Thursday, November 07, 2013

Doctor Who in the New Yorker

This overview by Jill Lepore seems to avoid any serious mistakes, and contains this nice summary.

“Doctor Who” is the most original science-fiction television series ever made. It is also one of the longest-running television shows of all time. (Virtually every other marathoner is a soap opera.) It was first broadcast in 1963, three years before “Star Trek,” and, with apologies to Gene Roddenberry, is smarter and, better yet, sillier. The U.S.S. Enterprise, for all its talking computers and swooshing doors, is a crabbed and pious Puritan village; Doctor Who tumbles through time and space in the Tardis, a ship that from the outside looks like an early-twentieth-century British police box, painted blue and bearing a sign on its door that reads “POLICE TELEPHONE. FREE FOR USE OF PUBLIC. ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE OBTAINABLE IMMEDIATELY.” Inside (it’s bigger on the inside), the Tardis has something of the character of the reading room of the British Library, if the British Library had a swimming pool and were a pub designed by someone who adored Frank Gehry, Lewis Carroll, and typewriters with missing keys.
The article is here but it is gated for subscribers only.

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