Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Doctor Who?

One of my all-time scenes from Doctor Who is when the regenerated Doctor (David Tennant) burst through a door in a robe and pajamas into the middle of a major crisis and says, "Didja miss me?" That note of levity was typical of Tennant's Doctor. That question also applies to my missing my turn here last month. Sorry about that. No excuse. No reason, other than absentmindedness.

I'm sure my fellow Whovians have their favorite Doctor. Tennant is mine. I came late to the party. But if you have to come into an existing franchise, the best time is during a retrospective--like the 50th anniversary. I couldn't believe Doctor Who had been on the air for all that time and I never knew about it. I could up quickly with the anniversary specials, and I've now seen all the episodes in the new version, starting with Christopher Eccelston's Doctor. Wasn't too crazy about him, though. 

As I mentioned, Tennant's quirky humor endeared him to me. But he wasn't all fun and games. He could be tough when he needed to be. Remember his threat to bring down Harriet Jones' government with six words? Very clever, that man. Or is he a man? He's certainly not human. A Time Lord, who doesn't die but regenerates. The most poignant scene was with Rose on the beach when she knew she would never see him again. I was very disappointed when they wrote out Tennant.

I'm still ambivalent about Peter Capaldi's Doctor. Loved the interaction between him and the much younger Clara. The humor was still there, but then the series grew much more serious. And weird. I didn't want to see Clara leave. Even worse, the way she did, as well as the way the Doctor tried to hold onto her. The strangeness of the last episodes of the season left me wondering how they would ever return to the humor of previous seasons. I hope they will.

Don't get me wrong. Doctor Who has always made us think about our current events. That's what science fiction is good at--dealing with current crises in an oblique way. Gene Roddenberry did the same in Star Trek.  Watching aliens work through troubles is easier than being lectured at for polluting the atmosphere or racial relations.

So I'll keep watching, keep hoping. And enjoying good science fiction.

When Diane Burton isn't writing romantic suspense and mysteries, she's off to the frontier of space, the world of her Outer Rim series.

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