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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Favorite Doctor

Before I took this class, I would have said that Matt Smith was my favorite doctor, because I had seen the most episodes with him and because he was the doctor I started with. Now that I’ve seen all of Eccelston and Tennant, I’m not sure who my favorite doctor is. I really like Nine because he can be snarky and fun, but he also has several moments where you can see a lot of fear, anger, and sadness in him. I think that’s true for all of the New Who doctors, but I do think there’s something special about Eccelston. Ten is a bit more fun and zany than Nine. He makes a lot of insane statements and does crazy things that really fits the “Mad man in a box” description. Eleven goes even further in that direction, and then Twelve goes back to the “Grumpy old man” description. I wish I was better at describing what makes each of them special, but they are, and I’m grateful for all of them.

I don’t understand how people choose a favorite when they’ve seen all of the episodes. It’s like choosing a favorite child. I love them all. I especially don’t understand why some people say to skip Nine and start with Ten. Not only is Nine fantastic, but a lot happens in the first season that is frequently referenced or characters that were introduced in the first season are brought back several times in future seasons. It’s like skipping the first few chapters in a book. There’s bound to be important information in those first few chapters.

Anyway, I think I’m just bad at choosing in general. Although it is easy for me to say that my favorite companion is Donna. I’m not sure why, I just connect with her the most. Maybe it’s just hard to choose a favorite doctor because, in the end, they’re all the same character. Yes, each regeneration has a unique spin to the character, but in the end they’re all the same person. I see every doctor as an extension of the previous ones, so there’s not really a need to choose a favorite. They’re all the doctor and that makes them special.

Doctor Reunion

When will we see another Doctor reunion? We have only had one in New Who so far to this point. Actually, I am not sure about this Christmas special or whatever the episode was where the twelfth Doctor meets the first Doctor. I also just remembered the children in need mini episode where the tenth Doctor met the fifth Doctor.  It would be interesting to look at how many times in classic who did doctors meet other incarnations of themselves.

Well, I looked into it. The answer is 4 times. I thought it would be higher than that but it makes sense. So now the show has been running form its continuation for about 13 years. Classic who ran from 1963 to the late 80’s. Let’s say around 25 years. Well if we don’t count the children in need episode and we don’t count the recent episode than we really only have one true storyline that includes multiple doctors in new who. I, as a fan, am not satisfied with this. I want more. I don’t just mean the Doctor either, I want the companions to come back too. I want River back the most. I know she was just in the Christmas special last year but I hate that now we have basically closed the character. Who knows though. I still have hope.

Now, I know that if we have multi-doctor storylines all the time then they cease to be special but I just really want a nice storyline with Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen. Just imagine it. The Day of the Doctor but way better! I have seen some interviews with David Tennant and Matt Smith where the interviewer asks about a possibility of returning to the show. Each time that is asked I see David or Matt responding that they would love to but it needs to be the right time. They don’t want to come back too often otherwise it will not be as good. This gives me hope that in the future I will see an awesome multi-doctor episode. This is probably likely to happen on the 60th Anniversary of the show in 2023. That may seem like a long ways away but I can remember 2013 like it was only yesterday.

All that being said, I think the fans would love to see more crossovers between the different Doctor incarnation. I am torn between the possibility of the scenario getting too boring but also the fact that it would mean my favorite characters would be coming back.

 

 

The Thirteenth Doctor

Who is the new Doctor? Jodie Whittaker plays the Thirteenth Doctor and she is the first female Doctor of the series. I think that having a female Doctor is extremely groundbreaking. Since the beginning of Doctor Who, all of the Doctors have been male, but the idea of a female Doctor had been explored. However, it didn’t come into being until the Thirteenth Doctor of the 2005 Doctor Who reboot.

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To have a female Doctor is very exciting because there is now an opportunity for children to have a new hero. Times are changing and the world is becoming less of a male dominated place. Women are being put in job positions that were previously seen as impossible for women and they are fighting for equality in all aspects. One example that I can think of is the new Wonder Woman movie that came out. I remember working at my church’s Vacation Bible School and hearing all of the younger children talking about how cool Wonder Woman was and how they wanted to be like her or that she was their new favorite hero. I would think that a young girl would be extremely excited to watch a tv show where the main character was a female instead of a male. Even though women are gaining more opportunities in today’s society, there aren’t as many shows with a female lead as there are with male leads.

There have been mixed feelings about Jodie as the new Doctor. Some, such as David Tennant and some of the previous Doctors, have shown great support and happiness at the news of Jodie being the new Doctor. Others, do not support the idea of a female Doctor and have lashed out at Doctor Who. These people are so upset at the idea of a female Doctor that they say that they will stop watching it because the producers have ruined the show and they should cancel it. Looking at some of the comments from the people who are against a female Doctor is very frustrating because they seem petty and rude. They don’t want to even try to see how Jodie portrays the Thirteenth Doctor before they decide that they don’t want to watch it. These reactions seem similar to every time there is a new regeneration, because everyone has their own favorite Doctor and become upset when someone replaces them. For me, I am very excited for the Thirteenth Doctor and to see Jodie’s portrayal of the Doctor.

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David Tennant, Wow What a Character You Are!

I remember watching the last episode of season one come to a close with the 9th Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) regenerating into his new body. It was an interesting thing to watch as I saw The Doctor look as if he was on fire, bending his back looking as if he was in pain during the process. For the first time seeing this I thought to myself this is not what I imagined at all. When I thought about how a regeneration process was going to take place I had in my head that The Doctor would die and then all on the next season they would start to show a new actor as him. Clearly this was not the case. The Doctor’s new body started to grow thick brown hair on his head as well as a long thin face. This was the new Doctor, the 10th Doctor, David Tennant.

Quickly I started the next season to see what happens next. Episode 1: The Christmas Invasion began with The Doctor unconscious while aliens were invading the city of London. For most of this episode The Doctor is this way until finally after he is fully regenerated he comes out of the TARDIS a new man. Tennant opens up the doors and with a smirk on his face he rhetorically asks, “Did you miss me?” At that moment I knew that David Tennant was going to be a completely different character for The Doctor than Christopher Eccleston was.

I very much enjoyed the part when The Doctor walked up to the Sycorax Leader snapped his weapon in half with his leg and points to him saying, “Now you just wait, I’m busy.” Hearing Tennant say this I could tell that he was going to use more humor in his character. As I kept watching Tennant did just that. With his sarcastic attitude he walks over to the big threatening button and presses it acting like a child, adding humor to the show.

David Tennant ended this particular episode with picking out his outfit. He was no longer going to wear the thick black leather jacket anymore. Instead he chooses a much more Sherlock Holmes type of outfit. Going with a brown pinstripe suit with a pair of converses for his shoes and a long light brown trench coat falling to the floor. As I have watched this show for a while now I know realize that each separate actor puts their own spin on The Doctor’s character. I greatly appreciate this though because it keeps the show interesting. David Tennant known as the 10th Doctor for some and the Doctor who wears the pinstripe suit, but for me I know David Tennant as the actor who added humor to The Doctor’s character in the show Doctor Who. 

I’m not crying… I just have something in my eye

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…

Regeneration Continuity

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.