I’m sure many of you fellow bloggers and writers out there run into this problem all the time – sometimes there are days, weeks, years when you just can’t come up with something to write about for your blog, web site, class paper, next novel, grandmother, final dying words.
One of these has descended upon me this week and has slapped me dead in the face.
Of course, it doesn’t help that I am currently trying to defeat a nasty cold in a fight to the breath after it ambushed me last Tuesday behind the Gas ‘N Sip.
Still, I think I’ve managed to come up with something this week after all. In fact, this installment was originally going to be a shortlist of random bits that I could devote a small paragraph to each. Instead, my first “random bit” turned out to work quite well as a full article on its own. So, I’m going to talk a little about Doctor Who, and why my favourite Doctor is my favourite Doctor.
Despite being a Yank, I’ve always been a fan of Doctor Who. Like most everyone in the US with a PBS affiliate, portions of my youth were spent becoming acquainted with the fourth Doctor – Tom Baker. He quickly became my favourite Doctor (mainly because his adventures were all PBS had to air), and remained consistently so for several years. When Russell T. Davies resurrected Who in 2005, I was extremely excited. I’ve enjoyed everything the new Who has thrown at me so far, even the stuff that has been not-so-great.
Over the course of the past four series (and specials), one thing has changed for me – my favourite Doctor. It took some doing, but Tennant was managed to replace Baker in that regard (I know – blasphemy!). There’s just something about the way Tennant potrays him – manic yet cheeky, dour yet compassionate. I’ve enjoyed everything he threw into his Doctor, so much so that he made a lasting impression. As a result, when the second half of the final two-part special aired on New Year’s, my heart strings were effectively pulled. And it would be the tenth incarnation’s final companion that would not only serve as the puppet master to said strings, but would also manage to fully summarize my feelings on Tennant’s Doctor through their relationship.
Bernard Cribbins was the perfect representative of what made Tennie my new favourite, as his character Wilfred treated the Doctor with a mixture of awe, fear, love, hope, humour, friendship, and kinship – all feelings that this version of the Doctor elicited from me. I mean, how many people get the chance to just sit in a diner with the Doctor and just chat? Granted, most of the conversation was a little one-sided and depressing, but when the Doctor is mostly known for always being on the run, getting an opportunity to share a quiet moment and provide an ear to the universal entity who’s always aiding others is something rather spectacular.
With Wilfred providing the perfect gateway for me to relate to and connect with the Doctor, an unfortunate side-effect was created:
Everytime Cribbins’ lip even started to quiver, I lost it completely.
That man was incredible. He was able to inject such humanity and sincerity into his performance, that every emotional breakdown he suffered in “The End of Time”, no matter how tiny or subtle, managed to drag me right along with it. Niagara Falls, Frankie-Angel.
I think it was that final emotional connect at the very end of Tennant’s run that really cemented him as my favourite Doctor. I mean, I had pretty much already made up my mind during those four years that the tenth Doctor ran amuck throughout the universe, but “The End of Time” seemed to take everything I had enjoyed about this incarnation and boiled it down into a two-hour love letter.
Now the eleventh incarnation is well on his way into his own adventures. I’m actually caught up with the BBC airings, and I have to say that Matt Smith is so far nothing short of brilliant. His Doctor plays the alien aspect to the hilt. He’s odd, child-like, and yet just as much a genious as his forebears. I can already tell how easy it will be to make viewers say “Tennant Who?” And Who knows? Maybe by the end of Smith’s run I may be singing a different tune. I may be back here with another CHUD Blog in a couple of years (hopefully I’ll beat the CHUD Blogger statistic) saying how much the eleventh Doctor is my new favourite (I would hope I’m not that easily swayed). In the meantime, I’ll continue to watch Eleven as my enjoyment of him grows. All the while the Wilfred Mott in me will continue to keep an eye out for Ten, just like he would do with his telescope years ago on behalf of his granddaughter. Because at this point, my loyalty has yet to waver.
To paraphrase the tenth Doctor himself from “Time Crash” – David Tennant, you were my Doctor.