Let me get this out of the way upfront. Unlike many of my GeekDad peers, I am not well versed in all things Doctor Who. Up until last summer, my primary exposure to the series was watching old reruns on TV whenever I was sick, home from school and nothing else was on. It featured some guy with curly hair and a long scarf (Tom Baker, the Fourth Doctor, I’m told) and had a groovy theme song. I’d make a game out of figuring out who had the lower special effects budget—Doctor Who, with the salt and pepper shaker/plunger-waving Daleks, or Star Trek, with its unicorn-horned white gorilla suits. However, as of late I’ve begun to be dragged into the Doctor Who universe thanks to my kids, who have become quite enthralled by the series.
It started innocuously enough last summer. We were on vacation in Provincetown and my wife’s aunt and uncle looked after the boys for a night so we could go downtown for an evening that didn’t involve taffy shops, ice cream cones or novelty tee-shirts. There, Uncle Stephan introduced them to the 2005 series. They were hooked. From then on, the statuary on restaurant patios and in gift shops were “weeping angels.”
The boys had to explain that one. To me, creatures that took the form of statues and only moved when you weren’t looking (at which point they would be sinisterly repositioned) sounded suspiciously like the 1970s-era special effects budget was still firmly in play.
Uncle Stephan sent them home with the DVDs for the fourth season (of the 2005 series). He sent the fifth by mail and since then I’ve been filling up the remaining seasons on iTunes. The boys have also hooked my daughter, a teenager who makes a point out of actively disliking anything they like. I think that means it must be really good.
The boys are now drinking out of Doctor Who glasses and Jon is saving up for that Doctor Who LEGO set Matt wrote about.
If you can’t beat ’em, may as well join ’em.
I’ve started watching along with the kids. Just casually at the moment, but I’ve seen enough that I suspect I would enjoy a binge session—in the correct viewing order—to catch up. And not just because I’m sick this time. Keeping with the theme of getting into this whole thing with the kids, with the Ontario Family Day holiday coming up on Monday (I think it’s Presidents’ Day in the US) I ordered the Doctor Who: Dalek Invasion of Earth Risk game and even sprung for guaranteed International shipping to make sure it gets here in time.
The credibility of Risk as a board game is another one of those divisive issues, but I grew up with it. Besides, the plastic Dalek armies and the TARDIS playing piece have to do something to boost this version’s cred around here.
I was just reminded as I walked through the family room on my way to get a coffee, that I am supposed to be picking up series one. People are waiting, anxiously. So I’d better get on that before someone sets the Cybermen on me…