You might be reading your feed readers or looking at that entry title and thinking I have finally gone mad. Finally lost my mind, simply throwing out random words and creating nonsense that sounds quite silly. No, that happened a long time ago! Hopefully some of you will have understood what the title is actually relating to, and what is my favourite show on television asides from sport like Formula One. This television program, well you may have heard of it… it’s called Doctor Who! In all seriousness though (Yes, you can be serious with that show for you silly doubters!) I can’t stress enough how much I enjoy every second of the modern re-launch of the much loved series. After thoroughly enjoying/reading an excellent entry by Christine over at her personal blog (SmarterThanYourAverage.com) discussing her personal favourite 5 episodes of the modern reincarnation, there was simply no way, after being inspired by that fantastic entry, that I could go through the evening without talking about the show and what makes it so brilliant for me in my own little corner of the interwebs.
Let’s face it; the show is immensely popular. Millions upon millions of people not just within the UK but around about the legacy of the Doctor and his sci-fi antics in all corners of the galaxy. It has been around for decades, and if you’re a fan of the show, you will know what I mean when I say that you ‘have your own doctor’. As you can probably assume already, a certain Mr David Tennant is without a shadow of a doubt my doctor. Yes, I know about the erratic brilliance of Tom Baker and that booming voice, or the witty impulsiveness of Peter Davidson, plus the fact when I started watching the show in it’s modern form it was given a new lease of life via the gritty but strangely appealing Christopher Ecclestone (Ecclestone… where do I recognise that name?). Nevertheless, Tennant has been a figurehead for so many audiences in the modern run of Doctor Who – he appeals to children and to adults in his own brilliant ways, he has that likable quality about him to allow new fans of the show to become followers of the show, and he also brings in everything a Doctor should have for the old school fans. Sadly, his reign will be up as the Doctor by the end of 2009 as he hands over the torch, or the Tardis so to speak, to Matt Smith – before I make a final decision of Smith, it’s only fair we see what he does as his Doctor but I will admit, I do have many worries as to how he can follow up David Tennant. For all I know, he could be incredible and be quite something; when the choice of Catherine Tate was announced in terms of being the Doctor’s companion, it came from much conserved criticism and quite a confused attitude from myself, but she became my favourite companion. Her attitude was refreshing in her relationship with the Doctor, her general appeal was completely different to that of Rose and Martha, and she was exceedingly funny; it was obvious Tate thoroughly enjoyed every second she was involved on Doctor Who, and that she had given as much influence into her character as possible. So for all we know yet, Mr Smith (See, it already works considering the Doctor’s alias!) could be the next big thing.
Over time with the progression of the modern series’, I’ve seen lots of people simply write it off as a kids program – this is quite simply one of the most ignorant, narrow minded viewpoints I hear about the show. I won’t deny the obvious, and that is that Russell T. Davies absolutely keeps in mind with every single episode he produces that the show does keep a younger audience in mind, and so it should. The appeal of the show itself is that it appeals to EVERY age though, not just children! I’ll give you an example with an episode; my favourite episode of the modern adaptation is the thrillingly brilliant Blink. The synopsis of the episode runs through the story of a young British woman finding a hidden message through the form of DVD extras and easter eggs, and further uncovering the Weeping Angels, a race that take the form of everyday statues that kill when a target blinks or looks away from them. if you find such a story stupid, or unbelievable, you should – that’s what makes every single episode so bloody brilliant! In Blink’s case, the story was incredible – it features such a little amount of the Doctor in it’s 45 minute timeslot, and yet is arguably the best episode for my own opinion. It excited, it thrilled, hell for me it frightened!! you know those screamers you find on the internet, that flash an image and scream loudly quickly? It even had that! So much for a kids show. The show consistently creates such an aura from the content it creates that truly makes it out of this world, the stories are totally completely mad, and the way they are portrayed, written, acted out, and produced make then 45 minutes of gripping, exciting, and thankfully amusing television. Sure, it’s not Hollywood effects but it’s the best damn thing on television for me when the series go out and I could never in words sum up how enjoyable I find every second of Doctor Who. Everybody deserves to give the show a chance because I still truly believe so many people are missing out on an excellent drama that may simply be dismissed because of silly little reasons. It has a protagonist that has a huge, rich history and back-story created by simply the best writers in the business, it has a sidekick that usually is a fantastic character and an excellent addition to the show (I wasn’t a fan of Martha, but I shalln’t go there…) and every single episode is special to me because of one simple reason – they’re always different and yet they’re always Doctor Who.
It does make me sad that we haven’t got a series until next year to love and cherish, and it does feel kind of wierd at the same time though annoyingly. When we had the third series, there was a brilliant arc leading up the the finally where the series would constantly hint at the return of The Master, a fellow time-lord notorious for being one of the Doctor’s enemies no matter how much The doctor reached out to him, and when we got to that finale, it created the most epic feeling in the way it was presented. Every week you could just see it building and building, you would keep your eye out for special events in episodes, you would see adverts on television hinting and it was the same with the fourth series leading up to that huge encounter with Davros and The Doctor – it’s that feeling that I miss just as much as I do the show at the moment. The excitement of not knowing what to expect next even though you just know in your mind what is coming around the corner, the hinting and teasing of the future for The Doctor and the presentation of the show created such a great atmosphere for fans I felt, and without the show around, television feels a lot more empty to me.
Long live the future of Doctor Who. I say this, but I also should say, long live the history of Doctor Who! Before the modern series had made it’s way onto BBC1 once more on our Saturday evenings, I had only watched a few episodes in all honesty – mostly Baker, Pertwee and Davison episodes. They were undoubtedly enjoyable and I have no reason to believe if I watched the entire back classic catalogue I’d love it, but if I’m honest with you, I’m more than happy to stick with my modern Doctor. Yes, we have a new future with Matt Smith at the helm of being the Doctor when Tennant moves onto new things at the end of the year (God, how good is that finale going to be for Tennant though?!) but we have a new breath of fresh air with Stephen Moffat at the helm of being the genius that puts it all together, replacing Russell T Davies. It goes without saying I am excited and I’m nervous at the same time for this – Smith is an unknown, but so what? Like I say earlier, he could be anything. He has Moffat behind him and if there’s anyone I can place faith in to continue producing this genius show, its him. Russell did a grand job to be fair to him - he created new characters that he wasn’t afraid to unleash into the wonderful world of the Lone Wanderer. Yes, he overused the Daleks and Cyberman I will admit, and yes, at times he probably did things in a pretty stupid way that could have been explained better, but he introduced us to Rose Tyler and her fantastic family, he laid the foundation for some incredible pieces of television on Saturday nights, he created new vital characters in the Doctor’s world (Just look at how popular Captain Jack was for example, and even smaller characters like Donna’s uncle Wilf who I personally though was beyond legendary status!) and of course, probably his most important achievement, he was the man that got the BBC to bring back the show to our screens. So with his and Tennant’s departure, I still remain positive. The future is just as important as the history, which seems appropriate for the context of the show really.
Now I wish I could travel back in time and watch everything for the first time once more… where are you, Doctor?!