Tuesday, December 27, 2011

900 Years of Time and Space-Part One

In 2005 a series was reborn.  Doctor Who came back to our television screens with the episode Rose and I was hooked.  Of course, it came out on DVD in the US before it ever aired on television, but I didn't buy it then.  I waited until the SciFi Channel aired the first episode.  Right after watching that I was on Amazon faster than you can say regeneration.

The Complete First Series
And once I started, I couldn't stop.

I ate season one up.  Christopher Eccleston's Doctor was a raw and gritty war veteran, damaged by a Time War that made him the last of his kind. Somehow though, he managed to have a sense of humor and was even a little flirty, which was adorable.  He was a 900 year old Timelord from Gallifrey, and you could relate to his pain completely. 

His companion was Rose Tyler.  A 19 year old shop girl from London who lost her job when a mad old Timelord blew it up.  He took her hand and told her to run.  She did, and she never looked back. 

Rose represented the audience, a new generation of people seeing The Doctor for the first time.  I saw the doctor through her eyes and watched as she experienced the wonder of all of time and space.  From 5 billion years in the future to Dickensian England to the day her dad died, all the way to the re-emergence of The Doctor's most feared foe-The Daleks.

I'm not going to lie, I cried like a baby at the end of The Parting of Ways, penned by show helmer Russell T. Davies, and then watched with baited breath as a new Doctor emerged.

I was a little worried.

I didn't need to be.  By the end of The Christmas Invasion, which was the first Christmas special, I had a favorite Doctor.  David Tennant burst on the screen in a flurry of regeneration energy.  A hyperactive doctor with a lot of cheek.

The Complete Second Series
Rose was once again on a journey of discovery, but so was The Doctor.  Regeneration means The Doctor becomes a whole new man, and he had no idea what kind of man (Timelord) he was.  This journey took us to New New York, the return of the redoubtable Sarah Jane Smith, an alternate universe where we meet another old foe of The Doctors, a planet orbiting a black hole, the Olympics in London in 2012, to Doomsday.  By the end of the season, I was as in love with The Doctor as Rose was. 

But, the end of the season brought with it great sadness.  Billie Piper, who played Rose, was leaving the show.  The 2 part season finale Army of Ghosts and Doomsday was, again, penned by show helmer Russell T. Davies and it was absolutely heart wrenching.  Add to that Murray Gold's haunting score and you are helpless.  The tears will fall.  For months I would cry everytime I watched the end of Doomsday, and even now, when I feel particularly bad about something and I watch the episode, I still cry.

Then came the Christmas special that introduced my favorite companion-Donna Noble.

The Runaway Bride!!!
Catherine Tate's Donna was a wonderful foil for David Tennant's Doctor.  Just as brash and rude as The Doctor can be, but also wonderfully naive, and all she wants to do is get married...on Christmas.  She reminds The Doctor that he needs someone, even when he thinks he doesn't.

And I think I'll stop here for now.  You know, before the "Judoon platoon upon the moon" arrives.  I still have 4 seasons and 7 specials to go, so this little love letter to Doctor Who may take a few posts.  This show has quickly become one of my favorite things on TV, if not my favorite.

The Doctors ability to make everything seem wonderful, even when it's scary, speaks to the child in all of us.  And, given that this kids show has some very adult themes, that's not very surprising.  At it's core, Doctor Who seems to be about hope, and that is a wonderful thing indeed.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The First Post for a New Frontier

Hi, my name is Lauren, and I happen to be a woman who loves both the science fiction and fantasy genre. And I am not alone.  Female fans are becoming more and more vocal about their love for the genre.  Most notably are Ashley Eckstien, Emma Caulfield, Rosario Dawson, and Aisha Tyler.  Heck, even one of my favorite satirical bloggers, The Bloggess (Jenny Lawson) , is a SciFi fan and she recently became a whovian!  That's a Doctor Who fan for those of you that don't know.

Tenth Doctor and Companions!!!

Now me, I'm not an obsessive fan.  Some of my friends might think so, but honestly, I neither need nor want the life sized bust of Jean Grey as the Dark Phoenix.  It just doesn't go with my decor!!!  I'm not a gamer.  I'm not very good at them, unless it is Mario Bros for the original NES (I still have mine) so I tend to leave it to those to the people who are.  I do not obsess over the latest episode of The Walking Dead, but I might over Doctor Who.  I'm not a convention goer or cos player-I can't afford the first and I don't have the energy to devote to the second. 

I am just a girl from Memphis, TN who loves science fiction. 

Some of my first memories involving science fiction are sitting with my parents on Saturday nights to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. Wesley Crusher was my first nerd girl crush.  Followed shortly by Lt. Commander Data, and Will Riker of course.  Then I found out that LeVar Burton, the host of one of my all time favorite shows, Reading Rainbow, was Geordi La Forge and my whole life changed.  Especially when Reading Rainbow aired the episode about the special effects used on ST:TNG.

I realized that the people on the television were actors, and not real.  Of course, that also broke my heart.  There went my dreams of exploring the Gamma quadrant with Captain Jean Luc Picard.  And that's where having an active imagination and ADD came in handy.  I could travel with that great Captain of Captain's to fight off the borg, have a party with Q (you know you want to), have Warf teach me to use a Bat'leth, be Deanna's best friend, and learn from Dr. Crusher, all within the safety of my pillow forts and bed sheet tents. 

Star Trek, the Next Generation!!!

Now that being said, I also remember watching Star Wars with my father for the first time.  He gave me the original trilogy on VHS for my birthday one year, though I am pretty sure mom helped with that gift.  I still watch those old tapes.  Star Wars showed me something that I wasn't getting from the typical Disney Princess of the day.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love the Animated Disney movies, Belle is my favorite princess, but Leia, well, she taught me alot. 

Star Wars!!!
 Leia taught me that you can stand up to oppression, that a woman doesn't have to be weak,  and that sometimes, you have to rescue the man yourself, especially when he gets himself frozen in carbonite.

Yes, I like both Star Trek and Star Wars.  There is nothing wrong with that.  No, really, there isn't.  I promise.  Although, if you walk into a room full of Star Wars fans and yell "I love Star Trek"  there is a chance that you might die.  Because some fans are crazy.  I'm crazy, but not like that. 

I also happen to be a fan of actual science.  You know, the study of...well...everything.  I love physics.  If I was any good at math, I would have been an astrophysicist.  But alas, I have no skill with numbers, so I just call myself a fan.  I wait with baited breath to find out if the Higgs Boson particle will be found by CERN's Large Hadron Collider.  I have a huge nerd crush on Dr. Brian Green.

Dr. Brian Greene and his recent Nova series The Fabric of the Cosmos
I also love biology, but physics is cool.  Kinda like bow ties.

So yeah, be prepared.  This isn't going to be your typical nerd style blog.  But it just might be fun to read.