Tag Archive | Karen Gillan

A New Doctor Who

When my blog was very new, I wrote a post called ‘The Most Romantic Doctor Who’ which was, in essence, a tribute to my favourite Doctor, David Tennant. This post is one of my most popular and is still viewed by people every week. The Doctor resonates with so many people around the world, what ‘Who’ lover wouldn’t want to tap into that wealth of material? But the subject is so massive that it’s difficult to pin down a topic to write on.

I came across a blog by my friend and colleague Leisl Leighton called Saying Goodbye to the Doctor in which she eloquently describes her journey through the evolution of the different doctors both old and modern day. It’s really worth a read as is the rest of Leisl’s blog. I could relate to much of what Leisl had written. I never watched Doctor Who’s old series though I’ve seen some episodes and footage from this era.

Christopher EccelstonMy experience of Doctor Who came with the advent of the new Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston. He bounced onto our screens as the ninth Doctor and I thought he was fabulous, as was Billy Piper who played Rose Tyler. I was still trying to get my head around Doctor Who and all its laws and possibilities, not to mention the assorted baddies, when Doctor ten, David Tennant, came along.

David Tennant imageIt didn’t take long for me to fall completely in love with David and he is still my favourite to this day and always will be. It didn’t seem to matter whether he was with Rose or Martha Jones or Donna Noble, each brought out a different aspect of his character, to give us a more rounded picture of his strengths and flaws. So far, he appears to be the only Doctor who has fallen in love. Perhaps this is why so many of us were mesmerised by him.

Girl_in_the_FireplaceThe main writer of the Eccleston and Tennant series was Russell T Davies, and I give a lot of the credit for my enjoyment of these Who eras to the wonderful writing. However my favourite episode, The Girl in the Fireplace was written by Steven Moffat and directed by the brilliant Euros Lyn.

As I said goodbye to Doctor David, there could not have been a more distraught devotee than myself. For one who had come to identify Doctor Who with Tennant, I just couldn’t conceive of another playing The Doctor. Along came Matt Smith and I prepared to love him as much as David. After all, I had successfully transitioned from Eccleston to Tennant, why not to Smith? Along with a new doctor, a new premier writer took over the series. Steven Moffat began weaving his convoluted yarns and I was very lost at times.

The_Eleventh_Doctor_and_Amy_PondMatt Smith was too young, too bumbling and I just couldn’t warm to Amy (Karen Gillan) either. On top of all this, the show had a new executive producer. It could be said that the entire landscape of Who was changed dramatically. I faithfully viewed the first few episodes, trying to get my head around the stories and the new Who and I admit, I gave up. I was devastated that my favourite show had been changed beyond my enjoyment. Occasionally I would catch part of an episode and find that, even in light of the odd laws of Doctor Who and ‘timey wimey’ stuff, I just couldn’t follow the stories.

Dr Who VincentI don’t know what happened to bring me back. It took me two series to accept Matt Smith and I’d be interested to hear if other fans had the same experience. I’ve now watched all the Matt Smith episodes several times over and love them, especially Vincent and the Doctor in which The Doctor and Amy take Vincent Van Gogh forward in time to show him how famous he became in the hope that it might save him. Each time I view these episodes I understand them better and feel that they are so complex that you can’t fully appreciate them without multiple viewings.

I will miss Matt Smith. I came to love his three way rivalry with Amelia Pond and Rory Williams. River Song added a feisty other dimension and Clara Oswald will continue into the next series with the new Doctor. TwelthdoctorWhich brings me to Doctor Peter Capaldi. You won’t be surprised to hear that I’m unconvinced about Peter as the new Doctor. He’s not young and sexy and I think that the three recent Doctors have really added dimension to the role in this area. Capaldi is much more in the mould of doctors in the old series, though we did have several younger men playing the character. We shall see.

Last, I can’t end this without mentioning The Day of the Doctor.  The episode introduced Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor and featured David Tennant and Matt Smith along with Tom Baker and Billie Piper. We even got to spend time with the War Doctor. It was magnificent television, creating a world viewing record for simulcast of a television drama. The show has us hooked and I don‘t mind admitting it. Long live Doctor Who in all his incarnations.

The Most Romantic Doctor Who

Dr Who CastDr Who fans are in seventh heaven this year with all of the modern series being played at 7.30 weeknights on ABC 2. We are being treated to lashings of The Doctor in his modern glory with all three ‘new’ doctors featuring this year. I must take this opportunity to say that Matt Smith has finally grown on me as The Doctor. It took a long time for me to say good-bye to David Tennant.

Currently, we have the second series of Dr Who featuring David Tennant in his first season. It’s Billie Piper’s (character Rose Tyler) second season and she does a truly magnificent job. She’s the girl who keeps the Doctor honest, showing her street smarts and her connection with family in every episode. Rose is the champion of the underdog and appears to have compassion in boundless quantities.

The Doctor whisked Rose away from her life on a London estate to roam the universes in search of danger and excitement. Some of my favourite episodes though are the ones where the Doctor visits the past. “Tooth and Claw” is the second episode in the second series and the Doctor and Rose travel to 1879 Scotland. There they meet Queen Victoria who is about to find a spot of trouble with a werewolf.  This week has seen “The Girl in the Fireplace”, an episode based around the life of Madame de Pompadour in France, 1727. This was a captivating episode, made more so by the beauty and grace of Sophia Myles who plays Reinette Poisson.

Romance underpins many episodes in the Doctor Who series. It is clear that Rose is besotted with her travelling companion and I believe that amongst all the companions throughout his long life, it is Rose who sits highest in the Doctor’s affections. He will do anything for her except settle down. That life is not for him. He tells her he won’t watch her grow old and die. Rose has already given up everything that once mattered to her to be with the Doctor.

Early in series two, we meet a past companion of the Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith, and realise that here is another woman he has loved and left behind. Rose is shown her future and struggles with the likelihood that one day the Doctor will leave her too. The companion who follows Rose is Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman). After well over a year of service at the Doctor’s side, Martha parts from his company as she too has fallen in love with him. It is very clear to her that Rose is still uppermost in his thoughts and she, Martha, can only be second best.

The Doctor’s next companion is Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) who is unique amongst companions for not falling in love with him. (Although was she really kidding herself?) The Doctor and Donna share an amiable rivalry and he admires her greatly however Donna is possibly too abrasive a personality to ever be considered as a love interest. Never the less, Catherine Tate portrayed an intriguing companion and her episodes with Tennant are some of the most enjoyable.

The latest companion, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) leapt onto our screens with the eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith. Amy was definitely infatuated with the Doctor early on though it soon became clear that her heart lay with Rory. Another indefatigable woman, Amy takes the lead while the new incarnation of the time lord finds his feet.

And then there are the other women in the Doctor’s life. Most recently, this week in fact, the enchanting Madame de Pompadour stole the Doctor’s heart. She called him her ‘lonely angel’ and he visited her over the years of her life, rescuing her from clockwork androids when she was 37 and at the height of her power. He was willing to be trapped with her, never again to roam, but Reinette conceived a way to send her ‘lonely angel’ back to Rose.

River Song (Alex Kingston) is the unforgettable future wife of the Doctor, the woman he finally says ‘yes’ to. She is a fellow time traveler and keeps meeting the Doctor out of sync so that he has no real idea of her significance in his life. From an audience perspective, the Doctor’s first meeting with River is her last with him, so as he gets to know her better in ensuing episodes, she is less familiar with him. The bulk of her relationship is with the Matt Smith incarnation of the time lord.

The TARDIS is another of the Doctor’s loves; his ship, old and unreliable, with a core that is alive with the spirit of a woman. This spirit does actually inhabit the body of a human in the 2011 episode “The Doctor’s Wife” and we get an insight into the relationship between the time lord and his machine. A recurring plot point in the series is the habit the Doctor has of getting both the place and year of his destination wrong. In this episode, the TARDIS reveals that her intervention has often been the cause of these mistakes so that she could get the Doctor where he needed to be.

Last but certainly not least is Captain Jack Harkness played by John Barrowman. He first meets Rose in an episode set in London in the Blitz. He rescues her and attempts to sweep her off her feet but it is the Doctor who really traps his loyalty. The Doctor instantly knows Jack is bisexual but it takes Rose a little longer to realize that when it comes to sex, Jack swings both ways. Regardless of his preferences, the unforgettable dimpled smile of the swashbuckling Captain Jack will have fed the fantasies of many a viewer, male and female.

As a bit of fun, I’ve decided to announce some Doctor Who Romance Awards

Most Romantic Doctor – David Tennant series 2,3 and 4

David Tennant image

Freema AgyemanMost Romantic Female Companion– Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones) series 3

John BarrowmanMost Romantic Male Companion– John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness) series 1, episode 9 “The Empty Child”

Sophia Myles

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most Romantic Guest Appearance– Sophia Myles (Madame de Pompadour) series 2, episode 4 “The Girl in the Fireplace”

Anthony HeadMost Riveting Antagonist– Anthony Head (Mr Finch) series 2, episode 3 “School Reunion”

These awards cover only the modern series, encompassing doctors 9,10 and 11. Please feel free to respond with your ‘Most Romantic’ awards from the series or add other awards to the list.