I recently finished watching the first season of the revived series of BBC’s Doctor Who. I’ve had a somewhat out-of-order experience with Doctor Who so far: I started out watching Season Five with Matt Smith, and I’ve seen everything from that onward. I decided to go back to Season One and go in the correct order from there.
So far, this has proved to be an excellent idea. From the first season alone, I’ve gained a good deal of much-needed background information on the plots and characters I’ve already seen. While I of course adored this season of my favorite TV program, I certainly didn’t enjoy it as much as I did seasons five and six. Perhaps that can be attributed to Matt Smith being my first Doctor and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond being my first companion–they’ll always be the Doctor and his companion in my mind, and the instant reaction I get to the others is, Who are these impostors? It must be admitted that Nine and Rose are much different from Eleven and Amy.
Hints of the Doctor’s darker side that I saw in undertones in Eleven are much more readily apparent in Nine. Nine can be more openly angry and dangerous, while Eleven just seems quirky. It’s hard to remember he’s the most dangerous being in the universe when he’s brandishing a jammy dodger or popping in and out of existence wearing a fez. Honestly, I preferred it like that. You could call Nine and Eleven two opposite ends of the coping spectrum with this kind of darkness in their background, and they both have their good points and bad points.
As far as plots go, I’d say all the seasons I’ve seen so far are close to equals. Season Six was much more convoluted than One or Five, certainly, but that doesn’t automatically make it better or more sophisticated. The writers show a consistent creative genius, and the actors carry it out to its full potential. It’s no wonder Doctor Who is such a popular show and has managed to span the course of eleven different Doctors and even more different companions and villains.
I’m certainly looking forward to continuing my Doctor Who catch-up and seeing David Tennant as the Doctor. I’ve seen a few episodes from Seasons Two-Four, but not enough to get a good sense of that era of the show. Tennant seems to be a highly beloved Doctor, and I can’t wait to find out why.