Doctor Who: Season 2 Different Doctor: Dashing or Dull?

Christopher Eccleston made me fall in love with the show all over again and just as I was getting particularly attached to said Doctor, he goes and regenerates (a common occurance for those new to Doctor Who).  As this is a review for season two, I would suggest reading over my review for season one and watching season one if you want to avoid any spoilers for season one.  But for the rest of us, back to the Doctor.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I do believe this is the youngest incarnation of the Doctor we’ve seen yet.  So, the real question on everyone’s mind is: can David Tennant really replace Eccleston as the tenth doctor?

Yes, yes he can.  And did.

For those just starting on season two, you might notice the Doctor for most of the first episode is hardly more exciting than a box of rocks.  Don’t let this episode (The Christmas Invasion) put you off.  The Doctor will deliver.

THE NEW DOCTOR: David Tennant biggest claim to fame prior to Doctor Who #10 was Barty Crouch, Jr. in Harry Potter 4 (I didn’t even put two and two together and had to compare pictures).  As this incarnation he’s more the sheik geek.  Glasses and a suit a bit reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes + charming personality = great Doctor Who.  It’s definitely a switch from Eccleston, but I felt like Tennant was a lot more playful and jovial and just plain fun.  (Girls, you may find yourself crushing on this Doc.)  What else can I say, I just really enjoy Tennant’s performance.  He can go from super goofy, to sort of romantic, to completely serious and ready to fight in moments, very much natural and very much true to his character.  Let’s hope we keep this Doctor for many seasons to come.

ROSE AND THE DOCTOR: I think Billie and David had a lot of fun together, but I don’t know that they ever really got to the chemistry Billie and Christopher had.  It doesn’t ruin the season by any means, but it always seemed like something was just… dunno different.  One of their best moments together, I believe, comes from New Earth when they both have to impersonate a performance when they’re possessed with Lady Cassandra’s “essence.”  We see a completely different Rose and more fun from David.

FAVORITE EPISODES:

School Reunion
We get to see Sarah-Jane Smith from the old series and the girls talk about being with the Doctor.  Plus it’s some good ol’ Mickey times with Mickey.

The Girl in the Fireplace
I love the whole time paradox and time travel stuff, which we can always find a plenty in Doctor Who.  This episode does it right and adds a kind of M. Night twist to the end.

Rise of the Cybermen
There’s just something great about sci-fi that lends to exploring new ideas other genres can’t.  I don’t know what it is about a lot of thinking that believes our emotions make us weaker somehow (perhaps Vulcanism?).  Doctor Who does great showing us it’s the passion of life that makes it worth living, and I think the Cybermen episodes in particular bring the point home.

Love & Monsters
A great fanboy/girl episode, like a Kung Fu Panda take on kung fu, this episode shows interested Doctor fans in the Doctor world, and their quirkiness.  Just a super wacky but fun episode. 🙂

Fear Her
Did anyone ever see the movie Paperhouse?  This episode totally brought that back to mind and a very interesting concept of using the drawings of a little girl to change reality.  Plus we get a chance to see Rose saving the Doctor again (instead of the Doctor saving his assistant as usual).

Army of Ghosts/Doomsday
Spoiler alert, click away if you need to.  A great finish for Billie and very emotionally high and Tennant does such a good job of being pained losing Rose both here and through out the third season.  I really wish Billie hadn’t left the show.  Martha Jones was ok, but I suppose all good things must come to an end.  (Especially since Tennant is thinking of leaving the show after season 5.)

Once again I feel like listing the entire season as favorite episodes.  Granted, there are only 13 episodes generally per season, but this show is phenomenal.

By the end of season 2 I was sold on David Tennant, but if you’re still not feeling it yourself, keep on going, season 3 will make it solid.  He’s a fantastic Doctor, and I will sorely miss him when he’s gone.  I’m not even certain I’ll continue with the show after that, but I suppose new doctor new day is the tradition.

I realized Doctor Who is essentially Peter Pan and his assistants Wendy.  Peter will always be Peter, but eventually Wendy has to grow up and although this Peter makes a lot of changes too, it’s just hard to come to terms with it sometimes.  I think what’s made it a little more difficult is having the Wendy’s, so to speak, change so often.  Still, it’s kept the show fresh and interesting and filled with different perspectives on the Doctor.

But tell me after watching the show you’re not secretly wishing the Doctor would show up in your neighborhood and you could go off on some adventures.  Ah, time travel.  I suppose it’s good we haven’t discovered it to mess things up, but it does make for good entertainment.

Look forward to a season 3 review, and for fans of the show, look forward to season 4 on DVD come November.  I thinking just in time for the Christmas Special of season 5. 🙂

It’s the Doctor! Doctor Who: Series 1

I used to love watching Doctor Who as a kid with one of my friends who recorded it (since it usually broadcast later than 10 yr olds could stay up). Usually when I think of Doctor Who I picture Tom Baker, the fourth incarnation of the Doctor.

For those who are hearing of Doctor Who for the first time or know little about him, the Doctor is an alien from another world who travels through both space and time different civilizations and different time periods to witness history (and usually get his assistants out of trouble).

So why are there currently 10 incarnations of the Doctor? Well, whenever he gets into mortal trouble (or they decide they want a new actor), he simply regenerates into a “new” Doctor. So it’s the same Doctor, just 10 different faces.

Why do I bring this up? Have I been rummaging through old Doctor Who vids or something? Well, actually, I attended Comic-Con this summer and ended up going to the Doctor Who panel (my friend wanted to go to Torchwood which was just afterward). They showed clips of this reboot of the series and I was intrigued to see more. Enter Doctor Who: Series 1. (Yeah, I guess the Brits call it “series” vs. “season.”)

To be honest, my interest was piqued with clips featuring David Tennant (whom I didn’t realize is Barty Crouch, Jr. in HP4), the 10th and current Doctor. So, I was a little put out to discover Christopher Eccleston would be accompanying me at the 9th Doctor. I was tempted to just skip the first season and head straight to second, but they only had season 1 on Netflix Instaview, so sighing a little I ventured in.

If you start it this way you’ll wonder how David Tennant could possibly win you over. Eccleston was a fantastic doctor.

CHARACTERS:

The Doctor(s):
OK, so it’s Eccleston for 99.99% of the first season and Tennant for about 3 seconds. I’ll go more into Tennant after I finish season 2. Eccleston is jovial, mostly unserious, but always there when he’s needed. The chemistry between he and his current assistant is fun and as much as I wondered about it getting creepy–it isn’t. It works for them. (And I really still do miss him as Claude in Heroes. Hopefully he’ll make a comeback soon.) His personality easily wins you over, and like I said, you’ll be wondering how Tennant will ever replace him. (Not to worry, Tennant fans, season 2 will prove him the Doctor).

Rose (Billie Piper):
The Doctor’s assistant, basically. I think she was supposed to be 19. A lower class Brit with attitude joins up with the Doctor after saving his life (and then her brawn basically diminishes after that). She’s not the most phenomenal actress you’ll ever meet, but she makes Rose lovable and fun. She may be the damsel in distress a bit more often than I’d like, but she’s still tough and sticks to her guns, which is probably why she and the Doctor make a good team.

Mickey and Mum:
I don’t know what it is about Mickey, but I love it when he’s around, even if he hates it when the Doctor is there. Mickey is Rose’s “kinda” boyfriend and always feels free to remind the Doctor how much danger he does put Rose through. And then of course Rose’s Mom. She’s forgetful, but for the most part accepting and understanding. She just makes the series fun (especially in season 2)

Villains, etc.:
The Daleks are back! Well… sort of. The thing I love about the new series is it pokes fun at the old series, but in a loving way. So instead of having useless plunger parts, among other things, the Daleks are actually threatening this time around. I loved the plastic men (first episode), and found them to be slightly creepy, imagining if I was in a department store and all of a sudden the dummies started moving and attacking. Creepy. I don’t know, they do a lot of super sci-fi stuff, but it makes it fun and entertaining and it works. As much as Rose is having a fun time traveling with the Doctor, I think we as the audience have just as much fun. It just makes sci-fi fun.

FAVORITE EPISODES:

Dalek (Episode 6): The first time we get a look at the newish Dalek and find out exactly what that plunger is for. I don’t want to spoil much with these mini-descriptions, so I’ll keep it semi-vague and brief. But in this episode you can see Rose’s strong character really come out and its effects on the Doctor.

The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances (Episodes 9-10): It’s a two-parter. We journey back to WWII London and meet up with Captain Jack (of Torchwood). There’s a strange child with a gas mask on reaking havoc as basically “the monster of the week.” I think I just liked this one because of all the clues leading up to the end and how it all works out.

And to be honest, I could call them all favorite episodes–they were great. The first season is only 13 episodes long, so we have to say goodbye to Eccleston sooner rather than later, but it’s an enjoyable ride. If you’ve been wondering about this rebooted series or if you loved the old series and want more, give it a go, you won’t regret it. It makes sci-fi fun and enjoyable.

How do I watch it?

Well, I’d recommend Netflix Instaview. It’s instant access to all 13 episodes and is included with your monthly subscription (if you’re on an $8.99 plan or better. I think the $4.99 has limitations). You could do it disc by disc via Netflix (which I’ve sort of had to do for season 2). Or check your area and see if your local library(ies) has it available for rent. Otherwise you’re looking at a pretty penny of $75 on Amazon.com or separate discs for about $30 each. Yeah, Netflix or library is probably your best bet. But hey, it’s a good reason to join up. I love Netflix! I’ve been a member since 2003 and it keeps getting better and better.

Look for a Doctor Who: Series 2 review once I’ve finished. I’ll tell you how it’s possible to trade Eccleston for Tennant. 🙂

And for the enjoyment of Doctor Who fans (you probably won’t think this is very funny unless you’ve seen at least a few episodes of Doctor Who), Eddie Izzard discusses Doctor Who. WARNING: Strong language likely included, so if you’re at work or around kids, put on your headphones. Get ready to LMAO.

*I tried to embed it, but it’s Megavideo, and well, here’s a link instead.
**I found a youtube link for embedding, but it’s about 2 mins in when he gets to Doctor Who. If you’ve never checked out Eddie Izzard before, he’s super random, but funny.