Just thought I’d update with some info on my favorite TV show: BBC’s Doctor Who. This series has run-on and off-for nearly fifty years, with a few hiatuses (The longest being from 1989-2005, where only a TV movie was made before the series was properly brought back).
Anyway, Doctor Who’s premise is basically this: “The Doctor” (Not “Doctor Who”-the title of the series is in the form of a question and is not really the name of the character) is a humanoid alien from a race known as the Time Lords. Basically Time Lords have mastery over time and space travel but unfortunately have a mostly stagnant society, where they choose only to study and not to interfere. The Doctor grew tired of this, so he decided to steal a TARDIS (Time and Revelative Dimensions In Space-the Time Lord’s primary vehichles for time/space travel) and have adventures through all of time and space.
There have been some recent modifications to the premise since the series 2005 revival-The Doctor had recently fought in a war with the Daleks, a species of genetically modified octopus-like creatures encased in bionic battle tanks and with a hatred for all life except for themselves. The War ended with the destruction of the Doctor’s own people and the Daleks (Well, sort of). The Doctor’s survivors guilt over this “time war” is one of the major themes of the new series.
The Doctor’s character is often witty, odd and whimsical-although there are more serious elements to his character, and ocassionally we do get some glimpses into his darker side. He’s basically a travelling hero, who rights wrongs across all of time and space. The character of the Doctor is also very flexible-The Doctor has the ability to regenerate when he is mortally wounded into pretty much a new man, one that has the Doctor’s basic do-gooder/witty persona but has changed appearence and other aspects of his persona. The eleven Doctor actors are the following:
1: William Hartnell (1963-1965) The originator of the role, he basically started playing a grumpy old man but softened later on.
2. Patrick Troughton (1965-1969) A shorter, younger man with a Moe Howard esque haircut. A more comedy-oriented Doctor, sort of a ‘galactic hobo’
3-Jon Pertwee (1970-1974) Appeared as a man in his fifties/sixties. His era put more emphasis on gadgets and actions, and often is compared to the James Bond films.
4. Tom baker (1974-1981) Had the role for the longest. The most popular Doctor and still the iconic Doctor to many people. He had a wide-eyed, often goofy but also often brooding persona, curly hair, big teeth and of course, a giant scarf.
5-Peter Davison (1981-1984) A much younger incarnation, with fair, blond hair and a passion for cricket. Probably the most vulnerable of the Doctors.
6-Colin Baker (1984-1986) An attempt to return to Tom’s eccentricity and Hartnell’s mean-spiritedness but badly done, unfortunately :(. This Doctor sported an ugly, multi-colored coat and a mean streak. Colin didn’t last too long in the role.
7-Sylvestor McCoy (1989-1996) A less temperamental, shorter and older-looking incarnation than Colin, but also one with a darker side. However his era was uneven and the show was temporarily canceled.
8-Paul Mcgann (1996) Paul only played the Doctor on-screen in one TV movie, unfortunately. His Doctor had a lust for life, but unfortunately the TV movie was not enough to warrant a series.
9-Christopher Eccleston (2005) Eccleston only played the Doctor for one season, but he insured the then-revived show’s future with a strong performance as the post-Time War Doctor. His incarnation was more moody and often less eccentric than previous ones-most prominent in his choice of costume, a leather jacket and jumper.
10-David Tennant (2005-2010) The most popular so far of the modern incarnations, David’s Doctor was more fun-loving than Eccleston’s and was more open to romance than his previous incarnations. His fun-loving attitude often hid the continuing trauma of the time war and a sometimes selfish attitude.
11-Matt Smith (2010-now) The current Doctor, he is younger than pretty much all previous Doctors but is more mature in an emotional sense. He has a sort of ‘befuddled’ look and nature similar to Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow. He also has far less survivor’s guilt than his two predecessors.
Anyway, that’s it for now. Next, I’ll talk about more of the villains and the Doctor’s sidekicks/friends: companions!