I have to wonder what we Anglophiles did before the invention of BitTorrent. I guess we probably waited months or years for the best British TV to make its way across the pond, usually to be shown on PBS, if at all. Now, I can look forward to the return of one of my favorite shows, Doctor Who, whose modern reincarnation with David Tennant is starting its third series tonight at 7 PM (London time, of course). I like the show so much that, even after BitTorrent-ing the episodes, I still ended up buying the DVDs when they made their way to the U.S., as a means of showing my support for the show and getting higher quality video.
Of course, like my fellow Who-phile Mark, I’ll be waiting for it to show up on my favorite torrent site, where the denizens are quite good at posting torrent files for high quality video, usually mere hours after the show airs. This year’s series has some intriguing episode titles, such as The Shakespeare Code, The Daleks in Manhattan, Evolution of the Daleks (Dr. Egnor, were he a Doctor Who fan, would not be pleased), and the season finale Last of the Time Lords. The last one is particularly interesting, because rumors have it that Captain Jack Harkness will return for the season’s last two or three episodes and that John Simm (Sam Tyler of Life On Mars, my other British TV obsession of the moment) will be appearing as the new incarnation of one of the greatest Doctor Who villains of all time, the Master. It’s an intriguing choice, although I have to wonder if he’s too young to play The Master properly, and I can’t wait to see how they bring the Master back.
Of course, the other question about the third series will be how well Freema Agyeman settles in as Martha Jones, the Doctor’s new traveling companion. I will miss Rose to some extent, but I think letting her go at the end of last season was a good idea. I was getting tired of the whole faux “sexual tension” thing the producers and writers had been doing with her and the Doctor through much of the second season. It had gotten out of hand and had played out about as far as it could without them actually hopping in the sack–something that could and should never happen on Doctor Who. However, I do have to wonder what it is about the producers that they can only have really young and (in the case of Agyeman) really hot young companions for the Doctor. Sure, they’re good eye candy for male fanboys, but are they always the best choice? For example, at the end of The Runaway Bride, which aired on Christmas Day last year, the Doctor asked the titular character Donna Nobel (played by Catherine Tate, who is considerably older than Agyeman) to come with him, but she refused. Nobel had proven herself the Doctor’s match in sarcasm and wit through the show, and it would have probably been considerably more interesting if she had indeed become the Doctor’s latest companion, rather than another young hottie.
Oh, well, we’ll see. I didn’t think much of Rose Tyler either early in the first season.
In the meantime, via Boing Boing, I found this most amazing gem of a snippet from the first Doctor’s reign as Doctor Who:
I particularly like the mention of The Beatles as being “classical music.” Who knew that Doctor Who could have been so prescient?