Friday, April 16, 2010

In Great Popcorn Sci-Fi, Its All About The Ship

" I want the Doctor out there having adventures. For kids its all about Narnia not about the Wardrobe." ~ Stephen Moffat

I respectfully disagree with Stephen Moffat. For me, It is about the wardrobe. Or rather its about the fascination of the Wardrobe that could transport you to a place like Narnia.

Half of my love for the Franchise Doctor Who is the TARDIS. The TARDIS is the Robin to The Doctor's Batman.

The perfect Doctor Who episode, for me, begins in the TARDIS and ends in the TARDIS. Nothing annoyed me more than the trend during the 7th Doctor's run of not even showing the TARDIS during an episode.

All great Popcorn Sci-Fi includes the relationship of a hero and his transport.

Think Star Wars. Sure the Jedi were cool but does anything really top a man, his Wookie and a ship that can make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs?

Most fans agree that the best Star Wars film was The Empire Strikes Back. Is it any coincidence that Empire Strikes Back is the film that features Han on the Millenium Falcon the most?

While there is some debate about the best Star Wars film uninamously all fans agree that Return of the Jedi was the most disapointing. Was it the ewoks? Possibly, but I will argue that its the only film of the original trilogy that doesnt have Han Solo on the Falcon.

Star Trek is another favorite Sci-Fi staple. Again my least favorite episodes where the ones that took the Enterprise out of the action. Sure, on those episodes where the focus was on the principles on some planets surface there were the glimpses of the Enterprise orbiting the planet. To me however, thats like having a Ferrari parked in the driveway. My favorite episodes are those where the Enterprise is a part of the action. Give me Balance Of Terror over Shore Leave any day.

Firefly is another great popcorn sci-fi show. One that consistently made good use of its ship. Whedon understood, better than most show runners, that the Serenity was as much a character on the show as Captain Malcolm Reynolds.

The Doctor, Captain Kirk, Malcolm Reynolds - great heroes all. But where would they all be without the TARDIS, ENTERPRISE and SERENITY? Nowhere.


  1. And then there are shows like SeaQuest that blow up the ship as the first season finale. Hence, my standard exclamation after a fucked up season finale: That's a SeaQuest finale! (ie Torchwood season 2* finale when most of the team is killed off: A SeaQuest finale!)

    * I like to pretend COE never happened. It was even worse than a SeaQuest finale, it should be stricken from the record.

  2. Whedon respected the ship, Serenity, so much that he built those sets as if he was building the actual ship. He knew that we had to buy-in to the ship, the characters' home, or the show wouldn't work.

  3. The problem with the Narnia reference is that one could argue that Narnia IS the TARDIS. You go into a tiny little box and emerge into a huge alternate universe. That and the TARDIS, like the Serenity, has a personality of it's own. One of the best episodes lately was The Doctor's Wife, an episode that finally gave the TARDIS a voice. I'm with you, I love that beautiful blue box!

  4. I've been waiting to see more of the new TARDIS since 9 told Rose "First left, second right, third on the left, go straight ahead, under the stairs, past the bins, fifth door on your left." in The Unquiet Dead :)

    Would love to see a modern "Invasion of Time - Episode 6"esque segment in the new series. There was one recently where they were running around in the TARDIS for a while - but it was all the same looking tinfoil corridor >_<