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Monday, 18 November 2013

Fifty Years in Time and Space 14 - The Doctor and I

Let's talk Doctor Who -  I've been watching the show on and off since the early Seventies (yes, I'm that old) when Jon Pertwee carried the keys to the TARDIS. And although I wouldn't consider myself a rabid fan I have always been a fan of the show. I, like many, was disappointed when the BBC cancelled the show and delighted when it came back - first as a much maligned (though I thought rather good) TV movie and then as the blockbusting new Doctor Who with Russel T. Davies as the showrunner.

The previous Doctors
I enjoyed Christopher Eccleston and David Tennent's Doctors and I can't really judge Matt Smith since I must confess to only having seen his first episode.

I stopped watching the show after that, feeling that it was aimed more at a younger audience. So when it was announced that the next Doctor would be an older actor I was delighted and can't wait to see what Peter Capaldi does with the role. As I say I've nothing against Matt Smith but the show was definitely feeling younger and younger.

This was not what I expected when Stephen Moffat took over the reins of the show after Russel T Davies stepped down.  I'd thought Moffat would have taken the show into darker territory (after all the Moffat penned episodes had always been the most serious when Russel T. Davies was in charge), and that's where it may be heading with the new Doctor. Initially when David Tennant called it a day Moffat told the press he wanted to go older with the Doctor and I suspect he was forced into casting a younger actor. Of course Moffat's always denied this and he claimed that he was bowled over when Smith read for the role, but whatever the truth there is no escaping the fact that Matt Smith has been successful in the show but now it is time for a change, and the casting of Peter Capaldi has met with universal approval and excitement.

Of course I've played my own part in the Doctor Who legacy and have appeared in several episodes - I was amongst a long line of humans being controlled by Cybermen in Age Of Steel, I appeared as a ghostly photographer in one of Matt Smith's episodes and most notably I was a prisoner of the Daleks in the two parter Daleks of Manhatten story. There I am second from the right in the picture on the right - behind me is the current wearer of the Spider-Man costume and behind him is Doctor Who himself. I'm pleased to have appeared in the show - after all, I grew up with it and love the show or loathe it there is no escaping the fact that it is an iconic series.

But where will the show go now that a new Doctor is about to pilot the TARDIS - The general opinion on Matt Smith's era seems to be that it was hit and miss, and didn't live up the the excellence that was David Tennant. Of course Smith is the first Doctor to be nominated for a BAFTA so you can't knock his acting chops, and Steven Moffat's proven himself a highly talented writer, so why does the show seem to have run out of steam? Maybe it's just me, maybe I'm getting too old and maybe I need to revisit Matt Smith's era, but I can't say I'm sorry to see a more mature actor stepping onto the TARDIS.

The next series can't start soon enough.



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