The Changing of the Era

Hello, Wanderers, and welcome back to the next instalment of the 50 Years of Doctor Who series, which we are hoping has entertained you thus far. As you might have been able to gather if you’ve been following the series, we’re winding up towards the end with today’s article looking at Doctors numbers Ten and Eleven. There will be an article or two after this one, just to round out the series, but this is the end of our looking-at-the-Doctors phase, for those who were only really interested in that. I hope to have a quick glance at the Big Finish audio adventures in the next articles; especially as those adventures were recently declared as ‘canon’, for whatever value that word really has in the Who-verse which is really one of the few ‘verses in which everything can change in a single episode. As The Night of the Doctor recently demonstrated to everyone, much to our glee, but moving along.

So! The Tenth Doctor, the last Doctor of the Russell T Davies era, and recently voted the most popular Doctor of all time. In short, I do like him. He’s a fun Doctor, much more of the dashing, cool, action hero than any other Doctor has been before. (Though Three did have a touch of the action hero about him.) The Tenth Doctor, memorably played by long-time fan of the show David Tennant, is undoubtly one of the great successes of the entire franchise, if only because he so quickly became pretty much everyone’s favourite Doctor with just a grin, and a fightin’ hand, and quoting The Lion King when referring to the human race. Yeah, his first episode was pretty damn awesome, even if he did accidentally-on-purpose set up for a vote of no confidence for the Prime Minister who was meant to lead us into the Golden Age and thus sort of opened the doors for the events of Torchwood: Children of Earth, but let’s try to forget that depressing series, shall we?

It is often said that Ten is the Doctor who was born in love, and that is pretty much clear in his entire character arc. And this is the area I probably come to blows with some Doctor Who fans. I hold my hands to admit that, well, I’m not the biggest Rose fan in the world. It’s not that I dislike her so much as I feel the show was, during RTD’s tenure, very quick to hail her as one of the greatest companions ever. Now, everyone has their own opinion on that but why do I bring Rose up? Because she and Ten were in love, according to the show. Whether you like it or not, Davies’ era really brought forward romance in the life of the Doctor and it was due to his hearts getting broken so often that towards the end of his time, Ten would more likely be found without a companion, going through the wringer, but eventually coming to the realisation that despite his death seeking activites – and boy, he had a lot – he didn’t want to die.

And then it was all change, and on came Steven Moffat as head showrunner, with a brand new Doctor to debut his series. Moffat’s era has been called more of a fairy-tale, making the Doctor into a wizard rather than the scientist he is. Well, except, you remember the very first Doctor, William Hartnell? Well, he often said that the Doctor was a wizard, so … matter of opinion, I guess. But anyway, Eleven! On the surface, Eleven is the most childish Doctor there is, with Matt Smith’s performance clearly taking hints from the Second Doctor. But again, that’s on the surface. Underneath it all… well, Eleven’s quite a sad character, if I’m being honest. His entire character arc has basically been about learning the darkest aspect of his hero to save the universe self, and it’s not exactly pretty, not to mention learning about the fact that he’s really not good for the people he picks up and takes on adventures.

(Again: this isn’t necessarily new to the Doctor, see Night of the Doctor for details, but it was chronologically shown first to the audience via Eleven, hence why I’m discussing it for his character).

Lately it would appear that Eleven is getting a little better, though he still seems to be filled with plenty of self-loathing. On the day this is published, it will officially be the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. Maybe in the special, we’ll find out just why…

Z McAspurren (dooo-wee-oooh)

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