Sunday, May 8, 2011

I need a TARDIS DVD Cabinet!

So I, like many Doctor Who fans, am a fan of the original series as well as the new series. This leads me to spend large amounts of money obtaining the DVDs from the original series and of course, all of the DVDs of the current series as they are released.

Currently I have 90 of the classic series DVDs (88 if you don't count the two "Lost in Time" DVDs of partial stories from the Hartnell and Troughton eras). I also have all of the current series DVDs with the exception of Dreamland (as of Series 5 I switched over to bluray). Each payday of the school year I buy another DVD or box set.

Needless to say, the DVD shelf I have my Doctor Who stuff on is rather full, and it is almost time to get a new one to keep all of my Doctor Who stuff together. I have seen various plans online for DVD cabinets that look like the TARDIS. I am not that adept at woodworking, but it sounds like it would be a hoot of a project. Here is the project that I think is the coolest.

So as I was looking at the DVD collection today, I was thinking about the various formats that the show has had. Many of the newest fans of Doctor Who have no frame of reference about the original series. They know it happened ... oh, some time way back before special effects were invented. Many have never seen even a single episode, nor are they familiar with the storytelling style of the original series, so for those of you who are "newbies," here is a quick primer for you.

The original concept of the series was serialization. In other words, a group of half-hour episodes would tell a single story. The length of each serial was different, but the most common number of episodes in a seiral is four. The highest is 12 (14 if you count "The Trial of a Time Lord," the Sixth Doctor's second season, but most fans don't really acknowledge that as a single serial since it was designed to be individual episodes which were strung together with extra material). Each episode had it's own cliffhanger, which was then resolved in the next week's episode. In the early days, the show ran every week for about 40 weeks of the year. When the Third Doctor took the screen, the show was shortened down to 26 episodes per year. When the Sixth Doctor took over, they dropped the show down to 14 episodes. The new series of course, dropped the serialized format, and simply ran 13 shows per year (plus an annual Christmas special). The only deviation from this of course was the specials that took the place of the 2009 season.

Which format was best? Well, for modern viewers with modern TV watching habits, the new format is best. After all, my latest episode is still sitting on my DVR waiting to be watched and blogged about. Back in the day, people literally would be at home watching the TV in a rather ritualistic way ... always the same show at the same time. Nowadays, we watch what we want when we can, which in our busy world is a great thing.

Look for my review and comments about last week's episode, "The Curse of the Black Spot" tomorrow, and until then, don't break any of the laws of time, okay?

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