Tuesday, August 26, 2014
And the Twelfth / Fourteenth / Whatever # He Is Doctor Arises
If there is one thing I've learned in my years of watching Doctor Who, it's never get attached to any one Doctor. So I haven't. In fact, I even love classic Doctors like Six or Five or Seven. Heck I even really like the Original Doctor, obnoxious old crank that he is. So, I would be hard-pressed to pick a true favorite of the entire franchise.
However, at the moment with the new set of Doctors, my favorite is Matt Smith. His eyes twinkle, he's laid back and just plain fun. He doesn't have zaniness of Nine or the broodiness of Ten, so I love Eleven. But, because I'm very accepting of new actors taking on the role of the Doctor, I was excited at the prospect of a new Doctor. That excitement doubled, maybe even tripled, when Capaldi was announced because he doesn't fit the modern mold that fangirls have come to expect. Capaldi is old and cranky with a lined face and grey hair. He isn't anyone's boyfriend. He is the Doctor and I'd like to think that maybe Capaldi will get the fan's focus back on him being the Doctor and far less on pairing him romantically with a companion.
Even though I knew he was older, I still didn't know what to expect from Capaldi until I settled down to watch Deep Breath with my sister. I love him. Already! It usually takes me several episodes to adapt to a new Doctor, but with Capaldi I just jumped right in. I love his snarkiness. I love that human beings are pudding-heads to him. And I love that he is Scottish (sorry Tennant, I know that frustrates you). I think he will be magnificent and a breath of fresh air from the "attractive" young Doctors. Maybe the show will win back some original viewers by having a Doctor who's more like the classic Doctors, while still maintaining the episode excellence fans have come to expect from the show. Those who love the franchise no matter what will stay on. The rest, well, adios.
As for the first episode itself, I was about 50/50 in liking it. I have no idea what happened to Clara. She didn't strike me as that whiny before, and like Charity's post, I agree that Clara hardly seems to be the bossy type. I mean, that's not what they show us, so why constantly say that she is when we know she isn't. Amy Pond was bossy, not Clara. So, it felt really out of character to have her whimpering about having an old Doctor, especially since she already met the War Doctor and had seen Eleven old. Seriously, it doesn't make sense, and I suspect that Charity's thoughts are right and that Moffat is pleading with the fangirls to understand and like this new Doctor. It's sad that he felt the need to stoop to that level of begging.
I'm also sick unto death of Vastra and Jenny. I could pick a certain reason for not liking them, but it's actually more of my frustration about Moffat using her as the "inspiration" for Sherlock Holmes when any Holmes fan worth their salt knows that Doyle used Dr. Bell as his inspiration. So, I'm mightily ticked at the audacity of Moffat, but then I shouldn't expect anything more from him. I just wish we could have one Victorian episode without Vastra and Jenny popping in for an appearance. Plus, this episode did not need Vastra and Jenny, at all. They didn't add anything to the plot other than being there. The plot itself, what there was of it, was excellent and incredibly freaky, and that is the brilliance of Moffat shining through the muck. When he's not pleading for viewers to understand his work or indulging his dirty fantasies, he's quite excellent. That plot was excellent. I just wish they'd given more thought to it.
As for Clara, well, once she's back to normal, which she seems to be now, I think she'll be a congenial match for Capaldi's Doctor. I suppose I should feel "sorry" for her that her young, handsome, virile Doctor got taken away, but I don't. The Doctor is 2000 years old. Don't fall for the face. It's what's inside that counts, and he's still the Doctor. I still saw bits of Matt Smith's performance in him, which I just loved. I didn't like Capaldi's regeneration as much when Matt Smith came aboard, but I liked it better than Tennant's. I don't think anyone can top Matt's first episode, quite frankly, so I was trying not to compare the two, but Matt's first episode was both brilliant and adorable on many levels, and Deep Breath is nowhere near the same achievement.
But as for Capaldi himself, as the new Doctor, he's a hit with me and I can hardly wait for the next episode.