Nine is my Doctor.
People who are Doctor Who fans have a favorite Doctor. I actually feel a bit like a failed fan because Nine is my favorite. Baker (4) and Davidson (5) are quite popular among my friends–those significanty more dedicated to the series and self-described Whovians. There is a lot of love on the internet for the dashing Ten(nant), with his tardis blue chucks and jacket and tie. Nine is serious and stripped down. His costume was rather uniconic, compared to Four’s scarf, Five’s celery, or Seven’s red and whites. He stays away from slapstick. There is a humor to him–he was still the Doctor–but it is different.
There are three parts to the characterization of the Doctor: the actor, the companion, and the executive producer. The writer of a given episode has some say in it. In modern Who, I point to Moffat’s episodes during Davies run as producer: he paints a very particular kind of doctor. Chibnall has his own style of story, and his own focus.
Smith (11) was cast in 2010 and the first shots of him filled me with trepidation. In 2008, Twilight was released. In 2010 with had Eclipse. There was a particular aesthetic that Smith fit into: pale, messy hair, brooding. Moffat, the new producer, makes a lot of decisions I don’t agree with and generally I don’t like how he portrays the Doctor. I was worried. But then on set we saw a pink-shirted, bow-tied madman with a box.
Overall, I haven’t been a fan of Eleven’s run. Lots of reasons I’ll happily rattle off to you. I love talking about the show, pulling apart the characters and plot lines to examine what is good, what is bad, and why they are these ways.
Having decided to go and watch the rest of Elven, in a mixture of loneliness, distraction, and longing for my lost England, I nearly gave up midway through series six. I sat down and talked with G about it and he reminded me of something I’d nearly forgotten: the Doctor has twelve lives. He is now a man knowing he will die, and he will not overcome.
Now as I watch the show, I see a man staring at his own mortality. Something he’s evaded for over a thousand years. Suddenly, it’s a different show. Suddenly, I like it again. I sympathize and I understand and while Eleven is not my Doctor, he is still the Doctor. A man I have followed my entire life, who is going to soon lose his.