WARNING: This article contains almost no spoilers!
In the wake of BBC introducing a promising new Companion and the most recent face of the Doctor getting only one more season to play out his amusing blend of mid-life crisis and cranky grandpa (with a healthy dash of teenage angst), I’d like to talk to the Whovians out there about the plot hook that has made it possible for 13 men (15 if we’re looking outside the show canon) to play the role of our favourite TV Doc! (Sorry to all the McDreamies and Quinns and Browns out there).
Regeneration is a HUGE part of the Doctor Who shtick. Yet, so many fans don’t seem to be able to really reconcile the device with their expectations of the show. We’ve all done that thing where we watch an actor play a role and then he/she just forever becomes that character… I mean I defy you to ever watch NPH in anything and not think of him as Barney, the creator of ‘The Playbook’ and ‘The Bro Code’. Funnily enough, with the Doctor many of us tend to do the reverse. Having related to a Tennant or a Smith in the role we just can’t help thinking to ourselves as we watch Capaldi… “this isn’t the Doctor” or “this isn’t my Doctor”. That latter line has some pretty rooted significance if you’ve followed the show over the years (watch this clip to the end for a particularly moving evocation, though you may have to Google the back story a bit. Well, you’re not going to like it, but I’m here to tell you how you’re doing yourself and the show an injustice by thinking like that…
I first got into Doctor Who in 2006-07 when BBC Entertainment brought to the eyes of the budding viewers in India a strange leather clad adventurer with a blue box. Almost immediately I was captured by Christopher Eccleston’s portrayal of what would become one of my most beloved characters of all time (pun intended!) – a manic and excitable genius, who seemed to also be hiding a darker side. While I had to bid goodbye to my first Doctor all too soon, with Eccleston only getting the one season (the second shortest reign of any Doctor), I shall never forget what he awakened in me – a great love for all things Who and a slight man-crush on his successor David Tennant.
Let me stop myself there. I seem to have started on a line of thought that could go on forever (or at least roughly 1304 years, if you get my drift.) Let’s get to what we’re here to talk about – the 50th Anniversary. But before you read on, let me warn you… Spoilers sweety! (I really hope you read that to yourself in the voice of River Song, otherwise it was just creepy!)
** For the rest of this article make your way to the full version on the Comic Addicts website run by my fellow geek, author and imagineer Akshay Dhar **