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Dr. Who by Jeff Carlisle


I’ve talked a little bit about the difference between “good” vs. “right” in the genre context.

For example, I think Dark Knight Rises is a “good” movie, but it’s not necessarily “right” when it comes to Batman. Any movie where Batman quits, and then Alfred quits, is “wrong” in my book.

The thing that clarified this for me was Dr. Who. I got into Dr. Who about 18 months ago, blowing through the Christopher Eccleston season and moving through David Tennant’s tenure.

Under Craig Bogart’s advice and tutelage, I expanded to some of the “classic” Dr. Who and moved forward into the Matt Smith years. And I’ve learned two things.

1. My favorite Doctors are David Tennant and Jon Pertwee, who are probably the most “wrong.” Tennant falls in love with humans all the time, and Pertwee is way too much of an action hero.

2. I don’t love the new showrunner, Steven Moffat. The stories are fun, and Matt Smith is a joy, but … The stories rely too much on the Doctor’s reputation. They start really strong, then end with an ass-pull. You can break any of them by asking “why don’t they just shoot him?” But Matt Smith’s Doctor is a lot more in line with the character as he’s been defined over the previous 50 years.

So here’s a case where I clearly prefer “good” over the “right.”

Is there any other genre where “good” vs. “right” is so important? Do romance fans complain that their heroine’s bodice doesn’t get ripped the right way? Do Law & Order fans complain when Lennie Briscoe isn’t snarky enough? Or is this our special burden as nerds?

For which properties do you prefer right, and which ones do you prefer good?

(Image courtesy friend-of-the-Ferret Jeff Carlisle)

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