The Doctor’s Diverse Personalities

Now that I have watched Seasons 1-9 of the new Doctor Who TV series, I would like to write about the diversity in the 4 Doctors that I have watched grow and regenerate before my eyes. The first Doctor that I met was number 9, aka Christopher Eccleston, he is fresh out of the war on Gallifrey and is said to have PTSD from the actions that took place while fighting in this war. Eccleston’s portrayal of the Doctor was supposed to be aimed at the 21st audience, this is seen by his attire, which was a leather jack and black jeans, or black leather pants. He shows people his many personalities by being the hero in the first scene when we meet him, by saving Rose from the plastic army. We learn to love him as he learns to love Rose and we cry for him as he becomes emotional when he saves Rose’s life in the final moments before he regenerates into David Tennant. David Tennant becomes our beloved 10th Doctor and unlike Eccleston, Tennant ends up staying for 3 seasons. We finally get to see his personality through the choice of his clothing, which is a suit and his tan detective coat. This shows that he’s more curious about the world and the universe. This brought on more weird and supernatural episodes and we learn more and more of Tennant’s Doctor’s personality. Tennant portrays the Doctor as charismatic and charming whose likable and easygoing, most days, but it can easily be turned into fury and outrage when he is double-crossed. He also gives off this “years of sadness” vibe, which is reiterated when he regenerates into Matt Smith, by crying and saying he “doesn’t want to go.”

Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor version is a bit unique and crazy. This is seen by his different style change which is also a suit, but picks up different colored bowties. He is also different as he is the first Doctor to travel with 2 companions whom are in a developing relationship, and eventually seen as married, and they have a daughter whom turns out to be married to the 12th Doctor in her past and their future. His characteristics include being quick-tempered, but a compassionate man who uses his youthful appearance which differs with his more discerning and world-weary temperament. This temperament leads into crazy adventures and eventually causes him to get trapped on a planet and eventually die from old age, but gets granted a new regeneration cycle by the Time Lords, leading to him regenerating into Peter Capaldi. Peter Capaldi is the most boring seasons that I have watched out of all the other Doctors. He is also clothed differently in a mostly navy two-pieced suit. He is different from the other’s as he is older than the others we have seen and he portrays the Doctor as a “spiky”, brusque, contemplative, and pragmatic, he also tends to conceal his emotions especially if faced with tough and sometimes ruthless decisions.

As you can see the New Who has shown us many different personalities, faces, and costumes. These details may seem small, but they make up who we have begun to see as the Doctor. This also causes for very diverse and unique portrayals of the Doctor, as you can see in the examples above.

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The Dichotomy of the Doctor

I was inspired by our recent study of fanfiction, I started to think about why I loved the movies and shows that I love. After I began thinking about this, I determined that I loved the show due to the character that provided me the most comic relief parts but also allowed me to comfortably “feel” the sad or serious parts, and these shows were mainly action/adventure movies and shows. I love Guardians of the Galaxy because Groot is cute and funny throughout the movie, but also allows me to feel sad at the death of a character or scared when there is a dangerous scene. He enables me to feel the deep feelings a child would, who may be experiencing that connection and feeling for the first time. I love Star Wars because the droids allow me to feel both laughter and pain at various points of the movies. C3PO allows me to feel fear, R2D2 and BB8 allow me to feel both happiness and sadness. In many ways, these characters along with others, are the “pet-like” characters of the show. They allow for innocence and wide-eyed moments to happen in movies and shows that bring the watcher deeper into the show and let them connect to it. I believe that the Doctor is meant to be one of these characters. However, he isn’t as “pet-like”  because of his role as a main character in the show.  I think, though, that this allows the viewer to fall in love with the Doctor because he has the same emotional output as some of the more “pet-like” characters such as Groot or the Droids, which I believe added to the success of the show following the ninth doctor. Different from most main characters, the Doctor is the person making you laugh, cry, and be angry. The companion is the one that reacts to these most of the time. This dichotomy almost allows the viewer to emotionally connect even stronger to the show. Other main characters are more serious and full throttle to adventure type characters and its hard to give them the role of serious lead and make them funny or sweet. For example, Thor, however uneducated about Earth, is very full throttle into adventure and serious, not as much funny or goofy unless you watch the most recent Thor movie. Harry Potter is another example. He is very serious and then they pull Dobby in or Ron as comic relief or let the viewer experience sadness through Hermione. I think that Doctor Who has done something special by giving the Doctor the ability to be both the serious one, but also the funny, crazy, sad one and allows the viewer to feel with the companion through the Doctor. I feel this dichotomy of the Doctor is special and does not happen often in shows, making Doctor Who a special show and helps with its continuing success.

Similarities in the Doctor Incarnations

Christopher Eccleston set the stage of incorporating more diversity in the Doctor Who reboot being from the northern part of the United Kingdom. This was extremely diverse for the UK because everyone is to try to be posh and speak like the Queen does because that gives them status both economically and socially. Otherwise the Doctor is still a white British male who isn’t ginger yet. Though the Ninth Doctor didn’t seem to bring anything back from previous versions he rather built a new persona. The only thing he brought back was his know it all attitude that he carried otherwise the clothing was ‘normal’ for the Doctor. Nine was very rebellious and seemed to be trying to move on from any connection to his past.

David Tennant being Scottish brought an even broader audience because he is a more popular actor who brought more viewers. Though still not ginger the Tenth Doctor brought a new style of acting and clothing. Ten went back to an odd outfit with a suit, long coat, and converse but it is still not as out there as a long scarf or a celery stalk. He did however, bring back a lot of the fifth Doctor with the glasses and they each dash around but appreciate beauty in the things around them. They each also stand with their hands in their pockets in tense situations which gives a casual appearance. Ten also aligned with the First Doctor in his final days by becoming selfish and trying to avoid regeneration and moving on.

Matt Smith brought a youthful feel being the youngest Doctor ever cast. This many would say is an age chosen by the Doctor to hide an old weary soul. Smith portrays the Doctor a lot like the second Doctor because he is goofy, can be physically awkward, and his love of hats. This Smith has credited to being that the Second Doctor was the Doctor of the stories he watched after being cast due to not having Doctor Who while growing up. Eleven also kept a suit but had sand boots instead of converse and later adopted spectacles for a few episodes to go with Five and Ten. Smith when cast as the Doctor wasn’t well known but this role brought him to fame.

Peter Capaldi again being Scottish brought some variety to the Doctor. Capaldi is the oldest doctor cast other than John Hurt who only has appeared a few times playing the War Doctor. The show did play some on Capaldi being from Glasgow with Clara making a few jokes here and there. Twelve being older than his two previous incarnations showed that he is accepting the maturity that he showed in his earliest incarnations. In season eight Twelve had a style that reflected the Third Doctor with a look almost of a magician. And in season nine he adopts a ‘disheveled “cosmic hobo”’ look like the Second Doctor. However, he shares a lot of traits with the Third Doctor like the love of invention and a sense of flamboyance with dramatic pointing or poses.

Jodi Whittaker being female also brings another sense of diversity into the Doctors incarnations. However, she is still white so maybe the 14th Doctor will be a person of color. In her outfit, she adopts the stripes of the Fourth Doctor on her shirt, the long coat of the Tenth and Fourth Doctor, the boots and suspenders of the Eleventh Doctor, and high waisted trousers like the Second Doctor. So overall most of her look comes from previous incarnations. But still not ginger! So, we will see where the Thirteenth Doctor takes us and how she acts compared to her previous incarnations.

Image: tonyblews.co.uk

Favorite Fan Video

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.

A Children’s Show Adults Can Enjoy

The first time I watched Doctor Who was five years ago and I remember having a difficult time connecting with the show for the first couple of seasons. I was baffled by how it had such a great reputation when it was ultimately a children’s show that definitely seemed to be immature to me. As I continued to watch the show though I began to appreciate it, but that was ultimately because the later seasons are slightly more catered to an older audience.

Now that I am re-watching it and have just finished the first season, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this season. While I didn’t find this season to be any less immature than I did the first time, I was able to appreciate it by finding the underlying adult themes within each episode.

Two episodes that I had an especially difficult time connecting to my first time watching it was the two part The Aliens of London and World War Three. These episodes feature the alien Slitheen family who use a gas exchange in order to fit their relatively large bodies into a human’s smaller frame as a disguise. This gas exchange causes the Slitheens to fart more so than usual, which is obviously meant to be a bit of humor geared toward children. When you look past this childish humor though you can appreciate the deeper aspects of this episode. Those include Rose’s family and friends having been worried that she was either kidnapped or dead since she had been missing for a year, Mickey having been questioned by the police for possibly kidnapping his girlfriend, the police and her mother’s suspicion that The Doctor had taken advantage of Rose, and the metaphor for a corrupt government that was and still is relevant.

Doctor Who is a show that often times is childish but also tackles complicated and sometimes incredibly mature issues. I believe that a lot of people could enjoy this show if they are analytical while watching it and appreciate the deeper meaning behind all of the episodes.

Bye Bye Number Nine

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>

Early Claim for Favorite Doctor

 

Upon watching Classic Doctor Who I never understood how someone could come up with a favorite Doctor. The reboot allowed me to finally enjoy Doctor Who. Unfortunately, this lead me to get attached to the Ninth Doctor whose name is Christopher Eccleston. However, as I started season two it finally clicked to me that Christopher Eccleston could be my favorite Doctor.

When season two started I was used to Eccleston’s quirks, face, and overall acting. He is the Doctor that made me start to enjoy Doctor Who. I can give partial credit to Eccleston for changing the way I see Doctor Who, from homework to something I can actually sit down and enjoy. So, I would like to make the early claim and say Christopher Eccleston is my favorite Doctor in the reboot of Doctor Who.

Many of you avid fans might have a problem with me making this claim, especially because I have not seen much of other Doctor’s. From what I have heard around class and through the Facebook page is that the most popular favorite Doctor is Matt Smith. I have no clue why he is people’s favorite Doctor but that is something for me to figure out in later seasons of Doctor Who. Not only for you avid fans but myself I will do my best to keep an open mind when watching future episodes. This will give other Doctor’s a chance to live up to the standards that Eccleston has set for me.

Some reasons I have for liking Christopher Eccleston over David Tennant is how Eccleston delivers his comedy, his dress and overall relationship with Rose. In my opinion Eccleston brought comedy to Doctor Who when it was non-existent in Classic Doctor Who. Yes, you can argue that David Tennant is funny as well, but personally I think his acting ability to deliver comedy is sub par to Christopher Eccleston. Another reason I like Eccleston over Tennant is I enjoy how Eccleston dresses. I feel like it fits the personality of someone who saves the world countless times. Tennant’s dress is more formal and therefore I feel like it would be hard to do his job. The dress of the Doctor’s helps portray their style. Each Doctor is going to have a different style and I feel that Eccleston’s laid back dress allowed me to connect with his laid back attitude that brought comedy and a romantic but fun relationship with Rose. Eccleston’s relationship with Rose is one that I enjoyed to watch and play out in the first season. I never knew what exactly what was going to happen between the two. There was obvious sexual tension between the two but since the Doctor lives forever he has to see his companions or lovers get old and die off while he is forced to live on. This has to be hard for the Doctor he does not want to get too attached but I like how Eccleston got attached to Rose. It is another reason that I started to enjoy watching Doctor Who.

So like I said before I will keep my mind open for runners of my favorite Doctor as we continue watching. However, I still stick with my early claim in saying that Christopher Eccleston is my favorite Doctor.

 

Side note: Upon researching the names for the Doctor’s in the reboot of Doctor Who I found that all of the new Doctor’s have a height of six feet or above. Take that or leave that as you will but I found it interesting.

 

Finally, I will leave with these meme because it is of the limited amounts that actually make sense to me.

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