The 8 Reasons Everyone Should Be Glad Doctor Who Isn’t an American

By Caleb Goellner

Americanizing certain intellectual properties is a terrible
idea. Yes, there have been more than a few success stories over the years. The Office, American Idol and pretty much every third game show are Britain-born
media machines that have translated into mountains of stateside cash and
effectively launched the careers of many of today’s hottest stars. But there’s
one character nobody should touch: The Doctor. Since the creation of Doctor Who nearly half a century ago,
the world’s longest-running science fiction series has practically become a
stripe on the Union Jack. That’s the way fans (from any country) like it. 

The Doctor
is essentially the UK’s Superman, Captain Kirk and Bill Nye all rolled into
one, capturing the region’s voice through colorful, endearing and socially
relevant speculative fiction. He’s like James Bond, only a lot nicer to bad
guys and with a much, much lower budget. Some ideas make it across the pond for
successful repackaging, but the Doctor, despite all of his powers, could never
regenerate through an American translation. Read on to learn why America is
much better off simply importing its Doctor



While the original Doctor’s time traveling space ship was modeled
after a ’50s police call box, the American TARDIS (which stands for, “Time
And Relative Dimensions In Space”) would take on the characteristics of the
nation’s favorite conveyance – the automobile. Sure, the third Doctor had a Who
Mobile ala Batman, but that was only to cruise around during his exile on
Earth. Just imagine the kind of machine American producers would put a time
traveling hero in for full-fledged time and space adventures! Better yet, try
not to.


7) Doctor Who: Agent

During his exile on Earth, the Third Doctor spent his days
fighting for the United Nations as a liaison to UNIT, which is essentially the
Whoverse’s version of SHIELD right down to the helicarrier. During his time
with the team, the Doctor constantly fought for diplomacy and peace, which
amounted to very little given mankind’s unwillingness to coddle murderous alien
menaces. The American Doctor would cut the sympathizer crap, becoming Brigadier
Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart’s most lethal soldier in a war against Sea Devils,
Cybermen and any other bad guy worth capping. The Doctor may have a big heart,
but he ain’t afraid to put a mad dog down. Yeah.


6) Tasteless
Celebrity Guest Appearances / Crossovers

Admittedly the BBC’s Doctor Who has featured a few guest
stars over the years. Most recently, Morrissey played a role as “The Next
Doctor.” Here’s the difference between this kind of role and what would
happen in America – Doctor Who didn’t
need the guest appearance for ratings. However, if the American Doctor Who were
anything like this list says it’d be, it would need them. Badly. Maybe even a
laugh track after the third series, er, season? Instead of crossing over with
sister series Torchwood or The Sarah Jane Adventures, the Doctor would be cold chill’n with Snoop D-O-double G or maybe swooping in
for some face time on one of MTV’s reality shows. There’s just so much potential
for pain. Don’t think it couldn’t happen.


5) Guns, Guns, Guns

The Doctor’s former companion Captain Jack represents the
problem with acting like a cowboy in the Whoverse. His first appearance in the
episode “The Empty Child” contrasted an aggressive, capitalistic way
of doing things with the Doctor’s Hippocratic method, specifically the use of
Jack’s sonic guns vs. the use of the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver (he solves problems
with his brain instead of violence, see?). Given that unarmed action heroes
aren’t very appealing on this side of the Atlantic, The American Doctor would
meet fans half way by carrying a piece AND a sonic tool. When things got really
tough, he would even combine the two! It’s an action hero line waiting to
happen. “Screw Off,” he’d mutter as he blasted a sonic screwdriver
from the barrel of his custom .45 straight through Davros’ flaccid forehead.


4) Youth

American audiences would eventually tire of the Doctor’s
elderly appearance, instead opting for a younger, hipper star. In fact, they’d
probably go for a guy in his mid ’20s just to get people talking….wait, what?
What’s he doing here?


3) Sluts

The Doctor has played host to many traveling companions over
the years, but he seems to have a soft spot in his hearts for sassy young
ladies. To this cad’s credit, his taste in women is typically relegated to
intelligence and realism (kinda). “Girls next door,” curves, crooked
teeth and all are at the top of his list. That just wouldn’t fly here in the
states. Eyes need candy no matter how awful the acting is, and the Doctor isn’t
too busy riding the turn of the universe to take a side trip to Hooters.


2) Product Placement

Aside from the subtle and appropriate use of genericized
Apple keyboards in the Who episode, “Silence In the Library,” the
good Doctor and the predominantly publically-supported BBC has seemingly shied
away from the fourth-wall shattering practice of product placement. Fan’s could
kiss that goodbye if “Who” were a product of an American studio.
Everything would be up for grabs. “Oi, I’ve finally fixed the chameleon
circuit!” The Doctor would proclaim as the TARDIS shifted into the form of
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s NASCAR and headed for Disney Land to solve the mystery of
the missing Coca-Cola truck from planet Wal-Mart. Parched from restoring the
time stream to its natural order, the Doctor and his companions would throw
back some Snapple before heading to future Chili’s for ribs. All in a corporate
sponsored day’s work, mate.


1) The Contiguous
United States Would Be a Smoking Crater

Forget the eye patch, the monster truck TARDIS, the guns,
the cowboy attitude and all of the other American stereotypes that’d bastardize
the Doctor Who franchise. Every true
patriot should thank his or her makers for the Doctor’s UK fetish for one
reason alone: inglorious self-preservation. Everywhere the Doctor goes, death
follows. In recent years, mainland England has seen alien invasions on a nearly
weekly basis, leaving innumerable casualties and property damage in their wake.
Sure, it’d be cool to have a charismatic alien genius running around the
streets of New York City talking fast about physics and yelling at robots, but
it wouldn’t be worth the cost in this down economy.?Besides, between the Cloverfield monster, Chris Brown and
The Jonas Bros’ popularity, the United States is probably better off without a
hero with 903 years of baggage.