I almost titled this post, “Story versus Style,” but that would have been misleading. I believe that it is very possible to have style without spectacle and that’s the point that I think I’m trying to make.
For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been watching the first series of Doctor Who (2005) and I’ve been thoroughly impressed. On the surface, the show is a series of preposterous scenarios, poor special effects, and clumsy editing. Once that surface is cracked, however, the viewer finds a television show that is immensely fun, imaginative, and witty.
When the series was conceived in 1962, it was intended to be an educational science fiction series for children. With a central character who can travel through time, the episodes were intended to be split between historic and “future” episodes that would introduce children to history and science. The goal was to educate and entertain. Over it’s 27-year history, the show evolved and the “future” episodes came to dominate the series. Still the whimsy of the show’s origin remained.
Doctor Who was relaunched in 2005