Hello! Welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You! Yes, it IS a blog but it's one of the nice ones!
I'm Dave-El and it's time for my weekly feature, Doctor Who Saturday. Back when I first started working this blog, the last 8 episodes of Series 7 began airing so I would post a weekly review called Doctor Who Is NEW! Since then I've been filling this space with...other stuff and figured I wouldn't use the Doctor Who Is NEW title until November 23rd when the 50th anniversary special aired.
But I decided to dust off that little moniker in celebration of the most unexpected new Doctor Who we Whovians were treated to this week.
"Night of the Doctor" featuring...
Hang on a bit? You have NOT seen this yet? Well, click HERE NOW (seriously, NOW!) and watch this thing.
(hums to self)
OK, you're back! I trust you were suitably "wowed". (If not, well that's OK. We all have our own opinions and we should respect them, even when they are wrong.)
And if you have NOT seen this but have decided to come this far anyway, one last warning:
"Night of the Doctor" featuring Paul McGann as the Doctor!
Let me correct that: STARRING Paul McGann as the Doctor! That's right, McGann's Doctor is in the spotlight. Not a flashback sequence or a cameo but a full on adventure with Paul McGann's name in the credits and in action as The Doctor.
Last week, when I mentioned that this week I intended to focus a bit on the 8th Doctor, I had NO idea this was coming.
A NEW 8th Doctor adventure!
At 6+ minutes, there's not a lot of time but a lot of ground to cover as the episode provides the Night that leads into next week's Day.
But back to the star of the show!
OK, it's interesting that back in 1996 that the idea of the Doctor as a dashing romantic might really get kissy face with a companion (actual or prospective) was totally off the charts while David Tennant and Matt Smith have made the concept of a young Doctor with an obvious romantic appeal more acceptable. (Which is going to be weird when Peter Capaldi begins inhabiting the Doctor's skin in 2014.) But back in 1996, after waiting 7 long years since the last episode of Doctor Who and suffering through the abysmal train wreck that was 1993's Dimensions in Time, Whovians had their hopes up. No, Whovians had their hopes tethered to a satellite spinning into space! I guess the Doctor Who movie was going to have a lot of unhealthily high expectations to work against, even it had been great or even merely OK.
Unlike the movie, we've got something good going on here!
When the Doctor first appears with the instantly classic "I'm a doctor but probably not the one you were expecting", McGann gives a strong sense of the Doctor's smooth confidence.
Oh, I loved this bit!
Cass: "Where are we going?"
The Doctor: "The back of the ship."
The Doctor: "Because the front crashes first. Think it through."
But things go terribly wrong when Cass realizes who the Doctor is and her fear and hatred of Time Lords is so intense, she would rather die first than let the Doctor save her.
The Doctor: "At least I'm not a Dalek."
Cass: "Who can tell the difference anymore?"
So the ship crashes with the Doctor on board. Despite the fact he just met her and Cass hated him, the Doctor did not abandon her. But it has cost him his life and regeneration cannot save him. But he's given a four minute reprieve ("Four minutes? That's ages! What if I get bored?") to make a fateful decision. Those who gave him this reprieve* can induce a regeneration with a choice of who or what he wants to become.
*For more on the Sisterhood, go see "The Brain of Morbius", an incredibly spooky but wonderfully entertaining bit of business featuring the 4th Doctor which establishes their knowledge of Time Lord science.
The Doctor looks at the body of Cass, a woman who he failed to save because of her hatred, a hatred stemming from a war he has refused to fight in, and decides.
He will be a warrior.
At 6 minutes and change, yes, too short a time but, in the end, it was an awesome coda to the saga of Paul McGann and his time with Doctor Who. My wife, who was not impressed by that movie in 1996, exclaimed, "I want to see more Paul McGann as the Doctor."
I second that sentiment.
NEXT week on Doctor Who Saturday....
My review next week an ALL NEW installment of Doctor Who Is New!
And for the future:
- Who Stuff I'm Thankful For
- Doctor Who: The Group Experience
- Behind the Scenes of the Nemesis Who Stole Time (yes, it's coming!)
- The End of an Era!
Until then, be good to one another!