Spoiler alert: the Doctor dies. Another spoiler alert: he comes back as David Tennant. (oh la la!)
Now this is the first time that I’ve seen Doctor Who. Watching the old who episodes I didn’t think that I was going to get so into the show. And going into the first season of new who I also wasn’t quite sure what I should expect. Would I like it more than the old who? Well one thing I especially didn’t expect was that I would get so close to the Doctor and feel so torn when the ninth doctor died.
I would say this especially surprised me when some of the episodes with the ninth doctor didn’t even take my attention that well. They would start off well and grab my attention, but as the episode went on I just lost interest. I would watch them for class, but honestly, I don’t think I would ever watch some of those again. It was hard to keep my attention to write down what was going on. Yet here I am at the last episode with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and my eyes start to tear up. I look over at my roommate (who is a huge fan of Doctor Who) and wonder how she has gone through this with how many doctors she has watched.
Doctor Who is a totally new experience for me. Yes, I’ve watched the occasional show about aliens, but nothing about aliens and time travel. It’s certainly different than things that I have watched before. I have gotten pretty sucked in. And boy oh boy will I still be sucked in with David Tennant. Especially since my tears got sucked RIGHT back into my eyes when I saw David Tennant. I always knew that the doctor regenerated, but it doesn’t seem true until you see it actually happen. Watching the episode in class with David Tennant as the Doctor got me pretty excited. It brought back in my excitement for Doctor Who. It drew me in and made me super excited for the tenth Doctor. Maybe this time I will be more prepared for when he regenerates, but probably not…
In one of David Tennant’s final adventures, a team of his most famed companions/allies is formed. The team consisting of Harriet Jones, Rose Tyler, Jack Harkness, Sarah Jane Smith, and Martha Jones come together to aid the Doctor in stopping the end of the world. This gallery of characters were iconic during the adventures of previous incarnations of the Doctor and Tennant’s edition of the Time Lord. Their presence in “The Stolen Earth/ Journey’s End” helps provide a storybook ending to Tennant’s run as the Doctor, but is it’s unfair to the characters that the viewers grew to love during the tenth Doctor’s adventures.
Rose Tyler traveled with both Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant’s version of the Doctor. She added continuity to a somewhat abrupt change to the iconic role. She anchored Tennant in the first few episodes of season two, and she also gave the viewer some continuity within the show. At the end of Tennant’s run, we are given closing points for Rose, Jack, Sarah Jane, Martha, and Donna. This bookend for the series was beneficial in that it gave the show a “mini-reboot,” but it hurt the show in that the eleventh Doctor didn’t have a continuity point from the tenth Doctor, and seemed very lost in his first adventure.
Rose was a dynamic character that the viewers already knew, and this made assimilating the new Doctor much simpler. In Matt Smith’s first episode, he acknowledges his former versions of himself, but not his former companions. This feels out of character for the Doctor, and it hurts the chance for these former companions to appear alongside the eleventh regeneration of the Doctor. Without watching ahead, I think this is a disservice to the characters that travelled with Ten, and it also hurts the mythology of the famous television show.
Christopher Eccleston, the ninth Doctor, has never been my favorite Doctor. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t mind skipping the first season of the rebooted Doctor Who and head straight into watching David Tennant, who is definitely one of my favorites. However I’ve started to question why Christopher Eccleston was only the Doctor for a single season. I’ve heard many rumors, but decided to do some research myself on the topic.
I found an article written by Stephen Kelly, a writer of The Guardian, which focuses on the mystery of why Eccleston left after only one season. According to Kelly, Eccleston resigned from Doctor Who after not being able to see “eye to eye” with the cast and crew. Later on in the article, Stephen Kelly mentioned that Eccleston left hints that there might be more to why he left Doctor Who than what he said in his interview.
For the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, multiple Doctors appeared in the episode, including Matt Smith and David Tennant. However, Christopher Eccleston decided to not return for the 50th anniversary. Was stepping on the set of Doctor Who truly bad enough that Eccleston didn’t want to risk a single episode there again?
After looking at a few more sources, I can say that all of the articles I looked at on this topic have come the same conclusion and are referencing the same interview. Perhaps if Christopher Eccleston stayed another season I might have grown fond of him. Either way, I’m happy with the research I’ve found and I’m thrilled with the outcome of David Tennant.
<Click Here for Stephen Kelly’s Article>