01.4.2010

New Doctor Jitters – New Doctor Who Terminology

Let’s face it, we’ve all had them before… New Doctor Jitters.  I don’t think there has ever been a name given to this condition, but now we have a label for it – New Doctor Jitters.  When the Doctor regenerates, we find ourselves skeptical after seeing those first few moments featuring the new actor.  It’s only natural.  We’re wrapped up in our emotions as we say goodbye to an actor we’ve come to accept as the Doctor, and then in the middle of that emotional turmoil his replacement appears.  It’s so jarring to switch from a sad departure to a grand entrance.  It’s difficult to accept someone new while we’re still reeling from the departure of the previous actor.

I remember my reaction when Tom Baker regenerated at the end of Logopolis.  After transforming from Tom Baker into Peter Davison, the new Doctor sat up and the episode ended.  That’s all we got until the first episode of Castrovalva.  It didn’t matter.  In those few seconds of screen time I had already decided that I hated Peter Davison as the Doctor.  I couldn’t stand him.  There was no way I was ever going to accept this new guy as the Doctor.  Forget it.  No way.  No how.  … Well, that opinion changed after seeing Castrovalva.  I eventually realized I didn’t have an issue with Peter Davison, I was just unhappy that Tom Baker was leaving and wasn’t ready for some new actor to take over.  In fact, Peter Davison quickly became my favorite Doctor and remained so until David Tennant came along.   It just goes to show that it’s not fair to judge a new Doctor on his first appearance.  9 times out of 10 we end up loving each and every Doctor after just a few episodes (sorry Colin, but you’re brilliant in the Big Finish audio adventures).

I think it’s reasonable to be nervous or skeptical.  However, some people have already passed judgment on Matt Smith.  They’ve decided they don’t like him based upon what they’ve seen so far.  They say his hair is too crazy.  He’s too young.  His chin is huge and his eyes are sunken.  He uses his hands too much.  If we actually had a TARDIS, we could go back in time four years and hear those same people talk about David Tennant after The Parting of the Ways but before The Christmas Invasion.  They said his hair was too crazy.  He was too young.  He was too pale and thin.  He was too geeky to be a hero.  Sounds kinda familiar doesn’t it?  Gotta admit, Tennant’s first few lines didn’t exactly fill us with confidence. “Hello.  Okay… New teeth. That’s weird.  So where was I?  Oh that’s right, Barcelona!”  Those lines were no indication of how amazing he was going to be as the Doctor.  As another example, just imagine being a Doctor Who fan in 1974 after getting your first glimpse of Tom Baker in costume.  The scarf, the big smiling teeth, googley eyes, and crazy hair. Those fans were probably convinced Tom Baker was going to be terrible.  So again, it’s not fair to judge a new Doctor before he’s had a chance to really play the part. Who knows, maybe Matt Smith will be the best Doctor ever!

I watched The End of Time Part Two with my ten-year-old step son.  When the credits started to roll, he turned to me and said excitedly, “This new Doctor is going to be fun!”  I think my step-son’s got the right attitude.

Sure I’ve got New Doctor Jitters, but I’m also eager for the next season to begin.  I’m ready to jump in with both feet.  Geronimo!

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10 Responses to “New Doctor Jitters – New Doctor Who Terminology”

  1. Acrobatic Flea Says:

    Ahh, the fickleness of fandom ;) Personally I can wait for Matt Smith to start his tenure in earnest. I had mild doubts until the moment he appeared in the TARDIS.

    And then the trailer for the next season confirmed for me that he is going to be brilliant!

    I don’t get how people could be so belligerently dismissive of the man without seeing him actually acting in the role first. Now we’ve seen him and HE IS THE DOCTOR!!!

  2. Darius Whiteplume Says:

    The “Geronimo” thing bothers me…

    My biggest problem is that they are doing Daleks again, at least I saw one in the previews.Can we maybe have a season with no Daleks? Just one, please? ;-)

  3. Parrotzilla Says:

    Wow, this is almost exactly like my own experiences with Doctor Who. I remember those same scenes and feelings with the Baker/Davidson transition.

    I am sure Matt smith will be fine once we get a few episodes behind him. What makes me nervous is that Russell T. Davies won’t be there either.

  4. Dixon Says:

    Well put, Shag. I couldn’t agree more. (Right down to your favorite Doctors! Peter Davison remains my favorite.) Some fans have their concerns regarding Matt Smith but, honestly, I am very confident that all of them will be put quickly to rest by the work of Steven Moffat. (Fear not, Parrotzilla!) Once everyone catches a glimpse of Moffat’s direction for the series, they’ll fall in love all over again. Simply put, Moffat’s an incredible screenwriter and an ideal showrunner. The Eleventh Doctor’s reign has all the potential to become legendary.

  5. Luke Says:

    I guess I really am the only one who likes Colin Baker in both televised and audio-only form. Never watched Doctor Who before the new show started airing on Sci-Fi channel, so I’m a Johnny-Come-Lately. Unlike the majority of them, though, I admit to it.

    Matt Smith looks really young, but that’s how things go nowadays. Looking forward to seeing Tenant’s exit and Smith’s rise as the Doctor.

  6. Parrotzilla Says:

    I liked Colin Baker, but was never a big fan of Sylvester McCoy in the role. I liked Chris Eccleston, but felt short changed when he left after one season. That being said, I am a huge fan of David Tennant.

    Has anyone watched The Sarah-Jane Adventures? I liked the first season, but when are they airing the newer ones in the US?

  7. Darius Whiteplume Says:

    S2 of Sarah Jane is on DVD in the US but I have not seen it advertised on BBC America. It’s a good show without being too munchkiny.

  8. Mickey Glitter Says:

    Dude…Darius? I should have known I’d find you here. =) Howdy!

    I am guilty of passing judgment on Matt Smith before seeing him in action. But I’ve totally changed my tune and would marry him in an instant. But only since Pertwee and Troughton are dead, and Sarah! Jane!, Liz, and Jo are just *sob* characters.

  9. Darius Whiteplume Says:

    @Mickey Glitter – you nutter! :-D

    I liked Timothy Dalton as Bond, so I am willing to give anyone a chance.

  10. Luke Says:

    Finally got to watch The End Of Time… did Matt say “I’ve had worse” when he felt his nose?! LOL!

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