Homer's Travels: [Insert Who Joke Here]

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

[Insert Who Joke Here]

I've been a who fan since the 80s.  By Who, I do not speak of the band.  I speak of Doctor Who.  Doctor Who is a british science fiction show that is quirky, thought provoking, cheesy, fun.  The special effects of the early Who (the show started in 1963) were so hokey they were bad in a very good way, if you know what I mean.  Through the 80s and 90s I caught bits and pieces on NPR mostly.  I watched mostly reruns as the show ended its run in 1989.

In the 2000s the BBC started to make new Doctor Who episodes.  I watched all the new ones on the SYFY network.  A few years later, looking for places we could save money, we dropped several tiers of channels from our cable subscription.  We dropped tiers right after the end of season four.  Would you know it, right at that time the BBC decided to stop selling it to SYFY and aired it on BBC America instead, a channel in a tier we no longer subscribed to.  So for the last three years I have been Who-less.

But times are changing.  People don't always watch television on television anymore.  People are starting to binge watch whole shows by, first renting VCR tapes, then DVD, and now by streaming over the web.  I've done this a couple times before.  I watched the first season of lost on DVD so that I could start watching it normally at the beginning of season two.  I watch the first season of '24' on DVD.  So, when I got a Google Play gift card for Christmas, one of the first things I thought of strangely enough ... or maybe not so strangely ... was catching up with The Doctor.  Google play only has season seven so I purchased seasons five and six from Amazon.

The Wife isn't a science fiction fan and I wouldn't want to deprive her of her television while I binge watched so I waited for the perfect opportunity to totally veg out on Who which was this week.  The first half of this week the Wife and her niece are at Notre Dame Football 101 camp (a breast cancer fundraiser).  While they are having a ball at camp, I've been plopped on the couch with the old laptop plugged into the flat screen working my way through seasons five and six.

I made it through the entirety of season five (thirteen episodes) and another eight episodes of season six.  I did this while managing to do all my other chores.  Having said this, would I recommend binge watching?  I'm not sure.  It has it's upside and downside.  The upside is you see more.  Some shows, like Doctor Who, have story arcs that spread over multiple episode, hiding clues in earlier episodes that are critical several episodes later.  It's harder to remember those clues when there are several weeks between the episodes.  When you binge watch the clues may only be a few hours before.  The downside is information overload.  Sometimes it's nice to have time for storylines and plot elements to sink in.  There is also the downside of being a bloodshot eyed lump after a couple days of nearly constant television watching.

I still have five episodes of season six to go and there is the whole season seven to look forward to.  I think I will save these ... at least season seven ... until the Wife goes to her summer workshop later this summer.   Should be enough time for my eyes to recover.  Until then I will surely think about Doctor Who while I hike and, naturally, while I visit New Orleans.  I wonder if the Doctor has ever been there ...


  1. So now the question must be asked, of course: which Doctor is your favorite?

    1. GH: I would say Tom Baker (Doctor #4). He was kind of like my first. He left a very good impression since I really like Doctor Who decades later.

  2. I used to binge watch all the time. Now I can't get past three hours without feeling the urge to go lift something or run around. :(

    1. Miss McC: Looks like you are becoming an adult ... and I must be regressing :-)