We're going to talk about Doctor Who today. But first....
***Yes, these are from 1977 and yes, I am old.
****I just want to cuddle.
So my mind was abuzz with so many possibilities. I would sit cross legged on the floor trying to discern the contents beneath the Christmas wrapping. Day after day I pondered this strange and enticing mystery. Finally Christmas came and I ripped the paper from the package to reveal a record album by.....
++Also, David, this is going to be your future father-in-law!
It was a short whimsical piece, rather silly, but it gave a taste of a classic Doctor paired with one of the best writers of modern Doctor Who and it was a revelation of how the classic Doctors could be with a good writer. Ask Peter Davison who only got to act in one script by the legendary Robert Holmes who, I would dare say, was the best writer of classic Who. That story was "Caves of Androzani", Davison's last episode. Peter later remarked that if more of the scripts had been of that caliber, he would've stayed longer. That Davison gave way to Colin Baker just makes that missed opportunity all the more painful.
The idea of Steven Moffat or Russell Davies writing dialogue for any of the classic Doctors would be mind shatteringly awesome. Another prime example of what that might be like is a reading by Sylvester McCoy, the 7th Doctor, that he gave at a convention appearance. He read the Doctor's "moment of awesome" Stonehenge speech from "The Pandorica Opens". Matt Smith acted the hell out of that scene; McCoy, with barely a glance at the paper in front of him, delivered those same words with a power of his own that was magical to hear.
But sadly that does not appear to be for the 50th anniversary, or at least as far as we know. And perhaps we should not be surprised: anniversary specials have not always gone easy for Doctor Who.
10th Anniversary: Current Doctor Jon Pertwee was joined by 2nd Doctor Patrick Troughton for "The Three Doctors". Jon and Patrick instantly clicked as two sides of the same Time Lord bickering with himself. But the First Doctor, William Hartnell, was too ill to do more than read some lines from a cue card for pre-taped bits that were inserted in Parts 1 and 4.
20th Anniversary: Hartnell had since passed away and a decision was made to recast Richard Hurndall. There was some consternation over that choice but I thought Hurndall did very well. But the big hiccup was Tom Baker's refusal to return to his iconic interpretation; so the 4th Doctor was played by some unused stock footage.
30th Anniversary: We really, really do not want to talk about "Dimensions in Time", do we?
40th Anniversary: Wow! 40 years! Let's celebrate by having a bunch of people sit around and talk about the show.
So, fellow Whovians, as we sit on the metaphorial floor by the metaphorical Christmas tree and we see a present in shiny wrapping. (Hey, I brought it back around to that album thing!) It appears to be...TARDIS shaped. And we don't have to wait until Christmas; we'll get this one in November. But whether or not we will be satisfied or disappointed rests more on us than the actual thing itself. Our expectations can be our own undoing when it comes to enjoying these amazing little fictions into which we have invested so much of our energy and passion.
Remember the Sha Na Na album? I sold it to an uncle who just loved Sha Na Na so he was happy and I made two bucks which I spent on comics books so it turned out alright in the end.
But as we close, if you're still hankering for the massive multi-Doctor epics, let me leave you with this: