Today was announced the latest in a long line of Doctors. For some, the only doctor that matters. Indeed, I am talking about the long running BBC series Doctor Who. I have been a huge fan of the series since it was revamped in 2005 and Christopher Ecclestone was announced as the ninth doctor. Personally I think Ecclestone was a great doctor, possible one of the best, and I think that was largely because he was fairly unknown at the time. He wasn’t judged on anything he had done before and it was a real shame he only stayed for one series. But he did make way for Tennant, so many people’s favourite.
David Tennant was again fairly unknown when he was announced, and he really made the role his own. For many of the young people who now follow the series he is the epitome of Doctor Who. He was young, enthusiastic and had some of the most wonderful relationships with his companions (his interactions with Catherine Tate were a personal highlight). He ruled the Tardis for four wonderful years before hanging up his screwdriver and passing the torch to newcomer Matt Smith.
Smith quickly warmed to the part and stood his ground against the still loyal Tennant fanbase. His departure will be a sad day but he has quite a man taking his place – Doctor Who veteran Peter Capaldi.
Yes you heard me, veteran. Not only has Capaldi been in a Doctor Who episode, The Fires of Pompeiii, but he played a crucial role in Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood, The Children of Earth. This isn’t the first time they have taken actors from their stock and recast them, but perhaps this is the most ridiculous of recastings. Previous actors who have been seen more than once include:
Eve Myles – first seen in The Unquiet Dead (DW) as Gwyneth, returned as regular character Gwen Cooper in Torchwood
Freema Agyeman – first appearance in Army of Ghosts (DW) before coming back as the doctor’s assistant, Martha Jones (also DW)
These are just the biggest three, but believe me when I say there are countless others who have been recast and reused throughout the new series. What really gets my goat this time is that they are reusing someone to be the doctor himself.
With all of the countless young actors out there more than capable of inhabiting this role, they have a chosen an older, albeit very talented actor, instead. It cannot be denied that Doctor Who belongs to the younger fans now. I fear this new casting will only cause the series to flounder. I hope they work their way around the double casting, for the sake of the show and its loyal followers, but I worry about the plausibility of any reasoning they can come up with.