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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.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
bleodswean
Sep. 22nd, 2015 09:53 pm (UTC)
*nods* GREAT reading on 9 and Rose. I began watching Dr. Who at the beset of fangirls I trusted and I jumped in at 9 although Tennant was the doctor at the time. I fell so madly hopelessly in love with 9 and his teeth and his swagger-tude that I, sorry to say, could not continue watching after he was gone. I adore Smith's look...but I just can't get past Eccleston's interp.

Happy watching!
bleodswean
Sep. 22nd, 2015 09:54 pm (UTC)
Musing aloud here - something about the very masculine embodying thoughtfulness and full heartedness. Much like Viggo's Aragorn.
alycewilson
Sep. 23rd, 2015 10:55 pm (UTC)
Yes, I can see that!

Of course, my mom totally ruined Aragorn for me by proclaiming, as we left the theater after seeing the movie as a family, "He looks just like your brother!" And you know what? He kind of does. (He's on the right; my dad's on the left, obviously.)

Relaxing on the Porch
bleodswean
Sep. 23rd, 2015 10:57 pm (UTC)
*thunk*

Uh....your brother is smokin' smokin' hot. I just...cannot.

alycewilson
Sep. 23rd, 2015 11:02 pm (UTC)
Right? Even though I'm his sister, I can see that. Oddly enough, he's always been in denial of this fact. Keeps him humble, though.
bleodswean
Sep. 23rd, 2015 11:04 pm (UTC)
Humble is good! I have a sister who is super model gorgeous....and I really enjoyed being on the "inside" of that experience as we grew up. People react differently to the beautifully blessed.
alycewilson
Sep. 22nd, 2015 11:34 pm (UTC)
I heard somewhere that whoever your first Doctor is remains your Doctor for life. For me that's certainly the case, and it looks like it is for you, too. Much as I have enjoyed watching other versions of the Doctor, I am quite fond of Matt Smith, because he introduced me to that entire world.

Love your way of describing Eccleston!
ryl
Sep. 22nd, 2015 10:56 pm (UTC)
I grew up with the old Doctors so I successfully resisted the new version. The few episodes I saw (especially with Tennant) did not impress me. Then my friend Seasonal tricked me into watching last year's Christmas episode. That was it, I loved Peter Capaldi. He was a return to the snarky, alien Doctor from the Jon Pertwee days. I need to make a regular Who viewing date since she has BBC America and I'm not only TV-less, but my internet connection has decided to hate streaming.
alycewilson
Sep. 23rd, 2015 11:00 pm (UTC)
Peter Capaldi is growing on me, and the first episode of this season is his best by far. I can't wait to see where they go with it next!
Christopher Weuve
Sep. 23rd, 2015 01:18 am (UTC)
It took a while for the writers to stop writing for Eccleston and start writing for Tennant. Eccleston's "tortured" is different than Tennant's, and every now and then there would be a line that Eccleston could deliver flawless but rings hollow with Tennant. Tennant's my favorite, although I wish we had at least a season more of Eccleston.

The Companions are excellent too, although I think Rory and Amy are my favorites there. (Martha Jones is the smartest Companion, though, and that's worth a lot.) I would definitely like to have seen more of Lady Christina de Souza, or Astrid Peth.

My two favorite quotes, from different episodes:
Doctor: "If you understood me, look very, very scared."

Rory: "You know what it's dangerous about you? It's not that you make people take risks, it's that you make them want to impress you. You make it so they don't want to let you down. You have no idea how dangerous you make people to themselves when you're around."
alycewilson
Sep. 23rd, 2015 11:06 pm (UTC)
Well, I met Rory and Amy, because they continued into the Matt Smith years, and I liked them quite a bit. Haven't met the other companions you mentioned yet, as it's early in Season 2 and the companion is still Rose.

I can see what you mean about the writing; it does seem a little like they're still writing for someone else. According to some of the behind-the-scenes tidbits they've been airing in the run-up to Season 9, that's apparently often a problem after the transition between doctors. Both the writers and the actors need to discover what the new Doctor will be like.
mothermelete
Sep. 23rd, 2015 04:56 am (UTC)
I deeply love that show. Eccleston was my first Doctor, but Tennant left a far more lasting impression on me. I came to adore Smith as well, and Capaldi is slowly growing on me.
xo_kizzy_xo
Sep. 23rd, 2015 07:46 am (UTC)
SO (aka Big Who Fan) says that it's best to start with Eccleston if you know nothing about the series because his trajectory is easier to follow than the earlier versions. So I did. If you've watched it, go onto another Doctor, then return to Eccleston, you appreciate Eccleston's portrayal so much more. I wish he'd done another season, TBH.

I was never a Rose fan because she always struck me as more "I want to be your girlfriend" material than anything else. I do have a favorite companion but I'll wait until you watch Tennant some more.

alycewilson
Sep. 23rd, 2015 10:33 pm (UTC)
A lot of my other friends are also saying that they wish Eccleston had done more than one season. I would probably feel like that, too, if I had seen his season before any of the other recent ones! But I have to admit, I was happy to get to the David Tennant episodes, since I'd heard so much about him.

And while I got to appreciate Rose more throughout the season, I wouldn't say I am much of a fan of hers, either. Still, she was really good in "The Day of the Doctor."
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