It’s day 2 of my 47-day series about the revival version of Doctor Who (2005-present). I’ve come up with 47 topics / questions to answer, all of them basically positive and upbeat about the program. Each day (or as often as I can actually write these) I’ll pick one of them at random (using this convenient random number generator) and then write up an answer.
Why 47? It’s my favorite number.
Why Doctor Who? It’s my favorite show.
Why the modern day Doctor Who only? Simply because I remember it better.
Why only positive stuff? Because really, I write enough snark.
So today is Day #2, and consulting the Random Number Generator, we find the first number is 40, which means the topic of the day is this:
“Best Expansion of the Myth”
So by this I’m referring to the fact that since its inception, Doctor Who has been a work in progress. When it started, it was just about a mysterious old guy and his granddaughter who traveled through time and space. As the years rolled on, we began to meet Daleks, Cybermen, regeneration, Time Lords, the Great Intelligence, UNIT, the Master, Sontarans, Davros, the Eye of Harmony, and so on. As it was added, each element added to, developed and sometimes contradicted the overall story.
And this has continued into the new series, with not just lots of individual episodes, but lots of elements and ideas that have attempted to articulate core concepts at the heart of Doctor Who. We’ve seen the regeneration limit change, we’ve had new backstories for the Master, we’ve introduced ancient Time Lord prophecies, we’ve visited moments in the Doctor’s childhood…
But which of these myth-expanding concepts earns the title of The Best?
Well, really, there’s no contest. The most significant thing that was added to the myth of Doctor Who during the revival series, the single storytelling concept that has had the greatest impact, is something you can probably guess:
The Last Great Time War
Introduced in Rose, the first episode of the new Doctor Who, the Last Great Time War between the Time Lords and the Daleks became the oft-mentioned defining moment in the Doctor’s long life. The Doctor’s actions during the conflict, and especially at its conclusion, haunted him throughout the first seven series of episodes and led to some great angsty-speeches from Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith. It was such a significant event in the series mythology that it was a no-brainer that it turned out to be at the heart of the 50th Anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor. It was during that special that we saw the our clearest view of the War itself, as well as in many ways the conclusion of the story the series had been telling about the War ever since it came back on TV in 2005. That conclusion is one of the show’s most memorable and fan-pleasing sequences, and ultimately one of the Doctor’s greatest victories.
More next time!
Click here for a master list for this series.