I haven't written about Doctor Who for a couple of months. Not because I haven't been watching it, and especially not because I haven't been thinking about it. I am at the end of Series 6. I might even be officially done with S6; I am not sure where the Christmas episodes fit in. The difference between where I am now, and where I was last time I wrote a blog about the good Doctor is that I have seen all the reboot Doctors. I have one more series to be caught up, but until Peter Capaldi makes his debut later this year, I am, at least for the minute up to date (sort of). So, a return to the question of "Who's your Doctor?"
For some, I guess, this answer is easy. I have heard, and read, accounts of fans knowing immediately with whom their loyalties lie. All I know is that, for me, it isn't Matt Smith. At the beginning I would have laid the blame on him for being too young, too silly, too frantic, too slick...just too much. Then I blamed the writers for not writing stories that allowed Smith access to my favorite aspect of the Doctor, the fact that he is just "Sorry, so, so sorry." But, now, I am pretty sure it isn't Matt Smith, it's me.
Doctor Who is at its best, for me, when it is sad. Not just sad, but those heart-wrenching, kleenex moments, when I want to cry out loud; I am happiest with DW when I am hiccoughing through my tears. It is catharsis to engage in a little harmless sobbing. Matt Smith, so far, hasn't really stood a chance with me. I think that accepting what I love about Eccleston and Tennant is an undercurrent of painful loss that makes them just imbued with buckets and buckets of pathos. And, as I have said well, apparently, I like to be sad. I do like humor, and as I have said, I wouldn't like Doctor Who if it isn't funny. But, I like my jokes as foils to darkness. Laughter through tears? Yes. Laughter because it is a relief to laugh after crying? Yes. Pure comedy doesn't work as well for me.
So much of what appeals to me about Doctor Who is the underpinning of the trope of loss. Everyone is so broken and I suppose in what is prolly a little too revealing of a statement, I like that. I like crying when Rose and Ten get separated. I refuse to imagine Rose happy with her fake Doctor. I see her as having been tricked into settling--a trick that you cannot convince me that she will never be appeased by. I refuse to think that even memory loss can allow Donna peace. It is clear that even the *blessing* of ignorance will never allow her bliss. And don't even get me started on Rory, that poor guy. He guarded Amy for 1000 years, and he still has to wonder if she loves the Doctor more...Anyway, the major appeal for me is that no matter how much Nine and Ten joke or smile, at the end of the day I can see that they are haunted. I can see their ghosts, and I like that.
It is only as I see these later Eleventh Doctor episodes that I am beginning to see his ghosts, and it makes sense that I am beginning to like him more.So, unless S7 is just one big Eleventh Doctor cryfest is seems that I am still back to choosing between Nine or Ten. Well, I'm still not sure. I liked Ecceleston before the DW because of his amazing Jude in the film version of Jude the Obscure. Just watch that movie without crying I dare you. I came into this show already predisposed to Christopher Eccleston's 9th Doctor. He is broken, rough, and drowning in pathos.
Even as sure as I was that Eccleston was the one for me, it didn't take long for me to fall for David Tennant's 10th Doctor hook, line, and sinker (come on, "I don't want to go" and that music from Bad Wolf Bay? I can cry right now thinking about it). As much as I like Ten, if I am honest, I prolly like the character of "David Tennant" better than the Doctor. (Come on David Tennant, you know we'd so be friends!) I am to the point where I can't choose between Nine and Ten.
As I am on the cusp of Series 7, I know enough (spoilers) to know that the Doctor will lose Amy. And, knowing he is going to be broken again, I like him more already. With this perspective in mind, I have begun to see Eleven as being a Doctor who is frenetically (and futilely) trying to outrun his losses. Joking and running to forget his past; and with that view, I like him better. Does this make me cruel? A sadist? Maybe, but I do know the more the show makes me cry, the more I like it.
Who knows, maybe Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor will be the saddest of all, and settle this whole debate for me.
Favorite Ninth Doctor episode: "Father's Day"
Favorite Tenth Doctor episode: "The Satan Pit" ("Doomsday" is right there)
Favorite Eleventh Doctor episode: "The Girl Who Waited"
What is your favorite episode from each of the *new* Doctors? Are you a Nine? Ten? Eleven? Or something else?
While the Sun Shines
2 years ago