The Daleks try to defeat the Doctor by showing him a false mock up of his future, so terrible he will kill himself now.
Its no secret that I’ve not exactly been happy with New Who for the past 5 years. I feel it has destroyed many of the shows most enduring icons such as the Master, the Brigadier, regeneration, and even the Doctor himself. (I have NOT liked Jodie’s performance as the 13th Doctor in any way shape or form.)
However looking back on it now I don’t think that New Who was ever really a proper sequel to the original.
It never really tried to portray the Doctor correctly. Now I know what some of you may be thinking. “The Doctor changes when he regenerates, so there is no consistent character to him” or the notorious “Doctor Who is all about change, so all change is good.”
Well personally I think both of those statements are total bollocks. They are classic examples of lies repeated enough times becoming accepted as facts.
If Doctor Who was really all about change then why is the TARDIS still a blue police box? Why are the Daleks still in the show (with the same basic design and characterisation.) Why is the theme tune basically the same?
It has a flexible format that can allow it to change when need be, but that doesn’t mean that it has no constants or that you don’t have to justify a change on its own merits.
In Classic Who the attitude was never that all of the incarnations of the Doctor were different people.
Regeneration was like an advanced form of healing. A Time Lord’s body broke down, and then it repaired itself, but in doing so it took on a new appearance.
As a result of this the Time Lord’s outer persona changed, but their core personality, consciousness, morals, and memories ALL remained exactly the same.
You can tell this just from looking at the first 7 Doctors. They all follow a very definite template.
All of them are mysterious and never tell us their real names. (If everything changed, wouldn’t at least one of them have told us his name is Bob and that he worked a boring 9-5 job on Gallifrey?)
All of them want to explore the universe and discover its secrets for scientific purposes.
All Classic era Doctors also have the exact same moral code too. They all prefer non violent means and will never kill out of vengeance, or if their enemy is unarmed and already beaten.
However they will kill in self defence without a seconds hesitation and will use any means necessary. The Doctor regularly uses guns, knives, explosives, bio weapons, and even wild animals to brutally murder his enemies. He also never shows any regrets afterwards and has no problems with his friends and allies using weapons either.
Indeed some of his absolute best friends like the Brigadier, Leela and Jamie regularly carry weapons or use them and the Doctor outright encourages them! Telling Leela for instance where to stick the knife into a Sontaran, thanking the Brig for shooting an Ogron and a Silurian dead and cheering Jamie chasing a red coat with a sword at the end of the War Games!
Ultimately the Doctor will always do what he needs to do to protect the innocent. He is a very level headed, practical, and mature character. We never see him break down in tears, let his emotions cloud his better judgement, or completely lose his cool.
The Doctor was also always portrayed as an asexual character who never showed any romantic interest in his companions (or anyone else for that matter.) Lots of fans have debated as to why this is, with some saying its because the Doctor is an alien, but personally I always saw it as being more because he had already had a normal life back on Gallifrey and isn’t interested in having one again.
When we first see the Doctor he is already an old man who has married, had a family, grand children etc. Clearly his family have died. It makes no sense otherwise. Why else would Susan be in his care? Also where were his wife and children all those times he was brought back to Gallifrey? Even if they were on bad terms, you’d think they’d be interested when he was put on trial for supposedly murdering the President!
Furthermore you’d think they’d at least want to know what happened to Susan too. Finally the only time he mentions them in Classic Who, in a rather touching scene from Tomb of the Cybermen, he talks about them in the past sense and relates to Victoria whose father had recently passed away.
So to me its obvious that the Doctors wife and children were killed at some point before he left Gallifrey and Susan then fell into his care. After his family’s death the Doctor decided to explore the universe. He had always wanted to, but when he met his wife back on Gallifrey and had a family, he put it aside and had a happy life with them. After losing his loved ones however he decides to start living out his dream and doesn’t want to bother getting tied down somewhere again. He has already lived that life and no one can replace his loved ones.
This also rather nicely explains why the Doctor has such a rational, mature outlook to things. Not only has he already lived a full life before we meet him, but he has also lived through the worst loss imaginable.
Whatever the real reason, the Doctor is not a romantic character. I’m not saying that you can NEVER have any kind of romance under ANY circumstances, but it has to be very fleeting. The character of the Doctor just simply isn’t designed for big romance stories. He is designed for sci fi, adventure stories.
On top of this there are a number of little characteristics that run throughout all Doctors in Classic Who that still help to strongly link the Doctors together as the same man.
All the classic era Doctors (bar Troughton) are shown to be formidable fighters for instance, capable of fighting off dozens of people at once. (We can chalk Troughton’s Doctors weakness up to the fact that he was in a small, frail body.)
Also most Doctors have a love for jelly babies too.
Finally even physically there is something of a template to the Doctors. They all have long hair, wear frock coats, and dress in more flamboyant, Edwardian, Victorian era clothing.
This isn’t just my opinion. All of the major people involved in Classic Who said that they were careful not to change the Doctors character too much.
Robert Holmes, the shows most popular and prolific writer (to date Holmes has written more episodes of DW than anyone else, even Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat) said that he always wrote the Doctors as being the same character, and simply allowed the actors to re-interpret the lines however they wished.
He would make a few allowances, such as giving Jon Pertwee a few more fight scenes, or Tom a few more bits of humour, but ultimately he always wrote the Doctor as the same character. Terry Nation the shows second most prolific writer said he always did the same, whilst Terrance Dicks the shows longest running script editor said the single most important thing was not to change the Doctors character too much.
Jon Pertwee also was adamant about the Doctor being portrayed as an asexual grandfatherly figure, whilst Tom Baker said in an interview collected for the documentary, “Whose Doctor Who” that the Doctor was the most limited role he ever played as there were so many things he couldn’t do, as he wouldn’t seem like the Doctor anymore.
Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy all also mentioned keeping aspects of their predecessors in their performances too.
Finally John Nathan Turner, the shows longest running producer was also adamant about sticking to the Doctor’s core character to the point where he forced his leading men to all grow their hair long, and refused to let Peter Davison even put his arm around the companion, out of fear people would read a romantic interpretation into it.
So with this in mind the idea that the Doctor can be absolutely anybody not only goes against what the makers of the original series tried to do for 26 years, I’d say it outright insults them.
Its basically saying that the collective character of the Doctor that they created and maintained over quarter of a century isn’t good enough. Its also I feel underplays what the actors playing the Doctor accomplished. If there was no similarity between the Doctors, then it would be the easiest iconic role to play. You literally couldn’t miscast the part unlike say Superman or Batman.
However all of the actors playing the Doctor were bound by very clear limitations that defined the Doctor, but even within those limitations, the actors managed to completely reinvent the character again and again.
When you look at Eccelston’s 9th Doctor however you can see the writer not caring about the limitations.
There was very little from the first 7 in his portrayal. His Doctor was in love with his 19 year old companion Rose Tyler. Rose is only 4 years older than Susan! She is the type of person the Doctor should be viewing as a surrogate grand daughter figure, not as a love interest!
Eccelston’s Doctor was also a very emotional character, constantly breaking down into tears, letting his emotions cloud his brain, and he also virtually never did any fighting, and refused to use guns (apart from one moment where he was meant to have gone mad in Dalek.) He was also constantly saved by his companion too which greatly undermined his credibility as a heroic figure.
His Doctor also did not travel because he wanted to. In The End of the World he says he travels because his people and home are gone and regularly says that he wants to have a normal life instead of the one he has, which is the opposite of the original Doctor.
Even physically the 9th Doctor was the total opposite to the first 7, with his short, shaved hair, and toned down, modern, leather coat.
See what I mean? Even in terms of appearance he just sticks out like a sore thumb already.
These problems would only get worse with the next Doctors. David Tennant’s Doctor was more akin to Captain Kirk, snogging every attractive woman he came into contact with , constantly breaking down in tears, and refusing to let his companions use guns, even when there was a horde of flesh eating monsters about to descend on them!
Tennant was a great actor, but he just wasn’t the Doctor in anyway. Its hard to imagine Tennant’s Doctor who constantly goes insane to the point where he commits genocide and changes time over losing his loved ones like Rose being the same wise old Time Lord from Tomb, comforting Victoria about the loss of her parents. If anything in the Tennant era she’d have to comfort him!
Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi meanwhile I think were good choices for the role who tried to play the Doctor as a more alien, old fashioned character, (and picked more Doctorish costumes and looks unlike Tennant and Eccelston.)
Sadly however they were let down by stories that were completely inappropriate for the Doctor. From River Song boasting about the bondagey sex she had with the Doctor, to Clara undermining him at every opportunity, to the Master creating a Cyber army so that she could sleep with him.
Worst of all during the Capaldi era they completely rewrote his history, changing it so that he left Gallifrey not because he wanted to explore, but because of some silly hybrid prophecy. (They also revealed far too much of his past in the process.)
Jodie’s casting meanwhile is an utter joke. Leaving aside the fact that it was nothing but pandering to the most bullying side of fandom (a topic I’ve explored many times before.) A female Doctor to me was never a good idea anyway.
As we have explored there is a template to the character, and his gender is a part of that by default as he was never conceived as genderless until Steven Moffat started to include it from the early 10s after feminists started bullying him online.
The character was always been written and played as a male by default. All of his relationships were from a male perspective, viewers have always identified with him as a man, and even in little superficial ways he’s always been masculine, like he’s always dressed in masculine clothes, he’s based on male heroes like Quatermass, Sherlock Holmes etc.
A female Doctor would feel out of place, not because women can’t be the heroes in general, but its just that this particular hero, in this particular continuity is set as a man. Whenever I’d see a woman as the Doctor I just couldn’t relate her to being the first 7 men.
However whilst I’m more angry at Jodie’s casting due to the agenda behind it (which has seeped its way into the show, much to its detriment.) I must admit Jodie has just been the final straw in terms of not being able to take the New Who Doctor as being the same character as the original.
What is there left of the original Doctor anymore with her casting?
One by one they’ve chipped away at his core character. First his look and dress sense changed, then his motivation for travelling changed, then his morality and relationship with his enemies like the Master changed, then his asexuality was tossed in the bin, then his mysterious past was revealed and changed, as we now know the reason he ran away, and the reason he overcame his fear as a boy, and the reason he chose that particular TARDIS were ALL because of Clara. Finally now even his fucking gender has changed too!
All that’s left of the actual Doctor’s character is the fact that we don’t know his name, and that he travels in a TARDIS which is shaped like a blue box, but that’s not really enough. The same was true of the Peter Cushing Doctor Who as well. (Hey we didn’t know his first name at least.)
Take a look at these fan drawings of the Doctor and the Master and try and to imagine them as being the same characters we watched for decades in Classic Who and not laugh.
I’m not knocking the drawings or the artists themselves, but what the hell is left of Jon Pertwee and Roger Delgado in those characters? You can see what’s left of Pertwee and Delgado in Tom Baker and the Burned Master fighting with each other, but Jodie and Missy?
With this in mind you have to wonder why the New Who brigade bothered to make the revival a sequel and not a remake?
Personally I think its because they wanted to have their cake and eat it too. They wanted to cash in on Classic Who’s fanbase and success by linking their version to it, but they couldn’t be bothered actually trying to follow on from Classic Who, or write the character of the Doctor. I think a lot of the New Who writers had disdain for the character of the Doctor to be honest. Look at Russell T Davies complaining that there was never any emotional content with the original Doctor, or Moffat using his final story to absolutely trash the original Doctor, William Hartnell, by portraying him as a racist and sexist and homophobe compared to his Doctor.
Ironically however whilst New Who being “officially” a sequel may have caused Classic Who fans such as myself to watch the revival at first, in the long run I think this solution has proven to be worse for everyone.
First of all its led to a massive schism in the fanbase, which wouldn’t have been there if New Who had been honest about being a remake.
Its also caused a lot of anger towards New Who from classic era fans to the point where ironically I feel that a lot of classic era fans (myself included) overlook New Who’s good points.
Had it been a remake, then I think a lot of classic who fans would probably appreciate New Who, the same way they do the Cushing movies, IE not as proper Who, but enjoyable in its own right
So I’ve decided to do a sequel series that will totally ignore New Who, and feature an alternate 9th-13th Doctors.
This series will establish that Classic Who and New Who take place in alternate universes to one another. Classic Who takes place in N-Space and New Who takes place in M-Space, a reality with a similar history to N-Space, but ultimately different in many respects. I feel this is the best solution, as this way old and new who can still be connected, but ultimately we don’t have to imagine that the Burned Master secretly wants to shag Tom Baker, or that if it weren’t for Clara then the Doctor would have been killed in every story.
I will use different images for my 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th Doctors from Christopher Eccelston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, and Jodie Whittaker.
The image for the 9th Doctor will be that of Dylan Moran, the 10th will be Tim Curry, the 11th will be Robert Carlyle, the 12th will be Damien Moloney and the 13th will be Julian Richings.
I will be basing these Doctors characters on the type of characters those actors are known for playing too.
This Doctor will be quite grumpy, bad tempered, and ruthless to his enemies.
This Doctor will be a friendly, larger than life, boisterous, eccentric figure.
This Doctor will be a darker, more violent, conflicted and tormented individual.
This Doctor will be a more pessimistic, cold, and cynical Doctor with a dry sense of humour.
This Doctor will be the wisest, most level headed and distant of all of his incarnations.
Now we won’t be running through each Doctors entire life one after another like New Who as that would take decades. Instead we will be looking at stories from every one of these Doctors like Big Finish.
The purpose of this series is simply to offer an alternative to Classic Who fans who are not happy with New Who.
Don’t get me wrong I am not deluded enough to think I will replace New Who for the general public, nor am I egotistical enough to think that this will be the definitive sequel to Classic Who.
I hope however that other people reading this who are not happy with New Who will not only enjoy it, but do the same and produce their own sequel, in book form, or as a youtube series. I hope that in time this will become the norm for fan fic writers who are more interested in Classic Who, rather than just simply just to focus on new stories with Classic era Doctors, they will instead create their own 9-13th Doctors. Eventually when that happens dozens and dozens of times, there will be a greater chance that the BBC themselves will produce a sequel series that ignores New Who.
I’m not saying that they will get McGann back, but they could easily have the first of the new run of Doctors (years after new who finished) casually mention that he is on his 9th life a few years into his tenure.
To me this would be the best option for everyone. It would make Classic Who like the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories.
To those who aren’t familiar with Sherlock Holmes, the Doyle novels are the only official canon of Sherlock Holmes. There are literally hundreds of sequels across all mediums to the Doyle Holmes stories, but they are all unofficial. Fans are free to choose whichever Holmes story they want as the official sequel, or they can just ignore them all.
Classic Who should be the same. I don’t see why one group of people who had NOTHING to do with the original and who made their version decades later should be allowed to decide the definitive version of what happened to other people’s characters.
I know that Classic Who was not written by one writer like Sherlock Holmes, but it was still one complete work that came to an end, so in my opinion it deserves to stay as one complete work.
Rather than it all being one messy timeline where Delgado is retconned into wanting to shag Pertwee, instead Classic Who can stand on its own. Those who prefer New Who as a sequel can take it as the sequel, those who prefer my version can take it as a sequel, those who prefer any other potential alternative sequel can take them as canon instead, and those who can’t stand any of the sequels can just enjoy Classic Who on its own.
This will also allow fans to enjoy all of the sequels on their own merits (though even with this I still wouldn’t like the Peter Capaldi or Jodie Whittaker era’s which don’t even make sense within the history of New Who, never mind Classic Who. Still that’s for bigger New Who fans to sort out, not me.)
Furthermore as many New Who writers such as Paul Cornell and Steven Moffat have said that Doctor Who has no canon (to cover their own plot holes and continuity blips) then my version really is as official as New Who.
This new Doctor Who series will start in February 2019. I have a lot of work to get done first including finishing the final two parts of The History of N-Space series.
In my opinion various other franchises also take place in N-Space. Doctor Who has had various crossovers with other series such as Futurama, Blake’s 7, Red Dwarf, Quatermass, Caballistics Inc, Dan Dare, Godzilla, Planet of the Apes, and the John Carpenter horror movie, Prince of Darkness, so as far as I’m concerned they all exist in N-Space.
This series is designed to try and fit all of these works together into one cohesive timeline.
There will be references to and crossovers with these other franchises in my Doctor Who sequel series, though only fleetingly.
In addition to this I will also be writing a Romana spin off series revolving around her adventures in E-Space, and featuring the later incarnations of Romana seen in my history of N-Space.
So join me in February next year when we will see the return of the original Doctor.
See you soon.