Welcome to a 47-day series of articles 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–so far so good!) 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.
Today is Day #10, and around and around goes the Random Number Generator, revealing that today’s number is 11, which is a number we’ve already had! I guess we’ll see more and more of this as we go along, since true randomness does not equate automatically to equal distribution. Anyway, we push the button again and come up with 24, which means the topic of the day is this:
“Most Fan-Pleasing Moment”
Now, obviously this whole blog series is subjective, with all its “Best this’s” and “Favorite that’s”, but maybe this one is the most subjective. After all, what is more subjective than identifying what pleases a fan? So, let’s be clear: we’re just talking about one fan here, and that’s me. Now, ultimately, as a fan, the thing that pleases me most is good acting, strong direction, great stories, powerful characters, genuine laughs, and compelling drama.
But also, speaking specifically as fan of the show for the last 30+ years or so, there’s other sorts of things that please me, like Paul McGann showing up unexpectedly, or the Daleks and the Cybermen finally facing off, or new scenes with the 1st Doctor being created using clever editing.
The most spectacular “for the fans” moment is surely the arrival of a whole bunch more Doctors at the climax of The Day of the Doctor. It was pretty awesome having them all there, even briefly, to help save Gallifrey.
But that’s not my favorite. My favorite is a similar moment, but it provoked a larger “Hoo-yeah!!” reaction from me, possibly because it came earlier, and was really the first time I’d seen something like this on the show:
The Doctor sends the Atraxi running in The Eleventh Hour
The episode had already ended, I thought. Like Rory, I figured that defeating Prisoner Zero and saving the earth was all that we needed. But as the Doctor himself says, “Leaving is good. Never coming back is better.”
We then get one of the most audacious Doctor victories ever, couched in a sequence which affirms the legacy of the show and establishes how awesome the current (and at the time, new) incarnation of the title character is.
The Atraxi– basically a bunch of giant floating eyeballs in space coming zipping down to face the Doctor, like a defiant hooligan in the principle’s office. “You are not of this world,” says the Atraxi representative.
“No, but I’ve put a lot of work into it,” replies Matt Smith’s Doctor, who is still trying to figure out his dress sense. As he browses through ties, the Atraxi asks him if the earth is important.
“Important? What’s that mean, important?” asks the Doctor, offended. “Six billion people live here. Is that important?”
He goes on, “Here’s a better question. Is this world a threat to the Atraxi?”
A holographic projection of the earth and its people appears between them – the Atraxi are monitoring everyone and everything on the planet. Sheepishly, the eyeball answers, “No.”
The Doctor pushes his point. “Are the peoples of the world guilty of any crime by the laws of the Atraxi?”
The energy of the scene amps up. “Okay, one more. Just one,” continues the Doctor. “Is this world protected?”
The holographic projection turns into a montage of monsters, lots of monsters who have tried to conquer the earth. Tried…and failed.
The Doctor says, “Because you’re not the first lot to come here. Oh there have been so many. And what you’ve got to ask is, what happened to them?”
And then it hits its peak. The music blasts, and the montage becomes a series of portraits of the ten faces of the hero who has been saving the world in TV, books, audios & comics for the last 47 years. Ten faces, but one man.
And then, Number Eleven…stepping through the projection to face the enemy, his style established (cool bow tie and all).
“Hello. I’m the Doctor. Basically, run.”
The Atraxi flee. The companions marvel. This writer’s inner fanboy does a fist pump into the air. David Tennant is relegated into a fond memory, and I’m officially all-in with the new adventures of my favorite character.
Click here for a master list for this series.