I’ve been a huge Dr Who fan ever since I was a kid and had to hide behind the couch when the Yetis appeared.
It’s great. Scientifically hokum – but great. Which sounds odd given that I usually diss bad movie science. What gives?
It’s like this. A lot of Hollywood SF is set in the ‘real’ world – then ignores the basic observable realities. Space fighters, sound in space, fake visible lasers that go ‘pew pew’ – all of it is just irritatingly dumb. Destroys the suspension of disbelief.
But not Dr Who.
Dr Who is about concepts we cannot directly see or understand, and which might be true. Maybe. I mean, things bigger on the inside than they are on the outside? That can go anywhere in space and time?
That gets my vote. It’s totally counter-intuitive. Cool. And that sustains the suspension of disbelief. Then there’s the fact that he can go anywhere in space and time. Want to snog Jeanne Antoinette Poisson? No problem. Fly to the far side of the universe? Easy. Couple that with whimsy and tongue firmly in cheek where it needs to be – and you have a winner.
Entertainment, whimsy and maybe science. The BBC got it right. Hey – does anybody remember the BBC version of Trek – Blake’s 7?
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013
Coming up: a fun wrap-up for 2013. Regular writing tips, humour, science geekery and other posts start early January. Get ready for the big reveal; the way to measure the speed of light with custard. Seriously.