Numbers ruin things. If you can remember the amount of times you have done something you either haven’t done it enough or it was terrible when you did. Numbers are devoid of emotion and feeling, they cannot be used to convey anything other than hard facts. A constant in the world of grey areas. At times bringing un-needed order to the world.
One of the main fall outs from the wonderful “Day of the Doctor” and the less wonderful Doctor Who Live: The After Party, seems to be “Is Matt Smith the 12th Doctor now because of John Hurt?” Or varations upon that theme adorning many a fan forum or podcast. As arguements go it’s pretty stupid. Numbers again ruining it. You see and this is a point that even the most ardent fan will miss (or argue with me about).
There is only one Doctor.
In a similiar way that there is only one James Bond or Joey from Bread, Eric Draven from The Crow or Miss Marple. Only one. There have been multiple actors who played the part bringing with them different facets of the characters personality. When it comes down to it at a core character level there should be no differences between the Bond of Sean Connery or the Bond of Daniel Craig. The same should apply to the Doctor, he only changes based upon life experience in his relative time strand. Hartnell, Hurt, Smith and soon to be Capaldi all playing the same man at different points in that characters life.
The numbering then, Hartnell 1, Troughton 2 etc given that the Doctor is the same man, matters not a jot to the story. Yes there is a limit to the amount of times the Doctor can re-generate but that will be explained away in the clever writing of the Moff maybe in the upcoming Christmas episode (The only Christmas TV I want to see) It only matters when referring to the actors who have taken control of the TARDIS.
It seems strange to me that given that this show is about an alien with two hearts who can travel through space and time that such a mundane debate has emerged. I am aware of the irony of me writing this piece about it, adding to the debate. If you really must organise “timey wimey” may I suggest a better system. Names. In the same way no-one says the 3rd Bond when they are referring to Roger Moore’s James Bond, I suggest we adopt the same system. Matt Smith’s Doctor, Peter Capaldi’s Doctor etc. Doing away with the numbers and making sure everyone is on the same page.
50 years of The Doctor. How the hell do you begin to write anything about that? For once I’m pleased I’m not Steven Moffat. Matt Smith, David Tennant, John Hurt and Billie Piper amongst others a stellar cast. I loved it, absolutely. I’m going to try not to spoil it for anyone who didn’t see it. (Like my blog will be the only place that mentions this) I will mention a few things though.
So many times do you wait for something that has a great fanfare beforehand only to find it doesn’t live up to it? This wasn’t one of those times. This was the TV event of the year if not the century. Surprises at every turn, humour and even rewards for the oldest fans of the show. Also the beauty of a time travel show means you can travel back and “put right what once went wrong” but enough about Quantum Leap.
One of the things I hated about Russell T Davies last ever episode with David Tennant is that Tennants Doctor says “I don’t want to go.” just before he regenerates. This is been a huge annoyance of mine because the Doctors regeneration is not him ‘going’ anywhere. Steven Moffat obviously was annoyed by this too. So he only bloody well went and fixed it. This alone would have made my night but wait there is plenty more.
Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) was criticised on her return to the show in 2010 after a two year absence as Rose’s voice had dramatically changed. Billie said that she had forgotten how Rose was supposed to sound. Cosmetic dental work aside of course. The vocal change did distract somewhat. So I have to admit I was worried about Rose Tylers return. Moffat brilliantly fixed this too.
I have spoken before about Matt Smith’s great ability to play a character much older and more world weary than himself. John Hurt managed to play a younger Doctor superbly, as you knew he would. Brilliantly acted, brilliantly casted.
I’d be a rubbish TV critic. This is a bit of non piece for which I make no apologies. I just didn’t think this would be quite so damn good.
So fifty years for the Doctor. 200 blog pieces for me. Not quite as impressive but a very fortuitous bit of timey wimey.