The Twelfth / Fourteenth Doctor

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I fear I’ve let this blog fall by the wayside in the last month or so, but a brand new Doctor is reason enough to do some reminiscing!

The fandom was huge by the time I joined it. I was part of a British TV show group on livejournal at the time and was always annoyed that “Doctor Who” posts flooded the group every Saturday. I wasn’t much of a sci-fi fan, but decided to watch an episode just to find out what all the fuss was about. Martha was the companion at the time, so I picked her first episode and… well, I was intrigued. It was all manic, and totally absurd in a truly wonderful way, and Ten was a vivacious ball of exploding energy (and cute) so… one episode turned into more, and within a couple of weeks I’d caught up on all of Ten’s episodes. I visited Nine as well, but Ten was “my Doctor.” I got so attached to him that I cried for a good hour after his final episode ended, and he regenerated into Eleven. That was it, I thought. No more Doctor, because this gangly Matt person can’t possibly be better than Tennant. Even so, I thought, I’ll give him a shot and one episode to win me over.

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Naturally, he did, and in the several seasons since, Eleven has become my favorite Doctor. Don’t get me wrong; I still love Ten purely for his enthusiasm, his bombastic behavior, his general insanity, his tendency to kiss people, and the sheer fanboy enthusiasm that Tennant brings to the role… but Matt instills in Eleven that sheer “wonder” that most adults don’t have; he has an astounding ability to bring a childish sense of enthusiasm to an ancient soul. He’s both a little kid at heart, and an old and grumpy Time Lord. Minutes after he spit out beans into the sink, and then chucked his plate of toast out the door, I was won over. That stupid bow tie, his attraction to a red Fez, and his old man shoes wormed their way into my heart. His chemistry with River Song made me stop hating her. And, of course, there’s “Pond.” Is it a coincidence that my favorite Doctor spends most of his time with my favorite companion? I think not. I love Amy. I love Rory, too, but Amy most of all, and in a way that surpasses my love for Donna (my other “favorite” companion… I must like gingers! Or just loud, bossy, opinionated heroines!).

If you were to ask me why I like Amy so much, I’m not sure I would have a proper answer. I just do. I like her spunk. I like her courage. I like her compassion. Or maybe it’s just because we think alike and at times, act alike. No one tells Amy what to do (and lives to regret it). She is her own person, her own boss, and a nice foil for the Doctor. She’s bold and opinionated. She has a great sense of humor and is quick at discerning what is truly going on. I don’t pretend she’s perfect, because she isn’t. She’s bossy. She’s immature. She’s completely irrational at times. But that’s what makes her human. She also grows up as a companion. She starts out afraid of commitment and the end of her story is spending her entire life committed to Rory. Amy becomes who she does because of, and at times, in spite of, the Doctor. But in the end, he chooses nothing for her. She chooses everything for herself. I like that, and I like the dynamic a couple traveling with the Doctor brought to the table.

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Moffat taking the writing helm was exciting for me, when Eleven appeared on the scene, because Moffat had written some of my favorite Ten episodes, including “Blink” (in which we meet the terrifying Weeping Angels), “The Silence in the Library” (where we first meet River Song), and “The Girl in the Fireplace,” arguably my favorite episode ever. It’s a story that foreshadows Amy Pond, in a child whose life is invaded briefly by the Doctor and then reunites with him as an adult (… both girls share the same personality type … mine… I might add). And I was not disappointed with what Moffat did with the show. Gone were the fart jokes of the earlier era, gone was the overly emotional Doctor (this one has feelings but doesn’t wear them on his sleeve), and Moffat showed no fear in juggling big plot arcs with epic payoffs.

I won’t pretend Moffat is the best writer on television, because he isn’t. Much as I love both Doctor Who and Sherlock, his grasp of logic leaves much to be desired. However, he has a gift for over-reaching arcs, and I enjoyed both the Crack in the Wall and the Silence Will Fall themes. He’s good at creating tangible and likable people; no one can deny that Amy, Eleven, River, and Rory all have personality… and Clara, too… I don’t agree that she lacks a personality; oodles of it drip off the screen in her first two episodes, but modern Clara isn’t as engaging as Oswin or Victorian Clara for some reason. (Frankly, I am sad Victorian Clara did not stick around. I think having a Victorian heroine with Victorian sensibilities traveling with the Doctor would bring a unique twist that a modern heroine might lack.) Moffat makes me laugh and then cry. His characters are all memorable to me; though our encounters with them are brief, I happen to love Vastra, Jenny, and Strax.

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Over the years, I have pushed, pulled, and even dragged various friends into the fandom. Some have stayed for the long haul and others have gotten stuck in a rut with one particular Doctor. This morning, as I revisited Matt Smith’s final episodes again in preparation for meeting the “new” Doctor this evening, and cried all over again at his loss, I felt the same emotions as when David Tennant left. Part of me believes this is it… I’ve found my Doctor and now he’s gone. No one can ever replace him! But then I remember… he doesn’t have to be replaced. No Doctor replaces another. He is all of them at once. I can love them all without betraying any of them! So yes, Doctor… new Doctor, older Doctor, Doctor with the fierce eyebrows who doesn’t like the new color of his kidneys… let’s go on an adventure! I can’t wait to meet you!

What about you? Who was your first Doctor? Who is your favorite Doctor? Who is your favorite companion? What is your favorite episode? Are you excited about Twelve?

15 Replies to “The Twelfth / Fourteenth Doctor”

  1. Yep, I’m excited. I can’t pick between Ten and Eleven, and believe me, I’ve tried! I love them for different reasons. They each have different strengths and weaknesses.

  2. I started watching Dr. Who with my boyfriend, it was just something to watch because we were bored but we never expected to like it. We have Netflix so we started with the 9th Doctor first because I told my bf I just wanted to start from the “get-go” and that sounds a bit like a contradiction because I know the show has been around since the 60’s. But by the time we started DT was the doctor at the time.

    I suppose I wanted to start with the “renewal” – I don’t even know if that word is correct, but basically I wanted to start with the first season of the renewal, if that makes sense. The girl in the fireplace is one of my favorite Dr. Who episodes. I was impressed with the actress and found out it was Sophia Myles. I’m not a huge fan of her but I was impressed with her in that episode.

    I have so many…”blink” and the one where the fat walks out of people and I loved that scene in that episode where the doctor and Donna realized they were on opposite sides of the room and she mouths “DOCTOR” and he mouths “DONNA”…awesome. I also like the Christmas episodes. And that haunted house episode with Matt Smith.

    Some episodes of Dr. Who I like more than others but the one I strongly dislike is “The Rings of Akhaten” that did not feel like a Dr. Who episode, it felt like a cheesy movie instead. I really like heartwarming shows and movies, but this was just total cheese. I mean I watch “Cedar Cove” on Hallmark so I like shows with heart, however I don’t like anything overdone. I read Debbie Macomber books.

    I like “The Notebook” and just recently I went to see “If I Stay” so yes I’m all about heartwarming things but this episode was just a total cheese-fest. Anyway that episode is one I hated and one that I skip when I re-watch Dr. Who episodes. Each of the Doctors are special to me. I have liked most of the companions….Martha, Donna, Amy & Rory, and now Clara. I also liked River (yes technically she’s not a companion), I loved it when she came each time and said…”Hello, Sweetie.” I also liked Rose’s mom and dad (again not companions).

    I never took to Rose. I’m not sure why but she doesn’t seem as special as Martha, Donna, Amy and Rory and Clara. I also think that the actress who played Martha Jones was a much better actress than Rose but I felt disappointed with her character when she warned Donna that life with the Dr. could be dangerous. Because the Dr. has done so much for Martha, he helped her every way he could.

    She saw all the wonderful things that he did for others, she went on so many adventures with him and she would have never had this opportunity to see the universe without him taking her along. He also sacrificed himself for her. It made me wonder if she regretted her adventures with him?

    Although I think Martha said that because she had a crush on him and it was unrequited love and she couldn’t take it anymore, and because she hated seeing people dying and when she traveled with him she came across many dangerous situations and they couldn’t save everyone. I would love it if Dr. Who had an American companion but I don’t think that will ever happen.

    I think the BBC wants to promote British culture and that means casting British actors, they also seem to promote their own ideas of life like, anti-guns, etc. Even the BBC has their own propaganda or bias. But lets face it every country does. Anyway sorry for rambling. 😉

    1. Did you know that David Tennant and Sophia Myles were dating when they filmed “The Girl in the Fireplace”? Explains the spark between them, doesn’t it? I like her fine. In some ways, she really reminds me of myself — we look a lot alike!

      Donna. I adored Donna. I need to watch her season again. That was one rare occasion when I actually loved every single episode in a season! And oh, did it make me cry at the end!

      My objection to “The Rings of Akhaten” wasn’t cheesiness, but boredom. I got so, so bored with that episode. I actually multi-task while watching it. =P

      To be perfectly honest, Rose annoyed me in her possessive attitude toward the Doctor. She expected herself to be the “first” in his life, and the “only.” She got pissy with Sarah Jane Smith for awhile out of sheer jealousy. She didn’t want to share her adventures in space with Mickey, because he might take away some of the Doctor’s attention. Basically, I thought she was a selfish brat, which is why I have never warmed up to her, and why I thought it was BS that she got her own version of the Doctor to live happily ever after with. Why does she get a happy ending and not Donna?

      Yes, the show promotes an agenda, although it’s been more of a gay agenda than anything else in the new series; the anti-gun thing has gone away since Moffat took the helm. Though this Doctor never uses guns, he doesn’t complain about them endlessly the way Ten did. Eleven even waved one around in the western episode, which I thought was hilarious. “Can everyone who isn’t an American please put down their guns?”

      1. No I didn’t know DT and SM were dating when they filmed “The Girl in the Fireplace” -that’s really cool that they did. Ah Mickey, I almost forgot about him, I actually liked his character but its too bad that Rose didn’t appreciate him either. He still cared for Rose even though she took off with the Dr. all the time.

        Yea actually I started doing housework after 20 minutes of “The Rings of Akhaten” lol. And yes I wish that Donna had a happier ending too. I first hated Donna but grew to love her, hah that reminds me of some Dr. Who dialogue..

        The Doctor.: I just want a mate.
        Donna: You just want to mate?!
        The Doctor: I just want a mate!
        Donna: You’re not mating with me, sunshine!
        The Doctor: A mate! I want a mate!
        Donna: Well, just as well, cos I’m not having any of that nonsense!

        I don’t mean to sound mean but I don’t really care for the gay agenda. It’s overdone. I have nothing against gay people and have had friends that were gay but it seems that agenda is on pretty much every trendy show these days. Its like they’re trying to say, “See gay people are okay, treat them with respect, they’re just like you and me, they have feelings…” and I just think, “I treat everyone with respect, you don’t need to preach to me about that.”

        I was playing this video game called “Borderlands” and they were preachy too which annoyed me. Its like people in the media think we can’t think for ourselves at all and that we have no ethics and ethics have to be “taught” to us through media.

        1. I loved Donna because she was the first current companion that didn’t fall in love with the Doctor. She knew what he was from the start and had no romantic attachment to him; it was all friendship alone, which I prefer in his companions. I think it creates a better dynamic.

          Unfortunately, preaching is what most authors do. I suspect I do it too, but on different things… like morals rather than social causes. And it would be one thing if they actually promoted their agenda well, but if anything, Vastra and Jenny are man-hating stereotypes!

  3. I am so excited about the next season, although dubious about his comment about not having a clue of how to fly his TARDIS. Hmm. We’ll see. It’s almost like someone interesting showing off their car and then asking, “Do you know how to drive? I don’t.” But anyway. I’ve often wondered who my favorite Doctor is. I honestly don’t know, because he IS all of them. I love all the different aspects. I go through phases. I miss the wounded solider in Nine, then I want the affable wise child of Eleven, and then I’m desperate for the explosive absurdity of Ten–and his wonderful hair. My favorite companion? Hard one too. I like Rose, a lot–despite things I definitely DO NOT like about her. I love Donna. I think in many ways, she has been arguably the best. But…I think if I had to choose, I’d end up with Rose. I just like her and the Doctor’s dynamic. I think Silence In the Library is my favorite, and my favorite baddies the Weeping Angels. INCREDIBLE villains. Man I love them. I love beauty/divinity mixed with the bizarre and hideous. I agree about Clara. I would have liked a Victorian Clara–but Clara as she is is good too. But I don’t expect her to become a favorite. She has a sensibility that I like though.

    I had to laugh though, because I felt the same about “Girl In the Fireplace”. It is so awesome! I love that era, and it was coupled with Doctor Who! It had a fantastic story–so bittersweet–although I suppose more sorrowful than not.

    I have a fun question for you though–if YOU were a companion, what kind of character would you endeavor to be? I know you said you’re very much like Amy. I just thought I’d throw this question in there–just for kicks. 😉

    1. Regenerations can wreak havoc on Doctors… I think Four actually didn’t know who his companion was after his regeneration and tried to strangle her! Oops!

      I enjoyed Rose with Nine, but less so with Ten. I felt the chemistry just wasn’t the same. But gosh, I love Donna. I love how everyone hated her based on her Christmas episode, but by the end of her season everyone loved her and cried over what happened to her. Donna in many ways has the saddest ending… to have accomplished so much and remember none of it.

      The Weeping Angels are AMAZING. They are scary as all get out! I still can’t watch their episodes with the lights off… unless I have friends over, and then we all tend to slide closer together on the couch. Moffat comes up with some great, albeit freaky, ideas. Carnivorous shadows. Angel statues that zap you back in time. Evil snow. He has a sick and twisted mind… and I love it.

      Poor Clara. I think had she not come on Amy’s heels she might have been better received, but the Ponds are a tough act to follow.

      I can’t watch the end of The Girl in the Fireplace without blubbering. I’ve seen it a dozen times and it still happens. Such an exquisite episode.

      Oooh, that is an interesting question! I would tend to be somewhat cautious and would probably have to be prompted to try new things, but then I’d warm up a lot and have fun wherever I went. I would probably argue logic with the Doctor a great deal (I can be pretty literal most of the time) and tend toward a certain amount of… well, bossy-ness. Oh, and I would want to dress up to fit in with each time period we visited, because that sounds like way more fun than tramping through Ancient Greece in jeans and a tank top! 😉

      1. Oh, I’d definitely have fun dressing up too! Except for the corset’s…that’d be a pain. Humorous, but a pain nonetheless. I could just picture myself yelling in the other room trying to get it situated right, and the Doctor saying, “Um, is everything all right?” “Yeah, sure! How about you tie this corset for me?!” “Um…okay….” “No, I was being obnoxious you ninny! Get out!” I think that’d be such fun. Agh! If either of us have a miracle and become a companion, we’ll have to tell the other. 😉

        I too would debate logic, etc. I’m like Donna when it comes to disagreeing, especially on moral grounds. I would have been the same on The Fires of Pompeii. So ticked off, so sad. But man, I definitely would likely be one of the craziest companions. I think the Doctor would have his hands full–me running off often like Rose, sometimes being bossy like Amy–but man, would I be playing PRANKS. And I’d see him run!! Hmm. I wonder if they’d let me keep my Texan accent. They need a cowgirl on there I think. Stir things up a bit.

        1. Corsets can be a trial… but they give you great posture! 😉

          You must be an extrovert, if you intend to cause that much trouble. I’d just tease him is all. But he TOTALLY NEEDS an American companion!! This must happen!

  4. I am excited about 12. Not sure why — I just have a feeling he’ll be a good Doctor even though I’ll miss Matt 😦
    I started watching Doctor Who with Nine’s first episode, and saw all the new Who in order. Ten is “my” Doctor, though. I went into mourning for nearly a month after he regenerated and refused to watch Eleven for a while (I was still catching-up at this point, so the episodes were available). “Girl in the Fireplace” is my favorite episode.
    Donna’s my favorite companion, unless you count River as a companion, in which case I love her and Eleven together. I, too, wish we could have kept Victorian Clara — I wanted a companion from the past so much!

    1. I think this transition will be interesting, because in a lot of ways, Eleven and Ten had much in common — both ENXPs, both quite young, both very enthusiastic, both very emotional… but Twelve is supposed to be more reckless, less in touch with his emotional side, and more imposing, plus he’s twenty-odd years older.

      I mourned Ten’s departure for quite a long time too, but the break between his final episode and the return of the new series was long enough for me to be able to start in and watch as the new episodes aired. I still love Ten. It delighted my heart to see him and Eleven in an episode together. “Oye, sandshoes!”

      Technically, River isn’t a companion but she is a great character. I didn’t like her at first, because I worried that Moffat introducing her in what was obviously an intended romantic relationship was going to be a repeat of Rose, and since I never particularly liked Rose (or the idea of a romantically-entangled Doctor… I’m a sucker for loners) I had a bias against River. Eventually, though, I got to where I really loved her, so much so that now I go back and watch her first episode and get all weepy at her “death.” (Trust Moffat to introduce us to an important character with their death. Jerk. Genius, but a jerk.)

      Someday, maybe, we’ll get a companion from the past. I heard a rumor that Clara is leaving after Christmas, so we’ll see…

      1. Oh, River is just awesome. I loved her from the first episode. And I did wonder if I was a teensy bit biased, because…she’s a lot like me. 🙂 Although I disapprove of her shooting off the Stetson from Eleven’s head. NO no. The fez was necessary though. Blast it to smithereens. 😉 Sigh…perhaps someday I’ll have my own madman in a box.

    2. I started watching from Nine’s first episode too! I had just starting hearing about “Doctor Who” in friend circles on facebook, and decided to see what it was about. I do miss Rose’s mother, actually. 😉 I wonder if they could do an episode where the future Doctors (like they did in a recent episode with Ten and Eleven and John Hurt) with Nine. That’d be so cool.

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