Tuesday, 15 March 2011

A Doctor a Day 9: Fantastic!

The Doctor & Dalek

"Run!" In TV's greatest (re)introduction, The Doctor returned with a bang, and though his 9th incarnation lasted only one series he managed to leave his fantastic mark on an old and a new generation of fans. He came from nowhere, dressed in a battered leather jacket and carrying the scars of a war beyond human comprehension. A Time War, waged against the merciless Daleks. This Doctor was a man who had seen unimaginable horrors; a man who had watched/caused the destruction of his species and his planet. He was alone, he was angry, he had a Northern accent ("lots of planets have a North!") and he strode through the Universe like an unstoppable force. Because he was one, and he knew it.

Christopher Ecclestone's Doctor is one of the best portrayals there is, partly because he had the hard task of bringing the character to a new and sceptical generation, and partly because he had to play a whole new Doctor; a man who loved Humanity but who had been so irreparably damaged by war that he saw the universe through jaundiced eyes. It's a complex, brilliant performance and one underrated by many. He revels in the little cliches of Humanity but is easily aggravated by them. Ultimately though, you know he is the Doctor, because he's willing to give up everything, even his own life, whether for the entire Earth and just one girl.

Monday, 14 March 2011

A Doctor a Day 10: Well...Allons-y!

The Doctor & Cyberman

"Hello! Ooh, new teeth, that's weird..." And so Doctor 10 was born, with one of the most memorable lines in the show's history. It wouldn't be the 10th Doctor's most memorable line though; he was full of catchphrases, from 'Allons-y' to 'I'm so sorry' to 'Well...' (the link is well worth checking out for that last one by the way) and his final, heartbreaking line 'I don't want to go!'. Over 4 years on our screens he picked up quite a few verbal mannerisms, and quite a few enemies too: parallel world Cybermen, Ood, a newly-regenerated Master, Sontarans, and Vashta Nerada.

In his slim-fit suit, a swishy coat, and Converse All Stars, he was a Doctor far more in touch with humanity than any before or since. Perhaps its why David Tennant's excellent portrayal was so well received by fans and the public. His Doctor was one that could easily be related to, and his style much-admired by fans and fashionistas everywhere, but it does lead to the least alien portrayal of the Time Lord to date. But that fits in with the Doctor's story arc: he was a man who was used to humanity again, after his predecessor had been so detached from it.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

A Doctor A Day 11: Don't blink; fezzes are still cool.

The Doctor (with cool fez) & Weeping Angel

"I wear a fez now. Fezzes are cool," proclaimed The Doctor last year, and instantly the fez became the headwear of choice for millions of kids across the country. So here's our hat-loving Doc, checking out his fez in a mirror. If you know how a weeping angel works then this cartoon becomes funny. If not, then you really need to watch an episode with them in: they're one of the greatest and scariest monsters ever devised.

I love Matt Smith's Doctor. His take on the character is old and new, classic but full of surprises; human but packed alien traits. Above all though, you really do believe he's playing an ancient man in a young body. With every look, every hand gesture, you just feel like you're watching a man who's seen the great horrors and beauties across the expanse of Time. His is the most alien Doctor we've had since the 70s - even his clothing speaks of a creature who's seen plenty of humanity but never quite got the hang of it, hence the love of bizarre headgear.
Don't get too attached to the fez though. Doctor Who returns on the 23rd of April...with a brand new item of millinery that no doubt every child will harangue their parents for: a Stetson. All together now: "Stetsons are cool..."