Sunday, November 3, 2013


Readers, the few that I have, by now you must know that I am a HUGE fan of Doctor Who (yes, really).  I discovered the show last April--through a process that looked something like this:

Me: Hmm, a friend of mine is always posting about this show on Facebook--maybe I should check it out...

Me, after watching first episode with 9th Doctor: Hmm, well that was REEEEAAAAALLLLY cheesy, not sure if I want to keep watching, though it kinda reminds me of Star Trek: TOS, which I love. I've got nothing better to do, maybe I'll watch another episode.


And the show proceeded to take over my life, to the point now, where I have a TARDIS phone case, a TARDIS bathrobe, my boss gave me a Doctor Who card for my birthday, and a coworker 3D printed a Dalek for me.  All of which makes me insanely happy. :-D

I became a fan of the show, just in time for it to celebrate it's 50th anniversary this year, and to go to Comic-Con, where I managed to get into Hall H to see it's anniversary panel.  Yes, this whovian got to be in the same room as Matt Smith--twice! (Be still, my heart).

So, in celebration of Doctor Who, and the fact that it's airing it's 50th anniversary episode this month, I am renaming November to Whovember, and plan to post every week about my favorite show.

And there was much rejoicing.

For my first Whovian post this month, I thought I'd discuss the main character himself: The Doctor.  Now, I still haven't seen any Classic Who--as I've only just finally caught up with all the episodes of New Who.  So, because of this, this post will only focus on the New Who Doctors--9, 10, and 11.

The Doctor is what drew me into the show, and he is the reason I keep watching.  He is such a compelling main character, and the possibilities of stories you can tell with him are literally endless.  He's an alien who never dies, just regenerates, and can travel through all of time and space.  It's a gold mine of stories.

So let's begin with where it all began for me: The 9th Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston.

You can't travel through time? How sad.  I can. Like a boss.

There is a saying among Whovians, "You never forget your first Doctor."  For me, my first Doctor was 9. The ninth incantation of the Doctor was, a lot of the time, angry and bitter.  It is assumed that he regenerated out of the Time War, in which his species was destroyed, so it's understandable that he's carrying quite a lot of emotional scars from those events. He's also the only Doctor so far to dress in modern, normal street clothing, with his black leather jacket, as well as also being notable as the only Doctor without crazy/ridiculous hair.

Seriously, just look at the hair.

The 9th Doctor meets some of New Who's most popular companions, Rose, and Jack Harkness (who was so popular, he got a spin-off called Torchwood, which was actually my first exposure at all to the Whovian universe.)  Over the course of the Ninth's single season, we get to watch as Rose gradually helps him process and deal with his anger.  This is primarily the focus of the excellent episode, "Dalek," in which the Doctor comes face to face with his old enemy, and we get a glimpse of how deeply his is scarred by his experiences from the war.

Do you feel lucky punk? Do ya?
As angry and hurt the Ninth Doctor is though, he usually hides it behind a cheerful smile, in what really becomes the norm for the New Who Doctors.  He walks around with a casual and flippant air, cracks hilarious jokes, and has a wide, beaming smile.  His interactions with Rose and the various situations he finds himself in, often lead to genuinely funny moments, which a lot people I think, myself included, tend to forget about.

The Ninth Doctor is one of the most underrated Doctor in my opinion.  His single season is full of solid and excellent episodes, introduces, as I said, two of the most popular companions in the history of the show, and Christopher Eccleston also had the job of reintroducing the Doctor to an entire new generation of fans. Without Nine, there would be any New Who for us to enjoy at all, and for that, Nine will always have a spot in my heart.

Plus, check out his crazy awesome dance moves.

Now, we come to my favorite doctor, The 10th Doctor, played by the excellent David Tennant.  The Tenth Doctor remains one of the most popular Doctors of all time, and it has everything to do with how excellently David Tennant captured the character.  He took the foundations that Eccleston started, and built upon them, bringing us a bit more of the Doctor's back-story in the war, and conveying the highs and the heartbreaking lows of the Doctor's emotions, often within the same scene.

With the Tenth Doctor we also got to see a bit more of the romantic side of him.  His relationship with Rose develops into one of the most popular pairings in the history of the show, if not the most popular couple in the history of British television.

The Doctor: Rose, guess what I got you for Christmas?
Rose: A cute pair of shoes?
The Doctor: No.  I got you ALL OF TIME AND SPACE!
Rose: Best boyfriend ever!

His relationship with Rose would last for the whole of David Tennant's first season, during which we get to see a lighter, happier side of the Doctor, until (spoilers) he and Rose are separated in the season finale.  This caused fan-girls everywhere to have breakdowns and curse the universe for its cruelty.

After his separation from Rose, we see the Doctor revert back to a more distant, angry personality.  He's learned his lesson about love, and he's decided that it's not for him.  It's therefore painful to see him interact with his next companion, Martha Jones, who quite obviously loves him.  But the Doctor doesn't return her feelings.  Martha gets a lot of flak, I think, simply for being the replacement companion after Rose, and also for falling in love with the Doctor, but honestly, can you blame her?  Maybe it's because I didn't start watching the show until it was well into Matt Smith's run, but Martha never bothered me.  In fact, some of my favorite episodes fall under her time as a companion.  

The Doctor and Martha, hanging out with Shakespeare, quoting Harry Potter.
The English Lit major inside of me just died of a happiness overload.

Also with the Tenth Doctor, we get my favorite companion of all of New Who--Donna Noble.  Her and Ten's relationship is just hysterically awesome.  They're best friends, and I think Donna, more than Martha, really helps Ten move on from Rose's loss. 

You just know they're up to something.

Though at the same time, Donna reveals the cracks in his cheerful facade more than any other companion on the show, and it is her departure, (spoilers) with no memories of the Doctor that truly sends the Doctor into a downward spiral that ultimately culminates in him breaking down and going temporarily insane with the power of time.


The Tenth Doctor had it all--happy, heartbroken, angry, good, evil, funny, clever.  It's no wonder he remains so popular to this day.

But of course, eventually, he regenerates into The 11th Doctor played by Matt Smith.  Matt Smith had the insanely difficult job of playing the Doctor after one of the most popular Doctors of all time, but fortunately for the fans, he not only lived up to David Tennant's legacy, he carved one out for himself, also becoming a fan favorite.

Hello, I'm the Doctor.  Check out my crazy awesome hair.

The Eleventh Doctor is often thought of as one of the more 'alien' Doctor's, in that he doesn't conform to normal human behavior.  I really like that about him, as it often leads to hilarious scenes with him interacting with his bemused companions.  The Eleventh Doctor is also the youngest body he has yet to inhabit, which gives him the feel of a childlike personality at times.  But as we spend more time with him on the show, we quickly come to realize that the childlike persona is just a mask, and it covers the spirit of an old, broken man, who's lived through too many horrors.

What do you mean, you don't like my hair?

What I really enjoy about the Eleventh Doctor is how well the stories play around with the idea of interacting with a time-traveler.  For example, his companions meet a past version of himself, just after interacting with a future version, and the scene is played brilliantly, with the younger Doctor being confused and angry when he senses his companions are keeping information from him.

What I don't like about the Eleventh Doctor is that the story-lines turn him and the TARDIS into the two most important things in the Universe.  Like, when the TARDIS explodes, it has the power to destroy all of creation. Or everyone is obsessed with the Doctor's name, because it's supposedly, all powerful or something.  I don't know.  I found those story arcs very annoying and frustrating, and it's because of them that I can't quite love the Eleventh Doctor's run as I did with the Ninth, and the Tenth.  Don't get me wrong, I love Matt's portrayal of the Eleventh Doctor, and there are some episodes of his that I LOVE, for example, "The Doctor's Wife," but overall, I was really disappointed by the story arcs.

The Eleventh Doctor though, is still wonderfully entertaining.  Matt Smith is hilarious, and his Doctor is a combination of clumsiness, awkward limbs, and hilarious expressions.  He describes himself in the show as 'A madman with a box' and he truly does act like a madman.  He comes  across as an alien, and I do love Amy and Rory as his companions who have to put up with his bizarre behavior and interference in their lives.

"Cut my hair? That's just nonsense" 

It took me a while to get used to the new TARDIS design, but it grows on you.  We've yet to see this Doctor regenerate, but while part of me dreads to see the Eleventh go, the other part of me is super excited to see what the new Doctor will bring to the story.

Well, his hair won't be as awesome as mine, that's for sure.

Fun Fact of the Day: The Tardis prop used for the first series with Christopher Eccleston was put up for auction by Bonhams of London in 2010 and sold for £10,800, or around 17,200 US dollars.  But to be fair, you just bought all of time and space...

TTFN! Ta Ta For Now!

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