Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Before Russell T. Davies resurrected 'Doctor Who' in 2005, the original series fit nicely into Earth Prime-Time. Even with all of the alien invasions and disruptions of Earth's history, the series didn't create any major Zonks that clashed with what was established on other TV shows.

RTD changed all that by installing new Prime Ministers, and doing the same with the President of the United States (giving Toobworld a black POTUS before Obama had even declared his intention to run).

This creates Zonks, discrepancies with the rest of the TV Universe. Nearly every other TV show will refer to the current real world President (or Prime Minister or Mayors of New York City and London) as the current office-holders, keeping Toobworld in line with the Real World.

I blame 'The West Wing'. Before Sorkin's high-water mark of a series, most shows only referred to the people in power without ever showing them, at best only suggesting the identity of the office-holder. Shows back in the mid-sixties might show a strategically placed cowboy hat or have a Texan accent heard on a speaker-phone, and that's all that was needed to imply that it was LBJ in the Oval Office.

But once Sorkin's series started racking up the Emmy awards, everybody wanted to take a shot at depicting the President, either with full series (like 'Commander-in-Chief' or '24') or by having their characters meet the POTUS.

RTD wasn't content with just having brought in new Prime Ministers; the guy seems to have issues with the government, the way he keeps killing off or disposing of the PMs in several episodes of 'Doctor Who'... and now 'Torchwood'.

And I'm not just being self-centered because it messes with my fantasy world of Toobworld. Another reason I don't like it when 'Doctor Who' introduces new Prime Ministers is that it's a declaration that the story you're watching is not real. It creates a separation from the "reality" on screen - if a kid sees a fictional Prime Minister and not the one they know is currently in office, I think it creates a disconnect. Once that's no longer real, why be concerned with the other events in the story? Prime Minister's a fake, then so are the Cybermen and Daleks. And there goes the interest in the story....

It's the presence of the Prime Minister in 'Torchwood: Children of Earth' that throws a sonic screwdriver in the works when it comes to placing the new mini-series into the main Toobworld. In the old days, having high-ranking official John Frobisher would have been enough, with the presence of the Prime Minister being implicit. We could have assumed the PM was Gordon Brown, in keeping with any current British shows which have probably already referred to him.

But no.... RTD wanted to take his potshots at the office of the Prime Minister. I don't know whether he thinks Gordon Brown would try to keep himself distant from any responsibility for the 4-5-6 crisis, or for any other major crisis facing the United Kingdom, or whether he just thinks it's the lot of every PM to wash his hands of it all. But that's what we're getting with Prime Minister Brian Green.

Green... Brown... I'm thinking it's a deliberate jab at the current PM of the Real World and the main Toobworld. And as such, it should be another reason why 'Doctor Who' and 'Torchwood' can't be allowed into Earth Prime-Time.

But! I think I may have a splainin that can get around the situation. And when I get home, I'll write it up and submit it for your approval....


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