Monday, December 7, 2015

A Doctor Visit!


I'm finally beginning to warm to the new Doctor Who. (Is he still "new" after two seasons --no but it feels that way.) I thought Peter Capaldi was an ideal choice for the next Doctor when he took the job on a few years ago, but instead of a cooler somewhat more level-headed Doctor, which I imagined him to portray, he seemed to be stranded in the part playing a parody of the Doctors who had preceded him. He babbled, he jeered, and he popped around like his spring was truly and properly wound too tight. I didn't like it as well as I should've, and only felt he found his own voice when he was being mean. That seemed to smack legit for this particular Doctor.

Of the old Doctors only Pertwee could be really convincingly mean, though several could be exceedingly grouchy or perhaps only cross. Of the new Doctors, Eccleston could be rather tough but always seemed capricious somewhat, and Tennant never could looking only sour. Matt Smith tried but it wasn't natural to him. It's natural to Capaldi who has the stern face to make you believe this Doctor can be a cold-hearted scoundrel when the situation calls for it, and in this season it has done.


This season he seemed to be growing more comfortable or the stories gave him more latitude, but whatever the case there was less and less capering about and more subtle communication. Early I was a bit doubtful, but later stories, after the obligatory Daleks saga, showcased a less frantic Doctor, less obsessed with his appearance as his hair has grown a bit and feels more natural, and he seemed more concerned with the people around him, genuinely. The mean is still there, but underneath is a legitimate and real caring. Capaldi I suspect is a more subtle actor with a looser face than his younger predecessors, able to communicate with an eyebrow raise what took the others a complete wink to indicate.

Some few spoilers below for those who haven't finished up with season nine yet.


Now that Clara Oswald has bowed out of the story line has once and for all, we will have for the very first time a fully Capaldi-Doctor effort. On a side note, they should never do extended episodes as the extra time almost always is wasted on repetitious scenes which add not a fresh beat to the proceedings, just maudlin sappy melodrama -- just saying. I miss the old days when companions could be left behind abruptly and surprisingly such as Sarah Jane was on the wrong street so very long ago, or killed off like Adric without all the hand wringing. That hurt; this new sappy way just grates.  I don't know who the next companion will be (I hope for a non-human, thought I doubt we'll get that), but I look forward to a new flavor and a fresh mix inside the T.A.R.D.I.S.


I even rather liked the sunglasses as opposed to the standard screwdriver, though I guess I don't mind the return of that classic gimmick. They are on the right track. But they can lose that stupid guitar still and all.

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6 comments:

  1. When Capaldi commented his favorite Doctor was Pertwee (as is mine), I was hoping for a return to an "action hero" take on the character, so the version we ended up with has been something of a disappointment.
    Hopefully, Series 10 will give us something closer to that version.

    And, personally, I'm glad Clara's gone.
    The show is "Doctor Who", not "Doctor Who's companion".

    One note, it's was kool to see a Time Lord regenerate into a different gender.
    (Is Missy a mind-posessed victim or a legitimate regeneration?)
    I remember when, in "Curse of Fatal Death" (one of the Comic Relief specials), the Doctor went thru several regenerations in about five minutes, ending up as Joanna Lumley!

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    1. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Clara is well and gone. By the end of the last episode I was weary of the overwrought goodbyes, something they've done now with three companions (Rose, Amy, and Clara). Let them go already and get on with it.

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  2. I don't think Capaldi has ever been the problem. It was the stories and direction that sucked, as well the characterization of the Doctor that PC was lumbered with. Repetitive storylines, non-linear storytelling, playing to the geek fans instead of a wider audience, trying too hard to be cool, and being relentlessly SF in content all the time just didn't help. (I mean, couldn't the Tardis just plonk them in a difficult situation in the past, and let the suspense of such a scenario be the draw - instead of having aliens behind everything that ever occurs?

    Incidentally, originally, Hartnell's Doctor was mean, but the success of the show triggered his transformation into a genial 'grandfather' type so that the kids could legitimately regard him as a suitable hero. Before that, he had some decidedly villainous aspects to him.

    Unlike Britt, I'm against the gender change in Time Lords, on the grounds that it's just following a tedious gay/transgendered agenda to blur the distinction between the sexes and try and influence society into becoming a nation of active bisexuals. Such attempts at societal manipulation should have no place in the show, in my opinion. But why should my opinion count? After all, I'm not in a minority.

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    1. I always thought of Hartnell as cranky, mean sure but not in that lethal cold blooded way. But truth told, I've only seen a few Hartnell shows, so I bow to your greater experience with him.

      The fan audience is the problem, stories written with too much insider focus.

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  3. "I remember when, in "Curse of Fatal Death" (one of the Comic Relief specials), the Doctor went thru several regenerations in about five minutes, ending up as Joanna Lumley!"

    Written by....Stephen Moffatt.

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    1. I like Moffatt's stories, plots that is, but the characterization gets maudlin.

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