So, this is something I did day by day on tumblr, as part of a celebration challenge type thing put forward by the official Doctor Who tumblr, which was a bit of a thing in those days. It might still be in these days, I don’t know, maybe there’s a 13 Days of the 13th Doctor thing going on, I should probably check.
Anyway, fifty individual posts is a little unwieldy for the new blog, so I’ve collected them all together in one post. What follows is, then, as much a snapshot of 2013 Doctor Who tumblr culture as it is of my own opinions at the time – there’s a lot of stuff that varies from questionable to laughable, not least the probably unconvincing attempts to pretend I’d seen much more Classic Who than I actually had, or indeed still have.
But, still, this is arguably sort of the first ongoing blogging project I undertook, and it was actually a bit of a big part of the 50th anniversary for me, so here it is, in all its glory, entirely unchanged, apart from correcting the spelling mistakes.
October 4th | Who was your first Doctor?
Yeah, I know, I’m a little bit behind. But, as they say, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it has always been, will always be, and currently still is October 4th. So there.
I suppose, then, by that logic, all the Doctors are my first Doctor – after all, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint… well, you get the idea.
But if we mean properly, I’d say it’s Christopher Eccleston. Ish. He was the Doctor when I first heard about the show, so I knew him to be the face of the show, but the first episode I ever saw was Bad Wolf, and then a week later it was The Parting of the Ways, so… I didn’t really see much of him as the Doctor initially.
Which then, I suppose, makes David Tennant my first Doctor. I don’t know if I watched The Christmas Invasion on its first showing, but I definitely remember New Earth – which is worth revisiting on the 14th of October, methinks.
October 5th | Who is your favourite companion?
That’s favourite, by the way. With a u.
Having said that, not entirely sure I have an opinion on this. I prefer some over others, sure, but I don’t really have an overall favourite who’s ahead of the others. Hmm.
Yeah, that’s quite difficult actually. Especially since I would want to have seen every companion to have been able to make a judgement on them properly.
And then there’s the EU – there may well be 40 or so companions in the televised show (I’m guessing; the magazines all called Martha the 37th) but I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t include the like of, say, Fitz.
Um… no, I’m going to abstain from this particular question, sorry.
October 6th | Which cast or crew member has the best twitter?
Twitter? Really? Twitter is… not something that I follow. (Ha ha ha, it’s a twitter pun, get it?)
Um, yeah, I don’t think I have an answer for this. Paul McGann’s twitter appeals to my sense of humour, I suppose, in that it’s quite odd. That latte joke a few weeks ago was quite funny.
But… yeah, no, I don’t know.
October 7th | Favourite episode?
See, this is why I wasn’t doing these on time. I knew there was no way I’d be able to give proper answers for most of them, especially all of those “favourite” ones, where I have to give absolute answers, and can’t deal in the abstract.
But, go on then, I’ll try.
Classic Who = Trial of a Time Lord
Yes, this is a cheat. This is very, very much a cheat. But tough. Trial of a Time Lord is Colin Baker’s second, and final season – but it does, arguably, count as one long, drawn out episode. Personally, I quite enjoy it. The Sixth Doctor is my favourite Doctor, so this very long episode is certainly up there. It’s got some brilliant quotes as well, and the Valeyard is a fantastic concept.
New Who = Love & Monsters.
Guys, don’t shoot. Or unfollow. Love & Monsters is a good episode! It’s great! It’s hardly par for course Doctor Who, so it’s not an overall favourite – but it is my default answer for this sort of question. In fact, here’s something I wrote about Love & Monsters a while ago. Other New Who episodes that I like a lot would be, say… oh, all of them. (Apart from quite a few of series 7)
So, there you go. That’s the best I’ve got I’m afraid.
October 8th | Name an episode that made you laugh
“That made lol”
Guys… let’s not. Anyways. Or, anywho, ha ha ha. (See, because this is the one about laughter?)
Hmm, well… The Unicorn and the Wasp is pretty funny, although it’s been quite a while since I watched it. Um… this scene is always very funny, but I doubt that it’s intentionally funny, and rather… just kinda odd.
Beyond that, well, there’s various one liners and suchlike that stand out – and with 50 years of them to laugh at, I think it’d be a bit difficult to list them all. (But I bet someone has)
October 9th | Invent a new feature for the Sonic Screwdriver
Ooh, now this is an interesting one.
I’ve always thought that when (not if. Never if) I become the showrunner for Doctor Who, I’m going to put a very strict rule on the usage of the sonic screwdriver: If you can make the argument that this could be done using sound waves, then it can be done in the episode.
So, that’s a yes to opening doors, and a no to shooting laser beams. (Ish, I’m wondering if there’s a way you could shoot laser beams with sound. Like, concentrated sound waves? Would that work?) It’s a yes to scanning people (ultrasound!) but a no to re-attaching barbed wire.
But, you wanted a new feature, so… something that could be done with sound? Well… tracking people, potentially? Like sonar!
I’m not entirely sure how it would display, although then again, how does anything display with the sonic screwdriver? Telepathy I assume.
October 10th | What’s the coolest planet the Doctor’s ever visited?
Ah, I know the one.
It’s appeared in many an episode, and is probably the most commonly recurring destination in the series.
It is, of course, Planet of the Quarries.
(Having said that, Thoros Beta was pretty cool.)
October 11th | Take a photo of something IRL that you think would be from Doctor Who
Um. I don’t even own a camera? I’m not entirely sure what to do for this one. Yeah, I’ve got nothing.
I imagine it’d have to be a clock or something. Yeah, that sounds about right.
October 12th | Bow Ties, Fezzes, or Stetsons?
Is that which one I’d want to wear in my own life, or I think is best on Doctor Who?
I’ve no opinion on this really. Uh, Bow Ties? Yeah, Bow Ties. After all, they are… cool.
(Yes, I’m aware that the purpose of the question is that they’re all, allegedly, cool.)
October 13th | Favourite Doctor Who Themed YouTube Video
So, this one was a little bit of a difficult choice. I did think it might be a good opportunity for a little bit of self-promotion, but this really is a very good video:
There’s a lot of thought gone into this, and it’s definitely a very interesting video. The discussion presents some thought-provoking ideas, and there’s a brilliant joke in there about the Doctor’s name.
October 14th | Name an episode that had you hiding behind the sofa
2×01: New Earth
This was a pretty obvious choice – it’s actually the only Doctor Who episode I’ve ever been scared by.
Specifically, it was those infected zombie people. It was the way that they were approaching from all sides, and were quite unstoppable. I think it also played to my own claustrophobia as well – being surrounded like that would hardly be much fun.
Obviously, this was also my first proper episode – so, sat there, jumping every so often and being told “I didn’t have to watch it if I didn’t want to” was the very moment I decided that, yes, I very much did want to keep watching this. Forever.
October 15th | Come up with a name for a Doctor Who-themed recipe
Uh. Daleked Alaska?
I’m really not that good at this whole pun or play on words stuff. Admittedly, the fact that I don’t really know many food words or recipe names hardly helps.
How about… Jelly Babies?
No, I’ve really got nothing.
Bad WoLF | Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf
October 17th | Favourite one time companion
Hmm, interesting one this, since there’s quite a few one time companions who were very good. There are some sort of almost companions, like Rita from The God Complex, who could have been brilliant had they stayed on board properly. Others, like Astrid from Voyage of the Damned, are simply good examples of companions – they tick the boxes, and provide the correct story cues.
But that’s why it isn’t either of them. For a one off companion, they have to push the envelope, and be someone different – something different, that the show simply couldn’t always do.
That brings us to either Jackson Lake or Adelaide Brooke, I believe. Played by David Morrisey and Lindsay Duncan respectively, both of these people had stories and characterisations that were different to usual.
Jackson Lake believed he was the Doctor, and, for a time, the audience could too. Brave and dashing, he was every inch the Doctor – until he wasn’t, when he was brutally cut down and reduced. The false identity he’d found solace in was taken from him, and he became a man who’d lost his wife again. But in the end, he did get his happy ending – that man who’d lost his wife still had his son, and didn’t have to fly off alone.
Adelaide Brooke was a pioneer, and a pivotal character in human future history. And, through that, we had a historical story, one we couldn’t have with a genuine historical character – all the risk, but none of that certainty at the back of your mind that everything would be okay. And not everything was okay – she sacrificed herself to preserve history, and combat the Doctor’s growing arrogance.
Ultimately, I think my favourite of the pair would have to be Adelaide Brooke, because of the tragedy of her story.
October 18th | Favourite Song from the Soundtrack
This is one of my favourite pieces of music ever, let alone from Doctor Who. I’m not entirely sure why, there’s just something really nice about it.
October 19th | Name a “Who-ism” you use in real life
Hmm. Well, it’s been a while, but back in… hmm, I think it would have been around David Tennant’s last year, I had adopted a fair few of his speech patterns.
It was “Well…” and then over-complicating the prior explanation.
I’ve stopped doing that now generally. And Matt Smith’s speech patterns aren’t so easy to emulate really.
October 20th | Cosplay time! Dress up as your favourite Doctor, but only with things you can find in your closet
Hmm. Not really into the whole dressing up/cosplay thing really, and I still don’t own a camera.
And, given that my favourite Doctor is the Sixth… well, as you can imagine, it’s a tad difficult to assemble a Sixth Doctor costume from just the contents of one’s cupboard. However, I do own this, rather brilliant, T-Shirt…
Which is utterly fantastic and my favourite T-Shirt. I do, quite often, wear it out and about, and have worn it to school on occasion.
October 21st | If you could go anywhere in Time and Space with the Doctor, where would it be?
Ooh, now this is a nice question!
Hmm. Alright, we’ll ignore, for a moment, all the time altering stuff. If going to the past… hmm. Well, the Library of Alexandria sounds pretty cool, but I also find Bolshevik Russia quite interesting, and would love to take a visit. Not when it’s in a civil war, obviously. Watching the Moon Landing would be… phenomenal really.
On the other hand, if going to the future… well, obviously it’s difficult to put a specific date on things, since I don’t actually know the future yet. Having said that, I’d quite like to have a conversation with my 30-year-old self, just to see how things are doing in my life. I’d also like to visit the year 2075 or so, just so I can see what the state of the world is like – whether there’s been any wars, or if Global Warming has become a bigger issue. (Although, having said that, if there were wars, or Global Warming was a big issue, I’m not sure I’d want to return to our time with that foreknowledge, and knowing I couldn’t change things)
As to other planets… well, I’m not too fussed about that. I imagine there are plenty of planets out there that are absolutely brilliant, and that I’d love to visit.
October 22nd | If you were the Doctor, what would be your catchphrase?
Yeah, I’m not too big on catchphrases. I mean, it’s all well and good to have them in the show, but they do seem a bit… odd at times.
It’s actually rather laughable when people try and make photosets for all the Doctors which incorporate catchphrases – sure, it works for Nine, Ten, and Eleven, but it’s really pushing it with the classic Doctors. You can sort of excuse things like “Would you like a jelly baby?” for Four, and “Who am I?” is quite funny for Eight, but equally – “Fine” for Seven? Really?
[Interesting Factoid: In their earlier appearances, the Daleks didn’t actually say “Exterminate” very much. It was only with Day of the Daleks that they began to in the show – ‘Dalekmania’ had adopted “Exterminate”, and that phrase had entered into the public consciousness, as well as the writers’, by 1973ish. It was because of that it was used in the episode]
Anyways, my catchphrase.
Well, in real life, I say “Indeed” and “Quite” a lot. Those sort of non-committal affirmatives. Uh, I used to say “Tenfold” a lot, but I don’t anymore, and I’m not entirely sure why I did.
I’d probably do that thing that the Seventh Doctor did, of messing up phrases.
October 23rd | Who is your OTP?
Ooh, just one month left ‘til the anniversary. Sort of.
OTP? That’s “one true pairing”. I’m up on all the lingo y’know. It’s to do with “shipping”. Um, shipping isn’t something I’ve ever really been into. Not sure why really, it just doesn’t… I never see two characters and overwhelmingly think “Yes, these two should get together”.
Sure, there’s some I’m okay with (Ian and Barbara being an obvious example) but others I’m not so keen on (the Doctor and anyone, basically)
If you ship, good for you.
Not a very Romantic post, but it’s Hallowe’en, not Valentine’s.
October 24th | Name someone who you think is secretly from the Whoniverse
Well, there’s a few people actually.
- But in telling you, it’s no longer a secret, so shh.
Actually, no, wait a minute.
Is to be from the Whoniverse meant as a good thing or a bad thing?
Could I say that Michael Grade is most likely from the Whoniverse – a Cyberman reject, with no emotions? Or just really poor taste.
Yes, I think I shall say that.
Michael Grade, failed Cyberman, is from the Whoniverse.
October 25th | What’s your favourite story arc?
Hmm, interesting one.
If I’m being honest, I’m not entirely sure I have a favourite as such. What I do find interesting is the different approaches that have been taken towards story arcs in New Who (I’ll mention Classic Who later).
RTD generally had lighter arcs, that weren’t too intrusive on the story. Things like Bad Wolf were very subtle at times – very blink and you’d miss it in fact. There wasn’t always a focus on these references – perfunctory dialogue such as a soldier saying “Saxon has approved the order, fire on the Web Star” is hardly going to stick in someone’s mind. But I’d argue that that is perhaps a good thing – keep it simple enough that it doesn’t alienate or confuse anyone, but still just noticeable enough that you’ll see it, apart from the odd scene or two.
I also think that the finales themselves were never built upon that prior knowledge; I’m relatively confident that you could watch, say The Sound of the Drums/Last of the Time Lords without having needed to see/hear the earlier Saxon references.
With Moffat, the general approach is a to make things very obvious and noticeable. In Series 5, attention was always drawn to the crack – lingering camera shots, references in the dialogue, and even becoming a plot point in one of the episodes. I remember thinking at the time that that was quite different, and indeed notable.
Series 6 pushed this even further; if you didn’t pay attention, you did miss out. Personally, I don’t find that particularly difficult – but I do focus on Doctor Who a lot. This did lead to a lot of people, fans and casual viewers alike, becoming disillusioned and indeed abandoning the show for a while.
That arc (does it have a shortened, trendy name? I’m currently referring to it as “all of that baby weirdness that went on in series six”) was at times trippy and cyclical. Good for a fan who is completely engrossed in the show, but not so much for anyone else. Or writers apparently, since there were many issues with logic and consistency and plot holes with that season.
Anyways, Classic Who. As I understand it, the only two arcs in the modern sense are The Key to Time and The Trial of a Time Lord. Key to Time followed a pretty similar idea to series 5; the arc was part of the plot, and a central part as well. There was a quest, an idea. Trial of a Time Lord, conversely, was essentially just serialised – one long Doctor Who episode.
Of the 3 styles- subtle mentions, driving the plot and serialisation – my own personal favourite is the driving the plot idea. No particular reason, it’s just something I enjoy. For television though, I think that the subtle mentions is probably best, for reasons I’ve already stated above.
October 26th | Favourite Quote or one-liner?
Doctor Who is eminently quotable so I do, in fact, have a couple of favourites here.
One brilliant “quote”, as it were, is the Doctor’s entire speech in The Rings of Akhaten. As an episode, it didn’t do much for me, but it was home to one of the best scenes in the entire series. I think perhaps a lot of that is to do with Matt Smith’s performance, and Murray Gold’s score, rather than the speech itself, so it doesn’t get to win this, the most coveted of honours.
There’s quote of the First Doctor’s, from The Edge of Destruction, which I’m quite fond of: “As we learn about each other, so we learn about ourselves.”
It’s a nice line, and one which says a lot about life, and indeed people.
But for a really meaningful quote, I always look towards Love & Monsters…
Incidentally, this tends to be my facebook cover photo. I really do like this quote.
October 27th | Who is your favourite historical figure that has appeared?
This isn’t entirely based on their appearances in Doctor Who, of which only one I’ve come into contact with, but more to do with my own interests in that person as a historical figure…
Turing is a person who’s life I am fascinated by; his work in philosophy and computing is astounding, and I take great interest in it.
I actually recently attended an exhibition dedicated to his life at the Science Museum in London, which was held to mark the centenary of his birth.
Turing was a remarkable and inspiring person, and deserves to be remembered as such.
October 28th | Who would win in a fight? A Weeping Angel or a Silence?
A Silence, as in a group of Silents? That’s… yeah, this is kind of a weird question.
Okay, first things first. I’ve just gone back and checked a clip (specifically, the confrontation between the Doctor and the Silence in The Day of the Moon) and confirmed what I was pretty sure of before – Silents don’t blink.
Now, I’d say that’s key in the defeat of a Weeping Angel. As I understand it, the Angel is Quantum Locked when it’s seen. Now, this actually means something other than turn to stone, if you think about it logically. As a being which feed on time energy, and can send people through time, it stands to reason that Quantum Locking doesn’t just turn them to stone, it freezes them in time. I assume this means that, whilst they can be moved, the angel and everything it is made up of cannot change – which prevents it from being destroyed. (I’m ignoring that forest scene in Flesh and Stone partially because it was somewhat stupid)
I’d say Weeping Angels could be locked in a vault somewhere, or set adrift in space… and if a Silence, which doesn’t blink, never turned it’s back on them, I imagine said Silence could win the fight. Not exactly easily, but it’d be doable.
(I put far more thought into this than was required, didn’t I?)
October 29th | Which Doctor had the best costume?
Oh, was it ever in any doubt?
October 30th | Who is your favourite monster or villain?
Monster or villain you say? Monster and villain I say.
Okay, so, monster. Quick look at definitions tells me that monster is more creature orientated – so, for example, the Rani is a villain, whereas the Tetraps are monsters.
I think I’m going to have to stick to the perennial choice – Daleks. There’s a pervasive sense of evil about them; an unstoppable force, their only aim to kill you.
The design of them too factors into this choice; they really do look startlingly original. The pepper pot shape is now so iconic we sometimes forget just how different they are – there really isn’t anything remotely Dalek like in other forms of science fiction.
As well as this, you can achieve some pretty interesting stories when you play around with the idea of a Dalek – Dalek, for one, has a relatively unique take on the monster, and is all the better for it.
Here I’m going to have to say the Valeyard.
Despite having only appeared in a pretty limited capacity across one season, and sort of turning up in series 5, the Valeyard sticks in my mind a lot.
As a concept, it’s brilliant – he’s the Doctor, but evil. All the Doctor’s darker aspects, concentrated and distilled into one being – and the Doctor has one hell of a capacity for evil. As I understand it, he’s got a genocide count just shy of 175; imagine the Doctor without his rules, his ethics, his standards.
That’s the Valeyard.
I can’t wait for what must surely be the Valeyard’s inevitable return to the series – whilst the Doctor is alive, so must he be, at least on some level…
October 31st | Wholloween
November 1st | Anything Goes
This here is a knitted TARDIS, as made by one of my best friends. As you can tell, she’s rather talented.
November 2nd | If you could write an episode, what would it be about?
If you could write an episode?
Well, you see, I already have. Sort of. I present unto you…
The Legacy of the Daleks
On the Agrippinsium Colony World, there are no Daleks. There has been an age of peace and prosperity since the end of the Tenth Dalek Occupation.
At least, that should be the case.
When the Doctor, Amy, and Rory arrive, they find an oppressed people, living in fear. Fear of the Daleks.
Why are the Daleks here? What’s really going on? And who is ‘Davros’?
From August 2011 to August 2012, I wrote a Doctor Who script, featuring the Eleventh Doctor, Amy, and Rory. I did, in fact, sent a copy to Steven Moffat – obviously not expecting it to be made, but perhaps read. (It wasn’t – basically, there’s a copyright thing. If they don’t read it, I can’t sue them if anything similar to my idea turns up on the actual show)
Certainly, there are issues with it. The premise is certainly sound, but the execution isn’t always. There’s also plot threads/ideas I set up, but never really did anything with, like the villain of the piece not having a proper name – it’s very much a first draft thing. (Or early second draft) I’ve read it again and it feels more Tennant than Smith in places – but I’m proud of it all the same.
Also, the synopsis isn’t great. I tried.
November 3rd | Who’s been your favourite guest star?
I think I’d have to say Brian Blessed as King Yrcanos.
Yrcanos was a Krontep Warrior King who was captured by the Mentors, and met the Sixth Doctor and Peri on Thoros Beta in the story Mindwarp, which was part of The Trial of a Time Lord. That four part serial (or, sort of 4 part serial) was one of the best parts of the Trial series, with a clever plot and a really shocking ending…
Also, it’s Brian Blessed in Doctor Who! How cool is that?
November 4th | Which characters would make up your ideal Team TARDIS?
Hmm, interesting one.
I tried to put a fair amount of thought into this, hence the lateness. But I didn’t really have much in the way of opinions.
Generally, I find, each companion has been created for their Doctor… they match up and contrast quite well with said Doctor. But hey, worth a try.
Ian and the Third Doctor
It’s the premise of a fanfiction I read recently; what if Ian had been chosen as the UNIT scientific advisor rather than Liz Shaw?
I think it would have been a really cool dynamic – they would have known each other already, so there’s a shared history there. As well as that, it’d be really interesting to see how Ian would react to the ways in which the Doctor had changed since he’d last seen him; no longer does he avoid meddling, but he’s been punished for it.
The Brigadier and the Ninth Doctor
I think it’d be interesting to see how the Ninth Doctor would treat the Brigadier, as opposed to any of his other incarnations. After the war, 9 was in a lot of senses a soldier. While other incarnations condemned the Brigadier’s less diplomatic tactics, like Wenley Moor, I think 9 would be a much more easily persuaded of the necessity of the actions.
Anyone and the Sixth Doctor
The best Doctor would, naturally, be pretty fantastic with any companion. (In a more specific sense, it might have been interesting had Mark Strickson stayed on another season, and we’d had Six, Peri and Turlough)
November 5th | If you were a Dalek, what would you be called?
As in, a Cult of Skaro style name? Based upon my own name?
Well… Dalek Lex fits best. That sort of one syllable type thing.
I’d also be one of those silver and blue William Hartnell 60s Daleks, because they’re the best.
November 6th | Post the Best Who gifs you’ve seen
(it’s this thing of the Master? Idk how tf to sort that)
Relatively self explanatory, no?
Full credit to karlimeaghan, who made these gifs.
November 7th | Which TARDIS had the best interior?
I’ve actually got two favourite TARDISes; both are from Matt Smith’s time as the Doctor.
This is my favourite TARDIS interior – it’s bright, expansive, and it looks really… fun. For me, it encapsulates the spirit of Doctor Who. It really does feel alive and new and… it’s just really very brilliant. There’s an indefinable magic to it – from this TARDIS, I can readily believe that this is the home of a wizard, the inside of a mad man’s box. From here, every planet and every star, the whole of time and space – it’s only a hop, skip and a jump away.
I like this one for its callbacks to Classic Who, really. There’s a lot about it that I had in mind when designing a TARDIS myself. It’s very mechanical, and it shows that the TARDIS is very much a machine – it’s nice to see things as a magic box, but it’s even better for the TARDIS to be an achievable machine, something we can aspire to one day invent.
It seems a little contradictory to say this actually – first I’ve said how I like a TARDIS for being so magical, but then also another for quite so mechanical. In explanation, I present this Arthur C Clarke quote…
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
November 8th | Which character do you wish you could meet IRL and why?
Hmm. Difficult one that.
At the minute, I’m thinking Mickey Smith, Rory Williams, and Oswin Oswald.
Mickey and Rory are both quite cool people, and I think they’re the sort of people whom I’d gravitate towards in real life, and would be friends with. Same goes for Oswin Oswald – the one from Asylum of the Daleks, rather than the usual companion one. That’s simply because the funny, smart Oswin is more like my own friends that the dependable, enthusiastic Clara.
Obviously, I’d love to meet the Sixth or Eighth Doctors, because they’re both fantastic. However, given that the likelihood of my death would be pretty high in either of their presences…
November 9th | Plot Twist: Name a time you totally didn’t see that coming
You know, I think it’s pretty obvious which one it’d have to be…
Asylum of the Daleks
It had to be this one really. Twice! Twice in one episode, there was an absolutely… totally, completely unexpected twist. Both involving Jenna-Louise Coleman, in fact.
First of all, her just being there was a hell of twist – she wasn’t meant to be around ‘till Christmas! You can’t interfere with casting like that!
And then… she wasn’t even herself! She died! That didn’t make sense either!
Why? What? What on earth was happening?
Now that was a twist and a half.
November 10th | Name an episode that inspired emotions
(I dislike the term “feels”)
Anyways. Generally, I tend not to get particularly emotional at television. Just doesn’t really occur. Certainly, I’ve never sat and cried because of Doctor Who. But, still though.
Fear – New Earth
Shock – Asylum of the Daleks
Disappointment – The Angels Take Manhattan
There’s others, obviously. Some more positive, some more negative.
Note: The above is meant to be “name an episode that gave you feels”; five years ago I, apparently, was an absolute grouch.
November 11th | Eleven Eleven!
I suppose this is a post to dedicate to Matt Smith, our wonderful, departing Doctor. I have no idea what to say though. To properly articulate thoughts about Matt Smith’s tenure as the Doctor, and to properly reflect on his impact in the role, I would need to write a huge great big essay.
I think for now, it’d be better to compile all the comments I’ve made about his acting over the course of his episodes…
The Eleventh Hour
Beyond that, there’s the acting – which I suppose is much more important here than it is in any other type of episode really. Matt Smith did a pretty good job of it actually (as we’d now expect) in the way that he slowly built up the performance; starting out quite Tennant-y and then becoming more… Smith-y. It seems a little subtle, at first, but when you think that it’s been shot out of order, then it becomes even more impressive.
Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
The ending/epilogue thing, was the best part of the episode – where he sits on the TARDIS, with Rory and Amy with him… but the Doctor, while he’s so close to them, is so very far away from it. That scene was some of Matt Smith’s best acting.
Dr. Who and the Snowmen
And then in comes the Doctor! Despite misgivings about the idea of his retirement – and even now, still not entirely sure about it – Matt Smith does show the bitter side of it very well. And, in something which really subtly shows the change – he’s wearing a normal tie. Just to distance himself from how things used to be. That in itself leads into a brilliant scene later on – namely where he realises he’s wearing a bow tie, and everything that has changed really becomes apparent to him – you can see the impact that realisation has, and it’s portrayed with barely any dialogue. And there’s a funny joke about being “cooler.”
The Bells of Saint John
Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman and Celia Imrie were all brilliant, as expected.
The Name of the Doctor
Right now though, in the present, we have Matt Smith. (But not for much longer, sadly.) And as ever, he went from strength to strength with his portrayal.
So, yeah. Obviously, it’s not every episode. Nor is it every episode of his I’ve reviewed – there were a lot of times when I simply didn’t feel it necessary to comment on the calibre of Matt’s acting, that I could assume that would be taken as read.
And that, I feel, speaks volumes – Matt Smith and brilliant acting are, quite simply, part and parcel.
November 12th | What are your hopes for Twelve?
Ooh, good one.
With the casting of Peter Capaldi*, I had my main hope answered actually – an older Doctor. I believe that an older Doctor is exactly what the show needs right now.
First of all, he’ll be a direct contrast to Matt Smith. One of the most important parts of regeneration is, after all, change. Peter Capaldi is obviously different to Matt Smith, and with it so will be his portrayal – a breath of fresh air I think the show needs every so often.
However, the main reason I wanted an older Doctor was because an older Doctor should bring with him an air of maturity, one that I think the show has been sorely lacking for a while. Although it’s fun to see a wild eyed childish Doctor at times, it can be very awkward when this is over exaggerated, and made to be a singular defining trait. (That rarely happened on the show, but definetly in the EU with Matt Smith)
Anyway, Peter Capaldi. I think, personally, it’d be nice to take him back to the William Hartnell/Colin Baker style Doctor – initially a little morally ambiguous, you’re not entirely sure where you stand with him. I also think it’d be important for him to have some very alien sensibilities again, in the form of that Sixth Doctor style arrogance – he knows what’s best, and wouldn’t particularly care about offending or upsetting you if it meant saving your life.
Something I’d also like to see is the Doctor being totally in control of the situation – rather suave, very knowledgeable. The expert poker player. Perhaps that would feed into the arrogance I’d mentioned already.
I’ve also seen, on another website, someone mention a similar idea to this but push it further – the Doctor gets to the point where he has to appear to be in control, so much so that he’s willing to bluff and risk lives, when he really really shouldn’t. I think that’d be a fascinating character flaw to explore.
In regards to his relationship with Clara – the model I’m picturing is Six and Peri, specifically in The Mysterious Planet. Gentle teasing and affectionate bickering. Possibly bordering on the paternal as well, in the style of Seven and Ace. No… Whouffle. Not really a shipper.
Finally, a word on the clothes. I’d like the Twelfth Doctor to wear clothes again, as opposed to a uniform, like we’ve had recently. Something more like the Third or Fourth Doctors – yes, there was a clear cut silhouette, but there was a lot of variety as well.
Personally, I’m quite fond of the outfit that Rowan Atkinson wore for The Curse of Fatal Death, so it might be nice to see something along those lines. (Equally, I like that punk rock Twelve that’s going around on tumblr. Sort of reminiscent of Johnny-Lee Miller in Elementary…)
So, there we go. Thoughts on Twelve. I wonder how close I’ll be to the mark?
*I must admit, though, my first choice was Alexander Siddig.
November 13th | What do you think is the weirdest thing the Doctor keeps in his dimensionally transcendental pockets?
You know at the end of the Men In Black movies, they always have a moment where they flip your perspective on its head, and show you that the universe is not what you think? That there are different levels to infinity? You do not, in fact, know everything?
I love those moments, and I love the way in which they’re illustrated.
I think there’s something pretty similar going on in the Doctor’s pockets…
November 14th | Which room of the TARDIS would you most like to visit?
Hmm, interesting one.
I’m leaning towards the library. It’s an amazing looking place, and I’d absolutely love to take a look through it.
However, another room I think would be pretty interesting to see would be the Doctor’s Drawing Room…
The Doctor’s Drawing Room is full of mementos of thousands of years of time and space travel – naturally, it’d be a pretty amazing place to take a look around. What’s in those books? What do those objects mean? Who else has walked through this room?
(The Doctor’s Drawing Room was introduced in the Adventure game TARDIS – not quite as fun as it sounds, given that you only had access to the console room and the Drawing room, which was a shame. The games are still free to download on the BBC Doctor Who website, but I understand that they do cost money in America…)
November 15th | If you could have your memory erased of any episode so you could watch it again like it was new, which episode would it be?
The Angels Take Manhattan, without a doubt.
With this episode, I had a pretty poor experience regarding spoilers. A few weeks prior, I’d read this online…
Episode 5 involves weeping angels and new York, (both present day and 1930s), and the doctor has a book called Melody Malone, which you can guess who it involves. The next bit is a massive spoiler so I’ll white it. So, then after a nice picnic, Rory goes to get some coffees and, Oh No!, he’s sent back to the 1930s by an angel. Amy and the doctor are all ready to go back for him when, lo and behold, an old Rory appears and dies, Eek! So big time paradox stuff and all that eventually theirs a scene in a graveyard where Amy, the doctor & River (how’d she get there?) exit a smoking burnt TARDIS and are confronted with an angel, Amy slowly walks towards it to be with Rory and river drags an angry doctor into the TARDIS saying their is nothing they can do. Then we have a scene with the doctor crying over a piece of paper (a letter from Amy & rory?) on a bench in present day new York, very sad
Which is, I think it’s fair to say, quite a spoiler, no?
Anyway, throughout the episode I felt quite detached from proceedings, which led to me not enjoying it very much. So, I’d like to be able to watch it with a fresh eye, so as to see whether or not it was genuinely a poor episode, or if my opinion was clouded because of the lack of… suspense, I suppose.
November 16th | Think of the last movie you saw. Would the main character be a good companion?
Oh. I have no idea what the last movie I watched was? I think it might have been Gattaca?
The main character in Gattaca was played by Ethan Hawke, and his name was Vincent Freeman – and I would say that he is an ideal companion.
The plot of Gattaca, is, in essence, the story of a man who works to overcome inestimable odds to achieve his dream. In the not-so-distant future, society has reached a point where people are genetically engineered before birth – those who haven’t undergone this modification process are members of a lower, less desirable class.
Vincent Freeman’s greatest dream unattainable because he isn’t “good enough” – he was born naturally, without a geneticists hand in proceedings. And thus, to achieve the dream, he adopts the identity of another man, going through insurmountable tasks and trials all for the sake of his dream. (Something the Doctor would find commendable, no?)
But what was his dream?
It was to go to space.
“For someone who was never meant for this world, I must confess I’m suddenly having a hard time leaving it. Of course, they say every atom in our bodies was once part of a star. Maybe I’m not leaving… maybe I’m going home.”
If he’s not a brilliant companion, I don’t know who is.
November 17th | What’s the best piece of DW merch that you own?
This was going to be an easy one. These action figures (collectible figurines!) are something I’ve collected for a long time. I’ve shelves upon shelves of them in my room, all proudly on display.
They’re nice, really, because owning them is somewhat akin to owning a piece of the show, in a way.
November 18th | Name a minor character you’d like to see return
Minor character, as in not a companion? (I notice that’s the next one along)
Hmm. Minor characters, you say?
Difficult that. Generally, minor characters don’t tend to have a huge amount of story potential left after having been dispensed with – I liked the Elton Pope character, but I’d hardly suggest there’s another story to tell about his character really.
I’m still thinking, still thinking… uh, Bracewell, from Victory of the Daleks was quite an interesting character, who possibly has further mileage to him.
Not sure really.
November 19th | Pick a companion that is no longer travelling with the Doctor. Where do you think they are now?
Hmm. Well, there’s a few we already know about, like Ace and her charity, or Ian and Barbara at Cambridge.
I must admit, I’ve never really sat and thought about where a companion ends up after their time in the TARDIS. I suppose a lot of them would… well, obviously they’d be changed by their experiences (ordeals?) and that would affect how they lived the rest of their lives.
A lot of them would travel the world, wouldn’t they? Attempt to do charitable works, and follow in the example of the Doctor. In a way, really, I think they’d be trying to change their Earthly life to make it more like their… Unearthly life.
Some of them, I suppose, might struggle to deal with it, and become depressed or think it was all a hallucination. But to be honest that’s not a very nice thought, so… moving on.
I’m reminded of something RTD said in his book, The Writer’s Tale, when talking about Donna’s return in Partners in Crime. He compared companions leaving the Doctor to astronauts returning to Earth – some of them would fail to “walk in the dust”, so to speak.
And that, I think, is rather an apt way of putting it.
November 20th | How do you think the Eleventh Doctor will regenerate?
There’s a wonderful photo around, actually, of a set of bloodied footprints walking through snow towards the TARDIS. It’s a very haunting image, but still manages to retain a degree of Christmas-ness, weirdly enough.
That’s something I think would be interesting to see…
The Eleventh Doctor, simply shot. After everything he’s seen, everything he’s been through. Hordes of Weeping Angels. The Pandorica. The Impossible Astronaut. The Dalek Asylum.
In the end, all it took was a single bullet.
He trudged forward, leaning against Clara, the pair of them stumbling forwards. Towards the TARDIS. Gasping, he opened the door. He was faintly aware of a trail of blood, pools of it congealing on the metal floors.
He looks up. Looks at Clara, pale and frightened. Despite everything, he smiles.
A final whisper.
November 21st | What do you think will happen during the DW 50th?
With each trailer, I’ve been totally and completely sure of what was going to happen. That idea just changes with each trailer. It reminds me a little bit of that Men In Black quote… “500 hundred years ago, we knew the Earth was flat. Yesterday, you knew we were alone in the universe. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow”
I’m paraphrasing, obviously, but you get the gist.
I felt as though I had it relatively figured out, more or less, but there’s some clips in one of the new trailers which have changed things a bit. Essentially, the words “NO MORE” are painted on a wall, in blood. And that’s… a little bit confusing. Did the Doctor put it there? Is there an revolutionary Time Lord group trying to end the war?
I’m also wondering what’s up with Rose, and indeed a few other little things about how it all fits together.
But I’m certain that’s it gonna be…
… alright at the very least!
November 22nd | Doctor Who?
Well, perhaps, if we just knew his name, we might have a clue to all this.
Doctor Who Review: The Day of the Doctor
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