January 11th, 2007

Geek

Who's On First

I'm almost caught up with the new Doctor Who episodes – just have to finish the "second" (of the recent) season and the Christmas special. I like what they've done, overall; they've made some changes to the characters and concepts without having to reset the entire continuity and break with the old (like Battlestar Galactica). And now, I discover (because I wasn't really paying attention) that, having only been back in production for two years, that they've already spun off two new series from Doctor Who.

(I am aware that some of you don't care and/or already knew this. If so, skip to the next entry on your f-list – it's a quiz result about iguanas posted by a person whom you've never actually met, and don't even know their real name. If not, read on – I'm posting this primarily for a few specific people and you may be one of them.)

The first spin-off, Torchwood,¹ is where Captain Jack Harkness ended up after being deus ex machinaed back to life at the end of the "first" (Christopher Eccleston's) season. Apparently, he's now working for the secret organization founded by Queen Victoria which gets mentioned in almost every episode of the "second" season (the way "Bad Wolf" showed up repeatedly in the "first"). If this was an American series, I would have spotted right off the bat that Captain Jack was being set up for a spin off; but for some reason, it didn't cross my mind while watching Doctor Who. Anyway, Captain Jack is an interesting character (and some other, minor characters from the main series have apparently also returned in the spinoff) so I'll have to look into this. If any of you have seen it, feel free to give me any (spoiler-free) recommendations for or against it.

The second spinoff, which comes out this year, is The Sarah Jane Adventures, which follows the ongoing adventures of an investigative journalist (who used to travel with the Doctor) and her pet K-9 unit. They tried this same idea 26 years ago with K-9 and Company, and never got past the pilot. This one doesn't really excite me – I don't hate Sarah Jane with the heat of a thousand very hot things (unlike Q), but this one doesn't sound as interesting or original.

¹"Torchwood" is an anagram of "Doctor Who", by the way.