Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey… Stuff


The book has to be to the printer in EARLY JANUARY so if you want an Ultimate Fancy Edition AND you want your name in the book, you need to order NOW. There are about half of the 150 UFE’s left and I really need to sell ALL OF THEM to get the print run covered. Show your support for HE and preorder the shit out of Book 2!

I DID IT! I FINALLY STARTED WATCHING DOCTOR WHO! Fitting I made this leap on the final day of the year considering it was in the final comic of 2009 where I admitted never having watched it and made it seem like I never would. I just felt SO VERY BEHIND that I feared any attempt to acclimate myself to the series would seem like posing. You know what? That’s stupid person talk. If you think you’ll like something, try it the hell out.

So when I noticed a 20+ episode marathon of The Good Doctor last night on BBC America, I decided to jump in the TARDIS feet first. It was surprisingly roomy on the inside, and oddly enough, the first episode I saw was indeed “Blink,” which is the one most Who fans had recommended I start with. I made it through about 6 David Tennant episodes before falling asleep, but the rest are on the DVR. I don’t know if it was my peripheral pop-culture knowledge of the series’ mythos or my general proclivity toward scifi but I found it surprising easy to get into. Within 2 episodes I felt like The Doctor was a fond and familiar character. I watched all the from “Blink” through The Master‘s resurrection and (apparent) death. I gotta say, I’m hooked. You were right. You were all right. I apologize.

Why does it seem like the BBC cares so much more about scifi than American television does? Next year they are going to have at least 4 scifi series running and they only have 4 freaking channels. I am interested to check out Outcasts, but Primeval looks silly. Maybe scifi is just more ingrained in British culture. Brits (and the BBC) seem to understand the concept of starting slow and letting a series build over time. What do you think? COMMENTS AWAY!

Also, have a happy and safe new year. Think about what you would like to accomplish in 2011 and get started on that shit TOMORROW! Take a small step towards your goal each day, and prioritize everything else accordingly. That is, unless you wake up hung over in an alley behind a Shoney’s. Then you should probably wait until the 2nd to get started on your grand plans. Get a clean shirt too. You can’t go conquering the world covered in celebratory hobo puke.

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  1. Primeval is actually pretty decent (in my opinion) and yes the BBC does seem to understand television more than American channels…

  2. You should get on Netflix and watch it all through, well at least where it starts in 2005. I've yet to watch the ENTIRE thing, not even sure if I will.
    Tennant is by far the best, but Matt Smith has grown on me. The episode where Tennant "dies" is one of my favorites. It may or may not have you tear up like a bitch…not that I did….oh noo….lol.

  3. Welcome to the cult, sir. I've got the last four episodes of Season Five Queued up on the iTunes for New Years Eve and I wouldn't have it any other way.

    • I am SO addicted to Torchwood (which I prefer to Doctor Who, currently).

      When I ran out of Torchwood over Christmas (Netflix only has 31 episodes), I started in on Doctor Who with The Empty Child because Jack Harkness was in it.

      Now I'm addicted to The Doctor, too.

    • Another agreement. Empty Child was wonderfully spooky. I'm generally liking the episodes Steven Moffat writes the best.

    • "Go. TO. YOUR! ROOOOOMMMM!!"
      "Well, glad that worked! Those would have been some very embarrasing last words." -The Ninth Doctor

    • So true. I found it FAR scarier than Blink (although I watched it a few weeks after everyone else, so had loads of "OMG scariest ep EVAR" which inevitably hyped it up). The part when Richard Wilson's face goes = spine-crawling!

      My kids were terrified after watching it but I put "The Doctor Dances" on straight after and then explained what had happened (they're 7/9) and now it's a bit of a catchphrase in our house.

  4. 4 channels?!? That's so 1982 🙂 We're up to five terrestrial channels now and then there's Sky (satellite TV) or Virgin (cable TV) on top of that.

    Thanks for the heads-up on Outcasts; I was wondering what that was in the BBC 2011 preview trailer. I'm hoping that the Beeb does a BSG-style reimagining of Blake's Seven at some stage.

  5. This is an awesome comic! "The Weeping Angels" is one of the best episodes of Doctor Who as is "The Empty Child" and "The Family of Blood" as mentioned above. I am not a huge fan of the new Doctor, Matt Smith, but I am trying to learn to accept him and not compare him to Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant. I am rewatching the season with Matt Smith when reruns are on as when I watched the episodes when they first ran Smith annoyed the crap out of me. Now, I can appreciate him at times, but I am still not completely convinced. Regardless, the whole mythology of Doctor Who is fantastic. I encourage anyone to look into it, even from the very beginning as I have. I am lucky(?) enough to old enough to remember some of the older Doctors. I guess being 50-yrs-old pays off sometimes 🙂

    • PBS in Boston played Doctor Who all the time when I was young, but almost entirely Tom Baker episodes. I didn't even know there WERE any other doctors for years. Of the early ones, I enjoyed Davison's doctor a lot.

  6. Hey Joel, you just couldn't have made end of 2010 (actually beginning of 2011 over here) better. Brilliant!
    Love the expression of celebratry hobo puke (but not the thought of it, eww)

    …Now I need to get myself to watch first season of Matt Smith's (still not ginger) Doctor.
    That'll be my New Year's resolution then! That and Misfits, heard it's a riot too. But you might want to give Life on Mars a chance, since then you'd know what sort of time travelling The Master did before making inappropriate phone calls and dancing to Scissor Sisters.

    • Yes! Life on Mars is the best TV show of all time, and should be watched by all.

      Oh, and since were talking about Doctor Who, may I reccommend Sherlock, written by Steven "Blink" Moffat and Mark "Dr. Lazarus" Gatiss? Because it's absolutely brilliant. It even features future Bilbo Baggins as a rather BAMF Dr. Watson.

  7. Ok well Primeval is ITV which is a whole 'nother tv network (BBC may get the state funding but it's not quite a monopoly), but yeah, it's easy to think the grass is greener over here. From a UK perspective there's not really that much sf output (especially compared to all the drivel the networks produce) and the investment into them is faaaar smaller than US equivalent shows, which is why we tend to have minimal production values and/or much shorter series lengths.

  8. Primevil started out okay, but I became tired of it quickly. Haven't heard of Outcasts, but you should try "Misfits" as it's really good and have some wonderful humor.
    Too bad you couldn't of started with Christopher Eccelson, I liked most of his episodes, where as I'm just so-so on David Tennant. The 2 part episodes during his tenure are the most uneven, it's like they try to stretch 1 1/2 episodes into 2 and put all the good build up in episode 1 and then suck the life out of you in episode 2 where the end often feels like a big let down. If you're going to watch a David Tennant episode, then "Blink" is IMHO the best of all time.

      • OOH, good one! The great thing about Moffat-written Doctor is that in even the most dire and scariest situations, he's still funny.
        "Oh no, are you people archeologists?"
        "Why? what's wrong with that?"
        "I'm a time traveller, I point and laugh at archeologists."
        -The Tenth Doctor and River Song

  9. I agree with Didu, the british "Life on Mars" is wonderful. Couldn't get into "Ashes to Ashes" though, just not a fan of Kiele Hawes though I didn't mind her in Spooks (MI5 on BBC America).

  10. I have to say i am a Whoman, but only since mister smith took over the practice. It is a nice and well matured scifi, but us brits probably couldn't produce anything to match, say galatica or firefly.

  11. Welcome to the Dr. Who club. I started watching myself back in July as part of an epic program; using Netflix, I've started from the first episodes of Classic Dr. Who and working through it all the way to the present. Thanks to a fair amount of availability on Netflix Instant Watch and my obsessive habits, I've finished up with the Tom Baker episodes on Monday, and figure I'll be totally caught up by May at the outside.

  12. I firmly believe that the Brits do have sci-fi a little closer to their hearts than we Yanks (or at least the show producers), and it shows not just in their programming but in their magazines, also. As for favorite Doctor, I will always be a Tom Baker fan, and am partial to the last 3 Doctors. Sorry, no one favorite there.

  13. Primeval *is* silly, but in the best way possible. I am honestly not sure if the new episodes starting tomorrow on BBCA will be the best jumping on point, but give the first season a try on Netflix or something, I really do highly recommend it. I do think you need to love dinosaurs, and the possibility of them running amok in our own time to get into it, but if you've got that going for you…

  14. Doesn't it also help that the shows are actually publicly funded on the BBC (no commercials)… so funding remains mostly constant from year to year, whereas funding via commercials means that if the show does terribly it gets canned quickly.

  15. Primeval might not carry as much fame as Doctor Who, but it's still good TV with a fun cast. The dinosaurs operate the way the "case of the week" does on Fringe: a doorway to bigger mysteries. It's pretty similar to Fringe, except on the lighter side and with time travel. I second the Misfits recommendation as well. Extremely funny and a solid cast. On Doctor Who, I've always held Christopher Eccleston close to my heart. Definitely watch the series with Eccleston on Netflix. David Tennant was amazing and I also like Matt Smith, but I'm waiting to see at least another series of him to pass complete judgment.

    • I agree Eccleston was my favorite too. Although Matt Smith is gaining love in my heart. His Christmas Carol was great.

  16. Ok, I've been loving your comic for a while now, and enjoying the heck out of the comments from the fancy bastard community on every comic as well, but I haven't gotten my lazy ass around to posting here to SAY how much I've enjoyed your work yet.
    But this is a special occasion that demands a reply…

    WELCOME to the Who fold, oh fanciest of bastards!
    for some reason I feel like chanting "one of us, one of us" in victory. but I knew no true lover of all things sci & fi could resist the good Doctor forever.

    While I've seen/enjoyed/appreciated several of the Who's, David Tennant's Doctor just blows me away. as the most fun to watch and the best at displaying the many sides of the Doctor. funny, flippant, brilliant, casually self assured, at times fierce and intense, and underneath it all, tormented. Not to get all fan-boy, but I feel he just carried all of that of perfectly and was always entertaining as hell.
    I haven't actually given the new Doctor a chance yet. But I've got it sitting on the DVR waiting for me to have the time(and the heart to learn to love a new Doctor). I'm just not sure this "new" guy looks like he could pull it all off as well.
    Oh well, that's part of the brilliance of the Who mythos, you can't expect each new actor to portray the same kind of doctor, and you're not supposed to. Each time a new actor takes over the role, the Doctor is reinvented to match, they are not all equal, but are always entertaining.
    When the first Doctor had to be replaced due to William Hartnell leaving the show, the writers were so smart to introduce the idea of "regeneration", instead of going the old (and rarely successful) method of replacing the actor and pretending nothing happened. it's what's allowed the show to survive and become the sci-fi classic that it has.

    All things Who aside, I have to say again, that I've truly enjoyed all of your comics Joel. I admire your dedication to "The Experiment", and find it inspiring.
    You've also crated a great community of fancy bastards, I get almost as much enjoyment out of the comments here as I do from the comics.

    • Ten is still my favorite Doctor, and Tennant is by far the best Doctor Who fanboy to grace the role since the brilliant Peter Davison, but give Eleven a chance. I thought series 5 was a bit uneven, but it had some incredible moments, and Eleven has really grown on me. This year's Christmas episode was especially awesome, and I can't wait to see what Moffat has cooked up for us next year. From what he's let slip so far, I think he's gonna spend next series torturing the Doctor as much as possible, and I can't be the only one who likes to see the last of the Time Lords suffer, right? (^_~)

  17. Finally!!!! In my opinion Dr. Who is the only show that is as good with character development and explaining phenomena with real science (or at least scienceyness as Star Trek. As for Primeval I actually just started that on Netflix (which by the way all four seasons of Doctor Who the new series are on Netflix Streaming and season 5 is available by DVD. Just so you know!) Anyway Primeval is silly but as a huge huge paleo nerd I find it fascinating. Ignore the people and the plot and focus on the mammoth stomping down cars or the T-Rex biting people in half. Way more cool! I love love love that first you fell to Harry Potter and now you fall into the warm clutches of the Tardis! WOOT!

  18. Good for you! I started watching it last April, I think, when Space Channel Canada started showing the eleventh Doctor's season and I was hooked almost instantly. Then I watched the last few episodes of the ninth Doctor's series and all the David Tennant ones. I love David Tennant (sexiest doctor ever!) but Matt Smith remains my favorite because he's my first doctor and he's just so out of this world.

    Bow ties are cool!

  19. Another "long-time reader, first time commenter" here to welcome you to the great sprawling beast of Doctor Who fandom. I agree that it can be pretty intimidating, at first, but the payoffs are so worth it. I'd gotten into the series just as Christopher Eccleston regenerated into David Tennant without any prior knowledge of the show, but I got hooked enough to start checking out some of the "classic" Doctors. Netflix has a decent collection of those available for streaming if you're curious about the past Doctors.

  20. Being Human has been amazing; I'm dreading the SyFy remake, especially after watching the American pilot for "The IT Crowd".

    It's been recommended already on here, but Misfits is one of the best "genre" shows on TV. You know how good that first season of Heroes was, and how initially, the second season was going to focus on a completely different group of characters? Imagine that the first thirteen episodes/two series' of Misfits are the second season of Heroes. Revisionist TV history.

    • what is misfits about? Ive seen it mentioned here on the comments but nowhere else. I have no idea what it is.

      • Misfits follows five delinquents (early 20's) assigned to community service, Nathan, Simon, Curtis, Kelly, and Alisha. Then there is a freak thunderstorm when they're outside on service and they all get superpowers. The rest of the series (13 episodes so far with new ones in November) revolves around them concealing their powers from general knowledge and getting out of problems caused by or with these powers (a form of standalone story-lines), all while still trying to figure them out. Each episode has a really good balance of standalone story-lines and overarching story-lines while having laugh-out-loud humor and an ability to be poignant when it needs to be. It became appointment TV in two episodes for me. And if you think the first season is good, the second season does one better with bigger story-lines. Excellent, excellent show.

        I don't know if anyone would want to add anything else, but this is my best attempt to explain the premise without giving the entire thing away. The show works best when everything is a surprise. Hope this helped, Joel.

      • A group of teenagers doing community service get caught up in a lightning storm and develop superpowers. It sounds dumb, I know, but it's so much more/better than that simple premise. The writers for Misfits are amazing, and the second season is even more mind-blowing than the first.

    • I feel compelled to watch the US version of Being Human simply because I'm a completist like that. For that same reason I'll probably also watch the US version of Skins (although, it will be on MTV…so that may be enough of a deterrent). However, I probably would have put my foot down had they actually gone through with making a US Spaced. (Thank goodness that never happened!)

  21. I second (or twenty-fifth) everyone who's recommending Misfits. You know all those times in Heroes where you went "What. The. Fuck. If they had X power, why would they not do Y? WHY???? YYY!!!!" Misfits fixes that, plus adds a heaping shovelful of dark humor. Seriously, combine the promise of Heroes with a cast of misanthropic British teens and a well-written and biting script: that's Misfits.

    Primeval is a lot less cheesy than I had expected it to be(at least in the first season; it gets cheesier later on, but hey, still has Dinosaurs). The original season (or "series" in British parlance, I suppose) for example has a very nicely handled classic time travel loop that unexpectedly ties the first and last episodes together, in the kind of way that warms the TNG-loving part of your geek heart.

    I think often the difference between American and British sci-fi on TV is that British sci-fi is allowed to BE sci-fi, whereas American sci-fi feels ashamed and can't quite admit what it is. Basically I'm saying that SyFy is in the closet, while shows like Doctor Who are loud and proud.

    And thus British sci-fi, whether serious or cheesy or anywhere inbetween, gets to have self-respect, and unsurprisingly people actually watch it and unironically enjoy it then (witness the viewership and the critical reviews of Children of Earth, in which Torchwood finally fully justified its Doctor-Who-niverse existence; definitely queue that up as you finish Doctor Who, even if you don't find the two normal series' of Torchwood to your liking).

    • "whereas American sci-fi feels ashamed and can't quite admit what it is."

      You've hit the nail on the head perfectly… which sucks. LOST is the best example. By the end the scifi aspects had all been swept under the rug and the whole show was angels and love-magic and "destiny."

  22. "You know what? That’s stupid person talk. If you think you’ll like something, try it the hell out."

    Very true, and such a good sentiment.

    Just make sure to stretch really good first, and make sure none of the local obscenity laws aren't going to be broken

  23. What I love about Doctor Who is the way the best episodes take some well-observed aspect of normal life, especially normal childrens' lives and turn them into creepy horror or into sci-fi wonder (the game Grandmother's Footsteps in Blink; the creepiness of store manniquins and scarecrows; even the disconnectedness of people wearing earbuds). Done right, it can change the way you look at the world around you in a way that zooming Star Wars spaceships can't, really.

    Also, since I didn't notice it in the comments, you should also check out Stephen Moffat's previous Science Fiction (ish) show, Jekyll.

  24. WELCOME TO THE CULT! So glad you finally gave in! I'm also a fellow scifi nerd who was very late to the Doctor Who party, and I got hooked exactly the same way last year, a post-holiday BBC America marathon. By the end of it, I was absolutely appalled that I never watched the show growing up, what with my lifelong devotion to Star Trek, the X-Files, Star Wars, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, etc etc etc.

    Doctor Who rightly belongs up there in the pantheon of brilliant fiction that explores the possibilities of science, magic, culture, and human nature from every aspect possible. What makes Doctor Who unique among scifi royalty is the intimacy that comes from a show that's spent nearly 50 years following the same person. He regenerates, he evolves, he grows as a person, but at his core, he's the same person. The same Doctor. He may be the closest thing scifi has come to a television series about a god, albeit a very British, iconoclastic, scatterbrained, flawed, funny, charming, angsty, vulnerable, anarchist god, but he can also be rather terrifyingly powerful, and frightfully manipulative, as I'm sure you'll realize as you watch more of the show.

    I warn you though, it is definitely an addiction. If you're the sort of person who loves continuity and character development, it won't be very long before you've breezed through the new series and find yourself watching the classic episodes, and before long, if you're not careful, you'll start reading the books, which put most of the Star Wars and Star Trek books I've read to shame. And then you're a full on addict and there's no cure except more Doctor!

  25. Most of the new Who is good, with suprisingly few clunkers. Ignore Torchwood (apart from Children of Earth) it seemed to think that adult and edgy equated to everyone shagging everyone else. I'm also seemingly alone in disliking the latest christmas episode but, hey, life would be no fun if we were all alike.
    Noone has mentioned Sarah Jane Adventures, the 'kids' spinoff starring the Doctor's most popular previous companion. Yeah, it's ostensibly a childrens programme but it works well in the Who-verse and is better written and acted than a lot of adult sci-fi

  26. great strip, imagine the insanity you could do with Amy Pond or Rose Piper. I forgot how I got into the series but started with the 9th Doctor and have the latest 5 seasons on box set as well as having seen the 2010 Christmas Special. Actually like Smith's Doctor because he's light like Tennant's used to be before he got dark.

  27. welcome to the world of who Joel. but just to let you know… bbc america as well as scifi are two of the worst to watch who and torchwood on. they edit the show down to conform to american tv length standards which leads to IMHO some of the best scenes being cut out. i highly recommend downloading or netflixing it so you get the episodes as they were orginally meant to be seen. i've seen the episodes both ways and the bits they cut arr worth seeing.

  28. I have to agree with SeanJA earlier, being publicly funded helps hugely. In Australia we have three basic commercial channels and two publicly funded, and the quality of stuff you see on the government funded channels is so much better.

  29. welcome to the world of the Time lords!

    my family has been watching Dr. Who toghether since it started again, my uncle has been watching since the very very begining. I thought hat you watched it ever since that time you drew Dr. Horrible cowering at the doctors feet to be honest. Guess i really ought to read the little blog-y thing more often

  30. Netflix has all the episodes streaming if you run out on the DVR. Plus you'll want to go back and re-watch to notice how there are hints and set ups for each finale starting with the first episode.

    And now you need to watch this…the lost cold open of Craig Ferguson when Matt Smith was on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9P4SxtphJ4

  31. Awesome Joel, just awesome. As others have said, welcome to the addiction that is Who. I haven't actually seen ANY of Matt Smith's eps because I can never figure out when they're on, and I HATE watching eps out of order, so I just buy the box sets and watch them straight through.

    Now it seems I'm going to have to do the same with Misfits. I didn't watch at first due to Heroes disappointment – SO infuriating, but from the trailers I've seen, and the comments here, I'm going to have to pick it up. It looks awesome!

  32. OMG!!!! Joel, you are so awesome it's just … yeah. The Weeping Angels episode was one of my favorite of the Tennant/Freeman run. Amazing job.

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