Monday, 15 May 2017

Doctor Who: The Doctors (in order of greatness)

Recently I drew all of the Doctors for a friend in exchange for her home made eggnog. I will do anything for eggnog, no matter what time of year it is. I thought I'd present them here and put them in order of my least favourite Doctor to my favourite Doctor. Disclaimer: I love them all and the order of this list has been known to change depending on what episodes I've been watching lately, but it serves as a rough guide to my Doctor-preferences.

Feel free to share your Doctor-list in the comments, and let me know what you think of my art. :)

13. The Eleventh Doctor - Matt Smith

Best TV episodes: 
The Eleventh Hour
The Day of the Doctor

The Crimson Horror
Amy's Choice
A Christmas Carol
The Lodger
The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang

Best audio adventures (played by Christopher Benjamin): 
The Jago Lightfoot Revival Act 1 & 2

12. The Tenth Doctor - David Tennant

Best TV episodes: 
The Waters of Mars
Human Nature/The Family of Blood
School Reunion
Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead
Army of Ghosts/Doomsday

Best audio adventures: 
Death and the Queen

11. The War Doctor - John Hurt

Best TV episodes: 
The Day of the Doctor

Best audio adventures
The Neverwhen
The Innocent

10. The Second Doctor - Patrick Troughton

Best TV episodes:
The War Games
Tomb of the Cybermen
The Mind Robber
The Highlanders
Evil of the Daleks

Best audio adventures (played by Frazer Hines): 
The Jigsaw War
The Lords of the Red Planet
The Black Hole
The Rosemariners

9. The Fourth Doctor - Tom Baker

Best TV episodes: 
The Deadly Assassin
Genesis of the Daleks
The Talons of Weng-Chiang
The Face of Evil
Robots of Death
Terror of the Zygons

Best audio adventures: 
The Foe from the Future
A Full Life
The Cloisters of Terror
The Wrath of the Iceni
The Ghosts of Gralstead

8. The Eighth Doctor - Paul McGann

Best TV episodes: 
The Night of the Doctor

Best audio adventures: 
Lucie Miller/To the Death
The Company of Friends
The Chimes of Midnight
Seasons of Fear
The Red Lady
The Horror of Glam Rock
The Silver Turk

7. The Fifth Doctor - Peter Davison

Best TV episodes: 
Caves of Androzani

Best audio adventures: 
Spare Parts
The Kingmaker
The Butcher of Brisbane
The Church and the Crown
The Burning Prince

6. The Twelfth Doctor - Peter Capaldi

Best TV episodes: 
Heaven Sent/ Hell Bent
World Enough and Time/ The Doctor Falls
The Magician's Apprentice/ The Witch's Familiar
Thin Ice
Mummy on the Orient Express
Under the Lake/Before the Flood
The Girl Who Lived/ The Woman Who Died

5. The Seventh Doctor - Sylvester McCoy

Best TV episodes:
The Curse of Fenric
Ghost Light
Remembrance of the Daleks
The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

Best audio adventures:
Dust Breeding
The Shadow of the Scourge
A Death in the Family
All Consuming Fire
Love and War

4. The Third Doctor - Jon Pertwee

Best TV episodes: 
The Sea Devils
The Daemons
The Green Death
Invasion of the Dinosaurs
Spearhead from Space
The Three Doctors

Best audio adventures (played by Tim Treloar): 
The Transcendence of Ephros
The Hidden Realm

3. The Ninth Doctor - Christopher Eccleston

Best TV episodes:
The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances
Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways
Father's Day
Aliens of London/World War Three

Best audio adventures (played by Nicholas Briggs):
Retail Therapy
The Bleeding Heart

2. The Sixth Doctor - Colin Baker

Best TV episodes:
Revelation of the Daleks
Vengeance on Varos
The Two Doctors
Trial of a Time Lord
The Mark of the Rani

Best audio adventures:
The Curse of Davros
The Last Adventure
The Holy Terror
The Spectre of Lanyon Moor
The Juggernauts
Doctor Who and the Pirates
City of Spires/Wreck of the Titan/Legend of the Cybermen
Arrangements for War
Thicker than Water

1. The First Doctor - William Hartnell

Best TV episodes:
The Daleks Master Plan
The Romans
Marco Polo
The Aztecs
The Dalek Invasion of Earth
The Time Meddler
The War Machines
An Unearthly Child

Best audio adventures (played by William Russell and Peter Purves):
The Perpetual Bond/The Cold Equations/The First Wave
Home Truths
Domain of the Voord
The Beginning
Farewell, Great Macedon
Mother Russia
The Anachronauts

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Kris Marshall is The Doctor, but not in the way you think!


Before I present my latest prediction on the direction of the plot of the latest series of Doctor Who, I should confess that I have yet to see any of my Doctor Who related predictions come to pass. When it comes to second guessing Doctor Who I am always, always wrong.

Nevertheless, please indulge me while I present my latest (undoubtedly inaccurate) theory.

Peter Capaldi will be leaving Doctor Who this series, that much is certain. Trailers for the series have even shown him start to regenerate into his next incarnation. Showrunner Steven Moffat will leave after this year's Christmas Special and Series 11 will begin next year with a new showrunner (Chris Chibnall) crafting new adventures for a new Doctor. Rumours have been flying for the past few months that Kris Marshall will play that new Doctor. So many people seemed certain that this was the case that bookies have suspended betting on it. Needless to say I had an opinion or two to share about this:

For what it's worth, I am definitely of the opinion that casting the Doctor as yet another skinny, young (ish), white dude in the Tennant/Smith mold would be an uninspired choice and a big mistake. But what if Kris Marshall is playing the next incarnation of the Doctor, and at the same time, not actually playing the Doctor?

What if Kris Marshall is the Valeyard?

Before I elaborate, let's have a quick recap of the Valeyard's identity.

The Trial of a Time Lord (1986) features the Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) being put on trial by his fellow Time Lords for his interference in the affairs of other worlds. He is being prosecuted by a mysterious man in black known only as the Valeyard, who seems to loathe the Doctor. Eventually the Master reveals that the Valeyard is a future incarnation of the Doctor, who is attempting to steal his past self's remaining regenerations.
"There is some evil in all of us, Doctor – even you. The Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say you do not improve with age." - The Master
This quote should be ringing alarm bells for fans, because if we don't include John Hurt's War Doctor, Peter Capaldi is the Doctor's twelfth incarnation!

As of this writing we are four episodes into Series 10. So far we have seen that the Doctor has exiled himself to Earth for the past 50 or so years in order to keep someone trapped in a vault beneath Bristol University. In episode four, Knock Knock, the Doctor is shown being rather chummy with the occupant of the vault, even going as far as to share Mexican takeaway and an account of his latest adventure with them. What if the occupant of the vault is his own future incarnation? The Doctor would have realised that, as he is approaching the end of what he refers to as his twelfth incarnation, then the Valeyard must be on the way. Wouldn't it be just like the Doctor to break all the laws of time, go forward into his own timeline, and imprison his evil, future self before they can do any damage?

This would explain why (at least according to the trailers) we'll be seeing the Twelfth Doctor regenerate during this series rather than in the Christmas Special. We'll see the regeneration in a 'flashback/flashforward' to the origin of the Valeyard. Shortly after this has occurred we'll see the Doctor's past self materialise, scoop up the newly regenerated Valeyard and take him back in time to imprison him in the vault and exile them both on Earth for decades.

There's a moment in Knock Knock where the Doctor mentions the concept of regeneration to new companion, Bill. When Bill presses the Doctor further as to the meaning of the word the Doctor looks uncomfortable and changes the subject. It stands to reason that the Doctor would be reluctant to discuss the concept of regeneration if he knows that when it happens next he'll end up irredeemably evil and locked in a vault by his past self.

It's also worth remembering that according to the trailers there will be two incarnations of the Doctor's archenemy, the Master appearing this series. Missy (Michelle Gomez) will be appearing alongside an earlier incarnation of the Master (John Simm). To me this sounds like an ideal way of introducing the concept of multiple versions of the same Time Lord appearing at the same time to a new audience. Two Masters together at the same time will prepare the audience for two Doctors together at the same time.

So why do I think the Valeyard will be played by Kris Marshall? I admit, it's possible that he won't be, but it would fit so elegantly. My biggest problem with Marshall as the Doctor is the fact that he's so similar to Tennant and Smith, but if Marshall were playing a bad Doctor then this would be an asset. Imagine how effective it would be if Marshall played his Doctor as "the anti-Tennant" (as my pal Madeley put it). Familiar Doctor-ish behaviour and character traits twisted and perverted towards evil would pack an emotional punch for audiences and hammer home that this character (despite his evil) is the Doctor. Whatever your opinion of Steven Moffat, you have to admit he's good at playing with fan expectations. How clever would it be if the Marshall rumours were deliberately seeded by the BBC as a massive feint?

It's not a perfect theory. For example, in Knock Knock why would the Doctor share an account of his latest adventure with someone who'd already lived it? But for me the best thing about this theory is what it tells us about the REAL Thirteenth Doctor, the one who will be working with Chibnall and will presumably debut at the end of the Christmas Special. Assuming the Valeyard storyline is wrapped up at the end of Series 10 and the Doctor finds a way to prevent the Valeyard from ever existing, then that means there will be a different Thirteenth Doctor debuting in the Christmas Special. It makes sense that the Doctor will do his best to make his new incarnation as different from the Valeyard as he possibly can. And if I'm right then the Valeyard will have been played by a skinny, young-ish, white dude.

So what does that mean for the Thirteenth Doctor?....