Elliott Serrano, for Redeye
January 21, 2013
The last time my paths crossed with William Shatner, he was drowning my Jean-Luc Picard action figure. (Well, it wasn't really mine, but he thought it was.) In my experience, Mr. Shatner just loves to have fun with science fiction fans, often needling and trying to get a rise out of them. I mean, just look at the "war" he had with Carrie Fisher over which was the superior franchise "Star Trek" or "Star Wars." Now, it appears that Captain James Tiberius Kirk is now taking a shot at another famed series, Doctor Who.
It all went down today on Twitter when Mr. Shatner was interacting with fans and the topic of the British Sci-Fi series was brought up. Shatner mention Doctor Who and a fan asked:
@WilliamShatner “@mustered: @WilliamShatner who is Dr who?” Some guy who flies around in a blue box thinking he's Mr. Sci-fi when he's really Sci-fantasy.
I found it rather amusing to see that Shatner was familiar with the term "science fantasy", which I typically use to describe Star Wars. And when you think about it, Doctor Who really could fit under the banner. Of course, this led to another fan asking:
@WilliamShatner “@casteel_w: @WilliamShatner do you don't like doctor who?” You got it wrong. Dr. Who doesn't like me!
This was in reference to the article where current Doctor Matt Smith said he would love to have Shatner on the show, only to have showrunner Steven Moffat poo-poo the idea.
@WilliamShatner “@estikat: You would make such an awesome Dr Who villain or companion!! You should talk to the powers that be!” That's who doesn't want me!
Methinks Mr. Shatner read that last article, dontcha' think? Anyway, it looked like some Doctor Who fans didn't take kindly to his words and made their feelings known:
@WilliamShatner “@ManuelGabriel: I like you Bill but please don't diss Doctor Who. It is one of the better sci-fi on TV along with Star Trek.” Sci-fantasy
@WilliamShatner “@omegamerlin: @mustered Ohhhh... Don't upset the Whovians... ;-)” Whovians? Really? That made my day! And people say Trekkies is bad
Oh, Bill, you can be such a scamp at times. Of course, he would acknowledge that there were members of the Doctor Who cast who appreciated him:
@WilliamShatner “@liamsewage: that's not hugely true. I'm sure he loves you. Perhaps the show runners don't But the character does.” The Master guy seems to
Then there was the whole "Doctor Who isn't science-fiction" matter to be resolved:
@WilliamShatner “@CNoteSTO: @WilliamShatner @mustered Isn't all Sci-Fi Sci-Fantasy at the end of the day?” Blasphemy!
I have to admit that I agree with Shatner on that last point....and I know this is gonna get my fellow Whovians annoyed with me, but I kinda agree with him on these next two points:
@WilliamShatner “@omegamerlin: still the worlds longest running sci fi show... 50yrs this year...” You can't really claim that with the decade plus gaps.
@WilliamShatner I'm not begrudging the 50 years. I'm just saying that to say you are the longest running show when there are huge gaps & 6 ep/season (shrug)
Marketing purposes aside, it always did have me scratching my head when the folks at the BBC would make the claim that Doctor Who was the "longest running science fiction series" on television. I mean, it was off the air for a while.
In any case, it's always fun to see the folks who helped create the worlds that we enjoy/obsess over interact with the fans.
What do you think? Is Shatner wrong to question Doctor Who as the "longest running science fiction show on television"?
If you are a fan of Doctor Who and Star Trek, you should check out the STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/DOCTOR WHO: ASSIMILATION2, a comic-book from IDW where the two franchises cross over!
ELLIOTT SERRANO IS A REDEYE SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR AND CHICAGO'S TOP GEEK.
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