Doctor Who should not be four years younger than me.

This is just a fact. Young Doctors don’t work. Davison was OK, but far better in the audios, when he’d got some gravitas. Tennant has been awful. The Doctor should be, *at a minimum* in his mid-forties, and ideally in his sixties.

I’ve not seen this Matt Smith in anything, but it’s a shame the job didn’t go to Paterson Joseph, as rumoured. If it had been him, I’d have been cautiously optimistic about the new series once the awful combination of Davies and Tennant had gone. Now I’ll probably give one or two episodes a chance just out of curiousity, but very much doubt I’ll watch more than that.

BFAW in a little while.

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13 Responses to Doctor Who should not be four years younger than me.

  1. Matthew Huntbach says:

    Very much agreed. I haven’t watched Dr Who for years, but when I did watch it as a kid, surely the whole point was that Dr Who was a cranky old man who regarded ordinary humankind with the sort of affectionate bemusement only a cranky old man who is also a loveable super-genius could.

  2. Alas, Mathew, in the new show, the point is more that the Doctor is a skinny young man who moons about bemoaning the loss of his One True Love, a nineteen year old human girl who is the Bestest Person In The Whole Of Ever…

    I am, as this blog will attest, a huge fan of the old show. The new show is just awful…

  3. (Sorry, that should be Matthew with two ts, shouldn’t it? Apologies for the typo)

  4. Matthew Huntbach says:

    Well I guess it’s all part of modern entertainment, where it is decreed that anything broadcast can only involve people who act or look like teenagers.

    No worries about the missing ‘t’. I’ve even learnt to live with people who think the final ‘h’ of my surname should be a ‘k’, and I’m working om people who think “ntb” must be pronounced “nchb”.

  5. As someone who gets variously addressed as Andre Whickey or Andrew Hickley, Hinkley, Mickey or Hiskey, as well as someone whose actual surname is responsible for increasing the merriment of many, I can sympathise…

  6. RAB says:

    Eccleston is two years younger than me; Tennant is nine years younger; Smith is twenty. I don’t know if I’m trying to say “I know how you feel” or “Shut up shut up shut up!”

    (For what it’s worth, my mother is an avid DW fan despite every Doctor since Tom Baker being younger than her. Apparently, it’s possible to adjust…)

    A word on behalf of poor old David Tennant, though. We’ve established that you and I can have wildly divergent views on individual Doctors. For instance, I never had a kind word for Colin Baker’s tenure as the Doctor…but many would urge me to dissociate him from the utterly awful television stories he had to deal with (not to mention the costume) and not judge him too harshly on factors that were beyond his control. By the same token, I like Tennant a great deal and think there are moments where he rises to exactly what the Doctor should be…it’s just that these moments are obscured by some terrible stories and fundamental misunderstanding on the part of the producers of how the character should work.

    Even there my judgement is kinder than yours: I’d say maybe…mmm…a third of new Who has been pretty decent. I totally agree with your reply to Matthew about the One True Love for Mary Sue Tyler, and a lot of episodes I’ve switched off in disgust. (One episode I only got five minutes into before I could take it no more.) But I’d still say Tennant has had some very fine moments.

  7. Oh, the new series has been far from all bad. The Eccleston series in particular actually had more good episodes than bad, and even among the Tennant episodes there have been a few that have been excellent TV. Dalek, Blink and the Human Nature two-parter probably stand up as well as anything from the old series (although even they all show the faults of the new series – they just overcome the faults), and things like The Unquiet Dead and The Sound Of Drums have been interesting at least (though the latter is destroyed by the two episodes following it).

    It’s just that even when the series has been good, it’s not been good *Doctor Who*. And you’re right that that is the fault of the production team far more than the lead actor – Tennant can act. But Tennant is working against his appearance (which I’m afraid just isn’t Doctor-ish enough for me, with that indie-cool haircut and suit), that ridiculous accent he has to put on (I don’t know whose decision that was, but it was appaling) and a production team who don’t understand the character at all.

    Doctor Who should be Sherlock Holmes, with a tiny bit of Bugs Bunny thrown in. What we’ve been given is Generic ‘Wacky’-but-Brooding-and-Sensitive Hero #47. I don’t blame Tennant for that (though the worst excesses of the performance – the Kenneth Williams impressions particularly – I lay on his shoulders) but Russel Davies. Either way, though, the show they were making is different enough from the show I love that I never watched the last series and have no intention of watching any more (except for a cursory glance at the first episode or two with Moffat in control, to see if it’s still as bad).

  8. Alex Wilcock says:

    Unlikely as it may seem today (and I’d have picked an oldie – Matt is eleven years younger than I am, almost to the day – but am happy to give him the benefit of the doubt), I hope you enjoy the new regime rather more. In the meantime, as you doubted it could be done, may I transport you back to see just why the glory days of 1993 were brilliant? ;-)

    You’ve also managed to encapsulate in a sentence why I really, really want to like Master, but find I can only do it if I skip the final episode…

  9. Yeah. Master’s a real wasted opportunity. If they’d done something different with the last part, it could have been something quite nice and special, I get the feeling The Sound Of Drums in the new series was at least partly inspired by it…

    And I’ll give Moffat a fair shake. I don’t like the ‘attitude’ of the man’s writing (he seems to write like a sixth former who wants to make sure no-one thinks he’s one of those nerdy nerds) but he’s got a far better grasp of how to write for TV in terms of fairly basic things like pacing and so on than anyone else involved in the show. My suspicion is that the new series will be ‘better’ than the last few years, but not really any more the sort of thing I want to watch, if you see what I mean…

  10. Alex Wilcock says:

    I can understand that; I think Steve Moffat’s technically a brilliant writer, but I’m rare in finding Russell’s ‘feel’ more to my taste as far as Who goes. But still looking forward to a change.

  11. Jason Yarn says:

    Man, I love reading your recaps of old Doctor Who stuff since I’m mainly familiar with Baker from back then, but your unrelenting hate on for the current runs is crazy. I appreciate all the Whos and see how different each of them are – I think you might be calling the Baker episodes “nuWho” if you were writing this blog after having loved Docs 1-2-3, since the show took on such a different tone at that point (‘cranky old man’ replaced with ‘ancient soul with child-like wonder’).

    So, would you prefer that the show just went off the air for good, if this was the only way to have it on?

  12. Well, Jason, I’m glad you like *some* of my writing, anyway…
    I wouldn’t say I have an ‘unrelenting hate on;’ for the new series – this is a thread, after all, where I’ve said four episodes of the new series stand up as well as anything.
    I actually have one friend who refuses to watch anything past the first Pertwee series, as he thinks that after then the show lost what made it special for him. I obviously don’t take that attitude, but it’s one I can respect.
    The difference between the transition from Pertwee to Baker, and the old show/new show transistion is that there was continuity between Pertwee and Baker – not in terms of ‘in epsode 123 the Doctor said all Gallifreyans are left-handed, and they kept to that’, but in terms of who was actually making the show. The scripts in Baker’s first series were commissioned by the outgoing production team, the supporting cast were the same, and the new script editor was someone who had written for the show for years and been chosen by the outgoing team.
    The old show changed enormously – as anything would over 27 years – to the extent that I think of it as at least five or six different series. I just happen to enjoy them all, because the things I like stay *relatively* consistent. But I see nothing wrong with someone hating (say) the John Nathan-Turner years, or Douglas Adams’ tenure as script editor.

    As for the new show, I honestly couldn’t care less if it was broadcast or not. If there’s a big news item about it, I comment to forestall people asking me ‘what do you think about X?’ but otherwise I don’t watch it, and think of it in the same terms as any other TV show I don’t watch. If it went off-air now, never to return, I’d be fine with that. If it carried on for another 20 years, I’d be fine with that too, but I doubt I’d watch it or be at all interested.

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