Thank You, Doctor Who

I’ve been spending most of my time this holiday season watching Doctor Who.  I’d never really watched it before all the big “5oth anniversary” noise.  While I disagree about the whole “50 anniversary” hoo-haw (since it wasn’t on the air for all 50 years), the entertainment has helped take my mind off things.  I’ve now managed to watch nearly all the 21st century episodes—although not in order, which can get a bit confusing.  Nonetheless, here are:

Seven Thoughts on Doctor Who

  1. Favorite Doctor—Eleven.  This turned out to be quite a surprise, since I love David Tennant.  But Matt Smith’s Doctor was so energetic and fun (not to mention less judgmental) he popped to the top of the list.
  2. Favorite Companion—the Ponds.  The romantic in me loved Amy and Rory’s touching relationship.  Plus, I may have a tiny crush on Rory Williams (or Arthur Darvill).
    • Honorable Mention goes to Donna Noble.  She could be a bit abrasive, but she had a strong sense of right and wrong.  And Catherine Tate proved to excel at both comedy and drama.
  3. Least Favorite Companion – Rose Tyler.   Possibly an unpopular opinion, but not unfounded.  I think she’s so popular because she was the first companion in the rebooted series, and there was nothing to compare her with (the early companions were fairly one-dimensional).  I wrote a whole diatribe about her in my first draft.  Suffice it to say I found Rose shallow, and saw no chemistry between Billie Piper and David Tennant, no matter how hard the producers tried to push it on us.
  4. Saddest Companion Departure—Donna Noble.  Donna was at her best when with The Doctor, and was a significant force in so many episodes.  All the confidence and maturity she’d gained during her season was wiped clean.  It seems so unfair, given Rose’s “happy ending.”
  5. Scariest Monster—the Weeping Angels.  Turns out I’m not alone.  Nearly everyone interviewed at ComicCon said the same thing, followed by the Silence. And yep, they’re high on my list, too.
  6. Favorite Episode—”The Pandorica Opens” and “The Big Bang,”  two episodes that are really parts 1 and 2 of the same episode.  I’m sure much of my fondness for these episodes is Rory’s return, and the wonderful story of “the last centurion.”  But there were also some great time travel moments, where the past was dependent on the future.  And let’s not forget the Fez.
    • Another favorite is “The Eleventh Hour” which introduced us to the Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond, and fish fingers and custard.
    • And “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” because… well, it’s dinosaurs!  On a spaceship!
  7. Favorite Title Sequence—the first part of season 7.  It’s very similar to the sequence for seasons 5 and 6, with the TARDIS careening down a blue cloud funnel, being struck by lightning, and doing a couple 360°  flips.  The only difference with early season 7 is the credit titles.  Here the names are plain white text, but they expand and fade out of the frame.  It’s much more Doctor Who-ish than the strong granite titles of season 5 and 6.

And there you have it.  What are your favorites?  Least favorites?

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8 responses to “Thank You, Doctor Who

  1. 1. I go back and forth a lot between 10 and 11 (who is really 12). I think I like 11 best until I see 10 again, and the reason I love them so close to equally is because of their similarities. I’m a total sucker for a goofy guy getting intense, and both of them do it delightfully.

    2. Totally agree about the Ponds. Rory’s loyalty is killer, and that Amy loves Rory and doesn’t carry a torch for the Doctor the way most companions do was awesome. (Not that I blame any of them for the torch. 🙂 ) Clara is my runner up, though. I thought I’d hate Donna after her Christmas special, and I totally didn’t, and she got some of the best storylines and the most heartbreaking ending, but I still prefer Clara’s cheek and brains and adorableness. I may be a little shallow. LOL

    3. OH, yes. I never really liked Rose. You were spot on.

    4. Also agree, though Rory and Amy’s broke my heart, too. Difference was that it broke my heart for *us*, whereas Donna’s was heartbreaking for *her*. So that gives it the edge. 🙂

    5. Yes.

    6. Can’t pick, though I probably agree with you there, too. 🙂

    What do you think of Peter Capaldi? People who know him are very happy about the choice. I confess I like the young, attractive guys (shallow again!), and I really liked that with 11 we got romance with River and flirting/teasing with Clara. I have a hard time seeing that continuing. But with the very short bit we got to see of Capaldi, I’m encouraged. The kidneys thing was perfect. It was SO The Doctor. So I’m looking forward to it.

    • HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 😀

      1. I thought the “War Doctor” (“J Hurt” as Matt Smith & David Tennant call him) was pre-1, but you mentioned he’s post-8/pre-9. Perhaps. But I’m sticking with my philosophy because it makes sense in my own little world. :þ

      2. I haven’t been a big fan of Clara. in fact, I kind of put her up there with Rose. Perhaps your affection for her will soften my outlook. It’ll be interesting to see how she reacts to 12.

      4. Definitely Rory & Amy’s departure was sad for us. I’m having trouble re-watching “The Angels Take Manhattan” for that reason. I liked that Steven Moffat said Amy choosing Rory over The Doctor was not only confirmation of whom she loved more, but she didn’t even hesitate. Another interesting tidbit I read is that The Doctor was at his most childish when begging Amy to stay with him. I just really miss them. 😦

      I’ve not seen Peter Capaldi in anything (that I’m aware of [Having watched Broadchurch, I never realized Arthur Darvill was in it]), but friends of mine who know his work are excited for his Doctor. Since I’m not a big fan of the flirting/teasing, I hope it stops. It’s difficult for me to imagine Clara connecting with 12, but perhaps there’ll be more substance to her than Rose.

      • I definitely thought they gave Clara more depth as Oswin (before she was the companion) and the episode where she first said “run, you clever boy, and remember” as she died. A lot of the episodes had her running around behind the doctor doing nothing. That’s bad writing, though, and not the actress’s (or character’s! LOL) fault. I hope they do more in the next season.

        • I forgot to mention: I thought Jenna Coleman did a great job in the Christmas special. Her talk with the Time Lords was lovely. Those who’ve seen her in other work say she’s a great actress, but there hasn’t been a good Clara-centric episode yet. So I’m hopeful.

  2. 1. 10, by far. I prefer the darkness and loneliness – the internal struggle – in the Doctor, something that 11 doesn’t have. And then after him, 9, probably only because he only got one season. If he had done 3 seasons, I probably would prefer him. 11 was too goofy for me. Probably the same reason why 2 is not high on my list of classic Doctors.

    2. Donna. She really developed over her season, and was exactly what the Doctor needs: a best friend while also being his grounding in reality. I’m tired of the whole “companion in love with the Doctor” thing, which seems to be starting up with Clara again (from her comments in the truth field in “The Time of the Doctor”).

    3. Clara. She has no real personality other than being a plot point to give the Doctor the real solution to the problem when he fails to find it. No, seriously, go watch her episodes – that’s all she does. Even in “Rings of Akhaten,” the Doctor gives that glorious speech and he fails to pacify the god, and she goes, “Here, have my leaf,” and she wins. Otherwise, Rose, for the reasons you already stated.

    4. Donna. Just thinking about it makes me tear up.

    5. The thing in “Midnight.” What was it? Why did it do what it did? What can you do about it if comes back? Brrr. The Weeping Angels were terrifying in “Blink,” but that was due to very creative camera use. And then they just kept using them over and over and changing what they do (they grab you? and bludgeon you to death? really?) until they were just another monster.

    6. “Human Nature”/”The Family of Blood.” John Smith’s story and sacrifice is superbly portrayed. It’s also the only time you get to see how alien the Doctor is, by comparing his behavior and decisions after he’s returned to what he was a few minutes before as John Smith. Seeing the Doctor like that, for what he really is as an alien, rather than the fun hero we usually see, was chilling. Honorable mentions: Blink, Midnight, The Girl in the Fireplace, The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang, Turn Left.

    7. Seasons 1-4. I love the way the TARDIS flies through the vortex, then pauses for a moment in the middle of the screen, then flies on. I’m not fond of the clouds and lightning in the recent sequences, because I prefer the idea that the time vortex does not look like Earth climate.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful reply. It’s always great to get another point of view.

      1. Ah, you like the dramatic! 🙂 You probably know Matt Smith based some of his Doctor on Two, so it’s understandable you don’t care for either. I’m not really familiar with the classic Doctors, other than the episodes BBC America aired prior to the 50th anniversary.

      2. I was really surprised at how much I liked Donna, for the reasons you stated. I don’t like the whole “companion in love with The Doctor” stuff either. I can’t see Clara being in love with Peter Capaldi, so perhaps the dynamic will change. (Or maybe we’ll get a new companion.)

      4. Oh, the thing in “Midnight!” You’re right! It was massively creepy, all the more so because we never found out what it was. They did explain why the angels in the Byzantium episodes killed instead of sent you back in time—they didn’t need the energy of the “life unlived” because they were feeding off the energy from the spaceship. (I didn’t catch this until my 2nd viewing, with the close captioning on.)

      5. “Human Nature/The Family of Blood” episodes are indeed superb, and I think they’re universally highly regarded. One reviewer said they were the best episodes of ANY television show ever.) I just felt sorry for Martha.

      7. I never thought of the vortexes not having Earth climate. I too liked how the TARDIS lingered for a moment in those opening sequences. I definitely don’t like the “current” sequence. It will have to change some next season, since it featured Eleven’s face. Hopefully they’ll change it even more.

      Again, thanks! You really put some thought into this. 🙂

      • You’re welcome! To be honest, though, I am SO obsessed with this show, I am ALWAYS thinking about it. 🙂

        1. I do have to admit that a small part of loving 10 comes from a healthy crush on David Tennant! Totally shallow! 😀

        2. I’m hoping that Clara will not get along with Twelve for a few episodes so that there’s some tension, like the way Adric, Tegan, and Turlough often didn’t get along with Five and each other. Handled well, it can really add a lot to the show.

        4. Yesterday, one of the pages I follow on Facebook posted Donna’s farewell scene. I have to stop watching such things at work, because it’s difficult to not cry at my desk.

  3. I just started watching this week, although I did see Day of the Doctor. I’m only on episode 8 of season 2, but I’m sure I’ll have to write up some thoughts, too, when I get caught up. 🙂

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