Who ARE you?

No, wait. Wrong reference.

It just feels like it’s been forever since I’ve posted here. (Oh wait–it has been.) BUT! Never fear. As many of you already know, the Half-Life LP over at my YouTube account is nearing its end (which means Half-Life 2 is just around the corner, you guys!) and Portal (to be followed by Portal 2) has begun. However, while there will be much written in the coming weeks about Half-Life, it’s ending, the ecosystem of Xen, and Portal (yeah, next post will probably be about Portal. I heart it so), that is not what this particular article is about. No. This article is about a whole other kind of Who, and about how SoldierHawk became a British sci-fi convert.

See, as you might have guessed from the site, I’m quite a sci-fi fan. I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: TOS. Watched all the Aliens and Star Wars. As I got older, I cut my teeth on The X-files (to this day, probably my favorite TV series of all time) and Quantum Leap. And then of course there was Mystery Science Theater 3000 the only show that has ever even come close to The X-files in my own personal fangirl heart.

One thing I stubbornly never got into, though, was British sci-fi: specifically, the Doctor Who and Red Dwarf that everyone gushes on about. This is especially odd since I’m an Anglophile from way back (Those accents, man!), but it just never happened.

However, when I discovered that my favorite author, Neil Gaiman, would be writing an episode (and subsequently that he was personally a huge fan of the show)m well…I figured it was about time to look into this phenomenon. But where to start? I didn’t have a clue. Almost fifty years of history, multiple actors, aliens from all over the universe, and I STILL didn’t even know what the hell this “Tardis” thing that Who-fans kept going on about was. And then…then I read this quote by my favorite author/comic writer/literary genius:

Question: What would you say to someone worried about having to understand 47 years of backstory before watching Doctor Who?

Neil Gaiman: No, look. There’s a blue box. It’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. It can go anywhere in time and space and sometimes even where it’s meant to go. And when it turns up, there’s a bloke in it called The Doctor and there will be stuff wrong and he will do his best to sort it out and he will probably succeed ’cause he’s awesome. Now sit down, shut up, and watch ‘Blink’.

Well! When the creator of Sandman tells me to sit down, shut up, and do something, I bloody well do it. So, I did. Not by watching ‘Blink,’ oddly enough (comics have trained me to be enough of a continuity fiend that I have a hard time jumping into something in the middle), but with the first Christopher Eccleston episodes. And then, because there was no way in hell I was going to wait to watch four entire seasons before watching the episode penned by my hero, I started watching season five on BBC America so I would have at least some vague idea of what led up to the episode, and who the current Doctor was. This will go down in my personal sci-fi education history as The Best Decision That SoldierHawk Ever Made.

They ARE cool! Especially on British Time Lords.

Not only did I get the start of the new series proper and the wonderful, manic acting of Christopher Eccleston, I also got to get in on the ground floor of BBCA’s “Bringing Doctor Who to America!” push. While I’m sure that was near blasphemy to Who-purists, I LOVED it–the epic setting of the West, falling in love with Matt Smith and the 11th Doctor, and–above all–the line that sealed by enjoyment of the show now and forever, “I wear a Stetson now. Stetsons are cool.”

Although Matt Smith and that line are what convinced me to give my heart to a TV show in a way I hadn’t since The X-files, it was episode six of the new series’ first season–titled simply “Dalek”–that helped me understand the true storytelling potential of the series. Of course, I had zero idea at this point what the heck a Dalek was (I was still learning about Time Lords, TARDISes and Sonic Screwdrivers, mind.) That episode, both watching the Doctor face down something that actually scared him, and watching him get really and truly angry for the first time I’d ever seen, threw me for (the good kind) of a loop. The ending was quite an unexpected gut punch as well, and it remains one of my favorite hours of television to this day.

And as for the episode I started watching the series for in the first place? Neil Gaiman’s “The Doctor’s Wife” was a great episode, although based both on my experience watching it and the reviews I read afterward, I have a feeling I’ll appreciate it a lot more after five or ten more years of viewing the series. There were so many winks and nods that I wish I had understood. Frankly though, the episode is awesome just for the brilliant idea of using the TARDIS as some kind of time and reality bending house of horror. Spooky as hell, and very effective.

In summary: Doctor Who is awesome. Neil Gaiman is awesome. And BBCA is super awesome for giving us Yanks the chance to watch one of the best sci-fi series of all time.


26 responses to “Who ARE you?


    Not what I was expecting, but good none the less.
    Have you watched Red Dwarf? it’s more of a comedy that a Sci-Fi show but it is still well worth a look.

    Your analysis of Xen’s ecosystem really peaks my interest, as even I don’t understand most of it, even though you are not a biologist you fresh eyes might see something we have overlooked.

    Portal takes place between Half Life and Half Life 2, so certain lines said by GLaDOS are impotent:
    “Things have CHANGED since the last time you left the building.”

    “I have an INFINITE capacity for knowledge and even I don’t know what’s going on out THERE.”

    “I’m the only thing standing between US and THEM”

    ***MESSAGE ENDS***

    • No Red Dwarf yet, but I have plans to. 😀

      I’m waiting until the end to do the ecosystem analysis, since I figure the environment in which you fight the boss–or even the boss itself–may play a part. It also occurred to me that I should have been taking screenshots (but then, recording and taking pictures would be almost impossible together.) Luckily, I think HL is an old enough game that there are probably pictures of just about anything I’d care to post.

      Incidentally, the next post WILL be HL related. Promise. And HL 2, from what I understand, has much more plot, so I’m assuming I’ll be doing much more posting about it. The reason HL posts kind of tapered off is that I rather ran out of things to say, that I hadn’t already said elsewhere.

  2. If your interested BBC worldwide has I think has allmost all of the full episodes of all the original series on youtube, also just making sure but in the room your about to go in Half Life the vorts you see DEFINATLY do not shoot.

    • Oh thank you! That’s actually really awesome to know!

      And don’t worry, I didn’t shoot. 😉 (I’ve already recorded the ep, I just need to edit and upload it.)

      • Very well done on that episode very good observation but there not bottling healing water, there making grunts and lots of them and i mean loads every barrel contains a grunt which is why there where so meny.

        And “Alone you alone not you alone not you alone not”

    • you should have included a link, but that is awesome!
      I’ve seen some of the old seires, mostly Peterwe(misspelled that i think)[3rd Doctor]
      and I’v only seen one Tom Baker[4th Doctor] episiod [robot, the first episiod after his regeneration].

      PS: Funny DW vid I found, it features some one that does an alost perfect Tom Baker inpersonation prank calling Tom. link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ7uHzZYREo&feature=related

      Same guy also called Sylvester McCoy, McCoy thinks it Tom, lol.

    • I attract the weirdest comments.

      …On an unrelated note, I also attract the best fans. 😀 (And yes, I’m editing the new episode as we speak. Depending on exact processing time, should be up in 3-4 hours. Your patience will be rewarded…this is indeed the penultimate episode!)

      • So, now you’ve completed HL, this comment (and its author name) probably makes sense 😀

        (No, I didn’t leave it. But it’s kinda cool. :D)

  3. You don’t attract weird comments Hawke, you just attracted ONE weird commenter [ME!]

    Now let us thank God(s?) for politicians and high-school students for driving me to this entertaining level of insanity{or is it sanity?}, that not even an Elder God could drive me to! BWA HA HA HAHAHA TE THE,HEHEHE!(or some thing along those lines,I think, or I don’t.)

    Examples of madness [true quotes from people at my high-school]:

    “The Russian civil war was a war between America and France.”- during chapter review

    “The only people good at art have never gotten laid, and since I’ve bin laid, that means I don’t have to work.”- said to art teacher’s face

    “It’s OK to say f{BEEP} because only white men are gay”- no comment on this one

    “It’s scientific fact all white men are gay”-said by someone else


    “Why we studding Hitler he never killed a black man!?”
    He is wrong the Nazis did kill black people(they invaded Africa, and there were blacks in the US army)
    and even if they didn’t they still killed over six million people, and if they had made it to America blacks would have bin the first put on the trains.

    Shit like this almost makes me think racist have a point, but I know better than that.

      • ME? My name is Zak.
        but that has little to do with the curent situation does it?
        I am the product of contionual exposer to the worst humanity has to offer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysmLA5TqbIY

        THE FREE STAMP! IT’S NOT FREEE! who thought that thing was a good idea? who’s nephue needed a job that week?
        We have a mayor that said this: “the problum is we have a problum. it’s not that we don’y know what the problums are, we’ve known them for years. it’s not that we don’t know what the solutions are, we’ve known them for years. the problum is we haven’t done anything.”- he had bin in office for 2 trems at that poiont…

        Has your Junior math class ever broken out in to singing rebecca blacks “friday”? Every friday! For an entire month!

        forgive spelling, in a hurry, not going to spell cheeck all that.

        • … actually, I was making a joke about the title of the blog entry. I hadn’t meant to inquire about your political views, your illicit love affair with the CAPS LOCK key, how much you hate your tween classmates, or how little you care about the opinions of Messrs. Webster, Strunk & White.

          Sorry. =(

          • O.K. but for the record I don’t use Cap. lock, I use the Shift key, and only use it to show that the text is Important or that I would be yelling this in a spoken conversation.
            As for your other comments: doesn’t every one have a problem with there high school classmates?
            I’m sorry to say I don’t know what you mean about not caring about Webster(isn’t that a dictionary?) or Strunk & White(they sound familiar, but I can’t remember where I’ve heard those names before) opinions. (never mind, Googled it, you’re talking about my grammar.)

            Oh, and about my “Shit like this almost makes me think racist have a point, but I know better than that.” comment, it’s all meant as a joke, in the same air of dark comedy as the “Darwin Awards” and if you don’t know what that is Google it. You shouldn’t take the words of a man calling himself “RipOffProductions” seriously, sorry for the confusion.

  4. I salute you for caving in and watching Doctor Who. It somehow manages to combine wacky stuff (space and time travel, a policebox as a spaceship, a Doctor who isn’t a doctor, regenerating into a new person, etc.) succesfully.

    The Brits actually do make some decent sci-fi and supernatural shows. I wouldn’t say all of it is great, but they are always worth a try.

    Btw, I like your LP’s. It’s always nice to see someone really into a game, not rushing it, not bashing the game, etc.

  5. Hi love the LPs really entertaining and highly enjoyable throughout, speaking as a Brit Im glad to see that DW is going down a storm over the pond and I have to agree that as a life long Dalek fan (when I was 6 I used to run around the school playground pretending to be one and shouting Exterminate at all the other kids (don’t worry I am quite well adjusted and have not massacred anyone except for all those game sprites over the years!!!!!) the Dalek episode is one of the best every written. It had be on the edge of my seat cheering on the dalek as it showed how terrifying it truly was and lived up to the promises all those old episodes hinted at. Red dwarf is a great example of a space sitcom ting Darkstar with larger and curries good luck with the LPs can’t wait for the next ones.

    • I so agree! Now let me ask you this: if I was going to jump into Red Dwarf, should I start at the beginning? Or is there a particular episode or reason I should start with? Cheers! 😀

      • The first episode “The End” is the best starting point, though the opening credits of the first two seasons explain all the important plot points of the episode. most episodes do not have interconnected plots but watching in order helps you understand some things(new characters and concepts mostly.).

        PS: sorry about the little conflict between Inyssius and myself, will not happen again.

      • Hi you have to start at the begining otherwise it just seems weird I showed some mates my favorite eps and they were just confused I had the same problem with Babylon 5 with these long running series its best to introduce yourself to them at the begining but after you see the first ep I would recomend cherry picking episodes like gunmen of the apocalypse polymorph and emohawk as my personal favorites in the words of the serius cybernetics corporation “share and enjoy”!

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