Difference of opinion

Two great Doctors.

Two great Doctors.

It’s a bit ironic that today on my WordPress newsfeed, I was presented with two different articles, one saying how much writer prefers the RTD and the Tenth Doctor, and the other saying how much the writer prefers Moffat and the Eleventh Doctor. The two posts didn’t really say anything that I haven’t heard before about these two Doctors, but reading them side-by-side, I see that there seems to be a clear break between preferences of the audience.

  • If you care about the Doctor’s characterization and his relationship with the people around him and don’t care so much about the show’s story, you prefer RTD and the Tenth Doctor.
  • If you care about the show’s story and don’t care so much about the Doctor’s characterization and his relationship with the people around him, you prefer Moffat and the Eleventh Doctor.

Yes, it’s a lot more complicated that than, but that seems to be the gist of the arguments that I’ve seen. Tenth Doctor enthusiasts cite his relationship with Rose, his retreat into his shell during his travels with Martha, his friendship with Donna, his love/hate relationship with the Master, and his descent into darkness and the fact that he had to condemn the Time Lords yet again at the end of his life, and individual episodes in which the Doctor suffers a tragedy or personal triumph. Eleventh Doctor fans point at the puzzles of Amy and the Impossible Girl, his story arcs of the Pandorica and the Silence and the Great Intelligence, and individual episodes in which the Doctor engineers a great victory. The Ninth Doctor tends to get shafted in this discussion: I’ve seen lots of debate about whether the Ninth or Tenth Doctor is better, but people who like the Eleventh Doctor tend to not even consider the Ninth Doctor at all.

I’m sure you know which camp I’m in (Tenth Doctor all the way!), but that doesn’t really matter to me. I like the Eleventh Doctor. He’s not my favorite, certainly, but he’s fun to watch and his episodes are good (well, some of them; like every Doctor, he’s got some real stinkers). But I like all the Doctors. The great part of the whole thing is the fact that there are millions of people out there who are all enjoying the show and are so invested in this brilliant fictional universe that they’re sitting there, in their free time, thinking about what it is about the Doctor that they like or dislike. It just amazes me that this TV show captivates so many people like this. I’m sure that it’s like this in other fandoms, but this is the first time I’ve seen it happen first-hand. I’ve been a fan of other things before (Star Trek and the Marvel superheroes come to mind), but I’ve never seen this kind of in-depth discussion happen between my fan friends for those other fandoms. With Doctor Who, the discussions I’ve watched and participated in can last for hours. The only thing I’ve seen come even close is Firefly.

So, bring it on, DW fandom! More discussion. More Moffat-hate or RTD-hate or whatever. More love for the Doctor. I want to see it all!

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14 responses to “Difference of opinion

  1. If only there was a way to combine story and characterization evenly rather than a stronger emphasis on one or the other…

  2. I’m hoping that Capaldi will bring a different kind of stories… is not that I don’t love 11, I do (not as much as 10, but I do), but as I said in my post (which I’m guessing is the RTD love you talk about), Moffat really bugs me because of the whole grandeur of it all. Sometimes a girl is alone because she’s just alone… she doesn’t have to have a crack in her wall consuming reality… I don’t know. For one thing I like the long arcs, but I like long arcs that make sense…

    I kind of hate that he creates this amazing characters who turn out that their whole purpose is the Doctor! You should read this: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/01/the-problem-with-river-song-doctor-who

    I miss the time when the companions were more than that…

    • Me too, I like when they have their own goals and the Doctor helps them out a little but they do things on their own too. And character development, beautiful, apparent character development that doesn’t happen instantly but shows itself slowly and makes a big impact once it comes down to what they decide to do.
      They should lay off the “amazing characters who turn out that their whole purpose is the Doctor” for a good long while.

    • Oh. Em. Gee. Thank you for that article! It almost made me cry, seeing the author deconstruct River (and the story arcs of the Eleventh Doctor’s runs) and imagining how wonderful it all could have been. I still do love the show, but it really gels for me why series 5-7 just don’t compel me as much as series 1-4, and to be honest, seasons 1-27, do.

      I do hope series 8 will be a complete turnaround in direction.

      • My thoughts exactly, and I always loved River! But I feel the same way, I think 1 to 4 are far superior (for me anyway), as well as the classics I’ve seen so far. I have to confess than I’m very partial to the Second Doctor, I absolutely love him!

      • The Second Doctor is adorable! 🙂 I’ve seen a few of his and I really like Jamie in them. I’ve only seen four stories. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten the chance to see much more yet, as I have been concentrating on Five’s era, but I will.

    • I’ve so far only seen “The Mind Robber,” so I’m really not familiar with the Second Doctor at all (he’s the Doctor I’ve seen the least of). The one really cool thing about this show, though, is that all of the Doctors are great, in their own ways. Even the Eighth Doctor: though his one movie was awful, the Doctor himself was great, and different from all of his other incarnations.

      I still do love River, even though now it’s so sad to see what she could have been.

      • I’ve seen “Tomb of the Cybermen”, “The Three Doctors”, “The Five Doctors”, “The Two Doctors” and “Seeds of Death”.

        The Eighth Doctor was also cute. I love his childish innocence contrasting with his sometimes prophetic wisdom. There’s this bit I remembered reading somewhere of him about to take a dangerous leap or something of that sort that I just loved. Part of his mind was calculating the angles, a second part was yelling at him not to do it and a third part was sitting there with his arms held out to his sides and making airplane noises.

        I love some of the dialogue I remember between her and the Doctor, all that flirting is funny. Her potential was amazing.

      • Agreed! Poor “Russel” seeming to be cracking under pressure and fantasizing about handsome men is hilarious! 😀

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