Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Doctor Who and Dalek I Loved You

Recently I just finished reading Dalek I Loved You, a kind of memoir/ode to Doctor Who by British TV journalist/reviewer Nick Griffiths, published in 2007. This book divided me. I absolutely loved the parts about Doctor Who: his anecdotes, his rememberances of the show, his lists of favourite episodes. It was really quite touching to read how, through his work with the Daily Mail, Griffiths got to meet many of his heroes from the show. He tells of it in quite an understated way, but we cannot miss how much it means to him, we cannot miss that beautiful sense of childlike awe at getting to meet the characters who so populated his imagination.

Therefore, I think if he left it at just that - revolving around Doctor Who - then Dalek I Loved You would have been a better read. As it is Griffiths drops in memories of his experiences at boarding school and his loves and the path he took to getting a job and pretty much anything he really wants. Which is fine I guess, if I knew who he was. But I don't, and so I was left wondering exactly why I should care, what warranted me reading his memoirs. Perhaps he is a well-known personality in Britain, and if so, then that's fine. But to me it just felt a little bit self-indulgent, like using Doctor Who as a guise to get his story out there. To his credit he is quite an engaging storyteller, and I was quickly turning pages. The only thing that really bugged me is that he kept playing down his Doctor Who geekiness and so it felt like he felt like he had to justify his love for the show, to which I say....

JUST LOVE IT, MAN. Because this is a show that must be loved whole-heartedly. I do. I love it with every inch of my heart and soul and brain - for me, it is right up there with mermaids and peanut butter on toast. I don't think it is geeky or embarrasing to love The Doctor anymore, such is the surge of popularity it has received since bursting back to our screens in 2005. I absolutely just adore this show: the idea, the action, the imagination, the adventure, the characters, the intelligence, the humour, the stories - but really, what totally won me over is that it has such a big heart. Everything is underscored by such a perfect understanding of emotion, and paring everything down to the humane experience. And although there have been some dud episodes, this understanding of humanity is rarely off mark.

I absolutely love the Doctor with all his eccentricities and loneliness and pure brilliance - whether he be portrayed by a Tom Baker or a David Tennant or a Matt Smith, the acting is a joy to watch. I just want to give this show a great big hug - it really is television at its best.

And lastly, while we're on topic (sort of) - a couple of good movies I've recently seen. The Last Station, with Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer and James McAvoy. Brilliant acting from these three and an engaging look at the latter life of writer Tolstoy. And a decent YA-ish movie - Remember Me, with Rob Pattinson and .... well, I guess anyone else doesn't really matter after him ;). Yes, he has his sexy turned up pretty high here but also busts some pretty swish acting chops and there's some nice stuff about family relationships/dysfunction. Worth a look.

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