Sunday, June 22, 2014

Doctor Who Weekend (Sort Of): For the Birds

It's amazing where being a Doctor Who fan will lead you.  

Many, many years ago when I learned that Tom Baker was leaving Doctor Who and that some new guy named Peter Davison was going to be the Doctor, I was a bit curious about what Peter might be like. Someone told me that Peter Davison had a role in a series called All Creatures Great and Small, a series about veterinarians working in the English countryside. It so happened that the PBS station I watched Doctor Who on also carried this series so I gave it look-see. 

Naturally I examined every nuance of Peter Davison's performance to give me some idea what his Doctor might be like. How he said words like "time" and "space". How he hunched over a cow in labor, would he hunch over the TARDIS console the same way?  

But over time I began to appreciate the gentle charms of All Creatures Great and Small and began watching it for its own sake. But I would never have gone there without the Doctor Who connection. 

My wife really got into Broadchurch. It's the sort of dark, moody drama that is usually not her cup of tea. But she began watching it because David Tennant was one of the stars of the series. But while she may have come there for the man formerly tasked with being the 10th Doctor, she stayed because she genuinely was drawn in by the mystery of Broadchurch.  

This past Tuesday, the El family (once again accompanied by our friend Victoria) attended the 2nd night of the two night David Tennant cinema event. As recounted in yesterday's post, the first night (Monday) was a presentation of the Doctor Who 2-parter, "Rise of the Cybermen".  While not quite as packed as the cinema screening of "Day of the Doctor" last November, there was still a fairly large number of Whovians in attendance. It may have been a story we had seen a hundred times or more but never on the big screen. 

So the next night we gathered again. Our tickets for "Rise of the Cybermen" gave us entry to the 2nd night's feature, a showing of Wings 3-D, a documentary about birds. 

That's right: a documentary. About birds. 

Of course, the draw was David Tennant. No, not on screen save for one short introduction. Instead we were there for David Tennant's voice. And not his Doctor voice but his own distinctive Scottish lilt.  

Again, let me repeat: this was a documentary about birds. 

Oh the things Whovians will do.  

But here's the thing: Wings 3-D was an amazing, captivating experience. There were many wondrous visual spectacles through out the film. Birds in astonishing displays of flight, brought to life in 3-D. This may be as close experience actual flight like a bird that I have ever experienced. 

And I saw things I had never seen before. There's one segment on egrets in South Carolina working in tandem with dolphins to catch fish along an inland river. It was, to me, a most unusual sight, sea faring dolphins pushing fish up on to a river's shore. 

Or the birds in Europe, massed in such large numbers and density, they create various giant shapes in the sky. At one point, the shape of the hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of birds was that of a single gargantuan bird. 

All in all, Wings 3-D was an eye opening look at the wonders of the world around us from the perspective of birds. And I would not have seen it but for Doctor Who. And the Doctor himself would take a bit of joy from that, how one exploration leads to another new thing.  

Thanks for sharing and until next time, be good to one another. 

I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You


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