If you are not a Whovian, that’s fine, I understand your need to avert your eyes from the unabashed pending geek-storm. I try to restrain myself and
have promised fully intend to only do only one flailing gushy post about my Doctor fascination obsession interest.
(Brian has thwarted my plans to convert our refrigerator into a TARDIS so this is our compromise.)
Okay, you guys know me. I fall in love with one or two television shows a year and then I become a Crazy Evangelist. I’ve done this to you most recently with Downton Abbey (which is now a campy soap opera and pretty much dead to me) and Call the Midwife (the most beautiful and sacred show, it should be required viewing).
Last year, the tinies passed around a Terrible Flu and I hardly left the house for a month. My days were spent doing laundry, bathing babies, administering care, and rising all hours of the night. I was done with Call the Midwife, we don’t have cable, Blockbuster has apparently gone out of business (who knew?!), I was exhausted, and on a whim, I decided to start watching a BBC show called Doctor Who simply because a few friends of mine said it was good. So Episode One of the new incarnation (starting with the Ninth Doctor in 2005) was downloaded.
I didn’t like it much. There were glimmers of interest but I don’t like aliens or sci-fi as a genre in the least, the effects were horrible, and it felt cheesy. Lame, I thought. By episode two, Brian gave up in disgust. I mentioned on Twitter that I didn’t like it and was instantly flooded with replies to “keep watching, it gets so much better!” and, in particular, to hang in there at least to episode 8 (The Empty Child).
I was house-bound, so I thought, what the hell, I’ll watch a bit more of this.
Less than a week later, I turned from a Never Watched Sci-Fi Ever Alien Hating Period Drama Loving woman into a crazed Whovian complete with intricate theories.
I clutched my husband’s arm and howled that it was the best show I’d ever watched in my life. I babbled about how “everything means something” and “all the plot twists!” and “cultural relevance” and “I am NEVER getting a phone earpiece” and “theological implications” and “oh, gracious, it’s hilarious” and “It makes me have ALL THE FEELINGS! this is the saddest show EVER” and other things that made him seriously question my sanity.
He may be right. But IT’S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL KIND OF CRAZY.
Since then I’ve watched six seasons of Doctor Who methodically (I’ve tried to pace myself so it won’t end too quickly).
And now instead of hiding any longer, I’ve decided to simply let my Freak Flag fly free.
I am letting the soft animal part of me love what it loves (with apologies to Mary Oliver for completely missing the point of her lovely poem, and possibly blaspheming her body of work by applying that phrase to Doctor Who).
If you have not watched the show, this review may be full of spoilers (<—see what I did there? River Song, my love you.) Anyone else fancy a SWAT team ready to mobilize, street level maps covering all of Florida, a pot of coffee, 12 jammy dodgers and a fez?
There is a favourite Doctor for every Whovian. This is part of the beauty of the show, the evolution and regeneration of the Doctor. But for me, hands down, my doctor is David Tennant. I liked Christopher Eccleston and was properly sad when he regenerated into Ten, far too soon.
But, as evidenced by my wracking sobs during David Tennant’s final episode, it’s clear I have a favourite. I like Matt Smith, I do, he’s funny and wonderful, but David Tennant brought a dark, painful, and sad tone to the role along with his humour and heart(s). He was somehow more human to me because he had such broad emotional range and truly engaged. Allons-y!
I love all the companions. I even have favourite moments with Martha Jones (who, it seems, very few people appreciated as a companion). I found Donna a delight – funny, irreverent, honest, brilliant. She brought some much-needed levity after Rose’s departure and Martha’s transition-companion role. I have such a soft-spot for her GrandDad, Wilfred – gracious, in The End of Time, he had me.
I liked Amy Pond, I did, but there were times she drove me a bit crazy. (I didn’t like how she treated Rory most of the time.) Her tender relationship with her “raggedy man” was complex and wonderful.
I loved Rose. I still miss Rose and wonder about her life with the Human-Tenth-Doctor. Rose Tyler was Every Woman. I loved her guts, her camaraderie, her curiosity and zest, and her obvious love and desire for the Doctor. I also love Captain Jack Harkness. Who doesn’t? Oh, and Rory Williams grew on me.
But my favourite is River Song. I might need a whole other category for how much I love River Song. She is mature, brave, sassy, sexy, flirty, and strong. I love her chemistry with the Doctor. I love her intelligence, her bravado, her curls, her equality with the Doctor, her loyalty, and particularly her mystery.
My Favourite Doctor Who Episodes
1. Blink – I have never been so deliciously scared in my life and entirely without violence, gore, or horror tactics. Just a good old-fashioned thrilling mystery which kept my heart in my throat the entire time. Also, this episode gave us the phrase “wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey.” This is the only episode my Sci-Fi Hating Doctor-Resistant Brian consented to watch with me and even he was very impressed.
2. The End of Time – David Tennant’s departure. I still can’t talk about it.
Let’s move on, shall we?
3. The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances – terrifying, weird, and wonderful. Also: Captain Jack wins everything.
4. The Doctor’s Wife – Sexy old girl, indeed.
5. Vincent and the Doctor – this was such a beautiful episode that I finally began to warm-up to the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond. And man, that final scene in the present-day when Vincent van Gogh hears about his legacy wrung me out.
6. The Girl in the Fireplace – “I’m the Doctor and I just snogged Madame de Pompadour!”
7. Human Nature/Family of Blood – The poetic punishments at the end, and the sadness of the Doctor upon realising everything he gives up when he gives up being John Smith makes this episode stand out for me.
8. Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead – Hello, sweetie. ‘Nuff said. Creepy and fantastic. Also, I have my suspicions about why it’s called “Silence” in the Library and not Vashta Nerada in the Library…
9. Journey’s End – I pretty much just loved this one just because it brought all of my favourite characters together again so I spent the entire show in spasms of delight and wanted it to be three times longer than it was.
10. A Christmas Carol – I’m not a big fan of the Christmas specials in the entire body of work but this one was superb.
And for the record
They’re just not as cool as Converse trainers.
So Whovians, what about you? Favourite Doctor? Favourite companion? Favourite episodes?