While the Brits have sold their fair share of media rights to television series they have already beaten to death such as “Top Gear” and “The Office”, I am of the opinion that the UK is not just intimidated by the United States’s ability to make something which may have originated in the UK not just more entertaining and funnier, but flat out frightened of us.
Nowhere is this more apparent than with the longest running tv show in history, Doctor Who.
While the show is certainly entertaining and has a large following in the United States, pundits across the pond are convinced that if America got their hand on the property, America is going to make everything a shooting gallery.
Now mind you. The show features a man who all aliens and robots alike fear. A man who systematically eliminates his opposition and throws them in black holes and traps them at the end of time because he can. A man who claims to be anti violent and his only weapon is a sonic screwdriver, yet every episode features vampires, murder and mayhem in general, and stories of the only man in the universe equipped to save the world.
And while personally, I enjoy the concepts.
Sometimes it feels like a hamster running on a wheel watching these episodes.
“Can the stories ever be about love? About shaping a civilization rather than destroying the oppressors of one? About working with aliens about discovering space and time? What if, god forbid, the show became decidedly more adult, and the show became a cutting edge tale of risque behavior you would NEVER find in the repressed and otherwise dreary UK?
As the press and other bloggers abroad point the finger saying the United States would be a sell out and should the show jump the pond and we have a Doctor Who counterpart stationed right here in the good ole U S of A – the bigots believe this would become a vehicle for yet more corporate sellout and advertising,
Perhaps they have a difficult time looking in a mirror and comprehend the show is nothing more than a walking talking advertisement for the history of the UK? Hmm. Could this be why it’s funded by a state based agency?
I’m sincerely not sure if the quasi-sophisticated Brits and wanna be aristocrats are capable of comprehending this.
The fact of the matter is, the BBC and Brits fears the United States with the intellectual property for Doctor Who for a good reason.
We’d actually make it a real production and it would put the BBC’s version in the shadows.
England’s primary form of international marketing would lose its diamond like luster in the shadow of real entertainment.
Here’s six reasons why an American Doctor Who would be an awesome thing:
- We have far more world-renown historically important events and people than the UK does.
The what-if’s alone of this for storytelling concepts boggle the mind. Think about it, no longer are we constrained to hearing about unmemorable monarchs and events which are of general disinterest to the great majority of the American population, instead we can be invited to incredible historical backstories the likes of which have never been told. We can learn how an American Doctor Who went back in time to save JFK yet, to preserve the linear timeline, he took him to the future and replaced him with a look alike clone at the moment the bullet hit him. We can marvel at how Hollywood did indeed have to fake the moon landing originally, but he went back in time and provided them the technology and engineering to make it real.
- We embrace cable-delivered entertainment and are finding new delight in our adult oriented entertainment.
Whether it’s the increasing number of popular NC-17 movies featuring actual uncensored sex and nudity, or it’s the cable features that are firmly out of the censor’s radars, the beauty of present day America is – we can take Doctor Who from a kiddie show abut a man who’s never getting laid to be a firmly adult show similar to how Soprano’s was with violence and instead with sex and nudity. I mean, come on now, you’re as curious as I am what one of those cat creatures looks like unclothed, aren’t ya?
- We have more well known figures in popular culture, to this day, all the other nations on this planet combined.
Think about the cameos and the stories that can be told with these cameos. We can learn how Bill Gates was kidnapped on a trip to China and replaced with an authentic looking and acting puppet who was a double, as Doctor Who saves the day by replacing Bill Gates with another double and then they worked together to invent the games division of Microsoft. We can watch and learn about how Jessica Biel was abducted to be a sex slave by a Saudi Prince who was actually a ‘resident alien’ of the planet, who added her to his harem, and Doctor Who saves her life and saves the day by figuring out a way to save her despite the high levels of security.
- We can create an agreement with the BBC that the show will NOT feature product placement and corporate promotion and will only serve the same purpose it does as the BBC in promoting modern culture and sharing alternative perspectives of our country’s linear history.
In general, the original BBC show is marvelous for promoting travel to the UK, and especially London and teaching a prospective traveler to the area about London’s history. There’s absolutely no reason it can’t be the same thing to the US.
Now before you ask ‘where is the money to be made on this?’. Simple: Distribution. Those who ‘pick up’ the show for local distribution receive a show that’s free from advertisement. From there, you can do what you want to with it. Tag advertisement at the beginning and end if you like, make commercials in between. There’s nothing stopping local distributors from placing ads in between scenes, if you know what I mean. But large, national based advertisement will not be there, for a reason. Simple respect.
- We can foster stronger media relations with the Brits and the BBC and tell stories across continents.
Now let me ask you this. Have you ever watched a show produced in one country play off a story in another? How about a story of Doctor Who in America teaming up with Doctor Who in the UK, released at precisely the same time, told from the two different Doctor’s perspectives? How about a story of how Clara learns there’s a Doctor in America and she crosses over to play roles in both productions? Or better yet. How about a series of stories in the BBC’s version of Doctor Who where he takes a man under his tutelage, who the man winds up being the American version of the Doctor and knows full well who the man tutoring him is?
The simple fact of the matter is – the interplay between continents can both be entertaining, and invite watchers of one to watch the other.
- We can teach the Brits there is more to time travel than fighting the bad guys
Quite often, we’re on the tail end of a conversation about how wonderful certain sites were before ‘the adventure starts’. This is the difference between British television and America. We have come to embrace theater and media not only as dramatic art, but also as storytelling to engage the mind. With Doctor Who, we can bust genres and have a comedy for one episode. A drama for another. A mystery in another. A reality story about travel in another. A documentary feel in another. A porn in another. And a find the bad guy in a few others. With such a unique show, this invites unique storytelling, and there’s no reason to limit these stories to one genre. We’re already creating the entertainment, why limit the Doctor – a man of all time and space to one modus operandi. Sometimes, the world just doesn’t want to be saved. And sometimes, it’s asking him to quit saving it for a moment because there’s another Doctor coming from a land far far away who would like to meet him.
As a final aside, the Brits, who love their Lords and lawbooks, have yet to consider that just because we can legally carry firearms does not mean we do. Our modern day entertainment is most assuredly not reflective of our society, the two are in huge disjoint. And with the exception of the military, I have only seen firearms in airports, worldwide, and two other times in my life, and neither time wielded in hostility.
So to you nutjobs ‘across the pond’ who seem to think that absence of law creates an uncivilized society…
I ask you. Why is your Doctor the one who’s always depicted as fighting a fight on behalf of someone else yet claims not to be?
There’s a saying here.
Pot. Kettle. Black.
Oh and I would LOVE to be The Doctor myself. A real one, mind you, not this acted and scripted horsecrap.
But then again, who’d want the perverse and undersexed homeless man with a wild imagination to be gallivanting through space and time willy-nilly doing anything he darn well pleases?
I know I would, for one.
I might have a difficult time keeping it rated anything but NC-17, that’s for sure…
Harder. Grittier. A recovered drug addict and former programmer gone rogue.
That’s my true story.
This is in response to this article here: http://whatculture.com/tv/6-reasons-why-an-american-doctor-who-would-be-terrible.php