Monday, December 02, 2013

Doctor Who turns 50: The After Party

Not that terrible BBC 3 show they did. That was a bloody shambles. This is my look back at my own celebration.

Now I've watched one serial for every Doctor, and every meet-up of multiple Doctors. I was a bit of a fan before this started. Nothing too drastic. Genesis of the Daleks was something I watched because a friend owned it. Now, I think I'm full blown Whovian.

Apart from the obvious production cost, I have to say I don't see such a big difference between Old Who and New. I mentioned this a bit in the TV Movie post, but Doctor Who was always modernising. Maybe if you were watching it in the Eighties it could have tried harder but now it just looks like old sci-fi with not a great budget. If you compare Smith episodes to Hartnell then obviously there's a huge difference, but the same could be said of Hartnell to McCoy. It's all a modernisation, and that's exactly what New Who is. Only it's more obvious because there was sixteen years between the cancellation under McCoy and Eccleston in the reboot.

Okay, a confession – though I'm not really sure that's the right word – halfway through my rewatch, while visiting Dundee and nursing a hangover I caught Tomb of the Cybermen. Not only is it a better serial than the overly-long War Games, but it catapulted Troughton as my favourite classic Doctor.

How does he stand against the new guys? I think he might just beat them. Tennant is still MY Doctor. He's the guy that got me properly interested. But he's also a bit too much of a chirpy/dramatic yo-yo, something Smith is as well to a slightly lesser extent. Troughton just pulls it off so fantastically.

So having watched them all how do I rate the Doctors?

  • Troughton
  • McGann
  • Smith
  • Davison
  • Eccleston
  • Tennant
  • Hartnell
  • McCoy
  • Pertwee
  • Tom Baker
  • Colin Baker

It feels weird to place Hartnell so low. I absolutely love his version, but it's also very different to what followed so when you're comparing him he seems a bit removed from the others. Likewise with McCoy, he suffered from Curse of Fenric being so epic I didn't get a decent grip on him. Both Troughton and Pertwee suffered similar fates and both were elevated by subsequent appearances (and Tomb of the Cybermen). The top end feels odd because I could shift most of second to six positions around and it not make too much of difference to me.

To be honest the list exists for list's sake.

I'm definitely going to watch more Old Who. I'm not going all out and watching everything, but I've already started compiling recommendations, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it in chronological order.

Except for Trial of a Timelord, that's next on my list because considering how often the name Valeyard gets thrown around it seems like I should, especially as we're reaching a point where it might be relevant. We even had a New Who reference with Richard E. Grant mentioning it as a name of the Doctor in Name of the Doctor.
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