Thursday, 4 February 2016

Top 10 Shows: Dr Who

52 years old, Doctor Who hits in at number six on my list! Like a lot of people I only grew up with Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith and currently Peter Capaldi who is doing a great job as the Doctor so far. In this time I have gone back through the years of Doctor Who and watched old episodes from all the Doctors and kind of understand its long lasting history as it developed from William Hartnell in 1963 to the reboot with Christopher Eccleston in 2005!



In fact the history of the show is one reason why it appeals to me so much. The show has such a rich history and keeps on producing some spectacular storylines and monsters, taking influences from events in reality to develop interesting narratives. Even more interesting is when it dives into history where the outcome of a fixed event is put in jeopardy. For example the Daleks in Manhatten in series 4 with David Tennant and Freema Agyeman as Martha, The Cult of Skaro plan to take over Earth (as usual) and use the nearly complete Empire State Building to help kick-start a new kind of foe for the Doctor to face. Although I would say the Daleks are overused a little in the show, this was a particularly interesting episode as it was different to most Dalek episodes with unconventional ways of doing things in this episode.

Hey, is that Andrew Garfield in this episode? -->











Who could forget that the universe of Doctor Who is explored at different points in time, opening it up for a range of ideas and different alien races to discover! This is something that has always caught my eye with the show as I've fantasised about the different races and planets since I first watched the show in 2005. Not many other shows have an almost unlimited source of ideas such as this one, giving so many opportunities to introduce new races, bring back old ones and sometimes incorporate them in the same episode. Like they have done with Daleks and Cybermen, arguably the Doctor's two most intimidating enemies over the shows long history!

Of course the Doctor himself is important and the concept of regeneration allows his body to be renewed. This keeps the show fresh because the Doctor can explore new characteristics and other changes in his personality. Although many people don't like the idea when the Doctor they know and love leaves it is difficult to love any other incarnation of him. I would say the transition from David Tennant to Matt Smith was difficult to digest at first, but you learn to love the way a new Doctor behaves and how he goes about doing something. Each form of the Doctor is unique in their own ways, but all manage to combine excitement with security, whenever we see the Doctor we know he'll overcome any obstacles put in front of him, with a little help from his companions of course, but in the later years we definitely see a Doctor who is more conflicted between his beliefs and the wishes of his companions and it is always interesting to see how is it plays out!

Although the show doesn't come without its flaws and personally having explored the current episodes more than the past ones, the problem comes in the form of Steven Moffat. Although the season just gone was probably his best yet, I was put off Doctor Who quite a bit when he took over as the writer from Russell T. Davies. Similarly both wrote about how the Doctors choices either made people heroes or weapons, Moffat however seems to have more interesting and clever stories but can overcomplicate things (although this could be me being stupid and not understanding the story). But at time went on for his episodes I just cared less and less about characters that weren't the Doctor and eventually came to dislike Amy and Rory. Clara who is probably my favourite companion in Doctor Who because she proved to be more independent and she was a character I really cared about in the show. But still there were times where I cared for her half as much as I cared for companions like Rose Tyler and Captain Jack because they had more depth to their characters.

Unfortunately it has all become to centred around the Doctor and it has kind of taken away the richness of the show, leaving other characters out too much and leaving little room for characters like Ashildr in Series 9 to actually be liked (I really didn't like her). Unfortunately for this reason it has taken Doctor Who down a peg or two in my list.

So the years of Russell T. Davies were definitely my favourite years for the show. They brought to life a whole new fantasy world for me to explore and enjoy in my younger years and for that reason I keep the show close to my heart. Even some of the much, much older episodes have sparked great interest for me, Tomb of the Cybermen, Revelation of the Daleks and Genesis of the Daleks are just some of my favourite old stories. Of course Sarah-Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan from the Tom Baker years were two great companions but are merely part of the long run of the show. It is unfortunate that my dislikes about the show at the moment are what drag it down in my list but it has always been in my top ten!

That's it for number 6 on my list; we are now half way through as we hit number five next week!

I salute you for reading! :)


2 comments:

  1. Another great post. Dr. Who has been on my list to watch for quite awhile, but I've had a hard time starting because of the enormous number of episodes. What would you suggest, starting from the very beginning or starting with 2005 (or later)? As for Steven Moffat, and I can't speak towards his writing for Dr. Who, but I love his writing for Sherlock...in fact, he's probably one of the best writers for smart, snappy dialog that I've seen in a long time. If he isn't writing like that for Dr. Who, then I probably would be very disappointed.

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  2. Thank you I really appreciate it. I would suggest starting with 2005 because Davies' writing is very compelling and really makes the show his own, after watching a few later seasons then go back to older ones especially the Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee years that's where the show really comes into its own. Moffat is a great writer and I agree with you because of Sherlock he is definitely one of the best writers for the smart snappy dialogue. For some reason it doesn't work that well for Dr Who in my opinion, it seems to divert the attention away from the companions and center a lot around The Dr and he does tend to overcomplicate things occasionally. Althoughthe season just gone was his best yet and I just hope his last season next year will be great too! But I know a lot of people who enjoy Moffat's writing so I hope I don't put you off you may like his style as much as Russell T. Davies'. I really appreciate you commenting it means a lot to be discussing with someone! :)

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