Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spreading the Awesome: Doctor Who

I was so inspired by Elana's idea to spread the joy of awesome new books that I decided to spread the awesome all week long. This week, I'm going to feature my recent most favorite movie, poem, song, and television show. Yay for spreading the awesome!

Today I'm featuring one of my most favoritest TV shows: Doctor Who.

Now, it's possible that you've not seen Doctor Who yet. But if you're a writer--you SO should. Whether you like Brit TV or not, whether you like sci fi or not, whether you're afraid of jumping into a show mid-series or not--just watch Doctor Who. I think every writer needs to at least see the brilliant writing that goes into Doctor Who.

Doctor Who is an old show--there have been eleven Doctors so far, and several Doctors lasted more than one season. Don't worry about that. You can start an episode anywhere and pick up the story as you go. Trust me.

This is a fun show--with lots of drama and comedy and plot twists and mystery. But that's not the reason why I'm recommending it to you today. Today I'm recommending Doctor Who to you because Doctor Who has brilliant writing.

I can't even begin to mention Doctor Who writing without mentioning first that one of the greatest assets to a writer is that not only do you have a show with brilliant story-telling to give you an example of what works, there's also a book written by the former main writer of the show who writes about the process. DOCTOR WHO: THE WRITER'S TALE is an almost journalistic account of where, how, and why stories developed on the show. Reading it while watching the show gives you a great idea of how a successful writer develops a successful story. So, basically, you get to see a great story, and then see how that great story was written--a goldmine for writers.

Whenever I'm stuck on a certain aspect of writing, I turn to Doctor Who marathons. Can't figure out a character? Doctor Who is brilliant at characters--showing the different dynamics in the ultimate multi-cultural setting (you can't get much more multi-cultural than aliens). Need to find a better twist to a story? Doctor Who develops the best twists and unexpected turns--not just in an episode but across whole series. Trouble with pacing? Watch Doctor Who run through an attack or save the world.

If you want to see story telling done right, check this series out!

19 comments:

Jen said...

Beth what a super awesome idea! You really are spreading the awesome!!!

Deva Fagan said...

Yay Dr Who! Definitely on my list of awesome things. I started watching right on the tale end of the Tom Baker era, but Five was the one I "grew up with". And I adore the new series. I think Amy Pond is in the running for my favorite companion of all.

I have not checked out THE WRITER'S TALE but with that recommendation I certainly will! Thanks for mentioning it. I have definitely been influenced by Dr Who in my own storytelling (I unashamedly call my 2011 tween sf book "Dr Who meets Cirque du Soleil").

Alexa said...

Dr WHO is by far the most awesome thing on television at the moment! It's just brilliant. David Tennets last episode had me in tears but I do like the new Dr and I love Amy. I want hair that colour!

Thanks for the link to the book, Idefinitely want to read it. when ever I see Russel or Steven Moffets name I know we're in my an excellent story. Those Angels still give me nightmares!

Deva Fagan said...

I should have waited to comment, because now here I am with another thought, posting a second time...

But the thing that I've been thinking about now is how DR WHO is a good example (imo) of how good storytelling is less a matter of not getting anything wrong, but of getting *enough* things right. DW has some enormous plot holes and some weird characterization from time to time, but it also has enough brilliant marvelous stuff that I just don't mind. I love it anyways! So that's one of the lessons on writing I take from it, too.

Kristi Helvig said...

Oh my gosh - I SO loved this series when I was a kid. I don't remember his name but it was the doctor who wore the scarf and had curly hair. My brother has been bugging me to start watching again, so I'll have to give it a try. You're so right that great shows can also teach a lot about writing. :)

Christine Fonseca said...

Love Dr Who!

PJ Hoover said...

I've seriously never seen this show, but so need to. Is it 9 year old appropriate? I'm guessing yes.

Carolyn V. said...

My brothers used to love Dr. Who. I've never watched it before. I guess I'll have to check it out. =)

Crimey said...

Dr. Who is a brilliant show. I was mad when they changed the doctor again. I like the last one. But I remember being mad before when they changed him. I'm silly like that.

JEM said...

Can we just talk about the MAJOR EPIC CRUSH that is my love for David Tennant as The Doctor. Seriously. I saw the Christmas episode with him and Kylie Minogue this weekend - broke my heart. I'm glad I'm not the only one with Doctor Who love.

Slamdunk said...

Interesting. I have not heard of that show and I can see your point that it would be useful for writers.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

My husband and my oldest son and I watch this show all the time! My son loves it - we have to TiVo the episodes so he doesn't miss any! :-)

Kelly H-Y said...

I admit ... I'm one who hasn't seen it! But, now ... I must!

Gail said...

I did watch Dr. Who some, years ago, but it didn't keep me. Guess I'll try it again:-)

Hope to see you over at my blog for the book giveaway going on!

Michelle said...

I was a BIG Doctor Who fan growing up - my fav was Peter Davison if you can believe that. I have an awesome book at home - Doctor Who: The Eighties. I've not gotten into the new series though. I've watched a couple episodes but nothing can compare to the original.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I actually tivoed a bunch of episodes but I haven't watched them yet. It looks so good!

Jamie Grey said...

I'm totally addicted! My first Dr. was Christopher Eccleston, and I haven't been able to stop watching since! It just keeps getting better and better! I'm trying to get everyone I know hooked too - I think I'll have to direct them here :)

Missed Periods said...

I've never seen Dr. Who, but after reading the Neil Gaiman poem, I trust your taste. I have been showing that poem to everyone. So, Dr. Who, here I come...

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