Breakfast food is the best food. That’s all.
I love a good story. A good character, good dialogue, good plot, good pacing, good timing, sigh … I love all of that.
However, I am also a stickler for continuity. I’m an editor, for crying out loud. I can show you in several reference books why a comma goes (or doesn’t go) where it is or how to properly credit a source. When a character in season two of a tv show says their sister’s name is Laura, and then in season eight, their sister turns up, if her name isn’t Laura, I’m going to have a conniption. Consistency is how you reward your fans.
So, I’m having a serious conflict. This has been brought on by watching a certain BBC television show called “Doctor Who.”
The BBC had previously charmed me with the lovely and amusing “Top Gear,” wherein I fell madly in love with three smart guys who act like idiots while driving cars — sometimes very nice, expensive cars and sometimes cars they buy off the internet for $1,000. Then, “Sherlock,” and since I’m a freakish Sherlock Holmes nerd (really, ask me anything*), I was taken right in. I had also recently rewatched (what I believe to be the canonical episodes of) “The X Files” on Netflix instant, and the gods in the machines decided to recommend me “Doctor Who.”
I am also a fan of David Tennant’s face. So why not?
The thing is, I’m guessing, when you keep a show on the air for a million years (nearly 50, plus spinoffs — “K-9″ (about a robot dog), “Torchwood,” “The Sarah Jane Adventures,” “K-9 and Company” (robot dog again)), through multiple variations of actors and developments of special effects and filming technology and all that, there’s a point where you sort of have to throw some semblances of continuity out the proverbial window. There comes a point where you just have to say, oh, this is like this just because IT IS and I DON’T HAVE TIME RIGHT NOW TO EXPLAIN and just CAN YOU DEAL WITH IT PLEASE. And typically, you can, because the story is good and the character is good. And I guess that’s sort of what those English people are known for, just, moving on when things are complicated or unusual (or like their whole country gets bombed or whatever, just, moving on).
The special effects are often laughable, and I get the vibe sometimes that probably the show is for children, but that’s OK, because it’s still a lot of fun. It’s entertaining. And at the end of the day, sometimes, I don’t really want to call into question my deep emotional meaning relative re: Earth and existence. I just want something I can sort of look at and get distracted by.
As much as I sort of want it to be throwaway entertainment, it’s endearing in a way I can’t really enumerate. So what if sometimes there are strange continuity problems? So what if that’s not entirely how particle physics works? So what if they just decide sometimes, hey, forget logic, this is “Doctor Who” and we can do whatever we want? Underneath, it’s just this story of a lonely dude who wants to distract himself from being 900 years old and pretty much homeless (apparently his planet exploded, I think, I’m not really sure, I get distracted by the shiny robots sometimes).
And that’s the whole universal story — trying to find where you fit, whether just in your own existence or in the infinite possibilities provided by being a time-traveling alien. So I guess that’s how it’s OK. If the story is good enough, I’m willing to overlook nearly anything.
*Fact: I read all the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories as a kid, and I sort of thought they were kid’s books, and that when people grew up, and became adults, everybody was as clever as Holmes, and just so you know, it’s been quite a disappointment that assumption isn’t entirely true.