Sunday, August 17, 2014

Doctor Who Weekend: The Doctor and the Dark

Hi there! I'm Dave-El and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the blog that cares so you don't have to. 

And today I'm doing another Doctor Who Weekend post. Wow! Doctor Who stuff on Saturday AND Sunday?!

Yeah, I know! 

Yesterday was the conclusion of Time of the Dominion, my little 5 part fan fiction featuring the 12th Doctor. Well, my best guess at what I think Peter Capaldi as this new, darker Doctor might be like. 

But "darker"? What does that mean exactly? Is the Doctor going to become some kind snarling avatar of vengeance like Batman? Probably not. Some kind of moody, pensive guy out of an episode of Arrow or worse yet, the Twilight movies? Oh please, please no! 

Or maybe something like...this.   

Eh, not likely. 

There have been moves towards a darker direction during the days of the classic series. Under producer Phillip Hinchcliffe, Tom Baker's Doctor found himself in adventures that took on a gothic tone, stories that were built on foundations of horror as much as science fiction.  

The Doctor himself became a darker figure in the last two seasons of the classic run. With guidance from script editor Andrew Carmel, Sylvester McCoy's Doctor became a keeper of secrets and a long term game master at work against his enemies. At the end of one story, companion Ace asks the Doctor, "Who are you?" and the Doctor smiles a sly smile that isn't exactly comforting. 

So the Doctor moving into darker territory is not exactly a new thing. Looking at the modern era, Christopher Eccleston's Doctor could be called a dark version of the Doctor.  

The thing is that any given Doctor may have varying nuances that transcend their regular style. David Tennant's fan boy chic Doctor could certainly bring on darker characteristics. And the giddy goof ball Doctor that Matt Smith brought to life probably had some of the darkest moments of the series. 

So the 12th Doctor being a "darker" Doctor should not mean it will all be gloom and doom. I don't mean to hold myself up as any kind of standard but as I made my way through my fan fiction, I kept conceiving the Doctor as being a bit more on edge, maybe a little less patient, certainly not inclined to quips, one-liners and catch phrases. Yet I still found moments of humor in the Doctor's persona as well as compassion and kindness.  While I'm sure that I'm not completely lined up with what the Doctor will actually be, I would be quite surprised if I wasn't somewhere in the neighborhood.

I think Peter Capaldi is too smart as an actor and certainly as a lifelong Doctor Who fan to portray the Doctor has a sort of Batman in Doc Martins. And I think we can trust Steven Moffat's instincts as well; also a long time fan, Moffat has a fairly solid idea of how Doctor Who works. Because what works is finding something different and a darker, edgier Doctor would be a good direction to go in. But what also works is knowing what does not change and that is the Doctor's curiosity and compassion. 

Ultimately, it's about heart and the Doctor should know about that: he has two of them.


Next Saturday, Doctor Who Weekend goes completely bug nuts as the hour of the Series 8 premiere draws ever closer and closer and closer and....AAAAAAAAAA!!! I can't stand it!!!

And then on Sunday, it is the return of...Doctor Who Is New and a review of "Deep Breath". 

Until then, be good to one another.  

Doctor Who: The Dalek Planet - Episode Four

DISCLAIMER:  I'm doing this for fun, not profit. This is not officially sanctioned by the BBC and the producers of Doctor Who.   In c...