing about that theme.
The original - created in 1963 by Delia Derbyshire and the BBC Radiophonic workshop - is an absolute seminal masterpiece of electronic music. Derbyshire and her team created it by generating individual electronic tones with an early analogue synth, and then edited it and assembled it by hand, splicing the magnetic tape of each note into sequence manually with scotch tape. It's breathtaking what they achieved for the time, and the fact that it still stands up today, 47 years later.
My children are 13 and 15 and are obsessed with Doctor Who. With the advent of YouTube, they have been able to catch up on a lot of the past forty years of the show. My daughter feels that Eccleston was best but dearly loves Tennant. My son and I feel that Baker was excellent but that Matt Smith might just be the best of all eleven Doctors. His humanness is absolutely charming and at the same time even more alien.
The show has also led to some real world discussions on politics, history and science. At this moment in my life, Dr. Who has brought me closer to my teenagers. While others feel more distant to their teens, I'm grateful that this program has helped us relate!
Finally, something we can agree on!
I've been watching Doctor Who since the '70s (we Americans had to wait a while before PBS picked it up) and I've probably watched more hours of Doctor Who than any other program. Tom Baker is also "my" Doctor, although I was also quite fond of the Jon Pertwee era - Doctor Who remixed with a bit of the Avengers and mini-skirts is A-OK in my book.
I hooked my two oldest boys on the series by buying the old episodes on DVD and they were really getting into it when the new series began, so it's been a veritable Who-fest around these parts ever since. My youngest son will probably start in on the older series very soon (he's autistic, so calibrating the level of thrills is a sometimes spotty task), and I've even got my wife watching the new series.
Hope you've managed to get the hubby watching - nothing like a good Who story on a rainy evening.
The compilation you posted struck a chord with this Yank. Not owning cable nor having a TV when Dr Who has been available in the US has left me entirely in the dark - until three weeks ago, when I was browsing my girlfriend's Netflix instant watch. Since then I've managed to watch every episode from the modern series up to Matt Smith. I just finished the last David Tennant episode last night and I was almost in tears.
It's remarkable to me how a show can be so quintessentially British, yet still have such a massive universal appeal. It's a paradox of local and global in the way it manages to be such an icon for the British, yet still be so engaging for someone who has never even visited the British Isles. To me, that's the sign of a good show. The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.