We at What’cha Reading tend to have some really great email threads. What follows is an extrapolation of a response I was writing to one of our family of writers (Juan Pineda to be exact) when he said he preferred Matt Smith to David Tennant. I hope you’ll indulge me this foray into why I love Doctor Who. And I hope you’ll join in the comments with your stories of what you love and why. What’cha Reading exists because we’re fans. We love this stuff. Here’s my love letter to an incredible show, hope you enjoy it.
I’m one of those people who thought the pre-2005 Doctor Who looked ridiculous. I couldn’t get into the British “we’ll spend nothing on effects, just come along” way of doing things. But inspite of the goofy sets and in some cases ridiculous characters (Slitherine anyone?) I fell in love with the series almost immediately. It was well written, well acted, fact is it was a hell it was just a lot of fun!
The moment he regenerated into David Tennant I remember standing up and shouting at the television “who is this flippant little fop!” (yes I occasionally talk that way.) I was beside myself, I just couldn’t believe that they would “ruin” the show like that. But these days I’ll say it.
David Tennant is “My Doctor”.
The fact is I clicked with his portrayal so well, I liked him so much, it was my favorite show ever. I watched and watched never wavering. Then after too short a time (but actually quite a good long time) he regenerated into Matt Smith.
I’ll admit I’d grown in my appreciation of the series that is Doctor Who, I understood that this is how things were done, but I never let go of my love of Tennant’s Doctor. So manic, often so self-righteous, always so heroic. It’s funny Chris E was the first (that I saw) use the line Run! (I believe he said it along the lines of “Nice to meet you, Rose, – run for yer life!”) but I still hear it as “RUN!” in Tennant’s voice.
There was a thing that happened to me watching the Doctor that had never really happened before. I’m a comic book fanatic, been reading them all my life. There is no character, Marvel or DC, that I ever looked at like the Doctor. Sure Superman is wonderful, but for some reason too “good”. Batman? I guess I always felt with the right circumstances (Sorry Mom and Dad) and funding I could’ve been him. To use a completely out of context reference Eric Stratton (from the movie Animal House) was probably the coolest, most capable character I ever saw. I remember thinking “I want to be THAT guy”. Guess what, more than once or twice I was THAT guy. But the Doctor, holy cow he’s the pinnacle, the one you crush on, guy or girl, the one you no you can never emulate but god if you only could.
David Tennant was “My Doctor”. And even though I hated it at the time looking back now I can even admit that his regeneration episode, the sword “fight” (or rather the Doctor brandishing a sword in his pajamas), is one of my favorite episodes.
Though oddly a lot of my favorite episodes were Matt’s, David met the Weeping Angels but Matt dealt with them with River at his side and OMG The Silence?! Best written villain, and best written resolution ever! Now we have a new Doctor and though Capaldi is a great actor, it just feels off. The new set, the new writing. Even Clara, I fell like she never really became a companion (to me). But I keep watching.
The Doctor is many things to many people, they really have found a way to write and present a character that becomes part of you in (at least for me) not many other characters can.
He is my hero.
I still miss David Tennant.
I still keep watching.
And you know what? I don’t like Capaldi, but maybe someday I will.