Who… Doctor Who….. (with apologies to 007) DRAFT

This week we picked a new Doctor.

Not a new physician.  This was important!  A new ‘DOCTOR WHO!’

Well, let’s be frank.  “We” didn’t pick him.  Steven Moffat, head honcho in charge of the franchise (and savior or devil depending on your point of view), and his crew in merry ole England did.  We had no say about it.  Our say started about 2:25 PM Eastern time on Sunday afternoon, August 4, 2013.

It was at that time, that one Peter Capaldi, a 55 year old Scot was chosen to carry the mantle of television’s longest running science fiction show.


I like the choice.  Overall, I think the fandom likes the choice.  (Personally speaking, the older you get, the more you like “mature” actors getting some good parts.)  We go from the youngest debuting Doctor ever (Matt Smith at 27) to Capaldi, who will be the same age as William Hartnell (Doctor #1) was when the franchise started.  Hartnell however, whether it be through hard living or makeup, looks like Methusaleh compared to Capaldi.  (And upon regeneration this November, Capaldi, although still 55, will be a few months younger than Hartnell was.)

Seventeen year old girls aside, I think the new Doctor’s age is relatively unimportant.  Something else matters.  Far more than that.  And that’s direction.

Enter stage right, James Bond.

I love James Bond.  Always have.  The fever hit me for real during the underwater fight scene in Thunderball and it’s been going ever since.

There are similarities of course between Bond & the Doctor.  British.  Something of a loner.  Surrounded by interesting people.  A different face every few years.

Which leads  me to that ‘direction’ thing I mentioned.  Along the way, six actors have played the character of James Bond.  Six very different, very unique actors.

Occasionally I’m asked, who’s your favorite Bond?  (Just like ‘who’s your favorite Doctor?’)  And in both instances, I can’t answer.  You see, I like the character.  And I find things in each and every one of them that I do like.  And time gives us the benefit of seeing what worked and what didn’t, and why things had to be the way they were.

Sean Connery begat George Lazenby which began Connery (again) which led to Roger Moore.  All was well.  (For a while)

Moore was dashing and funny, but the direction was wrong.  Silly gadgets and super villains took the soul of the series, and by the end of Roger Moore’s run, interest (and ticket sales) were down.  The movies had become comic books, with fights in space, laser beams and other nonsense.

Direction dictated something different, and that was Timothy Dalton.  He brought a much more serious Bond onto the screen.  When he threatened, you knew he meant it.

Dalton took us to Pierce Brosnan.  A good move for the Bond franchise.  He was more likable, scripts were better, the gadgets were still there, but interest in the movies started to build again.

I remember the day it was announced Pierce was out.  I was shocked.  Things had gone so well with him.  But once again, direction was the key.

The 007 producers knew they needed to go back to the basics.  They broke the mold, hired a blonde Daniel Craig.  It was said he wasn’t handsome enough.  He didn’t LOOK like “Bond”.  There was talk of boycotting his first movie.

And when he was introduced, he was brought by boat on the Thames and the uproar was that he wore a LIFE JACKET!!!!!  Gasp!!!!

Not only that, suddenly the previous 40+ years of movies and tradition went out the window.  Bond wasn’t even a ‘double oh’ yet.  No Aston Martin.  No sight gags.  No suitcases full of futuristic gadgets.  Back to the basics.

it worked.  People loved the character.  The direction was set and it was the proper one.

Which brings us back to Doctor Who and Peter Capaldi.

First off, he’s not too old.  If you think he is, move along.  Nothing to see here.

The only thing his age will do is change the direction.  It will temper the ‘flirtations’ that have gone on the last few seasons between the younger David Tennant and the MUCH younger Matt Smith and some of the companions. He will again be the wiser, more mature figure that the companions follow.

It will be fun, and perhaps a tad more serious.  The only people who won’t like it are the nouveau fans who kept hoping the Doctor would hook up with the companion.  That wasn’t going to happen.  So let’s move on.  Let’s change the direction.

And imagine the fireworks should the new Doctor and River Song get on the same screen.

C’mon Moffat.  You can do it.