06 November 2009

The angels have the phone box

In hindsight it seems like the TV show Doctor Who is a perfect match for me. I like scifi, I like time travel, I like drama, and comedy, and British humour, and British guys with British accents. But I didn’t watch it until recently, when my friend Annie convinced me that I would like it. She was right. The 5th season starts this winter, and I’ve caught up on seasons 1-3. This show is the awesome pinnacle of humourous British sci-fi. And even though it’s completely kid-friendly, it still manages to be fun for adults and effectively creepy at times. If you’re looking for something new to watch, I recommend renting the new series.

(In case you don’t know what its about, it’s about an human-looking alien called The Doctor who travels through time and space with his friends (in his flying police phone box) and gets into all kinds of crazy adventures).

I just watched the end of the 3rd season. Holy crap: it was awesome. Either everything in that show is meticulously planned out, or the writers are just the cleverest bastards ever – because they’re always drawing everything together and it works so well. There was one twist in particular that was so brilliant that I almost cried. I wish I could just tell you what it was, and what made it so great, but that would totally ruin it for those of you that may watch the show in the future.

The thing about The Doctor is that he doesn’t die; he just regenerates into a new body. Hence the fact that, like, 15 different actors have played The Doctor since the 70s. In the first season of the new series The Doctor is played by Christopher Eccleston, who I knew as the evil army guy in 28 Days Later, and one of the flatmates in Shallow Grave (great movie, btw). He was the first actor I ever saw play The Doctor, so I got really attached over the season. I mean, he was great: all big-eared, big-nosed and stern, able to go from angry stare to happy grin in microseconds. He was a great Doctor and I loved him, but then he went and regenerated into David Tennant, and I felt so lost and betrayed. I mean, imagine if your favourite character on a show was suddenly played by another person? Imagine turning on House and the role of House is suddenly being played by Steve Martin. How would you feel?
I tend to be really loyal to characters, and therefore actors, that I like. In most cases, in my head, an actor is his/her character. I know that these are real people, and they just pretend to be the characters, and I’m sure a lot of them really hate that they’re associated with only one role from their body of work, but I don’t really care. There so much in life that I take too seriously, that I reserve the right to be ridiculous on this issue. So, when a character that I liked and associated with one actor suddenly changed and had a new actor, it was hard for me to go on. I even contemplated not watching the show anymore.

I stuck with it, however. And now, I have to say, I’m a little bit in love with the new doctor. I didn’t want to like him – he wasn’t my Doctor. Somehow, some way, he charmed his way into the part of my heart I reserve for fictional characters, and now spends his days there, playing whist with Lily Bart and watching Buffy & Angel spar.

I think I’ve gotten off topic. Where was I going with this when I started writing a page ago? I think I wanted to celebrate David Tennant and bemoan the fact that just when I start to like him, he leaves the show. Another actor will be playing The Doctor on season 5. I’m quite prepared to hate him.

So, here are some clips that demonstrate Tennant's wonderfulness. These might not make sense, out of the context of the show, but I like them so much I’m compelled to share.

This is an extended version of a scene. The Doctor leaves his companion, Martha, a long list of instructions. On the show, Martha fast-forwards through a lot of it, but they still needed to record the footage she would fast forward through, and pick up the scene again at the end, so David Tennant just babbles on for awhile, then finishes the scene.

The second is just a great little pun (at the end of the clip). They actually used the same pun in an episode in the first season, but I don't care.

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