Deano’s answer to: “Is Doctor Who a children’s show?”

I’m watching Doctor Who with my 3 year-old daughter currently… We haven’t hit a single classic episode that has scared her yet, mostly she just pauses the video to ask questions about what Autotons are, why Cybermen are bad robots, or how the dinosaurs trying to eat the Doctor’s land rover are “pwobably gonna hurt dere teef”.

The new series, though, is not something she can sit through. She gets really really quiet, and I know that when I pause it to ask if it’s scary, she’ll nod and give me a big hug, before we agree to save that for when she’s “sebben”.

So, yeah, maybe I’m bringing her in a bit early… But the classic eps are all 22-24 minutes, which is a good length, and we get to talk about all kinds of science, espionage, language, culture, and architectural topics that don’t come up at the park or preschool. Still, even I notice a huge difference in the seriousness in the newer eps, even the first season – it’s very clear that people are gonna die, regularly, perhaps even horribly, and they’ll stay dead.

So in short:

  • Classic Doctor Who is aimed at children… I’d say everything up until the Colin Baker generation is completely safe[*], even for a 3 year old.

(Classic Who: Scary? Image courtesy of…)

  • And as Danielle Maurer says, I think the New Doctor Who series should be called more of a “whole family”, or even “parental guidance” type show. It’s not adults-only, but your kids should be really firm on fantasy versus reality stuff before they watch it.

(New Who: SCARY!!! Image courtesy of http://clariethelioness.tumblr.c…)

As for so-far-unmentioned adult SciFi, I’d add Life on Mars, which was originally a BBC One production, and later remade (and only semi-destroyed) for American TV. It features a modern police detective who is knocked out and wakes up in the 60s – adjusting to the new time and culture, trying to figure out how he got there, using modern investigation techniques, and even trying to solve a “cold case” or two before they are actually ever cold. No spaceships or aliens, it always reminded me a bit more of The Prisoner.

[* Colin and Sylvester McCoy’s runs were… not creepy, more like pandering 80s network interfered-with craploads. This was at a time when the BBC heads were actively trying to cancel the show, so it’s perhaps natural to expect some more over the top “what’ve we got to lose, and it may get ratings” type attitudes. ]

This answer originally appeared on Quora: Is Doctor Who a children’s show?

Deano’s answer to: “During TV and movie credits, what does it mean when an actor has ‘as X’ after their name?”

The opening credits on TV shows(*) work very similarly to those in the movies – it’s just that absolutely no one cares who wrote on directed a TV show, pretty much ever. 😉

With notable exceptions, like all-alphabetical listing, the order the stars appear in is negotiated like everything else as part of their contract. The particular placement the querent refers to, however, is special – it’s the equivalent in TV terms of the “marquee spot” – that spot usually reserved before the movie title to mention a particularly well known star, etc.

Pretty much everything about Mark Hughes‘ answer is correct as far as the many many whys of how someone ends up with the spot – for the newcomer who is being pushed as “studio product”, it may be the name recognition angle. For a recurring role played by a big name, it’s the glory of the last spot itself… And many times, it’s just whoever fought for it the hardest.

Ironically, if you read some of the stories about who gets what in both TV and movie credits (dig, dig, dig, they are out there online, but it’s easier to find in actor/show biographies, for sure), you start to dig up some really interesting behind the scenes gossip – many times, taking the “with… as…” spot meant giving up a bit of salary, or some other perk… But oh how glorious it must be, all these years later, to show up like a phantom as the last thing viewers see in the opening sequence… I definitely think whoever gets that spot laughs loudest, longest, and best compared to their on-set nemeses – who may have been better paid, appeared in more episodes, hand more lines, input on stories, etc.

(technically, we’re just talking title sequences, as a lot of modern shows and movies either skip opening credits, or just run text credits in-frame while ACT I “starts cold” (which is, in the end, better for the viewer, it means we get that many more minutes of show back from the bean counters who somehow like to think of an hour as consisting of what’re we down to these days, 42 minutes?!?)

During TV and movie credits, what does it mean when an actor has “as X” after their name?