In S5E10, the 11th Doctor and his companion Amy travel back in time to figure out why strange creature is hiding in one of Van Gogh’s paintings. The episode does have some scenes that are more focused towards taking the creature out, but there also some scenes when the focus was on Van Gogh’s mental health. Specifically, Amy is very concerned for Van Gogh’s mental health while the Doctor is concerned but also knows that he cannot do too much to change history. The Doctor realize that Van Gogh is a troubled soul, but also the Doctor cannot say or do anything to Van Gogh to disrupt history. However, Amy does not see the situation through the Doctor’s perspective. This is where the problem comes in. Amy tries to figure out why Vincent van Gogh feels the way he does. Amy starts to build a friendship with Van Gogh, and he mistakes this friendship for love. Here is where I have a problem: even though, Amy is a good person and making sure someone is alright is fine. Despite this trait, the episode portrays Amy’s kindness as a cause of Vincent van Gogh’s downfall. It is evident that Amy is a caring person, but because she wanted to make sure that Van Gogh was okay, she ended up being a part of someone’s ultimate end. When the Doctor and Amy left Van Gogh without warning, Van Gogh felt abandoned by his friends. This might be me reaching for a reason to make Amy the villain, but she unwillingly made a mentally ill person attached to her all while knowing that she would have to return to her time period and leave Van Gogh behind.
The first full season of Matt Smith as the Doctor finishes with a sequence of episodes called “The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang.” The Doctor, Amy, Rory, and River Song are in Europe during the peak of the Roman Empire; an extraterrestrial prison, also known as the Pandorica, has manifested through the manipulation of Amy’s childhood. The Pandorica intended to house the most dangerous being in the universe. The twist of the episode is that the prison is for the Doctor. This is the first time the Doctor is portrayed as the likeable villain.
The Doctors greatest enemies from throughout all of time have teamed up in order to stop the Doctor for the last time. The audience gets to see how dangerous the Doctor appears to his enemies; his enemies go to great lengths to stop him. I personally love the idea of the Doctor being an “anti-hero.” It adds a different dimension to the Time Lord; he now is seen as a villain in a sense. It also adds a new layer to the motives of his enemies. For example, in this episode the Daleks are much more interested in stopping the Doctor than they are in eliminating humanity and taking over the entire universe.
Another instance in which we see the way people fear the Doctor is in the episodes, “A Good Man Goes to War,” and “Let’s Kill Hitler.” A group of people steal Amy and Rory’s baby because there were traces of Time Lord in its DNA. They condition the baby to be a weapon, and everything comes to fruition in “Let’s Kill Hitler” when River Song, who is Rory and Amy’s baby, attempts to kill the Doctor, saying it’s her mission in life. Over the course of Matt Smith’s tenure as the Doctor, the fear in which the Doctor instills in people manifests in brutal attempts to stop him. The Doctor may not be a stereotypical anti-hero, but in the eyes of his enemies, he’s their most dangerous villain in all the universe.
Before I had watched an episode with the eleventh doctor, I had already decided that I was not going to like him because I was just starting to get used to the tenth doctor. It took me quite a while to get used to David Tennant as the Doctor, so I assumed it would also take me a while to like Matt Smith as the Doctor. However, I really enjoyed the Matt Smith as the Doctor from the first episode I watched with him in it. I found the bit with him trying to find food that he liked to be very funny and I liked the way he interacted with Amelia. From all the mixed opinions I had heard about Smith, I was happily surprised with his performance.
The main reason I think I like Smith from the very beginning was because I enjoyed the plot of the episode and how episodes after that continued to connect with the first episode of the season. The episode was interesting and kept me invested through the entirety of it. I liked the new characters, and I liked the new Doctor’s quirkiness.
I think a large reason why I did not like Tennant right away, like I did Smith, was because I did not at all like the first episode that Tennant was in. I found the plot to be somewhat silly and boring and I did not like how different his personality seemed to be from Eccleston’s, because I really enjoyed him as the Doctor.
If I had to choose, I would say that Smith is my favorite Doctor so far and a lot of this has to do with his supporting cast. Amy is a good companion and I really like that Rory comes along to travel with her and the Doctor. Rory is a great character and, in my opinion, is the perfect combination of silly, oblivious, and somewhat intelligent.
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.
This video is great because it takes a show that is usually fun and quirky and puts an interesting darker spin on it. One of my favorite parts of Doctor Who is the constant question of how much influence the Doctor should have on the course of history. Is he making the right decisions? Would the universe be better off without him? How far is too far? And should anyone have that kind of power? My favorite episodes are the ones that explore this fine line between good and evil. I think this fan video highlights this well.