Sunday, January 27, 2013

Docteur Qui?

Doctor Who is, of course, typically, quintessentially, unmistakably British… but as my own special anniversary tribute to this fantastic, extraordinary series and its associated universe, I thought it would be fun to re-imagine what things would have been if DW had been… well, French (which is not as outrageous as it might first seem – just ask Doctor Oméga). So, without further ado, welcome to the imaginary, completely alternate world of... Docteur Qui. Allons-y!

As a renegade Seigneur du Temps from Gallifrée, the Docteur (or is that Le Doctor?) would of course favor a more Gallic brand of eccentricity in his various incarnations – no, definitely NO beret or striped shirt but perhaps a top hat, a cane (or even a sword-cane) or an outrageous artiste cravat (in separate incarnations, preferably); somewhere along the regeneration road, he would have to wear a Napoleonic redingote. And of course, his fourth incarnation would probably look like this.

In French, Time And Relative Dimensions In Space would translate as Temps Et Dimensions Relatives Dans l’Espace, which would have given us TEDRDE – neither very inspiring nor very pronounceable. Our French Docteur is far more likely to travel around in a TARDI (Transport A Relativité Dimensionnelle Intégrée – don’t ask). And, of course, his TARDI would appear as one of those typically Parisian street columns.

Over the course of his eleven incarnations, le Docteur has made many enemies – including some sinister recurring foes such as his arch-nemesis l’Empereur (“I am the Emperor and you will obey me!”), the genocidal biomechanical Daleqs or the half-man, half-machine Cybernautes. His many travelling companions included all sorts of (mostly French) people, including his own granddaughter Suzanne, the charming Mademoiselle Rose from 19th century Montmartre, a young Celtic bard from pre-Christian Gaul and (of course) the mechanical dog K-bot.

During his temporal voyages, the Docteur has met quite a few French historical personages, including Louis XIV (The Alien in the Iron Mask), Jules Verne (Around the World in 80 Seconds), Napoléon Bonaparte (The Hundred Days), Marie Curie (Radium Times) and Guy de Maupassant (Mark of the Horla).

But alas for us French viewers, the ORTF was NOT the BBC...


  1. This makes me wonder if there are any such cult-ish continental genre series we Anglophones are missing out on. After all, all the best cop shows these days seem to come from Denmark...

  2. (sorry to reply so late)

    As far as France is concerned, you're not missing anything, really. French TV fiction tends to be Total & Absolute Crap. The only really great TV series currently made in France is "Engrenages"... which also seems to be the only one to have crossed the Channel (the BBC has broadcasted it under the title "Spiral").