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
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...