September 22nd, 2015

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Childlike Joy: Thoughts on Eccleston as the Doctor

Don't ask me why it took so long for me to start watching Dr. Who. Considering how many of my friends enjoy the show, I should have given it a shot decades ago. But my excuse is a flimsy one: I remembered it scaring me when it came on TV when I was young. So I stayed away.

Only recently did my husband, The Gryphon, convince me to give it a try. I think it was midway through Season 7 of the millennium reboot, and one of the first episodes involved the Weeping Angels, which gave me real sympathy for our son, KFP's, fear of the dark.

Matthew Smith was playing the main role, and I adored his geeky, awkward, humorous take on the Doctor. He will always be my Doctor, and I was mistrusting of the new incarnation, played by Peter Capaldi, but he helped me through thr transition by being initially distrustful of his own face. Brilliant choice, I felt, both in terms of writing ans acting.

In honor of the new season, Season 9 of the reboot, I have been binge watching the reboot episodes, starting with Season 1, starring Christopher Eccleston.

Who is this street tough poser? I wondered after

KFP 2015

Thoughts on Eccleston's Doctor Who

I just lost about 10 minutes worth of writing because I must have pushed the "back" button on my phone when I put it down to fix my son, KFP's, shoe at soccer class. Rather than rewrite it all, let me summarize: I never gave Dr. Who a chance until recently, despite many Whovian friends, because it scared me as a kid. My husband, The Gryphon, got me hooked, and Matt Smith was my first Doctor and therefore will always be the Doctor to me.

Since then, I have watched selected classic episodes recommended by friends (before Blockbuster Online folded).  In honor of Season 9 of the reboot starting, I have been binge watching Season 1, starring Christopher Eccleston, on Hulu Plus.

By contrast to my geeky, sad-eyed awkward Doctor, Eccleston struck me, at first, as a cheeky street tough who had an inexplicably deep relationship with his young companion, Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) who I initially found difficult to take seriously.

But as the season unfolded, I saw more sides to both characters. Eccleston's Doctor, I began to understand, was trying to be a regular bloke because he wanted to block out bad memories. When it came to a crisis situation, he couldn't keep his natural curiosity and desire to help others at bay. He was incapable of being an ordinary guy.

Rose, likewise, had other sides. Far from being a joy-riding teen, she was old beyond her years, with depths of compassion and even heroism locked behind that Union Jack jacket.

Like them, I couldn't keep my heart locked away. I gew emotionally involved in their intwined tale, especially in that season's stunningly acted finale.

And now, I am beginning Season 2, starring David Tennant, whom I met in the Matt Smith episode, "The Day of the Doctor." I am already beginning to see why he is a reboot favorite and can't wait to journey with him on further TARDIS adventures.