Your Were My Doctor

Doctor Who did an 8-minute piece for Children in Need this year, revisiting the idea of multiple Doctors. But I'll let you watch it:

What starts out as fanfic fare from maverick writer Steven Moffat (all the pokes at the 80s era, the 5th Doctor's tropes and the fans, the name dropping, etc. etc.) turns magical in the last minute when Tennant breaks that fourth wall for us and calls Davison's Doctor, HIS Doctor.

I'm not particularly interested in knowing if that's David Tennant's opinion or Moffat's, but it is SOMEone's. It might even be mine. After all, I could only watch Who in repeats here in Canada, and stations would usually run the adventures of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Doctors and ignore the rest. Maybe you'd get a Hartnell or a McCoy from time to time, but these seemed like anomalies. My first Doctor was the 4th, yes, but the story seemed to end with the 5th's. So until the 1996 TV Movie, Davison was my "last" Doctor. And since the TVM wasn't picked up as a series, Davison remained firmly in position until BBC World started churning out DVDs from across Classic Who, and then of course, the new series.

Time Crash acknowledges the idea that every Doctor is SOMEONE's Doctor. Fandom sometimes tends to be divisive about which Doctors are good and not, and which eras are good and not, but your rubbish might be my gold. I know I'm in the minority when I say Sylvester McCoy is close to the top of my favorites' list. I can now say without restraint that the 5th Doctor's era was most often pretty terrible, and yet I have an emotional investment in that version of the character. And depending on when you grew up, or when you discovered Who, you might love any of them the same way - apologetically perhaps, but no less intensely.

Tennant also gets to acknowledge his debt to Davison, since he did in part model his performance on the energetic, youthful 5th Doctor. It's what Doctor Who now does best: One minute you're laughing and the next, you're holding back the tears. I LOVED this. And I can't wait for this year's Christmas special, Kylie Minogue and all.


Anonymous said...

I started off with Tom Baker who was my vision of the Doctor, but over the years I've learned to love them all.

I'll admit though that some of the Hartnell ones are difficult to watch now, but some are still outstanding.

Siskoid said...

I have more trouble with Doctors 2, 3, 5 and 6's eras, but of course, I like the Doctors and some of the Companions anyway.

Well, for the 6th Doctor, I usually only like him on audio, though those performances make me warm up to his tv persona as well.

De said...

While most of the 5th Doctor stories do suck (and Tegan is certainly no help there), Peter Davison plays the role with such charm that I can't help but watch.

Siskoid said...

Tegan is at least tolerable in the better stories, but that's not a glowing recommendation of her character, nor is saying that at least, she's not Adric.

Sometimes I try to imagine the 80s as if they'd gotten New Who's treatment. If Tegan and Nyssa and Peri had been allowed to grow, have character moments instead of personality moments, what would it have been like. We can look to the audios for a more modern sensibility, but since those stories must occur in between televised episodes, they can't really grow there either.

De said...

After some thought after reading your comment, I agree with your assessment wholeheartedly. And despite my dislike of Tegan as portrayed in the series, that is one damn cool card you made of her for the CCG.

Siskoid said...

Thanks De. One of four over the last 3 years, but probably the best of the bunch.

Well at least I'm improving.

Anonymous said...

I'd go as far as to say that the Seventh Doctor is my favourite, but then (as the recent special underlines) your favourite always seems to be the one you first watched as a kid.

That said, from Remembrance onwards I don't think there's a misstep in McCoy's run, even watching them now. In some ways, if I were feeling particularly critical, I'd say that the writing was better than the actor playing the Doctor, while in Davidson's case the Doctor was better than the stories he was in.

Siskoid- when you're done with the Treks, will you do something similar with Who?

Siskoid said...

I agree with your assessment of the Doctors/actors/eras.

As for doing the same with Who, I don't think so, because 1) I was heavily inspired by someone who did this with Who on Outpost Gallifrey; 2) I just haven't seen every story, nor would I be able to (especially on a daily basis); and 3) I've done larger episode reviews and articles on the new series and will continue to do so as the stories air (just click on the Doctor Who keyword to get yourself the backlog.)

Finishing Trek is more than a year away, so I haven't given thought to what happens after that.

Gordon D said...

I have to be honest, there are only two Doctors that I really don't care to watch.

The first is Hartnell - however, given that he was the first in the role, I can let that go. I think the early attempts to transition from children's viewing to family viewing are slightly awkward, but I can't really fault him.

The second is Colin Baker - but I can let that go because his character is actually better served on audio than during his televised tenure. The script quality is relatively lackluster (with only four scripts - Varos, Revelation, Mark of the Rani, and Two Doctors - slightly enjoyable), but with the BBC situation...I can let that go.

Personally, I think there are dollops of genius in every Doctor...but that's just me.

Siskoid said...

It's not just you, Gordon. I like them all in some way or other, including Peter Cushing, let's not forget him!

Hey folks, if you're starting out in Whodom and are looking for recommendations, you could do worse than check out Gordon's list on Blog This!

Colin said...

So does this mean we'll see a "Time Crash" Davison in the CCG at some point? the 10th Doctor set would be as good as anywhere ;)

Siskoid said...

Shhh... don't give my plans away ;)


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