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Posts Tagged ‘Doctor Who’

The Companion Piece or Why I Don’t Like the Kissing Doctor Trend April 12, 2009 5 Comments

Since writing the article about the impending Tennant/Smith change over, I’ve gotten some emails from people about this subject. Thanks, by the way. I always enjoy constructive comments, even if you happen to be utterly wrong and disagree with me. (I jest. For the record, I’ll approve all comments that aren’t hateful and miserable.) It’s not because I don’t like change, that I’m a ‘Who’ traditionalist or a prude. It’s down to a couple very simple facts. Well, they’re facts in my world, to others they may only be opinions.

A myriad of mostly female Companions.

A myriad of mostly female Companions.

When I was a little girl, there wasn’t a lot of female characters on shows that weren’t there primarily for eye-candy purposes and to be the hero’s make-out partner. Naturally, I didn’t consciously know this at the time but there’s a reason I loved Sarah-Jane Smith so dearly growing up. She was spunky, brave, compassionate, funny, clever, resourceful and….much further down the line in importance….attractive. I always felt that The Doctor picked his Companions based on the junk your parents insisted mattered most – your inner self, not what you look like. He did this because he’s better than us, more evolved and much much smarter. Like, if The Doctor had a choice between Kate Moss and Dawn French; there’d be no contest – he’d pick Dawn. Not to say that Ms. Moss is devoid of smarts or that Ms. French isn’t pretty but I imagine that Dawn would be handier in a crisis on Planet Scary and then she’d make a funny joke which would crack him up after said crisis was averted. I liked Rose and Martha, both of them were mostly positive characters but the ‘I wanna get in The Doctor’s pants and have his intergalactic time-babies’ shtick that permeated through their story-lines got, well, kind of boring. It introduced a ’silly, fawning girlie’ side to them that was pointless. Then, Donnas’ too-often insistence that she and he were not a couple; no way, no how, was too much in the opposite direction. Why make sex a big issue at all in this programme? One of the major factors of the show which I’ve enjoyed all my TV loving life was that it wasn’t like every other show on TV, it was engaging and imaginative enough to forgo that easy route. Don’t give in now, Writer-People! (more…)

Why David Tennant Leaving ‘Doctor Who’ Kind Of Sucks April 9, 2009 9 Comments

Billy, Paddy, Johnny, Tommy, Petey, C-Dog, Sly, Paulie, Chrisy and Davey.

Clockwise from top left: Billy, Paddy, Jonny, Tommy, Petey, C-Dog, Sly, Paulie, Chrisy and Davey.

(And why Matt Smith deserves a decent chance)

As Easter approaches, so does the beginning of the end for one of the most beloved actors to play The Doctor – David Tennant. The girls love him and the blokes feel that he could be their mate. He dresses like a dandy yet exudes a shambolic ‘Gen-X’ vibe. He’s an incredibly gifted actor and his comedic and dramatic work on Doctor Who, film, other TV and the stage, is pretty damn exceptional.  He gives lots of time to charities and seems to have his head firmly on his shoulders. He attracts most demographics. He’s been an amazing Doctor. He’s probably a dead-on person, the sort that would buy you a pint if you were short on cash. But those aren’t the reasons why it kind of sucks that David Tennant is abdicating from ‘Who’. It’s a good time for the torch to be passed to another; that’s the enduring, fascinating element of the character. It’s a tough old life, being Gallifrey’s Prodigal Rebel Child, and the nature of the beast is all about change. You can’t fight nature.

(The mantle must be passed but it doesn’t mean that Blast-From-The-Past-Doctors can’t return. NOTE – I made a donation to the CIN charity for using this clip. Cos I’m a nice, moral girl (stop snickering, People That Know Me) and it’s a good cause. Karma, baby.)

Why it kind of sucks is because Tennant was really the first actor that made public what every ‘Who’ fan already suspected but couldn’t get confirmation on- that being The Doctor is a bloody brilliant gig. If you can’t be an actual Timelord, then playing him is the next best thing. He treated the role like a treasured heirloom that had been passed down to him and declared happily, “it’s the best job in the world”, “a dream come true” and “I have my own TARDIS!”  He spoke about running amok in a long, multi-colour scarf and standing in line for Tom Baker’s autograph as a boy. Tennant was one of us, a true ‘Whovian’, and he flew his geek-flag proudly. Not for him was the exasperated head-shake, eye-roll and subtle (or not, in some cases) put-downs that some of the other actors partook in when asked about their time as The Doctor. Funnily, his example has led some of those very same actors to do a complete 180 and now wax lyrical about how enjoyable their turn was; Tennant made it okay to be proud of it. Either that or they have mortgage payments coming up and need some ‘cameo-cash’. He described obsessive fans as ‘exuberant’ instead of ’sad’, ‘annoying’ or ‘pathetic’- personally, I love the show, obviously but I don’t always like the more ‘exuberant’ fans. For some, ’scary’ and ‘needs to get a life’ doesn’t begin to do them justice. Apparently, he’s a good sport for posing for pictures with people that ask politely at appropriate times and he routinely and profusely thanks his many admirers for being so generous towards him. Eccleston revived the part and saved it from the barrel marked ‘Jokey Pop Culture References’ with his Proper Actor status and gave it gravitas. Tennant then took that a step further and made being a fan-boy (or girl!) enjoyable. Basically, it was cute to hear him talk about writing essays in school about how he wanted to be The Doctor and all that lark. He’s had to tell stories like that so much that I kind of cringe for Tennant when an interviewer asks him to tell these anecdotes yet again. Fair play though, he always reacts like it’s the first time. Like I said; he’s a good actor.

Is it any wonder he is the only Doctor, since the hey-day of the 70’s, to topple Sir Tom of Baker in the ‘Favourite Doctor’ polls? (more…)