Doctor Who is the greatest television show ever created. Dear God, how many times and how many shows have I bestowed that honor on before?
The answer is too many. I did it with House, Futurama, Archer, and even Friday Night Lights. But I mean it this time. I think I really, actually mean it. But whatever; regardless, I’m here to tell you why I think that.
Doctor Who (from here on referenced as DW) has been quite a find for me, because it had changed my outlook on how to create good television. Now, I know that sounds weird, and it is; its awkwardly worded and a little bit anticlimactic. What I said has no flash or pomp or anything worth paying attention to; it simply gets the job done. Usually, thats what I stick with. I try to do things with little fanfare, because I’ve never thought it added anything to what I was doing.
DW, on the other hand, has much fanfare, so much that usually it would nauseate me. But, for whatever reason, that has never bothered me. The jitteryness of the 11th has never bugged me, nor the bluntness of the 9th or the overly personable nature of the 10th. They all have this part of them that is always over the top and extravagant and powerful, but ultimately it masks what they really are and what they really feel. The black rage that bubbles just beneath the surface is so hard to see, but when found, cannot be unseen.
The reason for this is because once you see the sad, lonely, angry heart of The Doctor, you see the writing that it took to create such a complex character. I’ve never watched the original series, nor, to be quite honest, do I have any inclination to do so; it just doesn’t speak to me. But, with the new series, whether it be Russel T. Davies or Steven Moffat. the writing is what has always shined through. The writing allowed Christopher Eccleston to be the blunt, deeply forward 9th Doctor that he was, because his personality shown through, because, instead of the writing being a ball and chain that he was forced to deal with, it was instead a key that allowed him to just be himself as he would if he were The Doctor. In fact, he quit the show after one series because he didn’t like the atmosphere. What other actor, that has been handed the role of a lifetime, would just let it go? The 9th Doctor, thats who.
The writing of the show has been excellent, always. I can’t remember an episode where I wasn’t at least partially satisfied, and usually, that wasn’t because of the writing, but because I didn’t particularly like the villain, like the Matrons of New New New New New….. New York, or anything with the friggin’ Cybermen. Davies crafted such a great return with his skill set, bringing this wonderful sexual tension, both hetero- and homosexual, to the show. It was brilliant, and quite revealing. Davis built the show to a crescendo, to have it end on the great 10th Doctor finally dying and being replaced. The Davies 9th and 10th Symphony’s came to an explosive (literally) end, allowing the Moffat/Matt Smith era to rise from the ashes to create a completely different sort of Doctor Who.
Moffat created a different bloody show, truthfully. It didn’t feel like Doctor Who of previous incarnations, but, rather, felt like The Doctor had popped in somewhere else, without anyone really understanding why. It quickly became apparent, though, that with Moffat at the helm the show was headed to much brighter things. The plots grew twisted and complex, and The Doctor grew sadder and sadder. The pain that The Doctor felt was so readily apparent on Matt Smith’s Doctor that one felt compelled to reach out and grab him, shake him until he understood his worth. Every time that he tried to sacrifice himself, someone else would take his place, because, truthfully, not one person nor the planet Earth itself is worth one tenth of The Doctor. Now, as The Doctor fades away, one must only wonder when he will be back, alone, sad, and broken from his constant and ever pressing loneliness. Because, if time can be rewritten for The Doctor by the ones he loves, then the only thing that can stop him is himself.