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Doctor Who and Second Chances

Today has been a busy day, filled with cleaning, reading, sorting, and more. The best part of the more was that James and I finally got to start Doctor Who Season 7 on Netflix. As far as Netflix goes, it’s hard to wait for them to get the series updated, but when they do, the wonderful thing is getting to do a mass marathon. After James and I have children, we probably won’t be able to do this. But for now, we’re enjoying it.

And so, as it has been months since we’ve seen a new Doctor Who episode and months spent avoiding all the spoilers, it has been such a treat to watch this season. The funny thing is that when Matt Smith first became the doctor, I did not like him that much. My heart was still with David Tennant. It wasn’t just the fact that he was a great actor with tremendous enthusiasm. The way that the Tenth Doctor ended made me so sad. His final words, in particular, almost guaranteed that I would be set against the new doctor, no matter how amazing he was. Add to that the fact that Matt Smith was quite distinct from David Tennant and the tone of the show changed along with his arrival, and I struggled.
James felt the same way. We were in our third year in law school when we got to see the first Matt Smith episode of Doctor Who. My immediate reaction was that it was not as good. It just didn’t feel right. The whole fairy tale theme felt off to me, and Amy Pond and Rory Williams, though having potential, just didn’t grab me he same way as some of the other companions did. In fact, that particular season of Doctor Who actually had more episodes than usual that I actively disliked.
Yet, for whatever the reason, I have this odd compulsion to finish things. Even television series I’m not that fond of. And then I have to watch at least the first couple episodes to see if I like it better the next time through (unless it’s just unbearable, which is what Attack on Titans was for me). So I watched all of Season 5. My husband and I agreed that it wasn’t as good as the previous ones, but…still, I had to give this epic series a second chance. So I did, and, not surprisingly, I liked it even more.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that Season 5 is perfect any more than the previous seasons were. And there are still a handful of episodes that I dislike. At the same time though, I have worked my way through the subsequent seasons, and now as I am watching Season 7 (and actually quite enjoying it), I am realizing how much I will miss Matt Smith as the doctor. In fact, right now, it’s just about time for Amy and Rory to say farewell, and I just realized how attached I am to them.
What’s incredible is the way that a character (just as much as an actor portraying a character) can grow on one. I never expected to get so emotionally wrapped up in these particular characters. Not every character can achieve this. And not every character will have that effect on every viewer. But when it does happen, it is something special. And I am happy to be along for the ride.
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  1. Liz Liz

    I’ve started Smith’s last season (friend is dragging me through them all) and he hasn’t grown on me much. I don’t loathe him, but I don’t really like him, either. He very much reminds me of the cat in the hat and the cat in the hat always annoyed me.

    Don’t even get me started on Amy. I never felt connected to her character. Vacillated between loathing and disinterested dislike. I was so glad her storyline finally ended.

    (Not trying to be contrary. I just find it interesting how different people connect (or don’t) to the same characters. For me, Eccleston’s enthusiasm was more endearing than most lead characters in modern movies, but tons of people can’t stand him.)

    • Jessica Jessica

      Not to worry. You’re entirely allowed to disagree and even be contrary. It truly is fascinating. I love Eccleston’s enthusiasm as well. If I were to break it down by general descriptions, I would say that Eccleston felt the most human and real, Tennant felt the most regal and powerful, and Smith felt the most childlike, for both good and bad. 😀 I’m quite interested to see how Capaldi handles his Doctor and what happens with the development there.

      • Liz Liz

        I really didn’t like Tennant’s ending. His last few episodes were horrific as far as his attitude and he was whining and complaining and ignoring common sense, so by the time he regenerated, I was frustrated with him (but oh so much more frustrated at how preventable his regeneration was). But I did like that episode where he meets the other guy claiming to be the Doctor.

        I don’t really want to watch Capaldi. I’m kind of over this whole Doctor thing at this point. I think I get too attached to the actors’ portrayals, so when they change actors, I have a hard time being okay with it, since I’m not hugely into the stories. Still, I know I’ll see at least a little Capaldi thanks to my friend (who wants to see the first one in the theater) and maybe I’ll like his stuff.

        I have annoyances with the storyline now, too, though. Not that I didn’t have issues with some of it before, but I’ve never seen something so mess up a storyline as the 50th did. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but it was awful in every way possible and completely destroyed so much story and character.

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