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Doctor keeps his patients waiting

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2006-07-10 Times T2.jpg

  • Publication: The Times
  • Date: 2006-07-10
  • Author: Caitlin Moran
  • Page: Times2, p. 27
  • Language: English

By the time you read this on Monday morning you will, in all likelihood, have seen the series finale of Doctor Who — eight million people, after all, tuned into the penultimate episode. I, too, will have been one of those breathless viewers. I haven't missed an episode yet. I love Doctor Who. I couldn't love it any more if I had carried it for nine months inside my womb, and then taken care, over 18 years, to raise it as a clever, courteous and disturbingly hot child, with a penchant for tweed and time-travel.

However, as I write this on Friday morning, I haven't actually seen the last episode of Doctor Who. The BBC, apparently wary of leaks, isn't giving out any preview ',tapes. It claims that no one at the BBC has seen it, as they want the contents to be a surprise for everyone. This leaves anyone on Friday morning — ie, me —knowing very little about what will happen in the episode, save that the Daleks and the Cybermen will tinnily duke it out for Earth, and Billie Piper will die/be stranded somewhere, unrescueable bye Doctor.

Nonetheless, merely from this micro-nugget of information, I feel secure in my duty to slag the show off. I do this, you understand, as a hyper-committed fan — a fan who has cried during every episode, and watched the two-parter Impossible Plant/The Satan Pit five times. But this series has, despite the moving efforts of David Tennant and the quite glorious Billie Piper, been a disappointment. Indeed, it's been the worst kind of disappointment —something that promises to be absolutely mind-blowing, and then fizzles out at the last minute, like a wet firework.

In a nutshell, this series has dropped hints about two, fairly large, subjects. The first is how all the other Time Lords on Gallifrey came to die — Satan accused the Doctor of being "the killer of his own people", which is a fairly serious accusation, coming from the Devil. The second has been the Doctor's private life, including his childhood ("Such a lonely child," Madame Pompadour murmured, reading his mind in The Girl in the Fireplace) and own, totally unexpected fatherhood ("I was one [A DAD] once," he said, apropos; of nothing, in Fear Her.)

When these subjects were mentioned the Whovian thought yes! No one has ever gone into the Doctor's past much — and with 800-odd years under his belt, there's going to be some interesting stuff.

In addition to this, a recurring -41, theme of the whole series has been parent/child relationships — parents dying (Love & Monsters, Rise of the Cybermen), people with parent issues (The Satan Pit, Fear Her, The Idiot's Lantern). Characters as disparate as the Doctor's ex-companion, Sarah Jane, a nerd called Elton, and Satan have all commented on how becoming close to the Doctor is ultimately a dangerous thing to do — that he will always abandon you, damage you, show you too much to go bar,, to your old life, but not enough to ever-stay the distance with him. Well, with that lot floating around in the mix, a viewer could be forgiven for thinking that there was going to be a pretty amazing C season climax — something that needed to be spread over four episodes, say, and cover the Doctor's intriguing childhood (what were his parents like? Who was his mentor? Was he the only child in the galaxy Who never told the "Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Doctor." "Doctor Who?" joke?), presumably stupendous years as a young adult where he KILLED HIS WHOLE PLANET, and then a later period, where he had a child . the only other Gallifreyan, or h0f-Gallifreyan, in the universe — add then lost/abandoned it.

I feel secure in my duty — as a hyper-committed fan — to slag off this series of Doctor Who

Viewers could easily presume that they were being prepared for looking into the dark heart of the lonely Time Lord. Viewers could very easily presume that their minds were about to be blown away by the depth and emotional viscera of the greatest TV series broadcast at 7pm by the BBC .on a Saturday.* I even think that viewers could be hopeful that there might be some nudity — or at least a scene where the Doctor got tops with Billie. Alas, on Friday morning, with only 45 minutes left of the series to pan out, it looks as if we're not going to be getting any of that. -b Instead, the tedious Daleks who did the series finale last year — are coming to have a run-of-the-mill fist-fight with the whatever Cybermen, in what will be little more than an intergalactic, souped up version of Robot Wars, and then I'll be left without any more Who between now And Christmas. I can't say I'm best pleased about it. But then, we are ultimately dealing with a Time Lord, and I suppose, theoretically, anything could happen between Friday and Monday ...

To remind you, the other candidates are: The Dukes of Hazzard and Noel's House Party.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Moran, Caitlin (2006-07-10). Doctor keeps his patients waiting. The Times p. Times2, p. 27.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Moran, Caitlin. "Doctor keeps his patients waiting." The Times [add city] 2006-07-10, Times2, p. 27. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Moran, Caitlin. "Doctor keeps his patients waiting." The Times, edition, sec., 2006-07-10
  • Turabian: Moran, Caitlin. "Doctor keeps his patients waiting." The Times, 2006-07-10, section, Times2, p. 27 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor keeps his patients waiting | url= | work=The Times | pages=Times2, p. 27 | date=2006-07-10 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor keeps his patients waiting | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 July 2024}}</ref>