The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A new lease on life

So what about that new new Doctor Who then?

Mr Stupid and I have taken to discussing his (and Rose's) latest exploits by text most Thursday nights. Sometimes this dialogue even flows over into Friday, so intensely interested are we both. In my household the phones are no longer answered on Thursdays between 7.25pm and 8.30pm. No interruptions please, I'm at the Doctor's.

I thought I'd share some of the textual analysis Frank and I have been engaging in, in the hope that readers may also blather about my new old favourite telly show. Here's the first:

1. The Eccleston Doctor was much darker than Tennant's interpretation. At times in the last series it felt like Eccleston was extinguishing a species an episode, often with little regret. In contrast Tennant paused when confronted with a means to kill off the cybersuits last week and it took another character (the fantastic Mrs Moss) to point out that there really wasn't much choice. Mr Stupid has wisely compared Eccleston to Peter Davidson and Tennant to Tom Baker.



Idiot/Savant said...

Mr Stupid has wisely compared Eccleston to Peter Davidson and Tennant to Tom Baker

Are you sure you're not confusing Davidson with McCoy? Davidson was one of the lighter-hearted Doctors; it was McCoy who was wiping out a species every episode (see Remembrance of the Daleks and Silver Nemesis). Though Eccleston seems even grimmer and more psychopathic than him (its the PTSD); the Dalek was right in saying that he would have made an excellent Dalek.

As for Baker, he was notably un-genocidal, and refused to genocide the Daleks when he had the chance (see Genesis of the Daleks).

Clearly, my geekdom is getting the better of me (and are you waiting for Torchwood...?)

Ghet said...

Eccleston's darkness I really very much liked, and his ability to swing abruptly from whimsy to menace. I miss that complexity. I still like Tennant, though, a lot. He's different, as successive doctors MUST be. What will be interesting is seeing Tennant without Rose.

What Eccleston and Tennant have in common I think that sets them apart from previous doctors is that they're sexualised.

I am hanging out for Torchwood, as I am for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and series 4 of qi. So much intelligent television, and all of it downloaded...

Apathy Jack said...

I saw Eccleson as being basically Tom Baker, only with Bakers eccentricity ramped up to full mania.

As to the McCoy thing, I never liked the way they introduced semi-mystical layers of mystery into that series. What I liked about the Russel Davies remake was that they conveyed some of the same atmosphere, but managed to make it not "magic", but rather that this guy's been alive for a thousand years and is an alien, so he'd be a bit weird like that...

As to the original point re: darkness: The Eccleson series seemed to have two main morals:

1) Everything has a time and everything dies.

2) Death follows The Doctor and when you're touched by him, your life starts ticking down.

Both morals have been carried on to the Tennant series, but Tennant plays it lighter. In addition to this, as you point out with the cyberman example, which the Tennant-Who still seems to believe that everything will die, he seems less nihilistic about it: he realises the plug dioes need to be pulled, but is less happy about being the one to do it than Eccleson was.

span said...

Yep I am waiting for Torchwood I/S - but I never really saw McCoy's Doctor, as it was around the time I inexplicably lost interest. He was very amusing at the Inside the Tardis event in Auckland last year though.

Jack - isn't your life ticking down anyway?

I agree with Ghet that it will be interesting to see Tennant without Rose. The sexualisation is something Mr Stupid and I have discussed and I will post on it further soon.

Commie Mutant Traitor said...

Eccleston was nowhere near as silly as Tom Baker could be; I didn't see much resemblence between them at all. I liked Eccleston; Tennant seems a bit too lightweight in comparison.

Some of the latter McCoys are very good. The sexualisation is one of the most annoying elements of the new series, IMAO.

Eric Olthwaite said...

Oh thank god it isn't just me. Sure the Doctor's should/must be different, but they all must have a dark streak that they can ring out from time to time, even if aat other times they are light hearted. Something that Eccleston had but Tennant doesn't, no matter how angry Tennant gets it's still just at the level of "that were my chips you just ate".

I think that's one of the reasons that I'm just not really getting into this series. Maybe it will grow on me.