12 January 2011

My Secret Life as a Geek; or Why can't America keep it's filthy hands off my British TV?

Okay, so maybe it's not such a well-kept secret. But here it goes - I am sort of a geek. I like Science and Math, and write about dragons (no dungeons. Well, not usually) and other sorts of monsters and mayhem. I have a matched set of Bachelor's degrees - Science and Arts. I've written papers on why Ophelia killed herself  AND done research about human movement. All of that well rounded education is probably why I am so in love with being a librarian, which ties it all together with pretty Master's degree (next year, if all goes well).

Yes, all right, fine. My geek flag flies at full staff. Happy?

And I love the Whoniverse.

I can't say that it's completely my fault. I never really had a chance to avoid it, actually. My love affair with all things Who began when I was growing up, in a house where my mother, who was an English teacher (and my father studied to be a Physics teacher, so I come by geekdom with complete honesty) was besotted with Tom Baker. Yes, curly-haired, big-nosed, overbitten, long-coated and completely adorable Tom Baker, ridiculous scarf and all. She watched every last episode they showed on PBS here in the states (in the days LONG before cable telly and BBC America). Tom was MY doctor. I watched Peter Davison, who arguably was better in the looks department, but I never really loved him like I did Tom.

I lost touch with the Doctor for a long time, until I was able to watch new episodes all in a row, and we picked up right where we left off, like old friends. I have a bunch of the old episodes in the Netflix queue, but they are irrevocably tied to memories of my mother, and I'm not sure I'm quite ready to watch them yet. Twenty-five years is a long time to miss someone, but some wounds never do quite heal. Someday, perhaps.

Why do I love the Doctor? Back then, it was the idea of wild adventure, far away from my ordinary life, wherein I could  help save the day. I loved Sarah Jane and K-9, so yes, I went completely fangirl-nuclear when they appeared in an episode of the new Season 1. I was a kid who thought touring the stars with a dashing and brilliant-yet-clueless Time Lord was the best. thing.ever. I don't even remember all the plots, except that the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space, thank you very much), was always broken, so there was never any control over where the Doctor and his entourage landed. Every time the first Doctor Who movie I remember - The Five Doctors - was on, I watched it as if it were the last program on earth. That show is probably one of the reasons I am so drawn to fantasy writing. (and Time Travel, and history, but that's an issue for another day).

Oh, and I remember the Daleks. Clearly.

So much and yet so little has changed. Now the Doctor has gone mainstream, available to the world on demand and becoming a hip piece of pop culture. He's still dashing, but in a much more 'now' kind of way, and I wonder if Tom Baker would even have stood a chance in today's visually-judgmental world. He's still clueless-genius-lovable (and don't ASK me to choose whether I like Christopher Eccleston or David Tennant better, because I just cannot. Haven't yet watched Matt Smith, so I have no opinion.) but now with just a dash of anger and the ability to really f-up your day if you piss him off. Which, now, for my adult self, is HOT. In a completely platonic sort of way, because the Doctor has always been kind of asexual to me, despite the deep and abiding affection I (and his companions) have for him.

I've grown up with the Doctor, but I am no longer a child, watching merely for the adventure. There is SUCH rich storytelling in those scripts, so much that it sometimes makes me want to weep. American telly seems shallow, frivolous, and ridiculous by comparison, with few exceptions. Like Fringe. And NCIS. Wait, no, I just have a thing for Mark Harmon's character. Which will make sense in a minute. I appreciate the Doctor now for all the things he IS, and not just the things he DOES. He revels in not knowing something and finding new things, and acts like a total child, but is ancient as the universe. He saves planets daily, but needs looking after often. He's like a playmate, someone you could just hang out with and have the best time. And he is alone, despite having a constant-yet-changing companion. He is fun and yet so tragic.

And I have a thing for tragic.

Really. It's like a disease, I think, that I fall hard for tragic men. (yeah, Leroy Jethro Gibbs falls directly into this category too, then.) They are broken, damaged, and I have this compelling and uncontrollable need to help them. To save them.

It's pretty amazing my husband is NOT such a man, though he does have his moments, but by and large he's pretty all together. Definitely not tragic, and absolutely NOT a geek. Don't ask him anything technical. But hey, he does laundry and runs the vacuum. He cooks AND does dishes, even though he hates it. And he puts up with all of my nonsense.You have no idea how much someone loves you until you are incapacitated. He's washed my hair. Real love is when you say, "hey, let's have a Renaissance-theme wedding!" and he doesn't even blink. No, you cannot have him, he is mine.

Being a true Whovian, of course I adore the Who spin-off, Torchwood. It is completely an adult show, not the least of all for its nudity and language. Grown up in all the right ways, dark and exploratory of human nature at its best and worst as only the smartest stories can be. Brave and wonderful and scary all at once.

And in the main role is another tortured, damaged, broken soul that is so hot he's smoking. Yes, I am completely and totally in love with Captain Jack Harkness, and in a decidedly NOT platonic way. It's not just because he exudes sexual energy (those dimples! those eyes! I am SUCH an eye girl; the smolder gets me every damn time), or that he's the manly man that saves the day AND kisses the teaboy. No, it's deeper. He's got issues, but never burdens anyone with them, possibly because he doesn't feel anyone will understand. Such is the life of a man who seemingly cannot die. He is...wounded. My kind of guy.

I will admit that I have naughty thoughts about my darling Captain Sexy Jack (oh, SUCH naughty NAUGHTY thoughts...*blush*. Hey, he's older than me, so I refuse to apologize), but it's the tragedy of him that makes me really love him. Even after CHILDREN OF EARTH,  when others told me they stopped liking Captain Jack because of the devastating and icky choices he had to make.If you don't like icky choices, or really, really bad things happening to good people, don't ever read THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy. For me, it's BECAUSE of those things that I want to wrap him up and hold him close (preferably with as little clothing as possible) and tell him it'll be all right. Yeah, I am SO weird. Meh, I own it.

Even though I am no longer a child, would I still jump at the chance to travel in time and space with the Doctor and the Captain? Hell, yeah. With both feet. Time travel being what it is, I could be gone for years and the arrive back on the same day I left :).

Torchwood is moving to America. I'm holding my breath, because very often when British shows get remade in the states, they get all mucked up and become unwatchable. The Office is an exception. Years ago they tried moving Doctor Who to the US, and it was an unequivocal disaster. Torchwood is gripping and smart and oh, so very brilliant, and I am biting my nails until I see the final product. Captain Jack is staying, which is a plus. And Starz, at least, is doing the show, so they won't have to tone down all the stuff that we Americans find offensive in our network programming. The original writers are working on the scripts, so that's a good sign too. I realize that this may be the only chance for the show to survive, but I'll tell you one thing, right now.

If they mess with my Captain, heads will roll.
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