I’ve been a fan of Dr. Who for many years since King (a friend from Toronto) first introduced me to it. Admittedly the execution of the show in the old days was nowhere near as strong as how he described the plots, but there was always fun to be had in overlaying the swaying hallway walls and endless rock-quarry-like planets with your imagination.
In my opinion the driving force behind Dr. Who is the the concept of the Time Lord gone rogue/left behind. Almost the same way that one can tolerate about 15 minutes of “Twilight” just because vampires are so cool, so can the Time Lord idea carry the show for quite a while.
Next comes the personality of the actor playing the Doctor. Some actors have been MUCH more engaging than others.
Then comes the script or story. These often have brilliant concepts but have now and then lacked in execution with stilted dialog and inconsistent character actions (I’m talking about across the entire series here).
Finally the special effects, what can you say about the SPFX for Dr. Who. Really, nobody ever watched the show to marvel at the spacecraft or the monsters. At least not until the series was revived in 2005.
My top 3 Doctors:
1 – David Tennant – 10th Doctor – My all time favorite – epitomizes the essence of what the Doctor should be – quirky, vibrant, cheeky and very much alive
2 – Tom Baker – 4th Doctor – “The Scarf”, fun and engaging
3 – Jon Pertwee – 3rd Doctor – “The Dandy”, seemed the right mix up a little uptight and a little go get ’em
The current doctor, played by Matt Smith I find absolutely unengaging. I have 12 episodes of Dr. Who sitting unviewed on my DVR because I have simply lost interest in the series.
As for the Dr’s companions, Martha Jones easily tops the list as my favorite of these. I was disappointed that her tenure was so short. I also enjoyed the venerable Sarah Jane, Leela and Jo Grant.
Least favorite of the companions has to be Donna Noble.
So I find myself waiting for a regeneration to breath new life into this wonderful series that has been entertaining folks for nearly half a century.
3 thoughts on “Dr. Who”
Actually, the latest Christmas special was really good. A fresh take on “A Christmas Carol”, done a la Time Lord.
I’m starting to warm up to Matt Smith, although he doesn’t hold a candle to David Tenant. As with every Doctor, there’s not only a change in actor but a change in character as well. That’s been the case since the first regeneration. That’s also part of what makes Who so special. It’s not a different guy trying to play the exact same character (like, say, on a soap opera, where cast changes are frequent). So, just as there was an adjustment from Eccleston to Tenant, there’s an adjustment from Tenant to Smith, and from Smith to ?????
Another significant transition is in the writing. RTD was more into character development than Moff is, and it definitely showed in the past season. I think a great deal of why Tenant was so well-received was that the writing allowed him to expose much more of the Doctor’s character and “humanity” than we had gotten from previous writers & Doctors. Tenant was a master (pardon the Who pun) at showing us the heart(s) of the Doctor, again thanks to the style of writing by RTD. It would be interesting to have a show written by RTD for Matt Smith to see how that comes off. (Actually, he may very well have done an episode for the Sarah Jane Chronicles, not sure).
Agreed that Martha was great, but Donna Noble was an amazing character. She didn’t fawn all over the Doctor like all the other companions, and grew the most emotionally of any companion over the course of her stay. To watch her “grow up” through the series, only to have it all erased in the final episode was truly gut-wrenching. One of the worst fates ever for a companion.
Oh well, can’t wait for series 6!
@Mark – I’ll have to check out the Christmas special. I’ll admit they’re usually a lot of fun.
I agree with the Doctor’s character changing (sometimes dramatically) with each actor, hence my personal favorites. Except for Tom Baker I guess I’ve never gone so much for the outright goofy or doddering Doctors. And Tom wasn’t so much goofy as free spirited. 🙂
@Mark – Oh, and Donna was an overbearing pain in the ass. But I don’t think I’ve liked anything done by Catherine Tate. Just not my cup of tea I suppose…