Doctor Who

Doctor Who?

Ron Grainer, whose alien theme brands the longest-running televised program in the world, <i>Doctor Who</i>
Ron Grainer, whose alien theme brands the longest-running televised program in the world, Doctor Who

There's a certain brand of nerdy white guy (like, say, my husband) that grew up in the 1970s/1980s heyday of Doctor Who, the protean intergalactic smarty-pants who favored wild hair, scarves, and a spaceship disguised as a blue telephone box. The demographic for the show was narrow, to say the least, but the series was groundbreaking, specifically in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop's use of electronic music. It was the first TV series to have an entirely electronic theme song.

The 2005 reboot of the franchise appeals to a broader audience, due in no small part to the smoldering sex appeal of Dr. Who number nine (Christopher Eccleston) and the nebbishy-but-still-hot 10th iteration (David Tennant). The theme music is cheesy, but incidental music like Britney Spears' "Toxic" and Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" is used to sly effect (both are considered classical music of the mythical future) and helps the series appeal to Generation Xers who didn't spend their adolescence watching the old series on PBS.

Look, too, at the choice of companions since 2005: the Doctor's beloved Rose is played by Billie Piper, a UK pop star/starlet/paparazzi target. The Doctor's 2007 Christmas companion was Kylie Minogue, and this year's Yuletide sidekick will be none other than supermodel/aspiring pop star Agyness Deyn. Seriously, how much hipster/metrosexual cred can one lose watching a dorky sci-fi show that casts beloved icons of the queer nation while ironically employing tracks by Joy Division, David Bowie, Elton John, and the Scissor Sisters?

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant

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