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August, 07, 2013

(Spin) Doctor

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Name: Joel Tennant
Member of: Student Panellist
Joined: Jul 2013
Joel's Full Profile

Lost perhaps on a younger, more demanding audience, Doctor Who is about time travel, and I therefore cannot state this enough: the Doctor doesn’t give a f*** about how old you think the f***ing Doctor should f***ing be.

Doctor Who

Photo by Zennie Abraham

But don’t get your petulant panties in a twist, I’m parodying Peter Capaldi’s most famous, or infamous, character from BBC Two’s The Thick of It, Malcom Tucker. Perhaps now a character increasingly more revered for his stark contrast to the actor’s newest project, that of the twelfth Doctor, and whose trademark outlandish insults, littered with profanity and obscurity, are now becoming internet comedy gold, Malcom Tucker was a political spin-doctor who could rival your worst nightmare. And now here he is – because we struggle to detach character and actor – playing what is arguably the most famous on-going British television role, the Doctor.

Doctor Who

Photo by Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums

When it was announced, I was pleasantly relieved. No more young ones! Likely there were cries and sobs from the child audience across the world, those who could not appreciate the gift that they’d been given in the form of this Celtic god, and I shall get to them very soon. But for the most part the reception to the new regeneration has been overwhelmingly positive. Craig Ferguson, presenter of the American Late Late Show, and coincidently one of Capaldi’s oldest showbiz friends with whom he has apparently dropped acid, tweeted the following:
And then let us not neglect a poll of 1000 readers from @IndyVoices (The Independent’s comment outlet) which claims that 82% of that group are happy with the casting of Capaldi. Whilst not holding dearly to such a small minority, including those that bother to interact with such polls, it is still telling of the general consensus.

I am not a Whovian. If you are of the uninitiated, the following link should serve as a …warning: What Makes A Whovian? - so why should I be so bothered? Well, I am a fan, and one still old enough in my youth to at least remember renting out VHS copies of the old original series from our local library. Year after year, I seek out scarves every Winter reminiscent of my all time favourite Doctor (I think you know the one) and I still think back to the first ever time I saw a Dalek, the first time I ever saw Hartnell. Somewhere in a box there is undoubtedly a stack of paper, ‘Joel’ signed in the bottom right, with design after design from a child’s hand of Doctor Who villain. After all, if I was to be the next Doctor, I’d need a nemesis!

Ever concerned with the world’s orbit straying from the centre of the universe (themselves), some young viewers weren’t overly impressed with the casting.  As it turns out, many had the frankly unusual assumption that each doctor gets younger with regeneration. Of course, the premise of this may be attractive, making whomever is given the role automatically relatable for the children who watch the show – but when the newly regenerated 8 year old Doctor with access to the entire universe just uses the Tardis to store sweets, I’d say the chance of plot or narrative will become as thin as Lady Cassandra’s face.

Apparently not...

Apparently not…

The young boys and young girls, teens and twits, may well have expected a glowing, ethereal creature that was the product of Bieber catching his own saliva in his mouth (instead of relying on fans to do it), or perhaps one that was just a carbon copy of Matt Smith. But no, the age of the low age is over, now the Doctor is a former Spin Doctor,  and the Tardis, the companion, and the enemies of peace in the universe, are about to get a right bollocking.

I couldn’t be more pleased that it was Capaldi to get the role, and despite my small obsession to with Tucker references, his career has been incredibly interesting so far, what he does with the Doctor and where he takes him is all part of the adventure.

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