27
Aug
09

An Unearthly Undertaking

I, perhaps somewhat foolishly, have decided to embark upon a science fiction adventure that I would imagine only a relative few have attempted before and even fewer have completed. I’m not sure that I will be able to complete it. Nonetheless, I plan to watch every episode of the BBC classic Dr. Who from creepy beginning (1963) right through the current incarnation (2009). Although it will no longer be 2009 when I finish, and there is no guarantee that the current incarnation will still be current. The show began on November 23, 1963 and ran continuously through 1989, for a total of 26 seasons, plus a few specials and TV movies here and there. Then it reappeared in the current decade, presumably as a continuation of the original series. I have no idea how many episodes this is, but it’s a lot.

Perhaps unique to my particular version of this undertaking is the fact that before starting on my journey I had never watched a single episode of Dr. Who. In fact, I was only vaguely aware of its existence. I’m not British, after all, and PBS was never my favorite channel. But a couple of years ago I became involved in an ill-fated Alternate Reality Game known as the Wyoming Incident. The game involved what was supposed to be a television signal hijacking. Research the hijacking of television signals,  learned the only real one that ever occurred happened in Chicago in 1987 during an episode of Dr. Who. I then learned that Dr. Who was a corny, low budget British sci-fi show and dismissed it.

Then, while watching the BBC more recently, I saw an ad for the new version. Wondering if it was an update to the old series, I did some research and learned that it was a continuation of a series that began in the sixties. Intrigued by the show’s ability to remain popular and/or relevant for over 40 years, I decided I wanted to see what it was all about. I hit up Netflix and the Wikipedia and discovered this page and instantly became overwhelmed, especially by the missing serials. So, I thought I’d watch an old serial or two (the show is divided into 4-7 episode serial stories). And they were awesome. And, so, my quest began.

Because of some odd disc numbering choices for the first three serials, I watched “The Daleks” first, followed by “An Unearthly Child,” the actual opening serial. I was hooked and went in search of the others…some are available on DVD via Netflix, some will have to be downloaded from a torrent. Yes, you can download a single torrent including all 26 seasons. It’s 200 GB.

I have already watched most of Season 1, but was inspired by these guys to document my adventure. What separates me from them is I have never before seen any of these episodes, nor am I able to compare them to future Dr. Who. I will be experiencing and learning about the show’s mythology and quirks and delights as I go along. It should be quite entertaining, I hope others will join me.

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2 Responses to “An Unearthly Undertaking”


  1. 1 Andrew Hickey
    10.June.10 at 6:06 am

    This is a great idea, and a great blog! I’ve recently started something similar on my blog, but I’ve seen most of the series several times already. You’re in for some treats here…

  2. 2 jacob1480
    10.June.10 at 10:33 am

    Andrew,

    Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment. I’ve had fun watching the show so far and I hear that it continues to get better.

    Jacob


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About These Adventures

This blog exists to document my trip through over 30 seasons of the British science fiction television show Dr. Who. Prior to beginning, I had never seen a single episode of Dr. Who and will be learning the show's mythology and experiencing it all for the first time. I began sometime in July of 2009. Hopefully it doesn't take me over 30 years to reach the end.

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