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Kill the romance and bring on a real time lord (2009)

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Doctor who? Kill the romance and bring on a real time lord

Real Doctor Who fans would take a crusty old fart over a fop-haired fruitcake Doctor any day, writes Kim Sweetman

WHEN you step into the TARDIS you have to expect some scrutiny. The worldwide controversy that raged before and after the announcement of 26-year-old actor Matt Smith as the 11th man to play the lead role in Doctor Who, was not a wholesale reaction against change, as asserted by the highly respected media expert Karen Brooks in these pages last week. It was simply the appropriate level of discussion and concern that should be applied to any major appointment.

The problem is that Doctor Who is so freshly popular that people who really aren't properly across the issues were weighing in with silly suggestions that ignored the show's established canon.

Assertions that a new Doctor could be played by one of the same female actors who formerly played his travelling companions (Billie Piper or Catherine Tate) simply displayed an ignorance, or a wanton willingness to discard what little we have managed to glean about Time Lord physiology.

What worried fans was the possibility that the team who creates the modern version of the show might have ignored all that hard-won knowledge.

If Doctor Who fans were worried about change in itself, we wouldn't have stuck with the show through 10 previous actors playing The Doctor, three highly dodgy movies and a slew of spin-off novels, radio shows, websites and internet serials.

Change is good. The mind of a Doctor Who fan is infinitely flexible and open. You cannot follow millennia of paradoxical Dalek history without understanding that time travel is a confusing thing. But we don't like being taken for dills and fed a diet of reworked bollocks invented to simplify the life of writer Russell T. Davies and his team; to provide them with their own private high-ratings playground; and to indulge the under-attentive Generation Y viewers among us with pointless love stories and sexual tension.

Throwing in a female Doctor just to retain interest levels would have been a gross insult to those who have spent a lifetime learning the lessons of the planet Gallifrey.

And the appointment of a 26-year-old, good-looking chap to the role is a real area of concern. This ongoing campaign to sex-up The Doctor must cease. He is a Time Lord. He's too busy to chase girls. We now face a situation where all three actors to play The Doctor in recent times have been young, white, sexy-ish males.

The first two of the Davies era (Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant) did brilliantly, considering they were often saddled by mushy storylines and not enough travel to other planets. But that doesn't mean every subsequent Doctor should be young and sexy. There's a very good argument for another crusty old fart with no charm at all. Otherwise The Doctor risks becoming another softcentred, ill-defined, easy-to-get-along-with superhero.

While the people behind the modern-era shows deserve much praise for resurrecting the greatest TV series ever made, they have to be pulled up somewhere.

The weird organic rebuild of the TARDIS was one thing, as was the invention of a new arm of history encompassing the near-extinction of the Time Lords and the Daleks. The construction of a separate universe with a new strand of Cybermen was forgiven.

Even that ridiculous love story between The Doctor and Rose Tyler was tolerated in the name of keeping the show on air.

But enough is enough. If the show's creators want some fop-haired fruitcake in a flying intergalactic lonely hearts club, they should go and write another show.

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to whovian@cuttingsarchive.org

  • APA 6th ed.: Sweetman, Kim (2009-01-12). Kill the romance and bring on a real time lord. The Courier Mail p. 21.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Sweetman, Kim. "Kill the romance and bring on a real time lord." The Courier Mail [add city] 2009-01-12, 21. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Sweetman, Kim. "Kill the romance and bring on a real time lord." The Courier Mail, edition, sec., 2009-01-12
  • Turabian: Sweetman, Kim. "Kill the romance and bring on a real time lord." The Courier Mail, 2009-01-12, section, 21 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Kill the romance and bring on a real time lord | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Kill_the_romance_and_bring_on_a_real_time_lord | work=The Courier Mail | pages=21 | date=2009-01-12 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=16 August 2018 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Kill the romance and bring on a real time lord | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Kill_the_romance_and_bring_on_a_real_time_lord | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=16 August 2018}}</ref>