Who’s Good

If you read any of my previous posts on the subject, you will see that I wasn’t in favour of a female Doctor Who.

Not for any sexist reasons, just to reiterate (and to save you from having to look up ancient posts). My objection was from the point of view of consistency of character, something that every author has to try to cope with. Here was a character who has been on our screens (with a slight break) for over 50 years, and up until about 5 years ago there was no hint that he could ever be anything other than male. To me, suddenly turning him into a woman would be like JK Rowling getting halfway through book seven of the Harry Potter series and suddenly revealing that Harry was, in fact, Harriet, and had been hiding the fact from everyone around her for the last six years.

However, having said all that, I was willing to give the new, female Doctor a chance. And I have to say that Jodie Whittaker has well and truly won me round. Not only is her Doctor warm, funny and engaging, but her storylines, under the care of programme head Chris Chibnall, have been a darned sight better than most of those served up to her predecessor, Peter Capaldi.

So good on you, Jodie, and here’s hoping you have a good long run in the Tardis!

Meanwhile, I’ll be back at St Marmaduke’s soon.


Who’s Last

And now – and at long last – my final post (at least for now) concerning Doctor Who and the awkward numbering situation of all his/her incarnations.

So: the order established as of the current date:

  1. William Hartnell
  2. Patrick Troughton
  3. Jon Pertwee
  4. Tom Baker
  5. Peter Davison
  6. Colin Baker
  7. Sylvester McCoy
  8. Paul McGann
  9. John Hurt
  10. Christopher Eccleston
  11. David Tennant
  12. David Tennant
  13. Matt Smith
  14. Peter Capaldi
  15. Jodie Whittaker

Note that John Hurt fits in between McGann and Eccleston, as mentioned on one of my previous posts. And also that David Tennant appears twice. Not a mistake in my list, but the result of his character’s regeneration back into himself after being shot by a Dalek.

However – officially, John Hurt has been designated the title ‘War Doctor’, meaning he doesn’t really have a number, and Tennant is only counted once. Meaning that the current practice of referring to Jodie Whattaker as the Thirteenth Doctor is approved of in BBC circles, and all is right with the world. The world of Who, that is.

And now I’ve put that to bed, hopefully my next posts will be something exciting I’m planning in the world of my writing. And, with luck, a lot more frequent than they have been so far.

Who’s Next

Oops. Silly comment in my post this morning. It was, of course, the mixed doubles that happened after the men’s final today. Never mind – might have been appropriate, I suppose.

Anyway, now we know. We have a female Doctor.

Not a move I’m in favour of, I have to admit. Not for any sexist reason. I just find it faintly ridiculous that a character could go through 12 incarnations as a male (but see a future post re the figure), then suddenly, at the age of “over 2,000” (I think he must have lost count at last), change gender. If it had happened before once or twice, it would have seemed something other than political correctness to do it now.

However, like many other Who fans (Whovians), I shall give her a chance. To be honest, I wasn’t that enamoured with Peter Capaldi until the series just gone. Far too grumpy to start with, I thought. And until this last series, there was literally only one story featuring him that I enjoyed – the one where we think he’s trying to rob a bank, whereas he’s actually setting out to rescue a couple of imprisoned aliens. Not Capaldi’s fault, the fact that he had duff storylines.

Who Next?

So. Apparently, we will be learning the identity of the new Doctor after the men’s singles final at Wimbledon today.

I’m hoping it’s a good omen that it’s not going to be announced after the ladies doubles.


Now Who’s Who?

Looking forward like mad to tomorrow’s (nearly today’s) 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who – surely one of the greatest TV programmes ever created!

It has, though, thrown up a bit of a conundrum to us Who fans. Or rather, the very brief mini-episode that’s currently airing on a time-loop on the BBC Red Button has.

In this episode, Paul McGann (the 8th incarnation of The Doctor) tries to help a young woman fighting to control a space craft. She refuses to let him help, as the Time Lords are in the middle of the Time War with the Daleks, and they end up crashing into a planet – on which, although they’re both dead, The Doctor is temporarily resurrected by a group of women who want him to fight in the war. The Doctor, being a pacifist, refuses. Eventually they persuade him, and he drinks a potion that will regenerate him into a warrior.

Now here’s the point. We see, as the potion takes its effect, that Paul McGann’s Doctor has now regenerated into John Hurt’s – the Doctor who appeared at the end of the last programme in the last series and also shows up (as we see in the trailers) in the 50th anniversary special. So if we’re counting, which we Whovians do most conscientiously, then that makes John Hurt the 9th Doctor – and makes Christopher Eccleston, who presumably regenerated from him, the 10th, David Tennant the 11th, Matt Smith the 12th, and Peter Capaldi, the incoming incumbent, the 13th. So basically, the numbering’s gone all to pot!

What do we do? All our certainties about The Doctor’s long, long life are now shattered. DT is no longer the 10th! Matt Smith’s no longer the 11th! Given that the Time Lords are only supposed to have 13 lives, that makes Peter Capaldi the last! (Though we think that somewhere along the line that’s been neatly sidestepped by River Song giving Matt Smith’s incarnation all her remaining ones after she poisoned him in the library with the candlestick, or whatever that episode was – I forget the details.)

We fans are really in a jam. After all – we really don’t know now Who exactly is Who. Or is that When?