Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Doctor Who Nerdiness

While it isn't my favourite sf television show of all time, I do seem to blog about Doctor Who more than anything else I watch. See, for instance my two recent blog posts on the inflatable Dalek, which has become my library department's mascot (part 1, part 2). I think, perhaps, it's because there's so much wonderful, nerdy Doctor Who paraphernalia out there. Traditionally, my wife and I get something Doctor Who related for my father-in-law each Christmas, and when we walk in to Minotaur there are multiple large bookcases dedicated to Doctor Who books, magazines, audio books and radio shows, action figures, toys, and so on. And now I have this on my desk at work:

I stumbled upon the DeviantArt gallery of CyberDrone and found some absolutely brilliant cutout templates for the different incarnations of the Doctor and the TARDIS. Above is the assembled cutout of the Eleventh Doctor's TARDIS (I claimed I wanted to test the blue toner in our recently-fixed printer), but there are also templates for the Classic TARDIS, the 1980s TARDIS and, amusingly, the First Doctor's Black & White TARDIS. I was perplexed by the Pink TARDIS until I realised that it was actually based on the Doctor Who episode "The Happiness Patrol".

There is, in fact, an insane amount of Doctor Who related craft out there. There are, for instance, a huge number of knitting patterns, from the classic scarf worn by Tom Baker's Doctor, to dolls based on David Tennant's Doctor and stuffed plush TARDISes. You can even make a Robotic Dalek Pumpkin!

I'm not quite sure what gives Doctor Who this massive appeal. Sometimes the writing of the show drives me crazy! Although I did love the episode "Amy's Choice" from the most recent season — there were hardly any plot holds at all! Overall I enjoyed the most recent season (Steven Moffat's) much more than the previous ones (that is, Russell T. Davies' run). Perhaps its cult status comes primarily from having been around for so long.

For those interested in Doctor Who, Gabriel McKee has written a great series of blog posts on religion in the latest (fifth) season of the show. McKee, author of The Gospel According to Science Fiction (2007), maintains his own blog, SF Gospel, which is also worth checking out.


  1. Doctor Who does seem to invite craftiness. Perhaps because even today, with all the CGI etc, there is still something fundamentally 'hand made' about it. As perhaps evinced in the Doctor's attempts to make various devises from whatever is handy (eg in 'The Lodger'). And Daleks still look like large pepper pots with plungers attached.

  2. Yeah, there is so much iconic about Doctor Who. Like the TARDIS, for instance. Looks nothing like your everyday spaceship (as in Star Trek, BSG, SGU, etc). And the centrality of fashion to the show - like the distinctive clothes of every incarnation of the Doctor - probably also lends itself to craft (make what the Doctor or his companion wears!).

  3. I think Tom Baker's scarf has much to answer for!

  4. I seriously had to restrain my self from bursting out laughing earlier this week when someone returned a stack of Tom Baker Doctor Who DVDs to the library (while I was on the Music and Multimedia desk): I kid you not, he was actually wearing a replica Tom Baker scarf when he returned them!!