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The TV Show That's Come Into Its Own... 50 Years Later

11/06/2013 12:39 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

It's all a matter of time.

Let's start with the late 1980's, Scarborough, Ont., Canada, Planet Earth: a publicly-funded cable TV station begging for money so they can keep showing a sci-fi program called Doctor Who. An offer for your pledge: a white mug revealing a pale-blue old-style British "Police Box" when hot liquid is poured into it. "That's neat," thought a very young, impressionable kid, "but who's 'Doctor Who'?" Luckily, that question was answered immediately following the mug, five times over, with a 90 min. show called "The Five Doctors". He didn't understand all of it, but he certainly got a kick out of the cheap special effects, strange-looking creatures, even stranger dialogue, and mention of Time Lords. "They must be really powerful and do cool stuff to be called 'Time Lords'...!"

But unfortunately not powerful enough to withstand changed public attitude, less-than-great writing, and the appeal of more action-packed shows like The A-Team, as the show was canceled a short time later in 1989. But these problems didn't matter to a kid who had barely seen it and had 26 years of episodes to catch up on ("Thanks YTV"!). A journey through Time and Space began, randomly at first, but eventually in some semblance of an order. Once he figured out the order of the Doctors, the rest was easy...

Move forward to 2013, Austin, TX: the end of a very long but satisfying day of rapping with other Backburner crew members at the SXSW music festival. It was during a three hour-long Happy Hour that many topics were discussed, including a soon-to-be-finished GI-Joe Mixtape Welcome to Cobra Island by long-time collaborator The Wordburglar. "That's awesome," mumbled a relaxed More Or Les between complimentary chips and salsa "I should make something like that, dedicated to Doctor Who... it is the 50th anniversary this year after all - what better time is there?" And so the reexamination of a young boy's obsession began.... "But how do I do this?" he thought. "Where do I start? I can't mention every single companion, can I?"

But he does. The 10-track album Bigger On The Inside: A Time Traveller's Mixtape boasts a song called "Travel Companions", a fictional story depicting a future companion learning about all the ones that came before him, and the dangers that come with that position. Some companions are excellent surgeons, others blow things up, some are aliens, some Earthlings, and a lot of them have a unique fashion sense (especially the ones plucked from the '80's). If a man is truly judged by the company he keeps, The Doctor is a very strange man indeed...

Jump back in time to 2005, Toronto, Ont.: the impressionable Scarborough kid-turned-nerdy-Toronto adult reads the Internet rumor that the CBC will distribute new episodes of Doctor Who in Canada. "The show is coming back?" he snapped "Really? I wonder if it'll be any good... or still have horribly bad special effects." While he missed the premiere screening of the debut episode, he managed to catch the succeeding story "The End of the World". In it, the new companion Rose Tyler is invited by the Doctor to witness the planned demolition of the Earth 5 billion years in the future. A decent plot, healthy amount of humour and way better special effects were the end result of watching the episode -- along with a revitalized interest in the franchise. In the following eight years, the show would gain new fans around the world, and those fans would get to learn about Daleks, Cybermen, Christmas specials, two more regenerations of the Doctor himself, Fezzes, and a flying Police Box that's very bad at actually flying.

And while it may seem strange for an adult to like a sci-fi program aimed at kids (nary a curse word is said, nor a gross amount of violence depicted, and no adult sexuality demonstrated in any of the revived series), it's the combination of good writing that overly plays with aspects of time travel and well-chosen lead actors able to display good comedic timing that makes this current iteration of the series a good one. And for Lifer Fans, it doesn't hurt that the revived series is just a continuation of the original, constantly drawing from and paying homage to it. Fifty years after it started, it feels as though Doctor Who has finally come into its own.

Travel back to 2004: that same nerdy Torontonian under the moniker "More Or Les" released his first rap album I only stop for the Red Ants. Nine years, six solo projects and numerous guest appearances later, he's still rapping about what excites him. Previously, it's been a dislike of using the "N-word", concerns with the over-use of gangsterism in Hip Hop culture, strangers picking their nose on public transit and even a rapped recipe for vegan chili. In 2013, it's one of his favourite TV shows.

It was just a matter of time.

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