Seeing Patterns

Moffat said yesterday that Capaldi’s Doctor would be “trickier”. Predictably fandom has already started to worry. A multi-coloured maniac strides back into our collective memory. “Please don’t let him strangle his companion again!” Thoughts enter my mind only a hardened Whovian is capable of. Please bear with me and try not to despair as I explain. Doctors Six and Twelve might share similar traits. Ok? Six plus six equals twelve. So what if I add six to the other “Doctor numbers”? What if other Doctors and their plus sixes were similar? Wouldn’t it be spooky…

Hartnell and McCoy – “Mysterious”

One plus six gives us seven. Are these Doctors alike? Yes. Hartnell’s and McCoy’s incarnations were both mysterious. Could we really trust them? What was their hidden agenda? Are there other similarities? Hartnell was there at the very beginning and McCoy made his entrance at the relaunch following the hiatus and Baker’s ignominious ejection. I have to admit both actors could be on occasions a little embarassing to watch, for example when Hartnell fluffed his lines or when McCoy raised his voice and unconvincingly lost his temper.

“Troughton and McGann” – “Audience-friendly”

Both of these Doctors were younger and more dynamic than their predecessors. They were both more audience-friendly than the Doctor who had gone before them. Additionally both Doctors’ eras concluded with uncertainty regarding the show’s future.

“Pertwee and Eccleston” – “Hard Men”

Both of these Doctors can be defined as “hard men”. Pertwee would enjoy an occasional fisticuffs and you wouldn’t want to bump into Eccleston on a dark night. He looked as hard as nails in his leather jacket. When he was about to duff up that Dalek, we were happy not to be locked up in the cell with them!

“Tom Baker and Tennant” – “Iconic”

The definitive classic Doctor meets his modern day equivalent. Both these Doctors are loved in equal amounts by fogeys and youngsters alike. When we think of “Doctor Who” we think of them. These Doctors could be very funny at times and both had a very distinctive, iconic look.

“Davison and Smith” – “Young”

Both actors followed legendary Doctors and had big shoes to fill. They were surprisingly young when they took on the role. Yet they managed to turn on the gravitas when it was called for. Both enjoyed inflated Tardis crews and showed more vulnerability than their predecessors.

“Colin Baker and Capaldi” – “Tricky”

“Trickier”? What does Moffat mean by “trickier”? Will Capaldi’s interpretation be as shouty, obnoxious and brash as Baker’s initially was? Will the writers be more careful this time in scripting a potentially “unpalatable” Doctor? We wouldn’t wish for the return of bickering, negativity and excessive violence to the Tardis. I would feel a mite worried for Clara’s well-being. Fear not though – I predict she and the viewing public will be cushioned by “cotton-wool companions” i.e. Strax, Jenny and Vastra. They will also guarantee the show’s child-friendliness, humour and lightness of touch. 

The Eighth Doctor once said, “I love humans. Always seeing patterns in things that aren’t there!” Is he right? Am I imagining things? But part of the fun of being a fan is analysing the rich heritage of the show and I make no excuses for that.

(What was that, sorry? John Hurt? What? Between McGann and Eccleston? I’ll get my coat! And don’t worry, dear reader, it’s not a multi-coloured one!)

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