Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.


Friday Fun: Guess The Show

What television show is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running science-fiction television show in the world?

What show has villains who cry "Delete!" or "Exterminate!"?

Who travels through time and space in a blue box?

If you said Star Trek or Babylon 5 or Battlestar Galactica, guess again. It's Doctor Who.

A British institution, the original version of the show, featuring a 900-year-old alien named the Doctor, ran from 1963-1989. Except for a TV movie in 1996, the show was off the air until 2005, when it returned bigger and better than ever before.

During the writer's strike, I could take comfort in the fact that since Doctor Who was a British show, it meant it wasn't affected by the strike. Series (or season) 4 will be starting on April 5 in the UK; thanks to the Sci-Fi Channel, you'll be able to watch the newest series of Doctor Who only a few weeks after episodes premiere in Britain.

So, in honor of the upcoming return of my favorite show, interesting facts and trivia!

--To allow the show to keep running, the Doctor is able to be recast with a new actor whenever necessary. On the show, the process is called "regeneration". Currently, we're on the Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant.

--The Fourth Doctor, played by Tom Baker, is probably most familiar to American audiences, thanks to Baker's long tenure: seven years as the Doctor.

--Although the show is called Doctor Who, the character is called the Doctor.

Want to check it out for yourself? Doctor Who, both the classic and new versions, is readily available through Netflix; there's also Amazon or your library (my library system carries both Classic and New Who, as fans have nicknamed them).

I would recommend starting with series 1 and series 2 of New Who; the stories are better designed for modern audiences, and with those two series, you get a full introduction to what makes this show so fantastic. And although for a British show they have a long season, compared to American shows they're on the short side; series 1 is 13 forty-five minute episodes, while series 2 has the same number of episodes plus an hour-long special. Easy for a weekend marathon!

The most interesting thing about Doctor Who? It's a family show; in Britain, it airs at 7pm on Saturday nights, and it's very much designed to appeal to people of all ages. From farting aliens to omnisexual conmen to an unstated love story, Doctor Who is a show that brings everyone together. So perhaps the next time someone asks you at the reference desk for something to do with their kids, you could recommend watching Doctor Who.

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  • At 5:47 PM, Blogger Liz B said…

    My first Doctor was Tom Baker, so yes he is always "the" Doctor for me. The New Who works very well; and I'm half afraid to rewatch My Doctor Who, because even then I was aware of just how poor the special effects were. But, then, that was part of the fun!

    And ITA that this is a great family show; it's written so everyone can enjoy it.

  • At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was so excited to see this here- I've been lobbying for my library to get the new episodes, and when my director revealed she's been netflixing them, I had the perfect argument! Next up- Dr Who marathon for my teens during April Vacation0 gotta start them off young...


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