Doctor Who – 2006 Series Round-up

Well, that’s it until the DVD set comes out in November. Having seen the apparently limited and exclusive packaging on offer from Amazon, I’ve already ordered mine :bouncy: . Yes, you too can have your own Cyberman head without actually being upgraded! Pre-ordering seems like a good idea. OK, if you don’t you’ll still be able to get the same content, only in a less cool box. But you know you want to, right?

There will also be some more DVD releases from the classic series – watch out for the usual Losing it[1] reviews of those as they become available.

And then, there will be another Christmas Special, followed next Spring by the third series.

And some time in the middle of all that will be the spin-off series Torchwood, featuring a different branch of the Institute from the one that got rather messed up by the Cybermen and the Daleks. It will star John Barrowman reprising his Captain Jack role, and will be set in Cardiff. :cymru:

So this seems like a good time to look back over this year’s series. Not going back into the individual episodes, but just a brief overview of how things are going.

Regular readers[1] might have guessed that I enjoyed the series, and they’d be right. In last year’s series, there was an episode called The Doctor Dances, which indeed he did. Eventually. But this Doctor dances all the time. Metaphorically, that is. He fizzes with energy, talks constantly, shows his feelings much more than his previous incarnation and is generally more fun than several barrels of monkeys[2]. But he’s still a hero, still the one man you’d want on your side when the trouble starts. The only difference from his earlier selves is that, since the Time War, he’s become a little darker.

I used to have so much mercy…

But along with the darkness has come a greater openness about his feelings – helped enormously by his relationship with Rose, who has made him see things from a new angle. Where he used to be distant or rude to Jackie and Mickey, he now openly show his affection for them. David Tennant has stepped into the role and made it his own so thoroughly that, for me at least, he is the Doctor. Quite different from Chris Eccleston’s portrayal (which is, of course, as it should be) and hugely entertaining and exciting. It’s going to be fun seeing where he goes next.

And it would be impossible to talk about the series without paying tribute to Billie Piper’s really quite stunning portrayal of Rose Tyler. Over her two years in the series, Rose grew into her full potential: the intelligence she had always had coming to the fore, working things out, taking charge and generally being the perfect partner for the Doctor. Partner? Yes, Rose was much more than the usual run of the mill companion, who has had as much effect on the Doctor as he has on her. I’m sad to see her leave, but at least RTD[3] made sure that she had a proper send-off. Having reminded us in School Reunion that having the Doctor in your life is going to make sure you’re never the same again, we couldn’t have Rose just wander off like so many other companions in the past. Equally, killing her off was never an option[5]. So stranding her in another universe was the only way to separate her from the Doctor. Taking Jackie and Mickey with her ensured that she wouldn’t be alone, and also avoids what would otherwise have been a very awkward situation. With Rose gone, would the Doctor have kept in touch with the other people whose lives he had changed so much? Or would he have slipped away?

We will have to wait and see how the Doctor gets on without Rose – we know he’ll find a new companion, but will he be as close to her as to Rose? Will she change him further? All we know is that his life will be different in future…

One of the great strengths of Doctor Who is that it’s possible to change the whole cast in two years, and still have the same show. The transition from Chris Eccleston to David Tennant worked very well, thanks to the presence of Rose, and now Rose has gone, and the Doctor is still there. Where will it go from here? RTD[3] knows, but he’s keeping things under his metaphorical hat for now. As well he should.

In the end, what matters is that Doctor Who is back where it belongs, and at least as popular as it’s ever been. It’s captured a new audience, well beyond the expected middle-aged old-school fanboys[6] and general-purpose science fiction fans, but what I’m afraid I’ll have to call normal people. Quite amazing, really.

Now what the photon am I going to write about for the next six months??

[1] Who are just as real as this guy, I’m sure :laugh:
[2] This is a standard measure of “fun”, or so I’m told
[3] All hail the Great Russell :wave: [4]
[4] Not that he’s likely to read this :lol:
[5] Despite the trailers trying to suggest that was going to happen
[6] Any suggestion that I fall in to that category will be unconvincingly denied