Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Interference

TV Comic, ladies and gentlemen. TV Comic.
It's a fairly slow news day today (Richard Marson is writing a biography of Verity Lambert, but Doctor Who News has everything you'd want to know about that). So here's a link to a piece you might have missed: one Ranjan Chhibber's column "Young vs old Doctor Who debate can learn from pro wrestling". It's clearly meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but it's also unintentionally amusing.

There's some dodgy assumptions at play from the get-go. The basic premise, that Doctor Who showrunners might have something to learn about replacing a younger star with an older one from the experience of wrestling showrunners in doing the same, is a decent enough idea for a must-be-filled column on wrestling for New Year's (even though we've done Troughton to Pertwee, and Davison to Baker, and John Hurt doesn't even get a mention in this article, you still might ponder the question). But considering that wrestling and Doctor Who both have a massive gay following, the idea that "the audiences for pro wrestling and Doctor Who are radically different" is rather questionable.

And he's somehow managed to confuse the Daily Mail with the Daily Mirror, while paraphrasing the Mail's article suggesting that fangirls were in revolt over an older Doctor - remember that? Died down so quickly it hardly counts as a controversy. That article was from last summer's Silly Season, when the British press had plenty of time and space for massive coverage about the next Time Lord and the reaction therein, including people griping on Twitter. Chhibber doesn't offer any more recent evidence to suggest that fans are miffed about an older Doctor at this point, mind.

At the close he attributes the success of Doctor Who as an institution to the Doctor basically being Joseph Campbell's "Hero With A Thousand Faces", which is just silly. It's not even very meaningful in terms of Campbell's own understanding of mythology - his Heroes are all about having an understandable, concrete journey with clear plot logic that's going somewhere and has a definite end point. Even John Leekley knew that that's not quite like the programme we know and love - that's why Ulysses was such an important part of the never-materialised TV Bible he wrote, because if you want to make Doctor Who into anything like Campbell you have to force an ulterior motive onto his traveling.

(Such as, admittedly, looking for Gallifrey, and if there was the slightest hint that Chhibber had seen "Day of the Doctor" and assumed that Moffat was going to be aiming for Campbell-lite from now on, that'd be reasonable speculation on his part. Unfortunately, the comment really just seems to be there to set up the inevitable wrestling pun.)

Still, it was a brilliant excuse to post this picture of the Second Doctor about to wrestle a Cyberman.

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