Television is at an all time high as of late. With shows such as Heroes, Battlestar Galactica, Lost and others like them, sci fi shows are a huge proponent of the new crop. With many shows out classing Hollywood productions for outright production and entertainment values, we’ve reached a new age of television. After finishing the first season (well, the 27th season technically), there’s a new king of the hill, and that king is the good doctor. Doctor Who.

Doctor

Played by Christopher Eccleston, the 27th season of Doctor Who is a relaunch of the franchise, after a nearly sixteen year hiatus. Following in the footsteps of the 7th Doctor, Sylvester McCoy and the brief stint of the 8th Doctor, Paul McGann (the 8th Doctor showed up in a 1996 Sci Fi Channel Miniseries), Mr. Eccleston had rather large shoes to fill, and fill him well he did.

Joining the Doctor this time around, we have a new band of sidekicks as well. First up is the lovely Rose. Nineteen and not sure what to do with her life, Rose lives a somewhat humdrum work a day existence. When asked to join the Doctor on his travels throughout time and space, she of course jumps at the chance. This leads us to many adventures as Rose is shown the power of the Tardis. From jumping forward to the end of the earth 2 Billion Years into the future, to a Christmas time adventure with Charles Dickens, we are shown the full scope of the Doctors reach, and the power of the Tardis itself. Jumping back and forth across time, Rose grows into a confident and resourceful adult, with a bit of a crush on you know Who. It’s all rather sweet really. One other major character arriving towards the end of the 27th season, is Captain Jack Harkness. A feisty adventurer working the long con in 1941 London, Captain Jack provides even further comic relief. With his constant flirting with all things breathing (and some not) and an exuberance on par with Doctors for alien hardware, Jack provides an enigmatic character to further draw the crowd in to the atmosphere of this sci fi extravaganza. Also of note, Captain Jack was such a standout that there is now a spinoff, in the form of Torchwood (covered here). Fans of Torchwood should note, you need to watch Doctor Who. It all makes a lot more sense.

Rose:
Rose

Captain Jack:
Jack

Furthering the fantastical side of this science fiction extravaganza is the rogues gallery of alien life sprinkled throughout the season. From the evil Daleks well known to fans of classic Doctor Who, to the Face of Boe, there are many an alien site to behold. Refusing to hold back in the least, the creators have gone above and beyond to give us a cast of aliens epic in scope in comparison to many other sci fi staples. The originality is off the scale! (I men really, this list is huge!)

We have the last human descendant, gone through so much plastic surgery that she is now flat:

Cassandra

The Face of Boe:
Boe

The Slitheen:
Slitheen

I could go on, but we’re bordering on more pictures than text here!

What it all boils down to is good old fashioned, hard core science fiction. Where former US stalwarts Billy Shatner and company gave us aliens and sci fi in the form of dry soap opera esque serials, Doctor Who digs deep into the fantastical side. Where the Battlestar Galactica relaunch gives us excellent science fiction relying on out space, an oppressive enemy and action, Doctor Who relies on mystery and adventure, with a touch of action, and a heavy dose of humor to go along with it.

For me, the key is the constant state of wonderment laced throughout all thirteen episodes. ‘Ooo what’s going to happen to them this time?’ ‘Where are they flying off to?’ ‘How the hell are they going to get out of this one?’ When a show makes you question it in excitement every episode, that’s good tv. In addition to this key and it’s questions, are the questions that follow the episode as well. When a show will make you lie awake in bed for an hour afterwards theorizing on the outcome and how things fit together, again, that’s good tv. (Something that Lost managed successfully for two seasons, and sadly lacked much of in the third.)

Sci Fi nerds rejoice, there is once again good TV on our airwaves. I encourage anybody with a mild interest to give it a shot.

You’ll be grinning like this guy by the end of episode one.

Be Sociable, Share!