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 **
With filming on the 50th Anniversary mega-sode having begun, I thought I’d do a quick post about what it looks like it’s shaping up to be. All the speculation and gossip is definitely building it up to be an event that Whovians the world round are awaiting with bated breath. The biggest and most enticing of these was of course the possibility of the episode featuring all 11 Doctors – with the dearly departed being fit in with a combination of CGI and stock footage. I must admit, that would be terribly exciting! I remember watching the episode where the first three doctors were brought together in Season 10 of the original series. I can’t imagine how incrementally more awesome 11 would be! But this is of course, just rumor. It seems BBC seems to be rather delighting in leaking these little speculative teasers to keep fans interested. Well, its working!
Here’s a few things that seem to be for certain (for now):
Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) won’t be making an appearance in the special celebration episode.
The Tenth, and one of my (if not the) favorite Doctor(s) (David Tenant) has been confirmed. Woo hoo!
Rose (Billie Piper) is back too!
As for the “monsters” that the episode will feature – It seems the writers are going with The Zygons (WHAAAAAT?!) Though I’m a bit disappointed not to hear of the familiar Daleks or Cybermen making an appearance, it is interesting to see they’ve picked up such a fringe race for the episode. I suppose it will have the advantage of giving a lot of scope to run with. Fans of the new series might not be familiar with them, they made their first appearance in Season 13 of the original show and though they’ve been hinted at, have not been seen in their true form in the new show.
Now here is who/what I personally would love to see in the special episode – I know some of these aren’t possible, but a boy can dream…
Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart (Nicholas Courtney)- One of my favorite recurring characters. Though he was never a “companion” technically, he outlasted many of them, appearing in 108 episodes of the show. I think that the most any individual character has played, other than the Doctor himself.
The Master – The arch nemesis – How can we have a mega-sode without this guy?! Find a way to bring him back!
K-9 – I know technically he blew up in the “School Reunion” episode helping the Tenth Doctor escape from The Krillitanes, but surely they can find a loophole? He is a machine after all, he can be repaired! Plus, he was surprisingly funny for robot dog : )
How about some surprise companion cameos? – Leela (Louise Jameson), Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines) or Jo Grant (Katy Manning)
With 6 months still left to go there’s still plenty of time to speculate, gossip, hope and dream. But one thing is for sure, it’s going to be quite an event in space and time…