While American networks and studios are quick to take any British television series and remake it for U.S. audiences, one series that they’ve kept their mitts off is Doctor Who. (Not that it hasn’t been rumored over the years, much to the chagrin of our news director.)
Doctor Who is a uniquely British institution and it’s in the midst of a huge revival success across the globe.
But has the show already had an American version made? Or at least a show that shares the same spirit as Doctor Who?
And what if that show were the short-lived series The Middleman?
Tor’s Alex Bledsoe makes that case in his latest column.
So how is this like Doctor Who?
1.) Optimism. The show flirted with darkness, but the spirit was always upbeat. The world might mock the Middleman’s milk-drinking wholesomeness (His curses run to expressions like, “Guns of Navarone!”) but he’s unashamed of it. Like the Doctor, he’s a self-motivated compassionate do-gooder, always willing to help those in need. And like the Doctor, very little throws him off-stride.
2.) Advanced technology that really makes no sense. The Doctor has the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space), while the Middleman has the strange, disco-ball contraption known as the HEYDAR. (High Energy Yield DAta Resource). In both series, this technology is never adequately explained, and never functions in a consistent manner; its purpose is to speed through narrative spots that would otherwise bog down the show. And in both shows, the creators made sure the devices themselves are quirky and entertaining (the TARDIS is stuck in the shape of a British police call box, the HEYDAR’s mouthpiece robot Ida has the persona and appearance of a cranky librarian).