I am re-watching Doctor Who in addition to Game of Thrones, in some ways as an antidote to the darkness and despair that is part of GoT. Don’t get me wrong — I like both shows, but sometimes, it’s important to have a little joy included with the terror, and there’s not much joy in GoT. There are times when DW is more filled with terror for me, since I really like the characters and don’t want them to die. In GoT, there aren’t many characters that I like much anymore and I expect them all to die in a horrible way, which makes the show less powerful, but that’s a whole other blog post.
So, to all the fans of Classic Who, be prepared to be disappointed. I did not start there, but with the reboot, the ninth season starring Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper. I do plan to watch the Classic Who episodes, but since I first fell in love with the Doctor while the Doctor was Eccleston, that’s where I’m starting my own review of the series. When I first watched this series, I found Rose to be slightly annoying. Upon this re-watch though, I liked her much more and found her excitement over the doctor and travelling to be endearing.
I think this season of the doctor was wonderful. It has some of the best episodes, including The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances. I know that folks generally are in love with David Tennant, and who can blame them, but I don’t think Tennant could have come into the show as successfully if Eccleston hadn’t set the stage for him. In Eccleston’s portrayal of The Doctor, we see a man who is absolutely soul-sick over the Time Wars and his place in them, but we also see a man who loves the universe and believes in the power of love and kindness and goodness. The scene in The Doctor Dances where Eccleston joyfully proclaims “Everybody Lives! This one time, everybody lives” shows just how much the Doctor wants to be able to save people and to give people the opportunity to enjoy all that there is to offer in this universe. I love when he picks up the little boy, Jamie, and says,
“Only 20 years to pop music. You’re going to love it.” Billie Piper helps us realize the importance of joy and love since what he and we learn from her journeys with him is to embrace life and to acknowledge all the parts of living this life that we have to lead.
Now, I’ll go ahead and tell you in advance that my favorite Doctor/Companion pairing is Tennant and Tate, but there’s a magic between Eccleston and Piper that allows for all the rest of the doctors to step in and move this series forward. I hate that Eccleston left “under a cloud” (as a former coworker would say whenever someone left the college under less than auspicious circumstances), but I’m so glad he was part of the series and this season.