Sunday, April 13, 2014

March of the Ponies: Fan Works (Doctor Whooves)

[NOTE: Links to other March of the Ponies stories will go here as they are published.Part 1 - Abridged MLP historyPart 2 - Review of Lauren Faust's prior works, Part 3 - MLP Comics (TwilightRainbowDashRarityFluttershyPinkiePieApplejackCMCs/Celestia,Spike/LunaNightmare Rarity arc (main series)), Part 4 - Equestria Girls review, Part 5 - Fan-made episodes (Dusk's DawnDouble RainboomSnowdrop); Part 6 - Fan works (Music, Parody/Abridged Series, Fanfictions), Part 7 - Season Reviews: Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Magical Mystery Cure, Season 4 (to date)]

Let's get one thing straight: I am not a Whovian.

I've never seen an episode from start to finish and at best only know the show and have seen occasional scenes thanks to Linkara using them in his comic reviews. ('There is... logic... in what he says.')

I am seriously looking up old episodes of the First Doctor BECAUSE of the multiple Doctor Whooves audio series I've listened to in the past couple weeks.

These could very well be the best consistent Brony subculture there is because I've yet to look into a Doctor Whooves audio series and be disappointed.

For those unfamiliar, Doctor Who is a 50-year-old BBC program about a Time Lord who can travel anywhere at any time in the universe using a British Police phone box-shaped machine known as a TARDIS.

Doctor Hooves is a background pony in MLP: FIM with an hourglass cutie mark. The fanbase thinks he looks like the pony version of the Tenth Doctor, and eventually Hasbro caved and made the name legitimate.

I've checked out four Doctor Whooves series and all of them have been solid to good. Here are some quick thoughts on each. (My audio only mentions the first three, so go below for the fourth.)

Doctor Whooves and Assistant

Account: PierceSmoulder
Full episodes to date: 8 (with a crossover with the 'Adventures' series)
Companion(s): Derpy/Ditzy Doo, Tick Tock (ginger unicorn introduced in Ep. 8)
Twists on the MLP canon universe: Ponies have pockets in their flanks
Things that make this show unique: There are occasional song numbers like in FIM, including a remix of "Winter Wrap-Up." The Doctor is played as very random and childlike, but can become very serious and willing to kill when danger is imminent.

The Doctor is known normally as 'Time Turner' when going about Ponyville, and seems to have helped the Princesses at some point, though he has no recollection as of yet. This Doctor didn't reincarnate as a pony, but instead crossed into the Pony-verse and changed upon landing near the Everfree Forest.

This is, in my view, the strongest of the series I've seen. I highly recommend it.

Doctor Whooves Adventures

Account: Squeak Anon
Full episodes to date: 6 (with a crossover with the 'Assistant' series; a 3-part spinoff is also present.)
Companion(s): Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie (occasionally), Spike (occasionally)
Twists on the MLP canon universe: The TARDIS crashed into Twilight's library while The Doctor was regenerating at some point in what I assume is Season 1.
Things that make this show unique: The Doctor is constantly vague (to the anger of Twilight), but maintains a business-like aura. He cringes at the pony puns that are twists on human counterpart phrases (on the other hoof, everypony). He also has an addiction to adventure and can't seem to relax.

This series is hilarious simply because of Twilight's reactions, but it's fun to see the general competence of both Twilight and The Doctor as episodes begin to get sorted out.

Honestly, I like the series, but the characters felt at their best when bouncing off 'Assistant' characters, so I have to say this one's in second place.

Doctor Whooves: Tales of Time and Space

Account: Alex Denby
Full episodes to date: 3
Companion(s): Fluttershy, Angel (Ep. 3 only)
Twists on the MLP canon universe: It's unclear when in the series this is happening, so I can't say much. This IS the only series I've seen where The Doctor has always been a pony. Oh, and Star-swirl the Bearded was alive as of 1200 years before the FIM pilot.
Things that make the series unique: This is the most straightforward I've seen the Pony Doctor. He has some secrets, but is pretty much open with Fluttershy. Additionally, while Fluttershy has her uses, she is most useful as a moral anchor for The Doctor, who selected her as a companion for that reason.

This is also the only Doctor I've seen who sought out his companion directly through knowledge of their past deeds. It's also the only Doctor I know of with a past female incarnation.

This one had some audio issues in the first episode, but it's beginning to pick up steam with the introduction of the Daleks in episode 2 and I'm beginning to get excited to see the direction it heads in.

Doctor Whooves the Great

Account: DoctorWhoovesTG
Full episodes to date: 2 (including a 50th anniversary special)
Companion(s): (The Great and Powerful) Trixie, that one guy from Appleoosa (kind of)
Twists on the MLP canon universe: Trixie moved to Appleoosa after 'Magic Duel.'
Things that make the series unique: This Doctor is unsure how he wound up in the Pony-verse and is actually more nervous and anxious than any other series' Doctor. He's also been somewhat forgetful, which causes him to overlook things like explaining what is happening to his companion.

The TARDIS at some point in the future is going to be dangerously altered, as seen by the second TARDIS in the story, but it's unclear how.

There's not much I can say here, as the series is fairly new, but it's not bad. Trixie is actually really funny in this story and bounces off this Doctor well. I'll keep appraised of the series.

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