What’s Your Name Again? My Impressions of Doctor Who (2005+)


Doctor WhoFor years people have been trying to get me to watch Doctor Who ever since it was reincarnated back in 2005, and for years I’ve always pushed them away.  For me, my reasoning was that it had such a huge backstory to it from the classic run that I’d never be able to find the time to sit down and immerse myself into it the way it deserved.  I actually did try to watch the classic run once and even caught the 1996 television movie, but I just couldn’t find myself enjoying them.  A second time I watched my fiancée catch up on Series 5 of the revived show, though I only paid a bit of attention to it; I was so lost as to what was going on that I once again concluded that it was to be one of those things I just didn’t get involved in.  It was a few months later when my fiancée decided to show it to my wife—who does not have the greatest love of some of the more obsessive geek culture identities such as comic books, Star Trek, Star Wars, or tabletop RPGs—and her reaction to the show was what really made me decide to give it yet a third try.  After all, if she could like it, then there was a very strong chance I might at least enjoy some aspects of it.

“Spoilers!” –River Song

I sat down and watched Series 1 of the revived show, and, at first, I really wasn’t that impressed by it.  It made no sense to me, and the acting just didn’t grab my attention.  But, as the show continued, I became more and more interested in what was going on, and after they brought out the main recurring villains, well, that’s when I lost all hope of ever passing this show up.  After the departure of the Ninth Doctor, the show seemed to pick up a bit in terms of plot and acting abilities, and once the other recurring villains were brought into the fold, well, I was hooked.  I’m still debating whether or not to go back and watch the classic run, and I’ve attempted to watch the spin-off shows with some of the minor Who characters—which haven’t turned out well, in my opinion—but I am for certain that for the foreseeable future, I will keep up to date with new episodes of Doctor Who.

Best Doctor

Having never seen the classic run, I can’t comment on how awesome any of them would be, but I have to say that the best Doctor, in my opinion, is the Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant.  What makes Tennant so good is that his acting style is so great that he just melts into the role easily—more so than Christopher Eccleston from what I’ve seen.  Tennant’s also a ravenous fanboy when it comes to Doctor Who, having tried out for the part before it was given to Eccleston simply because he was such a huge fan of the classic series.  The role of the Doctor was his dream from childhood, the archetype for his own acting career, and one that seemed as though it would never be fulfilled until Eccleston left the show after its first series.

I’m not going to lie; when I first saw Tennant in this role, I had a hard time reconciling the fact that Barty Crouch Jr. was a Time Lord.  It took me one episode to get used to him, but at the end of it I had come to the conclusion that I enjoyed his portrayal of the Doctor more so than his predecessor.  I was rather sad to see him leave the show, and while Matt Smith has done a good job of picking up the slack, he’s still no David Tennant (insert swoon).  Tennant just had a great way of displaying joy, fear, uncertainty, and—most importantly—the silent look of anger that makes one crawl away in horror when the Doctor’s upset.

Best Companion

Compared to Rose Tyler, Amy Pond, and Rory Williams (who have traveled the longest with their respective Doctors), Donna Noble didn’t spend much time with the Doctor, but her character was by far the most enjoyable to watch.  Her unusual, somewhat insanely overly dramatic gestures and mannerisms made her stand out considerably compared to the rest, and when she’s reintroduced in Series 4, the “conversation” that she has with the Doctor is fabulously awesome.

She also has the most tragic of departures from the Doctor in my opinion, with Rose coming in second.  Unlike with Martha Jones or Rose, the Doctor didn’t have romantic feelings for this companion—although, it certainly would have been interesting if that situation had arisen—but the closeness, the deep level of friendship that existed between the two is clearly evident of how truly original and wonderful a character she is.  And then, she loses it all when she has to have her memory erased for her own safety; it is one of the most tragic moments I’ve seen in the show thus far.

The actress herself, Catherine Tate, looked upon this role as a brief moment when she was the most important woman in the universe (or at least in the Whoverse at the time), and thanked the show’s executive producer, Russell T. Davis, for giving her a chance to expand beyond her sketch comedy.  While there is the off-chance that Tate will appear as Donna once again, it is highly doubtful she’ll ever return as a companion, and certainly not “Doctor Donna.”

Best Villain

Even though they’ve been defeated several times throughout both the classic and new runs, the Daleks keep popping up to ruin the Doctor’s day.  They’re also best known for their all-out desire to exterminate everything in existence and their robotic-like appearance. (I don’t really like the organic appearance, too squishy for my tastes.)  Impervious to most conventional means of defense and attack, these little guys can severely put a dampener in things.  And, the best part?  They can also unclog a toilet with their plunger arm—ah, you have to love relatively cheap science-fiction prop designs.

Creepiest Villain

The one villain that never fails to creep me out whenever I watch them are the Weeping Angels.  I’m not much for horror, but these could certainly be put into a horror film with ease and believability—at least from me.  The fact that they don’t move when you’re looking at them—the aspect of one minute they’re not there and then, bam!, they’re right in front of you is creepy as frell.  Though they’ve only appeared a handful of times, they’re still able to send a shiver down my spine when I think of them—especially when they moving!

Best Character

Without a doubt in my mind, the very best character of the show is River Song, the Doctor’s wife (and daughter of Amy and Rory).  Her first introduction—which also showed her untimely “death”—was very interesting because of how familiar she was with the Doctor, though he didn’t have a clue.  To watch the two of them go back and forth with one another through the show, each traveling in opposite times when related to each other, is absolutely brilliant in my opinion.  And, the way in which she can get under his skin with the simple greeting of “Hello, Sweetie” just makes me laugh.

She, too, has such a tragic situation, due to her being imprisoned for the “death” of the Doctor (even though she doesn’t know she did it, nor was he actually killed).  She’s quite clever and is able to break out of the prison with expert ease, and yet she always returns, as though she has a sense of honor, a trait she no doubt picked up from the Doctor.  It was quite strange, yet truly fascinating, to find out her lineage during Series 6, and I cannot wait to see what else is shown in the future.

What to Look Forward to

The end of Series 6 really dropped a bomb on the Who fans with the showing that the Doctor does not, in fact, die as shown would happen in the beginning of the series.  Likewise, the “oldest question in the universe” does a great job of playing on the name of the show, and the fact that only the Doctor and River know his name is quite titillating.  But, will the creative staff actually answer that question for the fans?  Will the Doctor’s identity finally be revealed?  And, more importantly, if and when that happens, will that spell the end of the show?  After all, when you’ve answered the one question that’s been in the minds of everyone since the classic run started in the 1960s, what more is there to ask?  Well, I can think of one: “How much longer do I have to wait for Series 7 to begin?”  Not long, my friends, not long at all.



Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 17:25

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