Confession #32: I Miss the Time Lords


[For those of you looking for a review of The Snowmen: I'm sorry; I'm afraid you'll have to wait another week. I haven't had time for a second viewing and analysis yet.]

Recently, the comment thread on another post led me to reflect on one of my biggest pet peeves as a neowhovian who has become a fan of the entire fifty year run of our show: RTD's removal of the Time Lords for the series relaunch in 2005.

Why, you may ask, do I care?

First, it puts a huge, rather stupid wrench in continuity between the two eras of the show. I honestly don't know what RTD's motivation for inventing the Last Great Time War (LGTW) was, but I've heard it said that it was because the Time Lords would be too confusing for new fans. I hope that's not the case, because that just tells me that RTD basically thought I - and others like me - must be dumb.

I mean, really; how hard can it be? We already know our protagonist is alien; we're with you there. He's got advanced, alien tech and can travel anywhere in space or time; still with you. He has a rocky relationship with the authorities on his home planet, such that he ran away and only works with them when he has to; nope! Sorry, now I'm lost. (Oh, wait... No, I'm not.)


Nu-View #11: Back to Our Roots


The End of the World and The Unquiet Dead (Series One, Eps. 2-3; 2005)
Viewed 27 Nov 2012

Doctor/Companion: Nine, Rose Tyler
Stars: Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper
Preceding Story: Rose (Nine, Rose)
Succeeding Story: Aliens of London (Nine, Rose)

    Last month, after we finished watching The Angels Take Manhattan, we Ladies weren't really ready to call it a night. After all, 45 minutes of Who is hardly enough. So, on a whim, we decided to watch Rose.

    Needless to say, it was a huge nostalgia bomb. For three of us, it was the first episode of Doctor Who we'd ever seen. You never forget your first. We all enjoyed getting back to our beginnings with Nine and Rose, and so it was decided that we would continue on with them for a while.

    So here we are, back at our beginnings.

    For most of the Ladies (everyone but me), it had be a long time since they'd seen Nine in action. Much of our evening was thus spent just watching the action unfold on screen, and laughing at all the jokes. But now and again, a comment would pop out.

    "Teach her not to be impressed," jE declared as Nine finished his "welcome to the end of the world" speech. Then came the opening credits. jA commented on how this version really takes her back, and I can't help but agree; this was my introduction to the entire Whoniverse, and there's something incredibly special to me about listening to that first Murray Gold theme. It puts me in a special, treasured mental space.

    Speaking of Gold and his work, I just love it here. Knowing it so well in retrospect, it's fascinating to hear the introduction of the bars that would eventually be dubbed "Rose's Theme" right after the Doctor does his "jiggery pokery" on her phone. That moment is one of several here in End of the World that show the developing relationship between Doctor and Companion, and give a sense of the franchise as a whole.


    Confession #26: I Wish We'd Seen More of the Shalka Doctor


    Now I can by no means claim to be an aficionado when it comes to BBC webcasts, but I have to say I am rather inordinately fond of Scream of the Shalka. I say "inordinately" because I've only seen it the once.

    Shalka holds a rather unusual place in Who history. It was first intended as an "official" extension of the televised series, released in six 15-minute parts over the 40th anniversary from 13 Nov - 18 Dec 2003. When it was announced in July of that year, it was assumed this would be the new direction for the franchise - continuing televised stories seemed like a pipe dream - so this Doctor, voiced by Richard E. Grant (known to some as the "lick the mirror handsome" Doctor from the 1999 Comic Relief special "The Curse of Fatal Death" - not to mention Withnail from the 1987 cult classic Withnail and I costarring Eighth Doctor Paul McGann), was billed as the Ninth Doctor.

    Before this first new story even saw the light of day, though, it was doomed to become some sort of obscure footnote. By the end of September 2003, the return of Doctor Who to our screens had been announced. For a brief time, there was question whether or not the Shalka Doctor (as this "alternative Nine" has come to be known) would remain the Ninth Doctor (making Eccleston's on-screen Doctor the Tenth) or not. I guess we all know how that turned out.


    Confession #13: I'm Mad at Eccleston


    Looking at the title of this Confession, you might be under the mistaken impression that I don't like Nine. In fact, just the opposite is true. While my affections were eventually transferred firmly to Ten, Nine was the Doctor who brought me into the fold, and he truly was fantastic. I love him to pieces, and was definitely left wanting more.

    So why the grumpy face? Simple. Christopher Eccleston, the actor who so brilliantly portrayed the Doctor's ninth incarnation, never really bought into the whole bonkers culture that surrounds Who. It wasn't for him. I suppose I can't really fault him for that (I know it's not everyone's cup of tea), but if you're not going to buy in, why put yourself in that position? Why take the role and then bail at the first available opportunity?



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