Love & Box Sets
Ladies, gentlemen, undecided, multisex and robots, I give you Mr Wayne Talbot of The Irish Pubcast. Listeners to the recent The Long Geekend episode will have heard details of a wager he made with his wife; the sort of wager that geeks all over the world have been known to make in order to share our love for our favourite TV shows and movies. We don't all want to keep our toys to ourselves (unless they are mint condition adult collectables) but we want to share the joy and get our friends and loved ones turned onto the same stuff we're smoking. Wayne made a deal with the lovely Irene, which would see them swap shows. If she gave Battlestar Galactica a shot then he would sit through Sex and the City. With the crew of the Galactica having fought their last skirmish with the Cylons, the time has come for him to make the acquaintance of a certain four New York fashionistas and he's dragging us along for the ride by blogging about it all in a sanity retaining effort.
Rewatches are all the rage these days and it seems that having a fan and a newbie combo is the desired choice in order to get a fresh perspective. Here at GeekPlanetOnline we have our own rewatch podcasts going on with the latest being The bOrgcast with Peter and Anne Marie Organ, boarding the Enterprise for seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Babble On Project leads fans and newbies alike through the corridors of Babylon 5 with fans Gillian Coyle and Matt Dillon, but starting it all we have Shake and Blake. Old hand Dave Probert guides newbie Ian Wilson through Blake's 7 and the inspiration for this came from Earth-2.net and the Bigger on the Inside podcast. BOTI started in 2008 and sees old hand Dan and newbie Michael take on the worlds of Doctor Who by watching and assessing every story. It seems odd to think of doing a complete rewatch of the series, but it is possible despite the missing episodes. The soundtracks for all the episodes do exist thanks to young fans of the show back in the 1960s recording them all onto audio tape, sitting microphone in hand up to the TV and there are also telesnaps available to provide some visual representation.
A telesnap issue once troubled another rewatch. Adventures with the Wife in Space is a blog that sees fan Neil Perryman and newbie spouse Sue take on the series. Now, since Sue had not seen anything of the Second Doctor and his earliest surviving episode comes later in the run, should she watch a later serial first to get a feel for his performance or dive straight into The Power of the Daleks? The latter was eventually chosen. New fans can often offer fresh insight whether it’s about sacred cows or ongoing fan grumbles. Take for example WOTAN's demand that "Doctor Who is required" in The War Machines. Sue doesn’t register any reaction and when asked she heard it as " Doctor, who is required". Simple really, 46 years of debate solved with a fresh eye. Doctor Who Magazine’s Time Team feature takes a different and slightly weirder tack. Starting in 1999, it’s the continuing mission to watch all the episodes in order from the start. The core group of fans have changed over the years but yet for some strange reason they pretend that they are watching everything anew. The latest incarnation of the team have reached School Reunion at the time of writing.
One rewatch I would happily recommend and the one that inspired Neil Perryman to take to the sofa with his missus, is Running Through Corridors: The 60s (2010) by Rob Shearman and Toby Hadoke. On New Years Day 2009, Shearman decides to embark on a quest to watch every episode of the series, two per day, and ropes Hadoke in for the ride. Three books in all are planned with the first available now. They consist of emails sent between the two with their opinions on each episode and it’s a wonderful book for a dip in read. Shearman is best known for writing Dalek and Hadoke for his Who based stand up show Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf. Since then he has exploded into fandom and it’s a rare DVD that does not feature him keeping order as a commentary moderator or fronting a feature. Along the way it’s fascinating to see the stories that are re-evaluated for better or worse in light of the author, or fandom’s, opinion. This type of book has the potential to be quite dry and opinionated but Shearman and Hadoke keep the warmth and humour coming as they endeavour to stay on the positive side.
A fresh pair of eyes can often bring a lot to a series. My own view of classic Who comes from the point of view of someone who got into the show through New Who. A show that has run for so many years will get each generation looking back over it and reassessing its worth. The Matt Smith era so far has given us a Doctor well liked by the kids and hopefully when they get older and choose to rewatch it they will find more to enjoy with the complex time bending plots such as the River Song story and a darker Doctor than the silly young fool they remember. Doubtless though they will come to the conclusion that things aren't as good as they used to be or the show they grew up with. In geekdom, couples will probably be linked by at least one TV show or movie franchise, but you will always secretly hope that your better half will get into your favourite show and indeed in the March 2012 issue of Doctor Who Magazine the wives of the aforementioned Toby Hadoke and Johnny Candon took over their regular debating column A Battle of Wits for one month and asked whether you should share your partner's enthusiasm or just leave them to it. I would say at least give the show, whatever it may be, a shot and even if they don't like it they may still be able to provide some insight into it that makes you look at things in a different light. So then, when Wayne enters The Longstone in a couple of months time wearing a J’Adore Dior top, capri pants and pair of Manolo Blahniks, we will know who to blame.