Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Top That

The Doctor Who revival 4 years back began promisingly enough. A joie de vivre marked the proceedings, and Christopher Eccleston made a fine Doctor. Everything about him was fun. He was rough around the edges without being too annoying. He was dashing in his own way in his leather jacket. And he had a great way of saying "fantastic!" that endeared him in my heart forever.

The show was something else. The revival worked wonders for the franchise because it was really well-written - first by Russell T. Davies and then a bevy of writers coming in to do individual stories. The acting was good - Eccleston was great,and Billie Piper as the Doctor's companion was quite competent. And, this is the clincher: Doctor Who has the capacity to regenerate, which gives the show flexibility in terms of changing out the actors.

After the first season, for whatever reason, they decided to do that, replacing Eccleston with David Tennant.

I was aghast. It seemed like change just for the sake of change, or for a contract dispute or for no good reason whatsoever. Eccleston was good! Why bother changing him?

However, I was proven wrong. David Tennant's acting is so sublime that it elevated the series to a completely different level altogether. His face and his whole body covey glee when things are at their most chaotic. And when things get serious, his mood and that of the whole episode changes on a dime. He is fierce and fearsome, and you don't want to be on the receiving end of that wrath. Sartorially, he defines new creative heights - canvas shoes (Chucks, no less) with a full suit and waistcoat. 

Again now, changes are afoot. There’s a new Doctor in the wings who’ll be unveiled at the end of this year. He’s younger, definitely not ginger and looks a bit too boyish to me.

Is he going to look credible staring down the Daleks and stopping whole armies of marauding aliens in their tracks? Will he continue the trend of rising stakes – better acting, better sartorial style and yes, more fun? I sure hope so.


Ramanand said...

It so happened that I only managed to watch CE as Dr you-know-who - am a fan of the man, after Elizabeth and this TV series called Cracker.

Was disappointed to see he had left the show, but if I do catch the Pennant videos at the library, will give it a shot.

Have heard the Dr. Who inspired Torchwood isn't all the special, btw.

Ajay said...

Yes, I hear the same about Torchwood. There's another spinoff now - the Sarah Jane Chronicles based on another character in the same universe.

Try Tennant's Doctor. Some episodes (esp. Season 3) are really good.