Monday, September 21, 2009

Northern Exposure: Thoughts on The Ninth Doctor



The Ninth Doctor:
Christopher Eccleston (Born 1964)
I was very excited when Doctor Who was revived in 2005. So excited that I cajoled a friend of mine to let me watch it at his house since I didn't have cable or satellite. I believe my faith is justified.

Christopher Eccleston's Doctor is in a word, manic. He seems in a hurry to get things done. If the storyline is to be believed, Gallifrey no longer exists. His home world has been destroyed, with him the only survivor. This would make him more dour than his predecessors, and he is. There is a tinge of regret to him, as if a shadow will always be with him, haunting him perpetually. He also oddly, seems to be the most "regular guy" Doctor. There's no air of sophistication (as from the Third or Fifth). Instead, he seems like just a bloke who happens to be a Time Lord.

This might explain that chip on his shoulder he seems to carry, as if he's always worried someone will look down on him. He has a Northern accent, which distinguishes him from all other Doctors. Now, most Americans (myself included) wouldn't pay much attention to such things, but to the class-conscious British this might be an issue of concern.
Eccleston's anger also seems to find more comfort with violence than McCoy's. He has no problem being vengeful, downright evil, with the 'last' Dalek. He goes so far as to threaten to kill him. Yes, it was to save his Companion Rose Tyler, but it still is a marked departure for someone who used to rail against violence to solve things. Perhaps this was a manifestation of the actor himself, who left the series after one season. I don't know what his plans in relation to Doctor Who are, but he seems to be taking a page from Tom Baker: respect but a wary distance.

Now, with the new series there is a change. Rather than having two-to-four part stories, each story is an individual episode with one or two exceptions. Out of the stories in his tenure, the best to my mind is Dalek. It finally makes the Daleks the terrifying creatures they could be. I also thought The Unquiet Dead (where he meets Charles Dickens, brilliantly played by Simon Callow), and Father's Day were well-written and executed. I really don't think there was a bad episode in the bunch. The one I wasn't too thrilled about was The Doctor Dances (not a fan of the welfare state) but that's just being a touch picky. Overall, it's good to have The Doctor in the house once again.

Stories available: The Complete First Series.

1 comment:

  1. I like to watch only Norhtern Exposure tv show. It's my favorite. Wonderfully written, charming, funny, sometimes sad but always entertaining. Joshua Brand and David Falsey keep up well work. All the episodes of this show are superb. If you are also a big fan of this show and wants to watch it's complete episodes then click at link to watch Northern Exposure online

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