Spoiler alert: You watched Saturday night's "Doctor Who" mid-season finale, right? If you missed it, or are intending, one day, to Netflix the series and DON'T want any inkling of what happened in the episode, stop reading now. We don't divulge information that hasn't been already well-publicized. But we know even the faintest of spoilers can get you riled up like a Dalek on the trail of a sonic screwdriver. Read at your own risk.
Amy and Rory couldn't travel with The Doctor forever. Not that fans suspected they could - the Doctor's past includes many companions. But now we have to wait until the special Christmas episode, possibly beyond that, to see the next stop on the epic TARDIS hitchhike.
In Saturday’s “Doctor Who” mid-season finale, “change” and “endings” were as thick as the fog that attends the sneaky, predatory weeping angels. For a show about an alien who travels through time saving Earth and thwarting evil across the universe, the message got a bit heavy-handed at times. It was almost as if executive producer Steven Moffat was trying to prepare himself, the Doctor and the audience for the inevitable.
Even Matt Smith (the eleventh man to play the Doctor) was emphasizing that theme in an interview before last month's New York City season premiere screening.
“The show is about change,” he said. “Like Steven likes to say, it can never be predictable, it can never be cozy – It’s got to feel like it’s sort of marking new territory, I think, every season.”
But why belabor the point? This is a television show that for nearly 50 years has established the fact that the characters on the show are always coming and going - including the titular main character, the Doctor (who?) Even relatively new fans (and certainly, American fans fit that bill) of the show have gleaned that time travel is a limited engagement.
That started in 1966, when the show’s original Doctor, William Hartnell, needed to retire due to health issues. The show's producers devised a clever plan to transition to a new actor, Patrick Troughton, in the main character role.
The alien nature of the Doctor provided the fix: As a species known as a Time Lord, the Doctor can regenerate instead of dying in the traditional sense. Once regenerated, the Doctor is essentially a new person: he retains memories from his previous life but has a fresh personality.
This prevents a classic Dick York/Dick Sargent quandary where a new actor is installed and no one is supposed to notice the change. Even better, when an actor takes over the Doctor’s role, they aren’t trying to mimic their predecessor’s performance, which allows them to put a unique spin on the character all while adhering to the show’s canon.
"Doctor Who" fans, or “Whovians,” are unique among television show fandoms in that each fan can point to a favorite version of the Doctor without also having overwhelming disdain for any particular actor in the role. A popular T-shirt cheekily states, “You never forget your first Doctor,” and it’s spot-on; a Whovian’s fan identity is typically established with the first incarnation of the Time Lord (or his companion) they fall in love with. FULL POST
Editor's note: Lauren Orsini is a reporter for the Daily Dot, the hometown newspaper of the World Wide Web, the paper of record for what happens online. Follow her on Twitter @laureninspace. You can find more images of "Homestuck" cosplay on photographer Ed Tan's Flickr account.
In an age of computers, smartphones, and instant gratification, studies lead us to believe that our attention spans are the shortest they’ve ever been.
“Homestuck,” cartoonist Andrew Hussie’s longest and latest project, is a video game inspired saga set in the Internet age. In the story, rife with Generation Y pop culture references, teenagers unite through an online game in order to save the world.
“I like Homestuck because it is one of the first pieces of media that genuinely appeals to me as a person who grew up in a very Internet based generation,” wrote Deanna Bennett, 20, in an email responding to my Tumblr request for "Homestuck" fanatics.
“Homestuck is meant to live online. It combines a lot of Internet humor that a lot of mainstream cartoons and comics are trying to desperately to tap but are failing and missing every damn time.”
Sounds like fun, right? But choosing to read it is a big commitment—in the form of hours and hours of free time. Fans compare its length to a that of a Greek epic. It has more than 100 main characters. And instead of comic panels, its gigantic pages are a mix of still and animated images, intimidating walls of text, Flash movies with original music, and even short video games.
“Homestuck is perhaps the first modern work to make full use of the Internet as not just a distribution tool but as a fully realized artistic medium,” wrote Clark Powell, 20. “Text, music, artwork, interactive, and animation are all combined in ways that have never been attempted before. On top of that, Homestuck is a piece of work whose very narrative is something of relevance to a new generation; it is, after all, a comic about the Internet, video games, and pop culture, if it can even be called a ‘comic.’”
Recently, the convoluted comic (and Hussie’s tendency to coin his own vocabulary for the script) prompted PBS’s Idea Channel to speculate that “Homestuck” just might be “the Ulysses of the Internet.” But as host Mike Rugnetta suggests, with great effort comes an incredible reward—the psychological theory of effort justification indicates that fans who stick it out will certainly grow attached. FULL POST