Sunday, 27 June 2010

VCB 19: You never forget your first Doctor!

This blog is going to be about the past series of Doctor Who and the finale that was broadcast yesterday. This is your very clear advanced warning that there will be spoilers! You have been warned.

There is a t-shirt out there somewhere (picture above) that says "You never forget your first Doctor" and I think this must be true. I have always been interested in the revamped Doctor Who. I remember the old series which I watched as a child. I remember, like most children did back then, hiding behind the sofa when the Daleks came on screen. However I have never watched the episodes religiously until this Matt Smith series.

From what I did watch (which included the David 10th Doctor finale) David Tennant was not to be beaten. He was loved by all it seemed for his laidback, quirky nature but with those big eyes that really told of the loneliness and hardships the Doctor tries to hide. But then along came Matt Smith and I personally was blown away. Maybe I'd change my mind if IU watched all of Tennant back-to-back but Matt Smith if my favourite Doctor. I think he is amazing. But then maybe it is because I like bow-ties... and the Fez.

I think Matt Smith brings everything to the role of Doctor Who; let me explain why. Doctor Who is possibly the single most fascinating character in sci-fi history. He is the last of his species in a barely working time-machine which doubles as his home. He has the burden of knowing it is due to him that his species no longer exists and because of this guilt he finds himself particularly drawn to humans, another guilt-ridden and vulnerable race. He is both reckless and honorable. Unlike other sci-fi aliens the Doctor chooses to see the good in humanity and makes the world (and universe) a better place through his morals.

But yet there is a dark side to the Doctor that comes out every now and again. He is stuck in an endless story of struggle. He is constantly sdaving people which of course makes him happy but at the same time it always adds to that big weight he carries on his shoulders. No wonder he is an eccentric character with fascinating dress sense, whether that be a long multi-coloured scarf or wearing converse with suit trousers.

I think Matt Smith manages to embody of all this into a single performance: Tenannt's 'cool' Doctor, (from what I have heard) Eccleston's slightly angry Doctor and the eccentricity and burden of being a Time Lord from the history of the older Doctors. It is a smart performance with great writing. I have highly enjoyed Steven Moffat taking control of the wheel from Russell T. Davies and I am intrigued by the next series.

Before I talk about supporting characters I want to mention the finale which I watched yesterday. I was absolutely gripped to the point that I burnt my tongue on my dinner and then, when it swelled, bit it as well. But I couldn't be doing with cooling down food or paying attention to chewing! My focus was completely on The Big Bang; an episode more deeply engrossed in the technical of space-time and loophole sin the fabric of the universe that I just couldn't stop watching.

Of course the key to it all was Amy, a girl who most nerdy gals like me probably long to be. A person whose mind has been infiltrated with knowledge about the universe and space-time through the crack in her bedroom wall that she has become an anomaly. When everyone else forgot the Doctor she could still feel him, sense him; and it brought him back. If that isn't a good companion to have then I don't know what is!

It is also refreshing to have a companion with a brilliant rapport with the Doctor but who is in love with someone else. Originally a small side character Rory, Amy's boyfriend, has become a key player in the Time Lord's world. Let us not forget that if it wasn't for Rory's undying, dedicated love for Amy and his insistence on keeping her safe thats he probably would never have been around to see the whole story through. At first Rory annoyed me but the dynamic and balance between the three characters (him, Amy and the Doctor) has neatly worked out. I bet I wasn't the only one who did an imaginary punch in the air when the happy couple stayed in the Tardis.

And lastly I should talk about the mystery lady: River Song. I think the odds are on her being the Doctor's wife. They certainly have a great chemistry and of course, with good ol' space-time stories we will never know if the Doctor forms a relationship with her because it was meant to be or because he worked it out from her time-travelling. But lets not get into that debacle right now! I enjoy River's character but this to me is not really the point. I don't think you need to like River to be happy that the Doctor finally finds a long-term companion - Lord knows he needs one!

Of course perhaps she is someone else but there was just too big an emphasis on weddings in the series. Of course the Doctor used Amy's wedding to save himself (something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue) and of course the "Are you married"/"Are you asking" conversation was telling indeed. Whoever River Song is I have a feeling we might find out next series! Bring on the Christmas special I say!

My answer: Amy remembered him so she saved the Doctor! But then again River Song gave Amy the diary that triggered her memory so *she* saved the Doctor! But then again Rory protected Amy in the Pandorica which was the key to her eventually remembering the Doctor so *he* saved the day! BUT THEN AGAIN the Doctor planted clues in Amy's memories so he in fact saved himself! In conclusion - it was a joint effort but, as always, it wouldn't have happened without the Doctor.


Stephen said...

Well, I certainly remeber William Hartnell, the first Doctor of all, but maybe I was a bit young. My all time favourite for many years has been the second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, who fought the Macra and most memorably the Yeti, who had colonised the London underground. But I have to agree, that Matt Smith is fantastic in the role.

A.J. James said...

What a fantastic and wonderful Post!!!
Not Biased at all, no really.

I think to answer your question is to get behind the question, The team saved the Doctor, each playing there part no part more or less necessary than its whole.

All hail Stephen Moffat.. Oh and Booya on being right about the future doctor in the time of angels episode!!!

Helen E. Abbott said...

@Dad - At some point I'll have to watch all the old episodes. Yetis in the UNderground sounds pretty awesome.

@JooJoo - Yes, very well done on your guess :P Lol.

PinkPixieDF (Heather) said...

I'm just stopping by to say that I can't read this post yet because I am watching Season 5 on BBC America and we are only on Episode 10 right now... I wont see the Finale until August I think.

Anonymous said...
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Helen E. Abbott said...

@Heather - You'll have to do a blog when you've finished!