People are always arguing about Doctor Who. There’s so much infighting within the Whovian fandom – about favorite companions and least favorite companions. I want that to stop. Me, I don’t care for Clara much, but I won’t pick fights with anyone else and I don’t want anyone else to pick fights with me. I think of companions less as competing for the Doctor’s (and the fandom’s) heart, and more as a bit like hats. Yes, I said hats. There are good points to every hat. Some people look good with some hats and some other people look good with some other hats. Hats don’t strive to impress everyone, they’re hats. All hats are awesomely hatty in their own way, and you shouldn’t fight over what somebody else looks like wearing their own hat that they like for their own reasons. And a person can have (and wear) more than one hat.
Whovians also argue, in a sense, about their favorite head writer. Russell v.s Steven. Whose episodes are better, in a general way. This arguing makes sense. After all, the head writer of Doctor Who is in charge of a whole universe, almost literally. All that the Doctor gets to explore, that’s how big the Whoniverse is. And it’s huge. Imagine being in charge of it! So your writer preference says how you like your universe prepared. Of course people argue. I liked Russell. Why? His stories seemed more cosmic; beautiful (Astrid, Donna), he seemed to find what we think of as human in everyone (the meeting of Martha and Chantho), and even when the stories were hectic they weren’t hectic – the Tenth Doctor and the Master’s final meeting was so palatable, even though I obviously understood the urgency and deep emotion of the moment. It’s almost like Russell was choosing to go on a rollercoaster, while Steven just took you. (Like the Doctor, I suppose.) And there are no seatbelts on Steven’s rollercoaster.
Less controversial perhaps, if only because this character doesn’t show up too often relative to the other characters, is favorite Master. Or Missy. New Who has only had two Masters. I haven’t watched Classic, or Old, Who yet, because Netflix, my main Who streaming service apart from regular TV, presents it in a weird way – I am used to episode by episode, season by season, and I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with the way Classic Who is formatted and “collected.” Please forgive me, and in the meantime, we’ll do a quick analysis of the New Who Masters, shall we? John Simm’s Master was crazy. Michelle Gomez’s Missy is crazy. John Simm’s Master was gleeful about his every activity, to the point of horror. Michelle Gomez’s Missy is gleeful about her every activity, to the point of horror. Being the same character, the two incarnations have many things in common. The differences are clear, though. Michelle Gomez’s Missy poses a bigger threat to the Doctor, arguably, but that doesn’t mean John Simm’s Master was less frightening, or less influentially manic. Remember the time he had the entire world under his control – when literally everyone was the Master? Remember the metal orbs of death with voices that came from the end of the universe? John Simm is my favorite Master. When you look at Michelle Gomez’s Missy, she’s funny, spontaneous, and a fantastic addition to the long line of Masters, but…think. When you look at John Simm’s Master, when you look past the strained, angry, and yet very childishly happy shouts of “dinnertime,” when you look past the bonkers, you get…lost, sad. This Master is sympathetic. No other Master does this, in my opinion. You see him break down, you see him consider peace and then double-cross himself, still so hurt inside, and finally, you see him become better, in a way. I feel like the Doctor and the Master ended on a good note. I feel like Missy is just there to be there. Why was she still so evil? It wasn’t like the Doctor forced the Master inside the time bubble that he sent the other Time Lords, the Master sacrificed himself, in a way. They ended on a good note, I swear! What happened to Missy? How did she get out of the invincible time bubble? I have so many questions.
And now, the Doctor. Who’s the best? Even if you’re only counting the New Who Doctors, it’s an endless discussion. I can’t even say. It’s based on preference! Christopher Eccelston’s Doctor was a bitter jerk in my view, although Christopher was a really good actor for it, so I’m not blaming him. I just didn’t particularly like that Doctor. Matt Smith’s Doctor was a toddler, and I didn’t really notice the wisdom and anger people always talk about when they mention him. I never got “cosmic” from him like I did from David – who is one of my favorites. Tennant and Capaldi. Capaldi’s Doctor is being turned into an angry soldier with PTSD, by Moffat’s writing, but I like Capaldi’s style, and I feel that he definitely carries a lot of emotion. He has a lot of potential. And he’s also like, a superfan, but one that made it. Awesome. David Tennant’s Doctor was around at the same time as Russell, so I got a lot of soul from that guy – he was very, very powerful. I loved him.
That’s the point. That’s my take on Doctor Who. It’s love. No matter who your favorite companion, Master, or Doctor is, you either love the show or you’ve never seen it (or – you’re nuts). It’s that good, no matter who writes it. It just keeps hooking us in. Because we can’t ever leave it. Some wonder if Doctor Who has had it’s day. Even if it has – as long as the Doctor lives, we won’t ever leave. I’m not saying this is okay. It’s addicting. A TV show where the protagonist never dies? Eventually, it’s going to exist just because we can’t stand to see it end. If a future or current writer gives it a boost, makes it shine again, makes it worth it – if they truly feel they have something to contribute to it, something for the sake of art, not money or even continuity, then maybe I can see it being the Never-ending Show. There are still a bunch of good ideas that could come from the concept. (Child companion, anyone?) But with Steven Moffat in charge, it will need to end. And so it will. Today will not be that day, but soon. Because I’m not in charge, and I can’t tell Moffat how to write. But he’ll just keep writing.
And so it goes.