The Monsters and the Doctor: Reframing That Which Scares Us

One of my favorite marks of the Doctor’s character is the way they respond to meeting all manner of monsters.  When I first began watching Doctor Who this was one of the earliest signs of how different a hero they were than I was used to.  Time and again – no matter how scary or threatening or unapproachable whatever the Doctor finds in the universe may appear – their first reaction is never one of fear or judgment.  They certainly never attack.  Rather, they marvel at its beauty.  They are overcome with joy and excitement at seeing something they’ve never seen before.  And, if what they encounter appears frightened or injured, they are moved by compassion and offer help.  In all this they are a beautifully important model for us, too.  As Steven Moffatt, the Doctor Who showrunner for Series 5-10, rightly observed, “There will never come a time when we don’t need a hero like the Doctor.”[1]

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The Multi-Doctor Team-Up: Conversing with Me, Myself, and I

We love a good team-up, don’t we?  The AvengersJustice League.  Even Godzilla vs. Kong.  Part of me expects a movie where Annabelle, the Nun, and La Llorona team-up to haunt Ed and Lorraine Warren (which won’t happened as the Conjuring Universe has more narrative integrity than that and the stories are based on true events (or at least truth-adjacent)).  Doctor Who has been doing the multi-Doctor team-up for decades in TV, novels, audio dramas, and comics.  But there is a fascinating dimension to different Doctors teaming up that none of these other stories have.  When the Doctor encounters other incarnations of the Doctor it’s not just a group of our favorite heroes coming together.  Rather they are, in effect, meeting themself at different moments in their life!  Can you imagine that?!!?  I can’t stop imagining what it would be like if I found myself in the same situation!  Can you imagine meeting yourself at different points in your life, some younger than you and some having seen things you’ve yet to see?  The idea is captivating and this is exactly what happens whenever the Doctors team-up.   

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Jodie Whittaker and David Tennant – My Dream Doctor Team-Up

Last spring, for our Fiction’s Fearless Females series, I wrote a piece about Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor.  In it I said she had officially taken the top place in my heart from David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor.  But that doesn’t mean I still don’t adore Ten with all my heart!  I just love Thirteen more.  So last week, as both Jodie Whittaker and David Tennant joined James Cordon (who was also on Doctor Who with Matt Smith!) on The Late Late Show, I was in heaven.  Then I started thinking about how AMAZING it would be if we could see these two together on screen, side by side, both playing their respective Doctor.  And, while I trust showrunner Chris Chibnall to pull it off far better than I could, I contemplated how I’d do it.  So, as far as I’m concerned, this is how these two Doctors could meet. Continue reading

The Doctor and the Devil

One of my favorite Doctor Who tropes is the use of alien creatures to explain legends and myths (as well as integrate these creatures – in a very Doctor Who-esque way – into the show).  We’ve seen a Haemovariform crash-land on Earth and be mistaken for a werewolf in Scotland in 1879 (S2,E2).  There was a band of Saturnyns creating vampire-like “brides” for their remaining male population in 1580 Venice (S5,E6).  The reason beings on most planets are instinctively afraid of the dark is explained with the presence of the flesh-eating Vashta Nerada, who we see as the dust in sunbeams (S4,E8).  The occasional movement we see flicker, out of the corner of our eye, when we look in mirrors is the “daughter” of “the Family of Blood,” forever trapped in all mirrors by the Doctor (S3,E9).  The list goes on.  But the one most fascinating to me is when the Doctor and Rose encounter “the Beast.” Continue reading