(TV THRESHOLD = the episode after which you come to love a series and appreciate its greatness)
So, my wife and I are continuing to go through Doctor Who, and I think we hit the TV Threshold.
Before that, I have some thoughts on what I have seen so far.
1. Comparing Doctors. David Tennant is leaps and bounds above Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor. I know that this is not a unique opinion in the blogosphere, but I can say that there is good reason. Eccleston is not a bad actor, and his Doctor had some wonderful moments. But he played the Doctor way too alien. His Time Lord was someone who kept pantomiming human behavior, almost like the aliens in Galaxy Quest. Tennant's Doctor is as crazy as Eccleston's, but his emotion seems much more natural than artificial.
2. Tone. One of my big issues with the first season was the awkward juxtaposition of tones. There was a lot of silly co-mingled with serious. But the 2nd season handles it much better. It feels more like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where the humor does not take you out of the dire situation but instead enhances it.
3. Pop Culture. This season has so far done a better job of integrating contemporary cultural issues in the metaphor of science fiction. In "New Earth," it raises some contemporary issues regarding creating life to save life. But it doesn't feel to "on the nose" so as to be awkward.
But once again, getting to the TV Threshold, it was episode four of the second season "The Girl in the Fireplace." This was such a fantastic episode. It was silly when it needed to be. It was scary when it needed to be. But most importantly, it wrenched my heart completely and utterly down to the last seconds when the entire plot finally makes sense. This episode is still sticking with me even a week after watching it.
After season one I was still interested in Doctor Who.
Now I am hooked.