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Down the Who Hole - Lucy Knisley — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Lucy Knisley


Down the Who Hole [Mar. 30th, 2012|06:41 pm]
I don't know if you guys know this, but I really really like television.

As a kid, there were inhibiting factors at play. Parental limitations, the infernal rabbit-ear antennae that never worked, and the fact that my favorite shows would usually only play once a week... While I was supposed to be doing my homework (I'm looking at you, Chris Carter... Moving to Sunday nights at 9...).

But as an adult, I frequently keep the TV on in the background while I work, which means that I generally watch (listen to) a lot of TV. With the advent of streaming media, it's only gotten worse easier.

Because of the aforementioned limitations, now I get to catch up on all I've been missing. Frequently, my poor understanding friends will be treated to my total shock at Spike and Buffy's secret tryst. Or my endless curiosity about the truth behind Gabrielle's mysterious trip into the underworld to save Xena.

I get a little fixated.

As a lot of cartoonists will tell you, watching something while working is a delicate balance. It needs to be interesting enough to occupy part of your brain without your full attention, but it can't be so interesting as to divert your eyes/attention entirely from work. I'm good at splitting my attention, but certain things get away from me.

So when I hear about shows that compel frothing-at-the-mouth fandom, I usually try to stay away until I have a project that will take less than my full attention. Because the cruise-comic I'm working on now is a lot of inking/coloring, it seemed like the right time to open a particular can of worms I'd been putting off.

An added factor of going through some other stressful work stuff tilted me over the edge of the cliff, and I vanished into the complete and total insanity of.... The Doctor.

Anyway, I found myself needing to doodle in the margins while I journeyed through. Spoilers abound, but if you're familiar already, read on to hear about my first experience watching Doctor Who.

Poor Nora. Encouraged me to watch the show, but then she's hauled along with me via text-messages while I mainlined four seasons in a week and a half. But I'm glad I had her to sherpa me through my journey, because I was almost sure to give up at various stages, but I pressed on with her assuring me, "Don't worry. He gets sexier in a season." To thank her, I drew this:

I think in terms of humans-abusing-Tardis-powers, we would probably be some of the worst. Going to Victorian England to steal their costumes... Appearing randomly at friends' houses just as they were sitting down to dinner... Anyway. Right. The show.

I started with the ninth doctor episodes. I love a good puppet, but I'll admit the ridiculousness factor was high. I can't even imagine what the show looked like earlier on, but the later appearance of K9 gave me a good impression.

Poor Rose. Jumping from excited and interested to how a person, perhaps, SHOULD react, which is in total whatthefuckery. I feel pretty certain that an American show would have spent a lot more time exploring the opulent rooms of the Tardis, Cribs-style, and delving into Rose's feelings about her circumstances. Thank god they didn't, because it's just all like, "ALIENS! SAVE EVERYTHING! TIME TRAVEL! WHEE!" and we wouldn't have time for all of that with panning shots of the Tardis tennis courts. But still... Oh well. ALIENS!

I think I was still watching semi-ironically at this point. But still... I was watching. Every episode was "the last one I'll watch. I think I've seen enough now... But maybe I'll just... one more..."

That notebook on the floor? Work I'm totally doing. Yep. Look at me doing that work.

How could a show take itself so seriously when people were unzipping their farting outer shells to reveal crazy babyhead monster puppets? There had to be something to topple us all from atop the seriousness plinth... Enter CAPTAIN JACK.

Ok so I was starting to get it. Thank you, Captain, for basically writing all the fanfiction in the entire world with every piece of your dialogue, and bringing the self-awareness to the show that had been pretty-much missing.

But then came these jokers and I was back on the whatthefuckery wagon. Thus began my longstanding inability to take the Daleks remotely seriously. Here's a villain that is so unthreatening and stupid-looking as to be farcical, but their fearsomeness is entirely predicated on the fact that the other characters are scared of them.

At last! The almighty Tennant arrived, heralding a new age of sexiness.

At this point, I was fully seated on the Who wagon. Rose being the audience stand-in, gets lots of hugs and hand-holds and general unthreatening adoration from the glorious Tennant, who is basically a skinny ball of love.

But I digress. Aliens and stuff.

What I had started to realize at this point was that every episode was, to quote Nora, "Kind-of a thing." Of course it's well-written. One of my deciding factors in watching the show was the fact that most of the people working on Sherlock (the splendidest show of them all) was or had been a worker in the Who factory at one time. If I was to wait TWO YEARS for more Sherlock, surely I could balm my wounds with a Doctor Who band-aid. Little did I know, that band-aid would be administered to me by a CAT IN A WIMPLE.

Because I'm already mad that Sherlock is on hiatus for AGES, at this point in my journey I started to blame everything completely ridiculous on Gatiss. I know it's probably mostly Moffat and Davies and Cook, but it's easier to be mad at Mycroft Holmes. Just as easy as being mad at, say, THIS GUY:

The entire show practically BEGS you to watch the older ones. I know I should. I have been made to feel guilty for not doing so, but keep in mind that up till now, everyone who said to me (and there were a lot of these people) something like: "You don't watch Doctor Who!? YOU HAVE TO WATCH DOCTOR WHO," was met with either A.) A fancy dancing skip that took me out of their line of vision, or B.) LIES. Oh, of course I watch it. Yes. I like that police box thingie. Very nice. *dancing skip*

So it might be a while before someone gets me to watch the older ones. Anyway, onward.

Is there anyone who doesn't want to molest The Doctor? I'm pretty sure Dalek Caan (a crazy squishy psychic octopus) wants to mess around with The Doctor. No being alive can resist his tight suits and pointy hair. But I thought Martha was a little blah. She's too "Oh Doctor! Take me!" the entire time. Why him, when there are so many other sexy beings in the universe?

No but seriously, why are their outfits like that? Someone in costumes has a very mixed opinion of law-inforcement uniforms. But there was only one futuristic alien hybrid thing that was really perfect for me:

I can only imagine that this is a thing because cat ladies, like myself, get much MUCH worse about our relationships to our cats. I'm not into my cat that way, but she is nicer than humans I've dated, and there's only so many times that I can joke about marrying my cat when my parents ask when I'm going to get married, before it becomes a serious option. Staying inside all week and working while watching Doctor Who is probably a good way to stay single and best-friends with my cat, but again, I digress.

Oh Mycroft, is that REAL? I don't even know what to say. You're glorious, you leonine god. I'm glad they let you be a crazy scorpion creature before they returned you to your writing cell.

Blah blah DAISY blah scarecrows blah blah. WHO IS THAT GORGEOUS SNOTTY PREP-SCHOOL DREAMBOAT!? People more obsessive than my newly-minted Whofan self might already know that the kid who played this character is a descendant of the real Charles Dickens. And also my future husband.

What has even happened to me? I used to be a person who went outside!

Nora tells me that the weeping angels episode is the equivalent to Buffy's silent episode-- in that it breaks from the usual format and compels all unconvinced watchers to WATCH-- WATCH THE SHOW UNTIL YOU DIE FOREVER. I'm convinced! Don't get me, crazy angel thingies! No, but seriously, good episode.

THIS WHOLE THING. What is even happening. I can't even. I forgive you, Gatiss. I forgive you.

How did people get through difficult personal or professional issues before they could watch entire television seasons at a time? Alcohol, I'm told by my good pal, Holly. But I posit that booze might be a healthier coping mechanism than becoming smelly, vacant-eyed couch-piles like we all do. ADMIT IT. But anyway.

Yay, Donna! I like you, lady who isn't madly in love with The Doctor and who has a giant beetle on her! Too bad about you. But you know what? It's okay, because now there are suddenly two doctors, and Rose is back, and, HURRAY, it's Captain Jack, our (literally) undying lothario.

So there we go. Four seasons and various specials worth of crazy doodles, my friends. Now everyone can stop frantically compelling me to watch, and focus on trying to get me to watch Battlestar Gallactica in its totality. And at comic conventions, I'll know what people mean when they ask me to "draw ten" for them. (Ten of what?)

I stopped just when Eleven appeared. I'll need some time to deal with the loss of Tennant before I can really press on, but I won't kid myself by pretending I'm going to stop for good. Even though I've seen enough...Well... Just... One more episode...


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[User Picture]From: goodeveningsun
2012-03-30 11:16 pm (UTC)
aw man. i had done so well avoiding buffy spoilers, too.
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[User Picture]From: derien
2012-03-30 11:42 pm (UTC)
Ahahaha!! :D
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[User Picture]From: sinboy
2012-03-30 11:36 pm (UTC)
May I userpic (with attribution) the human cats exist good one? Pleeeeeease?
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[User Picture]From: lucylou
2012-03-30 11:46 pm (UTC)
Haha yeah of course!
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[User Picture]From: derien
2012-03-30 11:52 pm (UTC)
My favorite Doctor is still Three, I think, though I actually got hooked in by Four. I think with Three they got together a really compelling cast with The Brigadier, Benton and Yates - Three actually had a team, which gave the whole thing a different feel. So of course those are the episodes that some complete idiot at the BBC destroyed when cleaning out a back room. :(

Seven was quite interesting. Still, the new Who is not the same for me at all, far too fast and frantic. Nine was hot, I love the Northern accent. I did not think Tennent was all that, sorry.

What I didn't know until recently was that Eight, who I thought existed only as a rather poor one-off American made-for-tv movie, actually spurred a whole line of books which are already out of print. I want them badly!

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[User Picture]From: lucylou
2012-03-31 12:11 am (UTC)
There is so much freakin' Doctor Who.
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[User Picture]From: shionthekid
2012-03-31 12:03 am (UTC)
It sucks you in real good. Oh, I remember when I got into Who and devoured the first three series only to have to wait the long, looooong weeks before S4 began. I don't have any idea how I survived week-to-week LOST.
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[User Picture]From: lucylou
2012-03-31 12:11 am (UTC)
There are addictive chemicals in this show.
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From: persoconchii
2012-03-31 12:08 am (UTC)
pffff, Harry Lloyd, when not an alien kid in a boarding school is also one INSANE mofo prince-in-exile in Game of Thrones
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[User Picture]From: lucylou
2012-03-31 12:10 am (UTC)
SO IM TOLD. But I can't afford HBO so I shall have to wait to see for myself.
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[User Picture]From: mustangsally78
2012-03-31 12:21 am (UTC)
One of us! One of us!

Yeah, I smoked the Who crack '79. You never forget your first Doctor (Four) but Ten's the first one I wanted to shag.

Loved Ten peeing on the Angel, BTW.
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[User Picture]From: jaymarcy
2012-03-31 12:37 am (UTC)
Welcome to Doctor Who!! I've followed it for over thirty years and the new stuff (2005 on...) Is awesome.You don't need to seethe originals to fall for Who!!
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[User Picture]From: RachelFTFoss
2012-03-31 12:40 am (UTC)


OH GOD YES - TWO OF MY FAVORITE THINGS HAVE NOW BECOME ONE: Lucy Knisley and THE DOCTOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Edited at 2012-03-31 12:41 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: RachelFTFoss
2012-03-31 12:55 am (UTC)


also.... it took me a LONG time to warm to matt smith as the doctor. He DOES grow on you, but it will never be the same.

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[User Picture]From: raisegrate
2012-03-31 12:45 am (UTC)
I watched the second season, first with Tennant first, and then eccleston previous before that. Then the loooooooong wait until season 3 started, and now the far too many months between seasons of a normal viewer. It's great having so many new episodes at once, but when a season starts, and you know there'll be a new one every week, it's pretty great.

You'll like 11. The show somehow manages to be the exact same, and completely different in every era, all the way back to 1963 (it's the 50th anniversary next year! The rumor is there'll be a 10 and 11 teamed up super episode.)

I've seen a smattering of older episodes, and while they have their moments, and are well cast, the pacing is just such a shock to the modern TV watcher. Most episodes are 4 or 6 parters, and they have maaaybe a modern episode's worth of plot spread across those 2-3 hours, and much cheaper sets and special effects and lighting.

The episodes 'City of Death' are a good introduction into the late 70's early 80's era of Doctor Who, written by Douglas Adams no less.

You'll probably like the 5th doctor most, he was very tennanty, and now tennant is married to his real life daughter.

Next you have to attend a Doctor Who Convention. I dare you!

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[User Picture]From: alawston
2012-03-31 01:36 pm (UTC)
Everyone says that about City of Death but the truth is that it's a terrible introduction to Doctor Who because it's so much better than almost any other episode you care to mention. It sets up ridiculously high expectations which always end in disappointment...
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[User Picture]From: natf
2012-03-31 01:09 am (UTC)
I *still* miss nine…
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[User Picture]From: meganeko_mausuu
2012-03-31 01:14 am (UTC)
How are you watching them? Netflix, or dvd rentals?
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[User Picture]From: zombres
2012-03-31 01:25 am (UTC)



But really, this fandom is hilarious and insane and I'm ridiculously pleased that you were sucked into the wonder that is the Doctor and his sexy time-traveling spaceship. YESSSS.

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[User Picture]From: gfrancie
2012-03-31 01:30 am (UTC)
I will always thank Doctor Who for making me good and afraid of statues.
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[User Picture]From: jeds
2012-03-31 03:11 am (UTC)
"Blink" scared the bejesus out of me. First time Who had done that since I was a kid. The only way for that ep to be even scarier to me is if the final shot was the light globe blew...
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[User Picture]From: lewbasnight
2012-03-31 01:38 am (UTC)
Join ussss. Tom Baker will always be my personal favorite, but the newer ones are excellent. It took me a while to get Matt Smith, but his first season might be my single favorite arc.

Can't go watch them now, got to work. Must leave the desk, go to bar...
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