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Published on December 12th, 2010 | by Christian Cawley

Do You Want Doctor Who in 3D?

According to a recent survey carried out by Japanese TV manufacturer Panasonic, British TV viewers want to see Doctor Who in 3D.

The poll results saw the Time Lord topping a list that also featured plasticine animation Wallace and Gromit and pistonhead-fest Top Gear.

Really? You want to sit there with a stupid viewing apparatus in front of you to watch your TV in 3D? Wouldn’t you rather view everything naturally and prefer that the show was made to affect the characters in the episodes and by extension the viewer rather than draw you in directly?

Modern 3D is something made possible by high definition – but it is as much a fad as the old anaglyph images (drawn in red and blue/green) or polarizing filters as used in 1993′s Dimensions in Time. 3D really only has a place in a world that you can truly become immersed in – such as those offered by virtual reality. Movies and TV have a strict narrative, something that casts the viewer strictly as an observer and therefore with no claim to be part of the action.

I’ll concede that there are certain scenes that might work in the last series of Doctor Who – the first full run to be recorded in HD – such as the “Spitfires in Space” sequence from Victory of the Daleks or the Doctor walking through a projection of his former selves in The Eleventh Hour. But these are exceptions, not reasons.

In fact, if anything, 3D adds a layer of distraction (not to mention hardware) between the viewer and the drama, rather than making to story more inclusive.

Sure, this is a particular point of view, but the current fad for 3D is just as likely to fail to fully take off as the previous attempts in the 1950s and 1980s.

Although, of course, a far more pertinent point would be: do you want to risk another Dimensions in Time debacle?

Seriously, though, this all sounds like fluff from the electronics giant, who have tied in the poll to coincide with their new range of Panasonic 3D TVs – which come with 3D glasses.

Perhaps when 3D can be realised withouth headwear the situation might change. Until then…


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

3 Responses to Do You Want Doctor Who in 3D?

  1. avatar 23skidoo says:

    3-D TV is destined to be little more than a gimmick as long as expensive glasses are needed. If they do decide to make a 3-D Doctor Who, I can only hope they keep it as an option and not a requirement. The coming of 3-D has ruined the movie-going experience for me to the point where I worked out a good half-dozen to 10 films I had been looking forward to this year I ended up not going to see, waiting instead for the 2-D Blu-Ray releases later, this because greedy theatre-owners, knowing they could charge an extra few dollars on the ticket, never bothered bringing in the 2-D versions of Alice in Wonderland, Resident Evil IV, etc. I saw the 3-D version of Avatar and hated it because a) the glasses were distracting as someone already wearing glasses and continually took me out of the film, and b) it added nothing to the storytelling of the movie and if anything distracted from the story and message. This isn’t like the introduction of sound and color – there is no storytelling necessity for 3-D. I’ve been trying to find one single example of where 3-D serves the story, and have so far failed.

  2. avatar Rick714 says:

    3D is waste of time and my answer is an emphatic NO. I second everything that’s said by 23skidoo.

    My one point of divergence would be I loved the 3D for avatar as they had excellent big glasses that fit over my regular ones and thus it was the very first time in all these decades that I had a good 3D experience. Even so, the 3D did nothing for the story itself as he says. No need for it, especially those many instances where they retro fit it into a movie. Just give us the regular DW. No 3D crap required.

  3. Pingback: Reaction to Doctor Who in 3-D Panasonic Poll | Kasterborous Doctor Who News

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