1. Lostariel says:

    Is it a coincidence that the first time I alight on this site, you talk about my favorite TV show? No, never a coincidence. 🙂
    “The Beast Below” is my favorite Series 5 episode too. It really showed me how the new ADD Doctor wasn’t all whipped cream.

  2. Welcome, Lostariel!

    This is the third of Kaci‘s series about Doctor Who; her other two columns, along with several others about the programme, are all here.

  3. Ellen says:

    As a beginning Dr. Who fan making my way through seasons 1-4, I find it interesting to read another Christian’s POV on the series. I haven’t gotten to the 11th Doctor, but I am noticing as we get closer to the season 4 finale that the 10th is losing some of his characteristics that let our family fall in love with him and Definitely the growing sense of hopelessness that seems to haunt him throughout.
    Do you think the 5th season’s change of spirit came from a change in the headwriter (Steven Moffatt, of Blink fame)?

    • Kaci Hill says:

      I really like how RJ Anderson put it: “Nine is about falling in love with the Doctor. Ten is about falling out of love with him.” Personally, I don’t recall ever disliking Ten, but as he falls apart he becomes less charming and more despairing – which, oddly, is likely why he couldn’t keep a companion. The companions can’t sustain him. They can’t repair him. And he can’t repair himself, either. Really, I don’t think the Tenth Doctor can be watched piecemeal. It’s all one long story, and if you don’t watch start to end you don’t really know who he is and why he’s behaving the way he is.

      For me, the charm of Ten is in how *human* he’s become, if that makes sense. The brokenness, the miserable solitude, the need to cling to anything that smells like hope. It’s a man in need of a savior.

      You know, I really wouldn’t have known about the head writer change if someone hadn’t told me (and if I hadn’t gotten into some of the behind the scenes stuff as a result), so it’s hard for me to say. I think it definitely influenced it; Moffat’s much more subtle in technique (RTD liked in-your-face, over the top, explosive stuff; whereas Moffat goes for the suspense/creepy factor). I think, too, each actor plays the Doctor the way they see him.

      I do get the impression, also, that they worked to make Matt Smith’s age work for him instead of against him: Everything from the costume to the total irreverent madness of the Doctor. Everything’s extremely physical with him, too.

      • Galadriel says:

        Oh, yes, it totally works for him. He’s so young, except for those moments when something slips out and you look in his eyes. There’s an interesting comment when the Doctor meets River in Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead.
        “Look at you. You’re young.”
        The Doctor: “I’m really not, you know.”
        “Oh but you are. Your eyes! You’re younger than I’ve ever seen you.”
        Eleven may be in his 2nd (possibly 3rd, if you look at the Fourth Doctor) childhood, but that’s because he’s suffered so much pain that he ‘died’ emotionally.

      • Galadriel says:

        To double up on myself, your comment about falling out of love with the Doctor really applies to my experiance with seasons five and six. In series six, he keeps being unable to rescue them–dying in front  of them, unable to bring their baby back,  stuck outside of Twostreams because of the quarentine….it’s strange to say, but he is almost passive, reacting to events but unable to take control.

  4. Galadriel says:

    This post is all deliciousness for my inner (or is it all-the-way-through, dyed-in -the-wool) geek.
    I actually started with season five, and then went back for 1-4, which definately impacted my perspective on the series. I mean, I started with this crazy adorkable man-child, who can speak of the Last Time War/ events of End of Time as “A bad day. Bad stuff happened” in Beast Below, and then when you get to Nine, it’s Survivor’s Guilt Personified and even Ten is still recovering. Eleven is definately my Doctor, and I suppose that accounts for the fact that Nine is near the bottom of my list.
    What you said about Beast Below is true. I think of Eleventh Hour as the one that hooked me–from the first words (AGGH doesn’t count) of the Eleventh Doctor “Can I have an apple? All I can think about is an apple. Maybe I’m having a craving. Oh that’s new, never had cravings before”– and Beast Below was when I ‘got it.’ That speech of Amy’s shaped my perspective of the Doctor, even though it’s not as accurate for the earlier ones.
    I suppose one good quote that sums up the difference between Eleven and Ten comes from a character in Blink: “I like sad. Sad is happy for deep people.”
    (This is almost becoming its own post. I better stop.)

    • Kaci Hill says:

      Haha. Well said.

      On this part: “That speech of Amy’s shaped my perspective of the Doctor, even though it’s not as accurate for the earlier ones.”

      I think, and I haven’t seen the old ones, but I think I can guess, that the Doctor can be very cruel and very kind. (And I know some might contend with me on the cruel part, but there really are moments where he’s being quite unkind – and most of the time I don’t fault him for it.) Rile him, and he’ll go dark and do things like destroy his own planet and think the only way to save the world is to kill an innocent (alluded to in Beast Below, but immediately countered when Amy realizes there’s a fourth option and that he doesn’t really want to do what he’s about to). But he can also be quite kind, as seen by his attentions to both Amy and the other little girl. Beast Below only hints at his dark side and seems to hint it’s tunnel vision or short-sidedness. (Season six hints at this in the latest episode: “Don’t get emotional. You make mistakes when you’re emotional.”)

  5. Ellen says:

    “Sad is happy for deep people”… 😀
    Its true, and I think the Tenth’s humanity is what makes me like him.
    His demeanor of a man who has been through the fire and back but will continue to do what is right is just…wow.
    From what I have seen of the 11th Doctor, he seems too light-hearted to connect with those of the audience that sympathised with the Tenth. I have heard that he is more alien than most of the doctors. If alien means that he’s lost that connecting point of deep pain, then that’s a writing problem.
    I still am not all the way through the Tenth, and my veiwpoint will probably change, but I find his character (and I guess the 9th- I haven’t seen enough of him) to be more human and realistic than the 11th.
    Just some thoughts.
    Still love the article! Thanks Kaci!

    • Galadriel says:

      Ellen, Ten is definately the most human of the Doctors. A human with serious issues, but still, mostly human. But he’s not really human at all, and it’s easy to forget it. Eleven has deep moments too, such as the whale in Beast Below, or his farewell to Amelia in Big Bang. Yet some of his most in-character moments are when he’s not human, like his “Everything, you’re dying,” in Flesh and Stone, or the entire episode of The Lodger

    • Kaci Hill says:

      Eleven is an enigma. He internalizes more, buries the pain better than before, but he does get there. I don’t know about more alien as much as he seems determined to only let his friends in so far. Ten just pushed everyone away. Eleven…is trying. You’ll still see it, just not as often.

      Plus, if you don’t agree with me on season five…season six is ripping the mask off.

      Sure thing. 0=) Thank you.

      • Galadriel says:

        I agree about Ten pushing the pain away. In Forest of the Dead, Donna pins it, but he pushes away–
        You alright?
        I’m always all right.
        Is “all right” really some sort of Time Lord code for “really not alright at all?”
        But Eleven does have some moments of vulnerabilty. Especially “The Doctor’s Wife.” Rassilion, that was so funny, and yet still so painful…

  6. Kaci Hill says:

    Oh! Video commentary on that Satan Pit episode. Fred seems to win this one. 0=)

  7. Jenni N says:

    You are so making me want to watch every bit of it, Kaci! (since your last post I’ve only watched some out of order episodes…. which doesn’t let me follow the plotlines the way you are describing here)

    That’s fascinating. Very, very fascinating. So far I like Eleven best… I definitely can see how he’s using his child-like tendencies to cover up how badly he hurts sometimes, too. It’s just a really interesting angle to take…. **rambles off into mental musing on portrayals of emotional pain**

    By the way, when is your next post? I had thought this was a weekly thing… but last week there was no post. 🙁

    • Kaci Hill says:

      I post every other week, switching off with the lovely Rachel. So I don’t post next week, but the one after: 1 June.

      I use Blinkx mostly to watch, that and a freeonlineepisodes site (no, I don’t download). I think it’d be really hard to watch out of order. I didn’t like Blink or Girl in the Fireplace much the first time cuz I watched out of order and had no idea what was going on. Once I saw them in the right order, they were great.

      I have three DW posts; Stephen has two, maybe three, from a few years ago (just click the Doctor Who tag). I have one more officially DW post, and after that I’m going to discuss a subject DW frequents, but I’m not going to stay just within the one show.

      I probably wouldn’t have gotten that deep into some of this, but I got into some great conversation and Fred and RJ both left me with a lot to think about on a few episodes, so I had to work it out.

      Addendum: Yeesh. Each sentence there started with “I.” Doesn’t that look narcissistic….

      • Jenni N says:

        Ahhh, okay. That makes sense now… though I dinna wanna wait for your next post! **cries** XD

        I’ve never heard of Blinkx… I watched a bit on youtube but due to questioning of whether or not that’s legal, planning on attempting to be patient and watch it on netflix this winter. In order. And filling in during the summer with lots and lots of spoilers on the TARDIS wikia and TVtropes. hehe.

        Oh, thanks for letting me know about those other posts; I had seen yours but not the other ones. 🙂

  8. Bethany J. says:

    My husband, his friends, and nearly his entire family are Doctor-Who-obsessed, down to the last child. (Sunday dinner conversations all hinge on it!…good grief!) He’d sit and watch the show (Seasons 3 and 4) while I made dinner in the evenings, and I’d listen to all the screaming and grating sound effects and think, “Oooof, I really hate this show.” It was creepy and spooky in a way that brought back bad childhood memories, and hurt my ears.

    Then Season Five started.

    I found myself hovering near the TV.

    Then sitting down next to him.

    Hey, the Daleks have deeper voices now, not quite *as* grating.

    Hey, this Doctor has adorable enthusiasm about everything, and wears a bow tie! Hee!

    The season finale was EPIC.

    Now I’m completely sucked in. 😀 I can’t WAIT until the next season is available on Netflix!!

    …I think it all hinges on the Doctor himself. My mother- and sister-in-law, for instance, loved David Tennant and are kind of annoyed at Matt Smith. But I guess I just like Matt Smith, because this is the first time I’ve ever enjoyed Doctor Who.

    • Kaci Hill says:

      Haha. I’m an oddball who doesn’t see them as different people, so it’s hard for me to like one over the other. I do think each actor brings their own spin to the table, as do the throughlines of each season.

  9. Galadriel says:

    I am a first-generation Whovian myself, but I am slowly introducing my younger brother to the appropriate episodes. Now, if only I had a set of the Sarah Jane Adventures. That would be such a cool way to get him hooked…

  10. Jenni N says:

    Somewhat randomly, when I saw my first episode (which happened to be the first episode of the new series 1), my instant assessment was that the Doctor is much like that crazy character in Manalive, and reminded me of something I couldn’t place in something (or multiple somethings – I really can’t remember) by Lewis. The idea of a character full of contradictions (crazy and yet I do believe he’s the most sane person around most of the time; safe and yet dangerous; young and yet old; gentle and yet capable of a lot of damage) really intrigues me.

  11. Christian says:

    Great article as always, Kaci! And a Doctor Who one. Awesome. One thing I have to disagree with you on though is that the Smilers are the least scary ‘monsters’ in the DW universe. I found them terrifying in their introductory scene (but maybe you don’t have a childhood fear of clowns?)

    • Kaci Hill says:

      Heya! Thanks!

      Haha. There’s two more coming if you’re curious.

      I don’t. I know plenty who have it, though.

      But to be fair, I don’t find *most* of the monsters frightening. Several I just think ridiculous. What’s creepy to me are the things most difficult to explain. It’s mostly a style thing, I think. Scare me enough to jump, I’ll jump and be over it in a minute or two. Slowly creep me out, I won’t be able to think about it without a nightmare (or daymare).

      I was that kid who didn’t like the shadows created by cracked doors, or the way moonlight cast ghost-like shapes, or creeped out over what turned out to be a big branch tapping my window in a late-night breeze. (I’m quite near-sighted without glasses or contacts, and my left ear is deaf, and maybe the combination had something to do with it.)

      I’ll confess mine was an exaggeration. Honestly, the molten plastic is by far the least-scary monster. Definitely less so than Smilers. 0=)

What do you think?