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Dept. of Yeah Right

Oh, Slate. Oh, Neil Drumming.

Call me crazy - in fact, call me an aging, crazed, hyper-focused, under-socialized, niche-media and sub-culture-soaked example of unthinking Anglophile dweebdom, if you will - but Dr. Who? I do not think it means what you think it means.

Get me Craig Ferguson on the phone; he needs to do some 'splainin' to Mr. Drumming.

I mean, Jack Bauer is just about the antithesis of what the Doctor is all about.


This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/300128.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 8th, 2014 03:52 am (UTC)
If Doctor Who is the UK’s Superman, than Jack Bauer is our Doctor Who
Leaving aside the whole question of whether any of these comparisons are legitimate, if the Doctor was the Superman of the UK, wouldn't that make the Doctor of the US...Superman? Like, maybe it's just my math major talking, but equivalence usually goes both directions, yes?
May. 8th, 2014 06:44 am (UTC)
Thank you for restoring logic into this. Left me scratching my head, too ;)
May. 8th, 2014 02:11 pm (UTC)
Indeed; something I hadn't even considered, not having thought it through past "lolwhut."
May. 8th, 2014 02:57 pm (UTC)
This is another reason I adore you. The sense-making. You have it.
May. 9th, 2014 04:47 am (UTC)
She is pretty awesome, isn't she?
May. 9th, 2014 04:48 am (UTC)
S'one of the reasons I adore her to pieces, lol!!
May. 8th, 2014 04:13 am (UTC)
First of all, this was a roundabout way to compare Bauer to...Superman. And high-five - they were Doin It Wrong.

Bauer is...Bauer. If you wanna make comparisons like that? Compare the Doctor to MacGyver. That's a little more accurate. And say Bauer is like MacGyver because he works with the government. But I guess that is too six degrees of separation for this asshat.

I was also insulted at the way this so called 'critic/reviewer' tried to insinuate that the Doctor deliberately leads his Companions into dangerous and deadly situations. If he is being compared to Bauer in this sense as well...I don't wanna be stuck with Bauer in a dark tunnel of Daleks. I know who'll die first.

I just think this asshat saw: Oh look! Doctor Who!! I'll scan this and try to get nerds to watch 24 cause nerds don't watch enough action!

What a dick.

Sorry...I watched MacGyver. He's better. And he's the poor man's Doctor for the US the way Bauer couldn't touch. Superman THAT.
May. 8th, 2014 02:23 pm (UTC)
.I don't wanna be stuck with Bauer in a dark tunnel of Daleks. I know who'll die first.

Yup - this gave me a proper gigglesnort, it did. Can you imagine Bauer running pell-mell at a Dalek, holding up his revolver to the eyestalk and yelling "Tell me! We're running out of time!"

Yeah. Right.

I like the substitution of MacGyver for Bauer, because he operates with the kind of faith in humanity that the Doctor has, while still knowing that people often can't be trusted.

Superman THAT.

OK, second gigglesnort of the morning. Heh.

ETA: I forgot to say that a friend of mine over on Dreamwidth suggested that, if the writer was looking for a proper analogue for his piece, a British comparison could be made with James Bond. I think that's just about as brutal and cynical as Bauer, don't you?

Edited at 2014-05-08 02:32 pm (UTC)
May. 8th, 2014 02:55 pm (UTC)
Glad I could make you smile, lovie. Though if there is any incoherency or lack of sense to my ramblings, I fully blame it on 'sleepy', lol!!

Oh yes!! Good comparison! Wow...that definitely makes more sense.

May. 9th, 2014 04:49 am (UTC)
Also, someone - don't remember who, second BAM in me, because it's a three day weekend for me thank fucking god - mentioned that Jack Bauer has the same initials as James Bond, so that works out well.

That wasn't you, was it? My short term memory is rather ... uhm ....
May. 9th, 2014 04:53 am (UTC)
LOL!! Nope, not me - I wasn't even clever enough to connect Bond with Bauer until you mentioned it. *Beams*

Hell with short term memory. I'm in for the long haul.

And yes, I know that made no sense..my brain is Failing me today. As is my Clever. I should kick up a fuss about it, but that would require energy.

Ahhh, I cannae wait to fall on my face. Hopefully I will dream of...nice things and not get woken up by the damned cat before the asscrack of dawn.

I know. Random comment is Random, lol!
May. 8th, 2014 04:35 am (UTC)
Wow... I can almost vaguely see where he's coming from, but I must agree that this author has not understood the meaning of Doctor Who. There are similarities between the Doctor and Jack, which he has picked up on, but a Doctor who (heh) was that much like Jack Bauer on a deep level would be a bleak, dark mirror-universe Doctor I don't want to watch. Even though I like both shows and both protagonists.

I like the MacGyver comparison that has been mentioned above better.
May. 8th, 2014 02:30 pm (UTC)
I was thoroughly impressed with 24 in its long-ago first season. It was destination television for me. I started to fall off in the second season, and haven't watched since then. Apparently the torture and violence elements hiked way up, and Bauer became so much of a hunted creature that he was surviving and reacting rather than acting.

I, too, like the MacGyver comparison for the Doctor. But of course, that wouldn't have suited the gentleman's purposes.

In fact, for those purposes, a friend of mine over on Dreamwidth suggested that a proper British analog to Jack Bauer would be James Bond. I liked that.
May. 9th, 2014 03:10 am (UTC)
I actually never saw the first or part of the second season. One of my favorite characters (Chloe) was introduced in s3, and she provides a much-needed injection of humor and humanity in the remainder of the show.

Yes, James Bond sounds just about right as a comparison.
May. 8th, 2014 04:39 am (UTC)
"Eleven Doctors and counting..." I'm confused at how this author managed to do enough research to know about the regeneration limit, without cluing to the fact that it has already been breached.

It's making my head hurt.
May. 10th, 2014 05:20 pm (UTC)
It's making my head hurt.

As it did mine, largely because I was banging it against a wall, repeatedly. And I think your icon is particularly appropriate.
May. 8th, 2014 06:43 am (UTC)
immeasurably talented, self-righteous, unorthodox and utterly implacable.
That is where I started wrinkling my nose. Ummmm… you almost get it, but then you get it wrong… First, he doesn't take himself that seriously. Second, he's only so self-righteous and implacable when he's starting to lose touch. I love some dark!Doctor, but dark!Doctor isn't the show. Intellect, romance and silly dancing/bunnies, now that is it. And pain and difficult decisions and sacrifice and being reborn, indeed, but it's a mix of all that creating its very own harmony. That parallel is just… awfully forced =P

Why they feel the need to do that anyway is beyond me… lol. Doctor Who and Superman? It seems overly simple and makes no one look good, neither Who nor the US, lol. And I've never seem 24, but I love a grim hero—so if Jack Bauer is so cool, why not let him be, y'know, just Jack Bauer? Amazing in his own right? No? Apparently not…

Edited at 2014-05-08 06:47 am (UTC)
May. 8th, 2014 02:55 pm (UTC)
May. 10th, 2014 05:25 pm (UTC)
That parallel is just… awfully forced =P

That was one of the things that annoyed me about it.

I like your point about the Doctor being self-righteous and implacable only when he's starting to lose touch. I'm not sure that is always the case (Eleven was pretty implacable all the way down the line), but it's an acute and accurate observation in most ways.

I watched "24" pretty faithfully for the first season, but dropped off pretty quickly thereafter. Bauer's situation in the first season was one where he was trying desperately to survive, and as a one-off, his story was gripping. But I gather that, in later seasons, he became something of a Chuck Norris/Terminator mashup, with uncomfortable overtones of TORTUREHELLZYEAH coloring his actions. And that is so very, very far from even our darkest Doctor (with the possible exception of Family of Blood) that it renders the entire comparison risible.
May. 10th, 2014 06:16 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure that is always the case (Eleven was pretty implacable all the way down the line)
Yes, that's true. But even in Demon's Run with that Colonel Runaway, even in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship—those might be the opposite ends of the spectrum, Eleven losing control vs. Eleven being absolutely ice-cold and secure in the justice he was bringing, but in both cases we're led to that little "wrong" shudder… Even for the best of reasons, this is not our Doctor. It's the Doctor maddened with fury and grief, to the point of not quite being the Doctor ("Never cruel or cowardly"). Like Amy calls him out in Mercy, even when he rages that his mercy allowed for so much destruction before, with the Master or the Daleks for instance. Even when killing appears to be the best solution, it's never the right choice, and the show always highlights that. (Even with the Daleks and the way Ten II's actions were handled…)

Ugh, okay. That's also the impression I was getting, though I couldn't judge without ever having watched—that the character had the potential to be pretty compelling, but the harshness/violence/glorification might be pretty overdone…

Edited at 2014-05-10 06:17 pm (UTC)
May. 11th, 2014 12:24 am (UTC)
Even for the best of reasons, this is not our Doctor. It's the Doctor maddened with fury and grief, to the point of not quite being the Doctor ("Never cruel or cowardly").

Ah; there, you see, we might have room for another conversation. I believe that the Doctor is rarely cruel or cowardly. But over the 50 years we have seen him, we have seen him be both. And I don't believe it's only when he's maddened with fury or grief. He is an alien, yes, and he is a very powerful being - but he is a three dimensional person, and, like all of us, perfectly capable of being both cruel and cowardly.

(When we first met the Doctor, he was more than a little cowardly, as a matter of policy. He has been very cruel on any number of occasions in his many regenerations, and there are many occasions for which he has never apologized, nor felt the need to. There is a reason why people call him terrible as well as wonderful. We can tell ourselves about his wonderful side - and that, indeed, is what lies at his core, because he is, in the end, a force for good, and a good person as well - but he has had centuries in which to do the wrong thing, and many times where he would not feel guilty in the least for doing things at which we would recoil.

He works hard, the older he gets, to be civilized. Which is why, as he reminds Kovarian, he has so many rules.

May. 11th, 2014 07:22 am (UTC)
I agree with that. The promise is what he wants to be; however, there is the person you want to be, ideally, and the person you are as you go through life, faced with its trials and your own reactions. I need to stop automatically wanting to say "he's human" because he's not! But he's a three-dimensional person, like you stated. When I said "to the point of not being the Doctor", it should be more in the sense of "the Doctor he wanted to be", the promise, rather than the Doctor as the person he is and has been. He always tries to live up to that promise—not by being perfect, not by being a god, but by giving the best of him. But he cannot do that at all times. And it's a good point that it's not always when he's losing control. Sometimes he'll make the right choice, sometimes the wrong one, and sometimes we're hard-pressed to say whether it's wrong or right—a terrible choice for a good reason.

Besides, Nine himself clearly contradicted that promise by choosing cowardice over cruelty/destruction when he faced the Daleks. As for cruelty, you already put that quite well… ^_^
May. 8th, 2014 07:21 pm (UTC)
call me an aging, crazed, hyper-focused, under-socialized, niche-media and sub-culture-soaked example of unthinking Anglophile dweebdom

LOL, me in a nutshell.

This article is just... this writer doesn't 'get' Doctor Who--the show, or the character of the Doctor--at all. Superman, the Doctor, and Jack Bauer aren't much alike, IMO. Shouldn't Jack Bauer, who is human, be compared to... I dunno, James Bond or Jason Bourne? (Hey, they all have JB initials, too). The Doctor and Superman are both aliens, but there the similarities end. Their lives, adventures, character arcs are (from admittedly little I've seen of Superman) pretty different.

I think a lot of action/ "super" heroes tend to share certain similarities: they're almost always men, they're charismatic, they're good-looking (though sometimes in an odd-duck way), they're intelligent, they can improvise their way out of tight situations in often clever ways, they have dark/ interesting/ complicated pasts and often thwarted or unfulfilled love interests. A superhero is an oddity, and often a tortured soul to boot. It's mostly the particulars that vary.

Also, comparing the Doctor to other characters depends to a large degree on what specific DW episodes one has in mind. It's a show that, to paraphrase Matt Smith, can cross many genres, so you get some episodes that are tragic/ dramatic, you get some that are more overtly horrifying, some that are more romantic, some that are more lighthearted and funny. If you only focus on the more intense, dramatic stories, yeah, I can see where parallels to a character like Jack Bauer might be drawn. But "Love and Monsters?" or "Vincent and the Doctor?" You'd have to squint pretty hard at the screen to see any similarities at all.

Edited at 2014-05-08 07:22 pm (UTC)
May. 10th, 2014 05:32 pm (UTC)
Shouldn't Jack Bauer, who is human, be compared to... I dunno, James Bond or Jason Bourne? (Hey, they all have JB initials, too).

You are definitely not the first person who has come up with this far more accurate comparison, and brava for twigging to the shared initials. Heh.

I also like the point that the Doctor is so many things, that you really can't use him as any one example.

(And hi! from this aging and crazed fan. Heh.)
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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