Last night we caught the first episode of the new Dr. Who season on BBC America. My husband and I have watched Dr. Who since our youth – both of us via public television. Tom Baker and his crazy scarf was the first Dr. I fell in love with, and each one after that has offered his own unique blend of quirky intelligence and bravery to the series.
I must admit feeling two ways about the renewed Dr. Who series but with Christopher Eccleston, I had hope. Hope that they would not turn the show into some One Tree Hill version of television when all that mattered about the Doctor was his looks, how tricked out the tardis was and some hot sexxoring with his assistant.
I gotta say, the BBC did a great job and Eccleston was an awesome Doctor. The scripts were good, the acting was awesome, the connection between the Doctor and his assistant – a totally important foundation for the show, also good. Special effects have come a long way from the old days, but not so much that it’s was all flash and no substance. In short, the Doctor was back and I was so pleased.
Then came Tennant, who is adorable and quick witted and he did a great job too and I loved his version of the Doctor. But he left, as ALL Doctors do and this is when my cranky came out. Doctors change. This happens sometimes after a single season, sometimes after several, but part of the show is that the Doctor may just be another actor next time and that actor will fill the role in a wholly different way.
This is part of the joy of being a Dr. Who fan for me. What will the new Doctor be? How will I fall in love with him? What will be be like and how will he inhabit his responsibility? So when I heard whining about how the new choice wasn’t as handsome as Tennant from people who’d watched the show five minutes, it drove me nuts, LOL, because the POINT of the Doctor isn’t how cute he is – you fall in love with each Doctor for different reasons and at a different pace. That’s part of the pleasure – learning his wit, his way of handling danger, etc. Tennant did a fabulous job, but not because he was good looking, FFS.
So I turned my hearing off when people whined about the new Doctor without ever having seen him act in the part (this same thing happened when Daniel Craig was chosen to play Bond and he’s the best one yet). I turned off my hearing and I waited to make my decision until I saw it for myself.
My verdict, after the first episode? WOW. This Doctor is a nerdy badass. Oh how I love that! We haven’t had a nerdy badass in some incarnations so I’m thrilled to see where he takes it next. I love the story about him and Amelia Pond, I love that he was her Raggedy Doctor, I loved his absentmindedness and oh how I loved it when he confronted the aliens at the end and was like, “run” I may have squeed out loud at that point.
Lastly, I absolutely adored that they showed the faces of the other eight Doctors in that last scene.
So you’ve done it again, writers – you’ve created another Doctor who is wholly different than the last, and yet, fits in the long line of Doctors spanning decades. Well done!
Oh and we caught Survivors – a really fabulous post apoc show on BBC America that we’ve been addicted to this season. It’s coming to the end of their season and things are getting even darker. LOVE that.