Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Doctor Him

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2013-08-05 Times (2).jpg


Ooo Ooo Ooo, Wee Ooo Ooo

If James Bond represents how Britain is seen by the world, perhaps Doctor Who represents how the country prefers to see itself. Wacky yet noble, chaotic yet fiercely intelligent, fearsome yet ultimately benign, the man from Gallifrey could not, really, be from anywhere else. Whoever he is, he's as British as his phone box.

Every Brit of television-watching age since 1963 holds in their minds a true Doctor; a Doctor all of the other Doctors will never quite manage to be. Yet the genius of regeneration — a piece of utilitarian scriptwriting perhaps rivalled in popular culture only by Wonder Woman's invisible aeroplane — is such that no Doctor ever has to pretend to be another. Recast, he can skip freshly across all four dimensions, going anywhere and meeting anyone, yet somehow only very rarely bumping into himself as played by somebody else.

Other science fictions have dogmas; histories and technologies that the canon must obey. The universe of the Time Lords has become a more organic thing, patched up with Blu-Tack and coathangers, giving the impression of being made up as we go along.

Russell T. Davies did a great thing in 2005, taking his sonic screwdriver to a classic hero who many feared had dodged his last Dalek. Fifty years in, the series has achieved a sort of mainstream cultishness, like an exclusive club open to all.

As with Bond, the Doctor never comes back wrong. Some may have hoped for another young Doctor, or a female Doctor, but by 7.30 last night, the twelfth could only have been Peter Capaldi.

Doctors differ from other Doctors in a way that Bonds never differ from other Bonds. All is flux, save for that essential moral centre the Doctor always represents. One might almost say that his heart is in the right place, were it not for the fact that there are two of them, and they aren't.

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  • APA 6th ed.: (2013-08-05). Doctor Him. The Times .
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Doctor Him." The Times [add city] 2013-08-05. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Doctor Him." The Times, edition, sec., 2013-08-05
  • Turabian: "Doctor Him." The Times, 2013-08-05, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor Him | url= | work=The Times | pages= | date=2013-08-05 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 June 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor Him | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 June 2024}}</ref>