Do you know what’s the best thing to do for jetlag your first night back home? If you said, “sleep through the day, then stay up all night watching a marathon of ‘Doctor Who’ episodes on DVD,” you’re wrong! Don’t worry, though, because that was my answer at first, too.
I’m definitely no stranger to unnatural circadian rhythms, but being this far out of sync is weird, even for me. Usually I can have a somewhat normal day, just offset a few hours from the rest of the world. Today and yesterday have felt as if I’m stuck in some kind of limbo — I can’t do anything, and can’t seem to get back on track.
It doesn’t help that I had to stay by the apartment all day waiting for the FedEx guy to not show up. I’m still without a functional satellite box, so I’m missing all the TV shows airing this week in addition to all the ones I missed last week. “Lost” and “Battlestar Galactica” and even “Heroes” and “How I Met Your Mother” are all going on without me, and I’ve been trapped here without any contact with non-televised humans, either.
On the bright side, though, I can’t say enough how much I like the new(-ish) “Doctor Who”. The ones I watched ended with a two-parter set during the London blitz, and it’s the two most enjoyable hours of television I’ve seen in a long time. Everything in the story was telegraphed way ahead, and none of the “surprises” in the plot were all that surprising. But still by the end of it all, I was laughing at just how well-told a story it was, and by how well the ending worked. It’s not going for gritty realism or “adult” complexity; it’s just great, well-crafted storytelling.
And creepy as hell in parts, too. You can tell that the creators of the new “Doctor Who” are going for the same kinds of indelible images imprinted on them from the original series, more of an iconic, emotional reaction than a cerebral one. It’s the same kind of phenomenon that lets us instantly recognize a Dalek and the “EX…TERM…I…NATE!” cry even if we don’t remember watching the original series. And I think the image of a gas-mask wearing boy who wanders the streets of London during air raids, repeatedly asking “Are you my mummy?” is something that won’t be going away any time soon.