KT: You Never Forget Your First Doctor

Posted: August 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

One of my biggest complaints about “Cowboys & Aliens” was the lack of character development within the two hours that we were exposed to that world.   Creators of television and movies have a very limited timeframe to make us love/hate or care about a character or characters.  The creators have to make us want to wonder about the outcome of the characters and if they don’t do it well and fast, the show or film can fall flat on its face.

It was this thought that I was pondering last night as we were watching a great episode, “Blink” of the new incarnation of the “Doctor Who Series” (3rd Series/Season).  We’ve watched all of the DW’s through season 5, and should be starting season 6 in the next few days.  This is a show that both J.C. and I have taken a very strong liking to; mostly from recommendations of podcasts and friends.

I cannot speak to the first 30 years of Doctor Who, although I do vaguely remember my father watching it when I was a child.  What I can do is say that the revival of the show that came back in 2005 has become one of my favorite shows.

I’m just re-watching the first episode of season 1, called “Rose.”  In this episode, from a cold opening, we are introduced to my favorite companion, Rose Tyler, brilliantly played by Billie Piper.  Within minutes of that opening, we like this girl, we are concerned for her safety, and we want to know her story.  The Doctor (this version, the 9th, played by Christopher Ecceleston), in his leather jacket, with his fringe attitude, we are immediately drawn to, even if we have no prior knowledge of the character of Doctor Who.

This is the kind of writing I admire.  I’m sure it’s a combination of writing, directing and acting; but the fact that within minutes we are concerned about these characters, I find it simply amazing!  Even on individual episodes, when we are introduced to characters that only exist in one or two episodes, I find myself shedding a tear if they are hurt or harmed.

One episode I think of in particular is “Blink”.  The tenth Doctor, and my favorite, David Tennant, is barely in this episode, save for a one-sided conversation on a television screen.  But because of the wonderful writing, I find myself feeling so sorry for Miss Sally Sparrow when her best friend and potential love interest are taken away from her in the blink of an eye.  The entire episode is only about 50 minutes and I can’t ever forget about Sally as a beautiful character.

Another couple of episodes are “Human Nature/The Family of Blood” that has special guest star, Jessica Hynes (from “Spaced”-fame).  In this episode, our hearts ache for the 10th Doctor as he realizes that he will never have a “normal” life.  This is the second time this has happened to this doctor, as we saw in “Doomsday” and the departure of Rose Tyler.

While I have enjoyed the new Doctor, Matt Smith, and his companions Amy and Rory, I do miss David Tennant.  I enjoyed what he brought to the character and lore.  If you’ve never watched Doctor Who, I suggest you start with Season 3, Episode 10 – “Blink”.  It’s a good starter episode where you don’t have to know a lot of the legend of the Doctor, but shows you the pacing and feel of the show.  Then you can go back and start over again if “Blink” sucks you in, as it did me.

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