The Faces of the Doctor

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    janetteB @janetteb

    @fosterferris I think you make a good point there regarding the Master. I think the “madness” was overdone but could be explained within the story. The Master has  spent so long at the end of universe, not to mention having died a few times, that he has become slightly unhinged. I hope all the same that if the character returns he will be somewhat less insane. RTD did have a tendency to ramp up the theatricals and I agree with John Simm re’ his performance. It was too OTT but that is what was demanded of him.

    I commented on Rose last night in the post which I accidentally deleted before posting. Like @arbutus she is certainly not one of my favourite companions but there were moments when I really warmed to her character. I preferred her as “bad wolf girl” however and was extremely thankful that SM brought her back in the way he did.



    Anonymous @


    l ike the character. All I’m saying is that it really feels like they just slapped on the name of the Master to this character. I would buy into an unstable yet formal and proud character maybe starting to go insane. Remember there’s not much reason for him to go insane. He was brought back to fight the time war and ran away. That’s really it. Then he didn’t even know he was the Master for so long. I guess he was a faulty regeneration. That has been seen before (sixth strangling Peri). I also think the tenth’s wild and bonkers Doctor contrasting with a straight laced character is much more interesting.

    Anonymous @

    @fosterferris  yes, thank you, I do remember, but no I actually think that a contrasting character isn’t necessary.

    If it’s a story written by an inexperienced writer, then OK, but boring: we’d expect it. This Master was slightly ‘off’ -but totally insane? Nup, I don’t buy it.

    He certainly was fantastically murderous, though and of course, back in the day, with Delgado he was pretty similar but without all the flying ‘spastic’ babies with knives. That got out of hand but it wasn’t Sim’s portrayal  that was the problem. Rather, the crazy episodes aboard the ‘USS Star ship’. But then, before, I wrote all that stuff about ‘counterpointing’ the character, with every twitch in the character receiving a corresponding reverberation in their ‘twin’, if you will. In this case, Tennant and The Master were very similar and I liked that. Anyway, sigh… Kindest, purofilion

    Anonymous @


    Two contrasting characters  are not the mark of an inexperienced writer and usually make for the most interesting moments. Whether you expect it or not the key is in the detail.

    “Slightly off”  – two words – DINNER TIIIIIME!!!!!!!!! Not to mention that both Russell and SIMM have referred to the character as a lunatic.

    Next time, if it’s that big a chore to you just don’t write the word “Kindest” instead of verbalising your exhaustion with responding to my post. Or just don’t respond.

    (SIGH) Thank You

    Anonymous @

    @fosterferris I realise you are young -and hopefully a gentleman. This is a very polite forum.  Please don’t assume when I type ‘sigh’ that it had something to do with what you said. This was not the case: I was referring to Sim and Tennant and those ‘long gone’ days’. Perhaps assume the more positive implication first?

    If you read any of my posts and chat with the people here, I am generally considered patient and kind. I do find, however, that you state an opinion in a way that almost brooks no argument: “Tennant can’t play anger or sorrow for….etc” (I find such bald statements a bit rough for the reader).

    I imagine this is just your way. I am fine with it. But, about this now, I believe you are very new here and already I feel a little offended about your comment: “assuming some exhaustion”: it is not about you 🙂 OK? If it had been, I wouldn’t have signed off the way I did.

    However, if something I wrote was not liked by you or you even felt upset, then I apologise completely. Many years and attitudes separate us all on this site -I guess being gentle and patient (even with me and by me!) is a good attitude to abide by.

    Here, we all get on. It’s a great forum and I’ve made some top mates. I have commented positively on your posts as have others…so enjoy!

    One hint: we try to avoid words in caps: it’s shouting and I felt shouted at 🙁

    Kindest always, puro.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    As it’s now been well over 7 months since Day of the Doctor, I thought I’d do an extension of views on alternate faces of the Doctor we’d seen/heard over the years. The Almost Doctors, if you will. Just because I thought they deserve a mention. I’ve graded them by how much I enjoyed them, and what I thought they did/would have bought to the role.

    Not nearly comprehensive, but a bit of fun, nonetheless. No arguments about non-existent Canon please.

    1. The War Doctor – John Hurt (Day of the Doctor)

    There was a sudden rush of blood to my head at the end of Name of the Doctor. What a coup to get someone like Hurt into the role. Put aside arguments about who should have been in it (Paul McGann/Eccleston, etc), if you wanted to cast someone new, shorn of any expectations about what they’d do, he was both surprising and familiar enough in a wide range of parts that balance good, evil, and somewhere in between, to raise expectations.

    Looking back at the publicity, it was masterful in misdirection from SM, who emphasised darkness, dwelling on what kind of Doctor could have taken the actions he did in the war. I think its history repeating to a certain extent with Peter Capaldi. The pre-publicity by SM seems to show a darker tone, and he’s pronounced the beast must roar, but the beast has roared on quite a few occasions since the Doctor returned.

    In truth, Hurt fit that role like a glove, assuming the manner of a Doctor quite easily. Disarmingly gracious and charming in one moment, biting sarcasm the next. His exchanges with his older selves on language (“timey-wimey?”) and wand/screwdriver action probably delighted those who criticise that aspect of the modern interpretation.

    His main strength though is the sheer sense of universe-weariness he brings to that part. Dejected, and without hope, it’s up-to the Ghost of Christmas Future, the moment (and hats off to Billie Piper – her scenes with her third Doctor are some of her best) to show him what is to come, and explore the means to change it.

    He may only have been a Doctor for a short time, but he’s a worthy addition to the roster.

    2. The Dream Lord – Toby Jones (Amy’s Choice)

    OK – Our first real vision of a Dark splinter of the Doctor in my little list. I think Toby Jones is excellent in this, and Simon Nye’s script is pitch perfect as the Doctors dark alter-ego psycho-analyses him. It’s fun packed and darkly malevolent.

    “If you had any more tawdry quirks you could open up a Tawdry Quirk Shop.”

    3. The Valeyard – Michael Jayston (Trial of a Time Lord, He Jests at Scars Audio)

    Another Dark potential Doctor, and it’s Michael Jayston as the Doctor. As I’ve said before, when it was revealed he was, in some twisted way, the Doctor, I said I would have preferred him to the Doctor he was up against. It’s an assured performance and the one standout from the Trial of a Time Lord series I’ll praise. If he’d added the charm that Jayston had demonstrated in other performances, he would have been a marvellous interpretation of the Doctor.

    4. Alt. Third Doctor – David Warner (Sympathy for the Devil/Masters of War – Audio)

    David Warner is great in these two audio adventures that arose because of the Big Finish Unbound series of alternate takes on the Doctor. It arises in a “What if?” kind of way, with the Doctor never having worked for UNIT and the changes that brings. It’s a great vocal performance as he portrays the Doctor as a charismatic interpretation of the forces of moral certainty – elements of Pertwee and Hartnell, but with a caustic and deadpan delivery of comedy that at various points echoes Troughton, Baker and Davison. Well worth a listen if you get the chance.

    David Warner obviously played the professor in Cold War, and demonstrated his considerable charm in that.

    5. Doctor Who – Peter Cushing (Doctor Who and the Daleks/Dalek Invasion of Earth 2150)

    At this point, the Doctor being a human inventor of his machine was actually a potential route for the TV series to go. The move to the big screen actually troubled Hartnell a lot, as he saw the potential end of the TV series. He needn’t have worried and Cushing’s absent minded professor lacks the cutting edge that Hartnell summoned for the role, and demonstrates what a good call Verity Lambert made in casting him. There is an argument that early rushes of this may have led to the introduction of more comedy and whimsy into the first Doctor, or that was a move already on the cards.

    Whatever, Cushing is still an interesting choice, and the films were responsible for introducing the Doctor and the Daleks to territories that hadn’t seen the show before.

    6. Alternative Doctor – Geoffrey Blayldon (Auld Mortality/A Storm of Angels Audio)

    Geoffrey Blaydon famously turned down the role of the first and second Doctor, but agreed to do this alternative vision of the First Doctor in audio. It’s more an interpretation of the Hartnell Doctor than what he would have done, perhaps, summoning a vocal style and mannerisms very familiar. It’s skewed though from the premise of this story. This First Doctor didn’t leave Gallifrey and in Auld Mortality he is a frustrated writer drawing on inspiration from a “Possibility Generator”, vicariously living out adventures that tie into the Who realm and skew them.

    The performance does communicate that unfulfilled yearning in the Doctor, though and Marc Platt’s script drips with reference to the old series and the New Adventures model of Gallifrey. The follow up isn’t as good.

    7. Alternative Doctor – David CollingsFull Fathom Five Audio

    David Collings is something else entirely in Full Fathom Five. He was a long standing favourite (in certain fan circles) to play the Doctor one day. Largely, I’ve always felt, because of his mercurial performance in Sapphire and Steel as the oddly endearing Silver – a technology specialist who helps the two heroes in their third and sixth adventures.

    When he got the opportunity in this radio play he went for something completely different. From a starting out as something very familiar, caring for an orphaned girl he adopted after a previous adventure underwater, he slowly unleashes a dark side of the Doctor as he returns to the underwater base to conclude unfinished work (and recover his TARDIS). A distillation of the Doctor at his most extreme – one who definitely believes that the end justifies the means. Everyone who wishes for a dark Doctor should sate their thirst on this. The Doctor regenerated as Jack Bauer may be a fun idea to explore, but you wouldn’t wish for a full series of it.

    8. Alternate 13th Doctor Joanna LumleyCurse of Fatal Death

    I’ve separated Joanna Lumley out from the pack of Curse of Fatal Death because I think she’s the only one who came up with a new personality. She’s hilarious and cheeky with the jokes with a nod, wink and energetic performance that in some ways reminds me of Tennant and Smith.

    As Sapphire (in Sapphire and Steel) she was great as the distant/alien time agent and it would be fascinating to know how she would do as a female alternative pitched more seriously.

    9. Alternate 9th /10th Doctor Richard E Grant (Scream of the Shalka Audio Animation / Curse of Fatal Death)

    Richard E Grant also appeared briefly in Curse of Fatal Death, but was allowed more room to manoeuvre in Scream of the Shalka (audio animation). Personally, although I enjoyed it at the time, I can’t see his interpretation having the same success in the new show. I think he’s better at the icy Doctor Simeon/GI.

    10. Alternate 9th 11th 12th Doctor (Curse of Fatal Death)

    OK, Rowan Atkinson gets the main credit here for his sarcastic universe weary Time Lord, but, to be fair this isn’t a real stretch for him as the character is largely BlackAdder. Jim Broadbent’s bashful interpretation and Hugh Grant (who also turned down the ninth Doctor gig) are entertaining cameos at best.

    11. Alternate Doctor – Arabella Weir (Exile Audio)

    Second female Doctor of the list. Arabella Weir also played a female Doctor, and brings much of her charm to this tale of an alternative Doctor who hides from the Time Lords on earth. The main problem for me is that, entertaining enough, there isn’t enough of the Doctor in her performance to be recognisible. It doesn’t help that the story is pitched as pure farce, and the script probably isn’t as funny as it was meant to be.

    I feel obliged to put in an honourable mention to Richard Hurndall, who at least rates a mention for his attempt to recreate the First Doctor in the Five Doctors. I actually thought he captured certain aspects quite well but, because it’s a direct impersonation, I didn’t think it worthwhile rating him.

    Anonymous @

    In reference to phase shift’s post i think had she lived believe Elisabeth Sladen would have been a better choice for the moment as she would have complemented Tom Baker’s cameo.

    Anonymous @

    @phaseshift — a fine blog, sir and I concur completely with all the choices that I’ve actually sampled. I too thought that Lumley stood out a country mile in Fatal Death as the one actor who would make a pretty great choice as the Doctor. I’ve always hated Shalka and have never been in the camp that thought REG would be any good whatsoever as a Doctor. His tombstone face and flat delivery makes a good villain though and he’s a great choice for the Great Intelligence — and I actually hope that we’ll see him again at some point.

    I have thought that David Collings would make a great Doc though and thought that his turns both as Silver and actually as fake-Doc in Mawdryn Undead showed that he’d be pretty good. Haven’t seen his alt-Doc turn so might have to check that out.

    Nor have I seen David Warner’s audio turn but think I probably will have to check it out. He really is an unsung hero of British TV/film. Have just finished rewatching some of the Branagh Wallanders and Warner is really outstanding as the ailing father with dementia. A heartbreaking performance I thought and probably a career best in one that has really rather many stand-out moments.

    Also agree about the War Doctor. Hurt was incredible. Am I the only one who would like to see him return again in some capacity? Titan is missing a trick if it doesn’t add a War Doctor series to its new comics range. There are real possibilities there. Or failing that I still think he’s a great ‘in’ for a decent Who computer game. We finally have a Doc who’s badass and shoots things and is involved in a war. It’s a shoo-in for a Mass Effect-style RPG surely…

    janetteB @janetteb

    @phaseshift. Very interesting post. There are a few alternative Doctors mentioned that I did not know of. I am not familair with the audio stories. Part of the fun of Curse of Fatal Death is seeing different actors’ takes on the role. It is rather like one of those children’s flip books where one changes the face of the character. When one doesn’t work, ie Jim Broadbent, then just try another. On the basis of his performance in that I am very glad that Hugh Grant turned down the role. I don’t think he could have captured the angst of the post-time-war Doctor and I agree with @jimthefish that REG is a much better suited to portraying a villian. He could not have done the light and breezy any more than H.G, in some ways his acting opposite, could have done the dark and heavy.

    @adt1957 Another lovely, “might have been”. I suspect however that bringing back Billie Piper was a commercial decision given her popularity wtih the younger fans. I also suspect that it was not Moffat’s choice to do so as he had said that Rose would not return again, hence we don’t get Rose, (thankfully) but Bad-Wolf-Girl, and one of Billie’s best performances.




    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    While I agree it’s a nice thought, I think @janetteb has it on the nose with commercial decisions. I’ll also add that from the point of view of the story, having the Moment as a trusted face from the past perhaps wouldn’t have worked so well for the story. I think their scenes have meaning for the audience, because they know the bad wolf/Rose history, but this Doctor doesn’t, which adds a frisson of uncertainty to him about “her” motivations.

    I do think (as the commissioned animated trailer for Day of the Doctor showed) that if Elisabeth had been alive she would have had a part in the special as Sarah Jane. Her popularity in both old and new series is unique, and I can believe she would have been on SMs list.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @jimthefish @janetteb

    I’m glad you enjoyed it. The main reason for putting it in here I think was just to highlight how much I enjoyed Hurt in that special. The others were quite fun to compile though with lots of uumming and aaahing about order.

    Jim, entirely agree about Warner. Marvellous actor in serious roles, but with a really peculiar sense of humour on display in others (Time Bandits and League of Gentlemen Apocalypse come to mind). Listening to those audios he really is a canny choice. He’s partnered up with Lethbridge Stewart and its astonishing the easy rapport Warner and Courtney develop in a short space of time. If Hurt had been unavailable for the DotD, he would have been my choice on the strength of these. By the way – computer game featuring voice work from Hurt on the Time War is actually such a good idea.

    If anyone wants to have a listen to some of the audio for Jayston, Collings, Bayldon, Warner or Weir the Doctor Who Unbound series was recorded just before the 40th anniversary and before the announcement of the return of the show.

    The one I haven’t featured is Deadline, because it’s an unusual entry about a writer of a show called Doctor Who that wasn’t commissioned by the BBC, and who gradually begins to merge fiction and reality. It’s actually really good as a play, by Robert Shearman (Dalek) and features non other than Sir David Jacobi as the writer and his fantasy personae of the Doctor.

    The range is on offer at the moment at £5 a play.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Thank Heaven for little valves…

    wolfweed @wolfweed


    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @wolfweed Thanks for the pic – sartorially I am liking Capaldi’s Doctor very much indeed so far.

    Of course <sniff> I’m still in mourning for Smithy’s bow-ties.

    Have we seen his sonic yet?

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @juniperfish – The Capaldi Doctor’s screwdriver appears in the full length official trailer.

    That’s all I’m saying…


    Whisht @whisht


    “Have we seen his sonic yet?”

    And just when I thought that there wasn’t going to be any smut in the Tardis and then you come along…


    takemetomyraggedyman @takemetomyraggedyman

    My favorite Doctors are definitely Christopher Eccleston, Paul McGann and Matt Smith, with Matt being my favorite and Paul at a close second.

    I notice that Paul McGann seems to be often ignored or skipped over, but he’s one of my absolute favorites!

    I’m going to be able to meet him at LI Who 2 this November and I’m extremely excited!

    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    @takemetomyraggedyman I’ve met Paul, he’s a really lovely bloke and one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.

    janetteB @janetteb

    I always felt sorry for Paul because he was good but everything else about the film was shite. He worked hard to prove himself to fans through the radio productions. I have only listened to two, one of which featured him as Doctor. He is blessed with a rich, expresssive voice and so came across very well in audio only. But Paul’s moment of acceptance really was the minisode and I think very few would now begrudge him his place in the life and history of the Doctor. I think he deserves to have more screen time as “The Doctor”, maybe in a series of minisodes. There are so many possibilities these days with the variety of media available.



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    As @janetteb says, the big problem for Paul was that he gave a good performance in a terrible film. The other Doctors all had equally awful scripts for single stories – but for them, the single story awful script wasn’t their only appearance on television.

    For me, the moment of acceptance wasn’t the minisode itself – it was that moment in the minisode when his Doctor named his companions. Because he’d always had TV acceptance as a Doctor; his image had appeared as one of the Doctor’s previous incarnations from Eccleston onwards. But whether it was for contractual reasons or not, including the audio companions as companions signalled his acceptance as the ‘audio Doctor’. The Eighth Doctor was the Doctor whose adventures were on radio, instead of television.

    And those audio adventures were as canonical as anything ever is, on Doctor Who.

    Whisht @whisht

    ah @bluesqueakpip – isn’t that the weapon that Davros was going to use?

    “Detonate…” no that wasn’t it… ah yes,

    “Fire the Reality Cannon!!”


    wolfweed @wolfweed
    wolfweed @wolfweed
    VashtaNerada @vashtanerada

    My favourite Doctor is David Tennant (It isn’t ONLY because of his hair…. that’s about two-sevenths of it),  with Matt Smith a close second. I admit I haven’t watched many of the classics, alright, I’ve watched five of the classics, but one of those was the caves of Androzani and according to lots of people that’s the best one ever, so….


    Anyways, getting slightly off topic as usual, I think i’m not going to like peter Capaldi as the Doctor very much… Sorry Capaldi, barely know you and already don’t have high hopes! It may just be the shock of Matt Smith leaving, but I….. I just have a gut feeling. I don’t mean to offend anyone, please don’t nuke me! 😛

    janetteB @janetteb

    We won’t nuke you @vashtanerada for a politely expressed opinion. (We are nice, mostly…) I would suggest however that you give Peter Capaldi a little more time. OFten a newly regenerated Doctor takes getting used to. My partner really disliked David Tennant initially but he was quickly won over. Some people still don’t like Tennant’s Doctor, others never warmed to Matt Smith. Personal tastes vary and that makes life more interesting and it certainly gives us plenty to discuss on this forum.



    VashtaNerada @vashtanerada



    Thanks, I think I will definitely see how Capaldi develops as the Doctor. I tend to dislike new Doctors for a few months, then absolutely adore them and hate it when they regenerate. I’m sure he’ll be  a great actor, and I’m really interested to see if they will explain the fires of pompeii in one of his episodes.

    bivium6 @bivium6

    Wow @phaseshift , that is incredible.  Thank you

    I’m with you @vashtanerada I love Tennant as an actor, not just because he’s pretty.

    I’m not as big a fan of Hurt, I wish they’d brought McGann back.  I heard he wanted too.  Adding another regeneration is just confusing (meta Ten, Valyard, Watcher, etc.)

    I have high high hopes for Capaldi.  I can see Hartnell and McCoy.

    I’ll admit I’m one who never warmed to Smith.  Which is odd considering I love Troughton.

    And while I use names discussing different Doctors, I don’t see them all as THE Doctor. I’ve got a theory lol

    It’s like Schrödinger’s cat, the Doctor can see what is and what could be. I think Timelords can see events at the quantum level without collapsing the event. Objectively.

    But when they are part of the event it because subjective, the reason River had to break her arm in Angels in Manhattan.

    So they can see themselves objectively as THE Doctor, but on a personal level, they all are their own person subjectively.

    bivium6 @bivium6

    @vashtanerada I hope the explain Pompeii too, I’d love if DoctorDonna was involved somehow.

    That’s another reason I like Tennant.  Sad is happy for deep people, and he was a very tragic Doctor.  Same with Troughton, they both seemed to face regeneration in a similar way.  Not to mention the companions wiped memories.

    That’s a good point @Bluesqueakpip I’ve heard good things about McGann audio’s, I need to listen.

    midnyt @midnyt

    I like Tennant as an actor, however he is my least favorite of the new Doctors.   First place goes to McGann or Eccleston, depending on what mood I’m in, with McGann edging his way to the top with the more I see/hear of his work.  I think part of my problem with Tennant’s era was probably in the writing.  (I personally didn’t see the chemistry between David and Billie that everyone raves over.  I thought Billie and Chris had much better chemistry on-screen. So that felt forced to me.   Then the whole Martha mooning over him ruined that season for me too.   Donna was such a breath of fresh air when she came along.)  David does have some outstanding stories, but Matt was more alien, and had those moments where you remembered, this is a 900+ year old being.   But I’m really excited to see what Capaldi can do.  I really enjoyed his first outing and while I have my doubts that he can take the top spot, he definitely look on track to bypass Tennant, if not Smith as well for me.

    okcorral @okcorral

    Can I ask a question? First off, I have only watched Doctor Who from its reboot in 2005 so I therefore have only seen four Doctors. I am aware that the Doctor’s personality varies after each change but the new, Peter Capaldi Doctor, seems to be quite different at the core level. One of the key aspects of the Doctor appears to be a hate of violence and tries to save every life he can with great care, but in the latest episode (Into the Dalek) he seems to care a lot less and makes quick decisions with the lives surrounding him. The cynicism seems totally out of place with his character. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the new Doctor (I like the wit and such) but his personality seems to have changed so much.  Does anyone else agree with me? Do others, who have watched DW from the beginning, have any insights? My favourite Doctor is Matt Smith by the way. I guess I just loved his quirkiness!

    Oblique @oblique

    My favourite Doctor has to be the one I grew up with. As I matured I began to appreciate different aspects of each incarnation.  I have preferences for different versions of the Doctor at different times. Its probably a mix of nostalgia for particular eras that influences these choices.

    For me Tom Baker is the definitive doctor. I remember; as many of do I’m sure, his first appearance. Such a radical departure for Jon. My loyalties were split. What was nice was having the continuity of Sarah Jane to span the divide.

    I haven’t followed the Doctor with any regularity since its re-launch, but it helps if I differentiate between the Classic serial, and its new alter-ego. Of the new…now receding, I think Mr. McGann for, Night of the Doctor. 

    midnyt @midnyt

    @okcorral Being that you’ve only watched the nu-Who, I can see why you say that. And yes, from 2005 forward that is somewhat true. 9 thru 11 carried the weight of the TimeWar and of having not only wiped out the Daleks (or so he thought) but his own people as well. And with each return of the Daleks, it seemed to him that he wiped out his own people for nothing. That would make him feel he has to save others to make up for all he has destroyed. The Doctor no longer has that hanging over his head. He now has the potential to interact with his own kind again. Remember he’s not human at the end of the day, although 9 thru 11 appeared to try to be, especially 10.

    In addition, we have no idea what affect the new cycle of regenerations might have on him. He’s potentially got another 2000+ years ahead of him, so he doesn’t have the pressure of “OMG, I have to do this before I die”.

    That being said, some of the Classic Doctors did have darker tendencies. And could be much more analytical and not so touchy-feely.

    okcorral @okcorral

    @midnyt Thanks for that! I guess I miss a lot of the backstory when I have only watched the recent seasons. I do love DW and I would like to know the whole story, it’s just there are so many episodes and I don’t have the time to watch them all.

    midnyt @midnyt

    @okcorral You’re welcome. I haven’t seen a lot of Classic Who myself. There are plenty of recommendations here on the forums where you can start if you only have time for a few classic episodes and there are enough members that have seen them that they’ll gladly answer any of your questions, so don’t be afraid to ask! This is a wonderful forum in that even the disagreements are civilized and it makes it a lot of fun. We actually like newbies here and sharing our love of the Doctor!

    VashtaNerada @vashtanerada

    Woohoo! Just watched the Doctor who movie, so now I’m able to blab about it! Paul Mcgann is a good doctor. A lot of people I know who have watched the classics don’t like him, but he’s nice and fits the characteristics of the Doctor. He has very nice hair as well! Too bad he didn’t get more episodes, although he does have all those audiobooks.  Does anybody know if  there was a reason for making a movie instead of the normal episodes?

    janetteB @janetteb

    @vashtanerada I don’t think many older fans objected to McGann. It was generally thought that he was fine it was just the movie that was rubbish. A very quick response to your question is that in the early nineties the BBC axed Dr Who. Several years later they sold rights to a Canadian(or U.S.) company who made the film as a pilot for a TV series. The film, which had none of the feel of the original series, was a flop and so the TV series, (thankfully) did not eventuate. I believe that for some years however McGann’s contract bound him to that company and it was only when it expired that he could do the Big Finish work. (That last may not be correct.)



    VashtaNerada @vashtanerada

    oh, okay, thanks for clearing that up. But the movie wasn’t rubbish! It was pretty good in fact!* (personal opinion, I know, but it really was quite good (except for the eye-keeping-open device, that was just weird.)) Sad to hear that Doctor Who was once cancelled… Good thing it started up again!


    * this may or may not be because I quite like Paul Mcgann’s hair and voice. And the motorbike riding.

    Nightmare @nightmare

    The first doctor I was aware about was Jon Pertwee (I now know to be the third doctor), then after that Tom Baker, strangely enough the one after that I knew about was Sylvester McCoy, although I never really watched it (probably was too young) but saw little bits on the tv as my parents would go through channels.  I got into Dr Who at the reboot with Christopher Eccleston and started to enjoy it, then came David Tennant however I decided not to watch it anymore as I didn’t think I would like David at all, I then gave him a chance and really really liked him then came Matt Smith, baring in mind what I had done previously I gave Matt a chance, turns out Matt is my favourite Doctor prior to watch Capoldi I decided to watch at least one episode of every Doctor I could which I am glad I have.

    Now it’s time to give Capoldi a chance and if I am completely honest……..I like what I have seen so far, I think the only Doctor I didn’t really enjoy was Colin Baker.

    tljenson @tljenson

    Doctor Who has a new face it’s a Crypto Currency.

    I don’t know how many of your are familiar with Bitcoin, but I was researching it out of curiosity. I discovered other alt coins. One of those coins was a DOCTOR WHO crypto currency. I got myself a wallet and invested in the coin. Just think now I can buy Doctor Who stuff with a Doctor Who cryptocurrency! The name is #SDD for short which stand for SonicScrewdriver coin. Odd name, but just the same its actually worth REAL MONEY on a few cryptocurrecies Exchanges. I own $10 worth of #SDD coin if you can believe that. To find out more go to

    Timeloop @timeloop

    <3 11 Tribute

    Arbutus @arbutus

    There has been some discussion this week about whether people feel they have gotten to know this new incarnation. While it’s true that we have not been handed a fully-developed character on a plate as has sometimes happened, we have been given loads of clues. I have been having fun going through the episodes we have seen, and pulling out those clues. I’m going to split this into multiple posts, and it’s really long, so feel free to avoid if rambling personality dissection is not your thing.  🙂

    “Deep Breath” saw a lot of post regeneration confusion, so there wasn’t much to get hold of. But we saw his instant compassion for the dinosaur, and his self-assessment: “Door. Boring. Not me.” And of course, the final scene where he pleads with Clara, “Just see me,” shows his vulnerability and loneliness.

    “Into the Dalek” is a gold mine of information about the new Doctor. His famous question, “Am I a good man?” not only shows his uncertainty but also gives us further insight, when he tells Clara that her answer “must be honest and cold and considered, without kindness or constraint.”  If this is his gold standard for dealing with people, it explains a lot. His view that when the chips are really down, kindness is unhelpful, is made apparent with Ross’s death. We also get a unique view from Rusty the Dalek, who sees in the Doctor beauty, divinity, and hatred of the Daleks. This hatred is a part of him, but he is dismayed by it. As Clara says, he tries to be a good man. He defined himself, long ago, by what he was not– “not the Daleks”, by which he presumably means, “not evil, but good.”

    But he tried to “cure” the Dalek in the hope (unsupported by any evidence) that it would remain “good” even when no longer actively malfunctioning. And it didn’t really take much talking by Clara to resurrect this optimism when it briefly left him. He seemed quite delighted at the idea of being miniaturized, even before he met the patient. And he loves a joke: “Ah, a bolt hole… Does nobody get that?” His interaction with Journey Blue is brusque at times, but essentially kind. And if her request to join him had not been made immediately after his Pyrrhic victory over the Dalek, I wonder whether his answer would have been different?

    In “Robot of Sherwood”, we learn that this incarnation is definitely not comfortable with being labeled a hero. I think he feels far too aware of his own flaws for that. Some of those flaws are fully on display here, including an “enormous ego” and a stubborn inability to accept that he might be wrong. But he also doesn’t mind having a bit of fun, as his spoon/sword battle with Robin shows. And don’t ever threaten his TARDIS!

    Arbutus @arbutus

    … cont’d.

    In “Listen”, we see the analytical, scientist Doctor. He is very single-minded in his quest, aggressively recruiting Clara. We see the confident way with children that most incarnations have, as he tells Rupert, “Fear is a superpower.” But there is a  reluctance to actually lie to him (“You’re never safe”). His treatment of Orson shows his manipulative side; he has crafty ways of getting at the truth. And he is very, very determined to face up to his fears, but not to let Clara get hurt by his doing so. He listens to Clara in the end, and leaves without looking outside the TARDIS. He can trust.

    “Time Heist” reminds us of the Doctor’s alien nature, as he seems truly baffled by Clara in her dating apparel (no insults here, just pure incomprehension). He appears to have a hell of a good time on the heist, admiring clever tech, and flying by the seat of his pants in a truly Doctorish manner (“my personal plan is that a thing is going to happen.”). But things take a grim turn and so does he. Although he reminds them that they must prioritize to survive, his expression after the argument with Psi tells a different story. His instant empathy for the Teller (last of his kind) recalls his earlier sadness about the dinosaur. And his stammering wordlessness when Psi and Saibra show up alive is wonderful to watch. Equally lovely is the resolute way he regains control, and gradually takes charge of his emotions by giving them their “gifts” from the vault. Unlike his two predecessors, he really doesn’t like giving way to his emotions; he prefers to be either ebullient or angry. And of course, the brilliant “I hate the Architect” scene gives a good insight into how he sees himself.

    “The Caretaker” shows us a wide range of traits. He’s definitely having fun at first, seeing the threat as serious but nothing he can’t handle. He doesn’t take his “deep cover” at all seriously, at no time acting in any way like a normal caretaker. The warmth he exudes when telling Clara that he “knows” and “approves” of the boyfriend shows his affection for her. And his response to Danny when he learns the truth, his “explain him to me” line along with his quiet remark to himself, “Humans. I never learn,” suggest a sense of betrayal.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    …cont’d (last one!)

    So, what do we know about the Doctor, halfway through the series? Well, he can be stubborn and impatient, egocentric and egotistical. But he is capable of kindness and compassion, too, and seems to have retained a fierce concern for good and evil.

    He is also dispassionate, analytical, and searingly honest. In a crisis, he has no time for sentiment. His belief in his intelligence is important to him (“Hate not knowing” and “Hate being wrong in public”), and he holds people to a high standard (himself most of all). But he is somehow insecure, and is uncomfortable in the role of hero. (Interestingly, his predecessor did not view himself as a good man, but loved playing the hero, the Oncoming Storm.)

    He is idiosyncratic, funny, and essentially optimistic. Most of all, despite having “saved” Gallifrey, he is still lonely. Although his people are not destroyed, he is still without them. But he is neither the “man who regrets”, nor the “man who forgets” anymore. As people have speculated, there has been a reset, whether due to the new set of regenerations or the resolution of his role in the Time War. He is revisiting traits that we haven’t seen in awhile. And I’d happily take a trip in his TARDIS, notwithstanding any random insults he wanted to pass my way!

    Rob @rob


    Great analysis,  I think you touched on an atribute that has a bearing on the current Doctor/Danny  ‘thing’ when Rusty says he’d make a GOOD Dalek it also is a throwback to the War Doctor he was a superb soldier/warrior who I guess also dug wells (did proper Doctor stuff in his own eyes) whilst being at war. So Danny and the Doctor are cut of the same cloth

    Anonymous @

    @arbutus thank you for that. Wunderbar! Expressed with arbutus elegance & analytical intent. For you the Doctor is optimistic but also insecure. Others have referred to this too. I guess what I do -and it’s either good or bad – is state all the good things, any negative things and then barfle (new word) about how ‘good’ those negative things are anyway. Curmudgeonly for one and nervy for another. Now that last is synonymous with insecure I think and yet, nope, I didn’t want to say it!

    Possibly, I want the Doctor to be perfect: I did that with 10 and 11 too – what’s my psychosis I wonder?

    But yes “random insults” so true -and something with which to cope; “idiosyncratic and funny”; oh yes, totally and I love the qualities -I liked those quirks in the War Doctor and I can imagine, Number 12, hand on chin, eyes rolling, as 10 and 11 rollicked away whilst the War Doctor rolled his eyes and made those uncomplimentary remarks about The Sonic!

    But he isn’t lying so much: “you’re never safe” as you picked up with Rupert.

    I will be coming back to this blog!

    Delighted, puro.

    Anonymous @

    @timeloop having just adored 12 I then watched the tribute -thank you for putting that up and of course, family came up and then left me in tears to mourn. But they are the same person. No, I can’t get my head around that.

    I’m still going to be poetic about 11. Still feel the same heightened tension and sense the broad smiles as I watch the TV.

    Kindest, puro-saddist

    DrBen @drben

    @purofilion – Possibly, I want the Doctor to be perfect: I did that with 10 and 11 too – what’s my psychosis I wonder?

    Interesting.  Personally, I find the Doctor to be much more interesting when he is not perfect.  I think, in fact, that that is my biggest issue with 10 – he’s just so perfect and unflappable.  My favorite moments of 10 are when he completely loses it — particularly the “Timelord Victorious” stuff in The Waters of Mars and his thoroughly unfair and egocentric rant at Wilf in his finale (“I could’ve done so much!).  Tennant is a staggeringly good actor (possibly the most well-trained of the modern era), and is phenomenally good at making these outbursts flow naturally from the earlier characterization, so that while they’re a surprise, the signs were all there beforehand.

    In fact, my wife decided some ways through 10’s tenure that he is actually cold and distant, and his charming veneer is actually an act, employed to keep anyone from getting too close (post-Rose, at least), while simultaneously appearing to be AOK and in control.  It’s an interesting theory, and Tennant’s good enough to pull it off if that was his intention.

    I prefer 9 and 11 because their imperfections are closer to the surface.  9’s rage in “Dalek” is so raw.  But it’s Smith who wins for me.  His forced whimsy was irritating at first, but Smith deftly juxtaposed that perpetual motion with astonishing moments of stillness, when his eyes would take on centuries of sadness.  11, more than any other Doctor, is Pinocchio — he just wants to be a real boy.  But every setback chips away at him and renders him more ancient and alien.  For me, some of his finest performances come in the second half of season 7 — shattered by the loss of Amy and Rory (well, Amy at least), he is overcome with loneliness and mistrust, and never really allows Clara to get close to him until the very end.

    12, thus far, is still a bit of an enigma, but so fascinating to watch.  As I said in one of the other threads, I originally thought that he was the Doctor without all the masks, but now I think he’s incapable of existing without a mask — and the mask this time is the gruff grandpa who pretends he doesn’t care.  I agree with @arbutus that this comes out of insecurity and loss of identity.  I think he has pushed away from what he was as 11 (no whimsy here, for sure), but at the same time, he misses the joy he felt in that incarnation – as evidenced by how pleased he was when he thought Clara was falling for the 11 lookalike.

    At any rate, Capaldi is firing on all cylinders, and doing an excellent job of keeping us guessing.  I can’t wait to see what he doesn’t next!

    P.S. – puro, my initial guess was “Pur of Ilion” rather than “Puro Filion” (based on your references to other Ilions) until I noticed you sign your posts “puro”.  So is it “Puro F. Ilion”?  Inquiring minds, etc.

    DrBen @drben

    @timeloop – That 11 tribute is so wonderful!  All the feels!

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @timeloop     I had missed your tribute posting, I have just watched it and am now tearful and smiling! Thanks!

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @purofilion    @drben

    I have never felt a need for the Doctor to be perfect, but it’s interesting that the one time I can recall being annoyed by his imperfection was in Ten’s last story. I think there’s a lot of truth to this: he is actually cold and distant, and his charming veneer is actually an act, employed to keep anyone from getting too close.   He was, as you say, so apparently “perfect” that it was harder to forgive when he wasn’t. It was never a problem for me with Eleven, but then I think Eleven was more able to see his own failings, somehow.

    It’s probably true that, with every incarnation, some part of what we see is a façade, as the Doctor will always be an alien time traveller interacting with humans. Perhaps he uses whatever persona comes to the fore after a regeneration as part of that mask? I think Ten was genuinely interested in people, and was perhaps actively trying to be happy again. But underneath it all, he was alien, and alone. Perhaps, because he was the “man who regrets” he felt he had to be the perfect hero, to represent his people or to make up for having destroyed them? Eleven has moved on, and as you say: he just wants to be a real boy. That’s a brilliant description.

    I think Twelve no longer wants that. He knows he can never be that, but perhaps he’s not sure what to replace it with? His conversation with Courtney really reminded me of a slightly crankier Four, with his off-the-wall remarks and lack of pretense. In fact, I could do a whole separate post on the subject of all the different incarnations I am seeing in the Twelfth Doctor!

    Interesting, btw, what you said about Eleven not letting Clara get close until near the end. I felt the same way. I never really felt that the relationship had any depth until the Day of the Doctor, and then even more at Christmas. Perhaps it was because he was so taken up with the “impossible girl” mystery, that he couldn’t see her as a real person? And once that was resolved, she was simply Clara Oswald, and he could actually get to know her.

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