30 October, 2008

So long, and thanks for all the squeee

SSS is in deep mourning today. It has been announced that David Tennant has decided not to continue in the role of Doctor Who.

I have to say the news was not altogether unexpected. DT recently completed his third series as the Doctor and during this time he's proved himself to be one of the finest actors of his generation. It's only natural that he should want to spread his wings and explore new roles. There's only so many alien species you can make friends with, so many Daleks and Cybermen you can defeat, so many companions whose heart you can break.

I remember watching Doctor Who as a young girl on Saturday nights. I'm not sure I managed to watch an entire episode without leaving the room to 'go to the loo', or closing my eyes/hiding my face with a cushion/sitting in my mothers/fathers lap or in extreme cases hiding behind the settee. On special Saturdays I would watch the Doctor with my grandfather. He always managed to make me feel safe, regardless of whichever monster the Doctor was currently doing battle with.

Most Doctor Who fans have an actor who is 'their' Doctor. Mine is Jon Pertwee. Slightly austere but kindly at the same time, he wore frilly shirts and velvet jackets in a way few straight men could have done. Stuck on Earth after a run in with the Time Lords, he drove a car called Bessie and sparred with the Master. The Third Doctor had three companions but the one I remember was Sarah Jane Smith. She was young, impulsive and brave. After five years JP met his end after a battle with a giant spider and Tom Baker's Doctor entered the Whoinverse. I liked Tom, I did. But Jon Pertwee was my Doctor.

I watched Tom Baker for a while but I think I stopped watched when he regenerated and became Peter Davison. Maybe it was because I was growing up. Maybe I couldn't take him seriously with a leek on his lapel. Either way, I left Doctor Who. I missed Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, although mercifully this meant missing out on Bonnie Langford's spell as a companion.

And that was that. The Doctor was a happy memory from my childhood and nothing more. But in 2005 the BBC resurrected the show with a Northern actor called Christopher Eccleston in the lead role. I found myself on the other side of the world man, watching Doctor Who on a Saturday night, listening to the same theme tune and still being scared of the Daleks.

After just one series Eccleston quit the role, presumably from fear of becoming typecast and David Tennant assumed the mantle. I don't have the time or the words to truly express how I feel about his portrayal but let's try with just one word - brilliant.

He's battled the Cybermen and the Daleks. He fought the Master and won. He saved Queen Victoria from being killed by a werewolf. He was reunited with Sarah Jane Smith and mended K9. He's broken the heart of at least two women and wiped the memories of a third. He's saved billions of people.He's certainly been the best looking Doctor ever. He's reduced me to tears on more than one occasion and I don't know what I'm going to do without him. I'm prepared to go out on a limb here and say that David Tennant is now my Doctor and always will be.

Thank you, David. You've given more pleasure to people than you'll ever know. We will miss you.


KAZ said...

He'll certainly be a very hard act to follow.
I've seen 'em all - but Christopher Eccleston is my all time favourite.
I was a big fan of his before he took the role.
Since leaving he seems to have disappeared completely.
Alien kidnap?

Foodycat said...

Christopher Ecclestone broke my heart when he made that crappy Dark is Rising movie and made stupid comments about how people shouldn't be so attached to a children's book. So he has been demoted.

Maybe the Doctor can be a woman next?

SSS said...

Christopher Eccleston is an amazing actor but I always get the feeling that he doesn't want to do it. I can't explain it. There's a bit of the tortured soul in him.

I looked at his Wiki entry and apparently he's got a couple of films coming out next year.

I don't know what I think about a woman in the role. Actually, I do. I don't think I'd like it!

mscrankypants said...

*sobs hysterically*.

I was a big fan of Ecclestone's doctor, but I think DT added a new brand of eccentricity and energy to the role.

Who do you think will be next?

Aunt Fanny said...

This has brought a tear to my eye (again). Jon Pertwee was always my doctor too but DT has brought back all the excitement and anticipation I used to feel when I was a child - I will miss him very much but am quite excited by the thought of someone new. A woman - bad idea I think, but then I thought the same about Billie Piper ( mind you I'd gone back to thinking that by the end).

As long as they don't leave the doggie in the cupboard I'm willing to give anyone a chance.

SSS said...

Oh no. Not the tin dog. He has to stay.

Bloody Rose, don't get me started. And nice to see you can log in again, dear relative!

SSS said...

MsCrankypants, I don't know who will be next. There's much speculation on the Doctor Who forum. The current candidates range from Robert Carlyle to Basil Brush!

I think they'll go with a little known actor.

HH said...

Having never really watched Dr Who before the Christopher Eccelston took up the mantle, and even then I watched it on DVD, I think Christopher Eccelston and David Tennant are my Doctors. Maybe David Tennant slightly more because I have spent the past three years anxiously awaiting each episode, and loving and crying along with each one. I think I cried the most in the "Father's Day" ep and the final ep of series 2, but those have not been issolated incidents. I am coming to accept that David is going, but I don't want to. I think weaning us off gently next year with 5 specials will be good, but who knows how the ABC will handle that, and when we will get them. The question now who will be next? I don't want it to be a woman, I want to phwoar over the Doctor, I want to jump in the TARDIS with him. I will restrain myself from giving a list of all my poential doctors. I will save that for anohter time and not take up too much room in your comments SSS.

NiC said...

Very sad news indeed....he'll be a hard act to follow. Pertwee was my Doctor I think until Tennant came along (though I vaguely recall the first two and greatly enjoyed Tom Baker). DT will be a very hard act to follow.

When you say a "little known actor", do your mean a short well known actor or a not very well known a actor of indeterminate height? ;)

Aunt Fanny said...

As well as Basil Brush (hmmm?) I see that Rupert Penry-Jones has had a few mentions. Interesting...

Can I state for the record that if they turn the selection of the new Doctor into a reality show I am going to leave the planet. I wondered about the lost moon of Poosh - now it isn't lost any more.

Fenz said...

Hi, first time commenting...
My favourite Doctor was Tom Baker, I have lots of memories of watching him as a young 'un. But David Tennant is my all time favourite, I love his eccentric way and his almost manic approach to things. *sigh*
I don't know who they'll replace him with but my only hope is that it's someone relatively unknown, so they don't bring 'baggage' with them!