WANT! Doctor Who Stamps

In England the Royal Mail has released a 50th anniversary set of Doctor Who stamps. Here they are:

 

First Doctor: William Hartnell
Second Doctor: Patrick Troughton
Third Doctor: John Pertwee
Fourth Doctor: Tom Baker
Fifth Doctor: Peter Davison
Sixth Doctor: Colin Baker (this is my favorite of the batch)
Seventh Doctor: Sylvester McCoy
Eighth Doctor: Paul McGann
Ninth Doctor: Chris Eccleston
Tenth Doctor: David Tennant
Eleventh Doctor: Matt Smith

Does it all come down to Peter?

SPOILER ALERT: This post discusses things that have happened in season 5 of the new “Doctor Who” series

I’ve really been digging the new “Doctor Who” episodes. I’m warming up to Matt Smith even faster than I warmed up to David Tennant (whom is one of my top three favorite Doctors).

But I’ve noticed something about some of the props and story lines and it makes me wonder if maybe that non-cannon Doctor will finally be brought into the proper canon of the series. I’m talking about Peter Cushing’s Doctor, of course.

Peter Cushing starred as Doctor Who (they even called him that) in two feature films – Dr. Who and The Daleks (1965) and Dalek’s Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966) His Doctor was nothing like the television series Doctor. He was much more grandfatherly and even a bit of a bumbler. However, it was Peter Cushing so it was played perfectly. (Yes, I have a bias. Can you tell?)

In this 5th season of the new run of “Doctor Who,” it has been made very clear that past continuity will not be ignored. I loved the first 4 seasons, but Russell T. Davies – the show runner for seasons 1-4 –  was sometimes very self-indulgent and the stories often tended to ignore what came before Chris Eccleston as if it didn’t matter. If Davies didn’t come up with it, then it wasn’t pertinent.

Now that Steven Moffat has taken over, that sense of ‘oh, let’s just forget about all those other doctors’ has vanished. The first episode of the 5th season even featured film clips of all 10 doctors that came before Matt Smith. Yes, this happened during one of the Tennant Christmas specials, but this time it seemed more epic – like we were being reminded of his past incarnations for a reason and not just something to keep the fans happy.

I have a theory.

(But be warned – my theories rarely ever pan out. Almost every theory I’ve had about “Lost” has been completely wrong.)

It’s clear that the Arc Story of season five is this crack in space that Amelia Pond found in her bedroom when she was a little girl. It’s unclear whether this crack is everywhere, or if Amelia is creating it whenever she visits different places and times. What is clear is that it seems to be causing amnesia of some pretty important historical events – she doesn’t remember the Dalek attack on Canary Wharf for one. Unless she was vacationing with Donna Noble, it seems pretty hard to believe that she would just forget about something like that. And no one could forget seeing multiple planets in the sky when the Daleks once again tried to destroy Earth at the end of season 4.

There’s this issue of the new Daleks. They’ve very colorful. The series has had different color Daleks before, but not Technicolor. The only place that has had rainbow Daleks (that I can recall) is — in the Peter Cushing movies.

Movie Daleks
Movie Daleks
Series Daleks
Series 5 Daleks

Yeah, but so what? you ask. It could just be an hommage to the Cushing films. And you’re right, it very well could be.

But then I found out today that the new design of the TARDIS is very close to the TARDIS design from the films.

Here’s a quote from Moffat himself:

It’s not only the Doctor who’ll have regenerated in the new series. The Tardis has also undergone a significant makeover.

“There is a plot reason for it,” Moffat confirmed. “I always liked the Tardis from the Peter Cushing [Dr Who] movies, and wanted to make it more like that.”

Cushing's TARDIS
Cushing's TARDIS
Smith TARDIS
Smith TARDIS

Sounds like more hommage stuff going on, but what if it isn’t? What if Moffat is trying to reconcile not only past series contradictions but is also trying to bring in Cushing’s Doctor as well? Cushing has passed away, but that doesnt’ mean he can’t be mentioned or referred to.

Yes, just more wild speculation but there’s a big part of me that hopes I’m right. I don’t know how I would feel about there being Doctors in parallel universes but that’s one possibility of bringing in the Cushing Doctor.

(There have been two parallel universes that I have seen – one with John Pertwee and one with David Tennant – and neither of those had a ‘mirror’ Doctor. Doesn’t mean there isn’t one, but I had always hoped that the Time Lords were immune to the multiple universe theory.)

So, there’s my off-the-wall theory for the day fueled by my love of story continuity and admiration of Peter Cushing.

Who's Anniversary Is it? That's right!

This past Sunday (November 23) was the 45th anniversary of the airing of the first Doctor Who episode on the BBC network entitled 100,000 B.C.

Originally intended as an educational program to teach children about history, it was soon obvious that the ratings always went up when the show had monsters and the education bit was left behind to make way for more fantastic story lines.

And lucky for us because despite its dull start, Doctor Who turned into one of the best written, albeit cheaply produced, programs on any continent. Even though it was still considered a children’s program the writing and acting were strong and with a bit of imagination the cheap special effects could be overlooked, allowing an enjoyment of a strong premise and story.

Doctor Who, for those of you not in the know, is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who travels the universe in his T.A.R.D.I.S. (Time and Relative Dimension in Space) – a space ship as well as a time machine – which has a broken chameleon circuit causing it to be stuck in its current shape, that of a blue, mid-twentieth century police box. Fortunately, it’s bigger on the inside than the outside.

The Time Lords are a noble race. Well, to be blunt, they can be rather snooty and condescending. The Doctor himself is sometimes just as bad, but he’s always been a sort of rebel. His fellow Time Lords often look down on him, even taking away his space travel privileges at times.

Time Lords have the ability to regenerate and can do so up to twelve times, meaning that eventually, there will have been thirteen doctors. Currently, the series is up to number ten and will soon move on to number eleven.

In his travels, the Doctor often picks up ‘companions’ mostly female humans, but sometimes they are alien and occasionally even male. The fifth Doctor, Peter Davison, seemed to prefer an entourage as opposed to a single companion but most of the time, the Doctor only has one tag along.

I’m a relatively new fan of Doctor Who. I had heard of the program, of course, but I had never seen it until I moved in with my husband 9 years ago. It took a few months before he made me watch a story and I won’t claim that I loved it from the start, but I liked it well enough to watch a few more stories.

I don’t even remember which Doctor was my first or which story but eventually I became a fan and although I like all the Doctors I have seen (I have yet to see a full story with the first Doctor) I do have my own favorite – Jon Pertwee, the third Doctor. Some of the best stories are in the fourth Doctor’s run (Tom Baker) but I’ve always loved how Pertwee played the part. He was strong, always in charge and while he was often curt and even harsh, he could be very kind and never backed away from a challenge.

I have to admit that I didn’t become a Big Fan until the newest series of Doctor Who, starting with Chris Eccleston, the ninth Doctor. Writing and good actors had always been Doctor Who’s strongest points and special effects had always been its weakest. Now the show not only had excellent writing and acting, it also had a budget to allow the show runners to realize the writer’s visions.

The new show also allowed the Doctor to be more ‘human,’ for lack of a better word. Maybe because he was now alone in the universe (the Time Lords, had been wiped out in a great war) his affection for his companions, especially Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), became deeper and much more personal lending more weight to the sometimes tragic story lines of the series.

Doctor Who has it all, really – science fiction, fantasy, drama, comedy, farce, tragedy, apocalypse, redemption, romance – you name it, it’s been in a Doctor Who story somewhere, and sometimes all in the same episode.

The Doctors:
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 – Chris Eccleston
10 – David Tennant