Doctor Who and the Unknown

Er....I fail. I thought I scheduled this post for the League...but then apparently posted it on my personal blog instead. So--I'm sorry for the cross-posting and for the lateness of this!!

Do you watch DOCTOR WHO? If not, please get on that now, kthx.

For those who haven't yet discovered the Doctor, here's a super brief run-down. Actually--let me let Neil Gaiman tell you about it:

There’s a big blue box. It’s bigger on the inside than the outside. It can go anywhere in space and time, sometimes where it is supposed to go. Something will go wrong, and there’s some bloke called The Doctor who’ll make it all right because he’s awesome. Now sit down, shut up and watch Blink.

Which does pretty much sum up the wonderfulness of this show. A lot of people get intimidated by DOCTOR WHO because there seems to be so much you have to catch up on in order to watch it. Honestly? You could start with last season (the season that starts with Matt Smith) and be fine. Although, like Gaiman, I do think you'd be missing out if you missed the episode entitled "Blink."

So: the short of it is that this show is amazing, and you should definitely watch it.

But that's not my point with today's post. Today, I want to talk about this:

The season opener and the sequel to it aired recently, and I still can't get over how awesome it all was. I'm going to try to not spoil anything because I know several of you don't get BBC or BBCA and have to watch the series on Netflix.

The monster of the week was that ugly mother up above, known as the Silence. And I don't want to tell you what he does...but it's terrifying. Truly scary. I was on the edge of my seat last night, watching the episode, and I truly didn't know what was going to happen next.

DOCTOR WHO is a show that can be funny and tragic at the same time, romantic and adventurous, and, yes, horrifying. The brilliance of the show lies in the way it blends genres--you never know if you're going to get a love story or if by the end of the episode you're going to be curled up on the couch weeping.

But for me, the best episodes are the ones that scare me. That make me afraid to turn around, that make me reach for the light in the middle of the night.

This has got me thinking about what fears us, and what drives a story forward. A story needs a conflict, and when that conflict is something terrifying, the emotions are ramped up even more.

I am working now on a story--it's just an idea, but I'd like to turn it into a book. But while I have an idea for a resolution, I still need a big bad. I've asked many of my friends: "What scares you the most?" And most of the answers have been spiders or public speaking or something like that. I've been brainstorming ideas, and I thought about the reason why the monster on DOCTOR WHO always tend to be so frightening.

It's because they're unknown.

Our most basic fear is the thing that goes bump in the night. We know this as children. We turn the night light on and ask our parents to check under the bed. But when we grow up, we learn to tell ourselves there's nothing there. No monster in the closet, no reason for the nightlight.

DOCTOR WHO goes back to the thing that goes bump in the night. And when you turn the lights on, it shows you the monster you thought wasn't there.

So that's what I'm doing now, as I brainstorm a new book idea. I'm figuring out what's hiding in the dark.


Mariah Irvin said...

The new episodes are FANTASTIC. I'm left with so many questions and anticipating the next one!

Steven Moffett (head writer) said this season would be way scarier than the last one. Get ready!

Mandy P.S. said...

I love Doctor Who and the new episodes are fantastic. I also really love what they've done with River Song's character. I really felt for her in these episodes and I wanted to go back and watch the two parter in season four when we first met her.

Though I have to disagree with Mr. Gaiman on starting with Blink, but that's because I have a couple of friends who would have never watched Doctor Who again after seeing such a terrifying episode for their first one. I'm pretty sure those angels are the most terrifying thing ever.

Dolly said...

I haven't watched the new episodes yet because I was out of country, but will make up for that tomorrow.

You are absolutely right though. Dr. Who blends genres brilliantly. David Tennat will remain my favourite doctor, however, I do think that storylines are getting bigger and better in the new season.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I'm a scary cat, so I don't usually do frightening. But one of the best descriptions of most-scary I've heard is something not-quite-normal, and therefore all the more terrifying. Like the mother/evilwitch in Tangled. She was AWFUL because she was so like a mom, saying all those awful things, pretending to love...ugh! I get the creeps every time I think of her.

Sarah Ketley said...

I was the first born of a Doctor Who enthusiast. I was afraid of darlecks when i was small. I bounced to the music of doctor who in my bouncy frame when i was a baby so often, that even now as an adult i hear the music and my feet start to twitch... lol... Talk about learning young.

great post

I love it when you are creating an idea for a novel and you get the perfect clue for who is hiding in the dark!


Joy D. Fanning said...

I freaking love Doctor Who. How can one not? I don't get BBC so I am going to have to wait to watch. I also like Torchwood as well, which has something coming out soon that looks awesome.