With the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who coming up this weekend, I have had some time to reflect on the show and who my favorite Doctor is. Here is a little background on the Doctor in my life.
Some of my earliest TV memories are of watching the ongoing adventures of Tom Baker as The Doctor. To the dismay of my parents, it was my absolute favorite show. Unfortunately, out of my love of Baker's portrayal of the Doctor, I was not keen on the idea of the 2005 resurgence of Doctor Who. I loved the concept of the Time Lord, I was just concerned with who they would cast in the iconic role. This is where my love/hate relationship with the show started.
Hearing that they cast the weird villain from Gone in Sixty Seconds, Christopher Eccleston, I completely tuned out. My protest of the casting was strengthened further when I found out that he was the Doctor for only one season. Even though I thought the casting of David Tennant was a great idea, I just wasn’t interested enough to start watching.
Fast forward a few years to when Matt Smith was announced as the next Doctor. The outrage over that casting brought my interest back to the show. People would not cause such a fuss over a crappy show. So I bit the bullet and started to watch Eccleston's season. That is when I knew that I had made a huge mistake in not watching the show. I came to enjoy Eccleston’s portrayal of the Doctor as much as I enjoyed Baker's.
To say I was hooked by the first episode would be an understatement. Eccleston was perfect. At first you think that he is a little childish and dorky to be the Doctor, however, you start to see that it is a facade. My favorite episode of the season was "The Empty Child." If that was the only episode you watched, you would see that the humor is there to hide the admiration that he has for the human race and the constant anxiety that he feels in his mission to keep Earth safe. He would just give a look, and you knew his positive attitude was only to keep everyone sane in the most outrageous of circumstances.
I was a little more emotional than I should have been when Eccleston gave his final line to Rose, “Before I go, I just wanna tell you, you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And do you know what? So was I!”
The worst thing about this is the Moffat/Eccleston feud. There are many versions of many stories of what happened between the two. All I know is that because of it, we won’t be seeing Eccleston in The Day of The Doctor. As sad as that makes me, there is nothing to be done about it. I am still going to watch anyway.
Based on what I had heard about Tennant’s performance, I wasn’t too sad about the absence of Eccleston. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed with what he brought to the table. He did a great job, don’t get me wrong. I just found that Eccleston did it a little bit better. Tennant was too whiny, too pouty. He did a great job of bringing a larger fan base to the show, and I applaud him for that. It just seemed like a weak performance compared to what the previous Doctor had brought.
I did get that lump in my throat in "The End of Time: Part 2" when Tennant goes back and revisits key moments in his tenure and then says, “I don’t want to go.” That is actually one of my favorite lines in the whole show. I have always imagined that every Doctor feels that before every regeneration; it has just never been expressed before.
Then in comes Matt Smith. I was not familiar with Mr. Smith, so I had no basis to like or hate his casting. Now that we are near the end of his run, I have to say that I am quite sad that he is leaving.
Smith was able to bring that touch of naivete that the Doctor needs. The Doctor needs a certain level of eccentricity, and I thought Smith was perfect. It seemed like he had a lot more to deal with than the Doctors before him. For those of you who are currently watching him for the first time, I don't want to ruin anything for you. I just felt he was pretty near perfection. Smith has made his way onto my “Favorite Doctor” list. I feel that he brought a lot of human qualities to the role that I have not seen in the Doctor before. With his performance I have placed him in a three-way tie for my favorite.
I know that I am a little too invested in the show, but whatever. I am just glad that the show is picking up fans all over the world.
As far as Peter Capaldi is concerned, I am going to reserve judgment until the next season comes out. I have learned that my initial gut reaction to the casting of the Doctor is inherently wrong. I am going to sit back and enjoy what Moffat has to offer, and we will go from there.
I want to know who your favorite Doctor is. If you agree with me, cool. If not, tell me why I am wrong. I know people are very passionate about this. Please, hit me with your best shot.
Until next time…