When the Ten vs. Nine fandom war breaks out I shall be firmly entrenched in the Ten camp. This is not me bashing Nine. There’s just something about David Tennant’s performance that is infectious for me. And like many characters I have loved before his Doctor has this thing where he appears to be one person on the surface, but suddenly gives you hints to the man he truly is underneath.
Ten, thus far, has been a much more relaxed, carefree, happy go lucky, and just plain silly Doctor. Yet we get these moments where the truth, and the pain of it to him, is revealed. Rose is suddenly worried that she is merely one in a long line of companions who is going to be left behind. Her concern is understandable - she sees the pain Sarah Jane is still experiencing and wants to know if she’s in for the same. The Doctor says he won’t leave her behind and I believe him, yet it’s not just under his control. I have to admit to getting a little choked up when he tells Rose, “You can spend the rest of your life with me, but I can’t spend the rest of mine with you.” The curse of being a Time Lord and regenerating is being alone.
The show had a difficult task of introducing old favorites to new viewers such as me. Not only did I find Sarah Jane and K9 interesting, but I cared about them and, in Sarah Jane’s case, how her relationship with the Doctor altered her life for better and worse. The writers also did a nice job of handling the mutual jealousy between Sarah Jane and Rose. Sarah Jane sees herself traded in for a younger model while Rose is hurt to discover she’s not the first one he’s loved.
The Doctor telling ASH (well, whatever his character’s name was ;), “I use to have so much mercy” not only hinted at the darkness that lies behind the jovial exterior, but was a nice tie in with some of his previous incarnation’s behavior. It also makes we wonder what the Doctor was like before the Time War and his race was exterminated.
Other things I enjoyed:
Correctomundo – a word he never used before and hopes to never again.
Sarah Jane’s discovery that the Doctor is back by first seeing the Tardis and then the Doctor bathed in moonlight. Very cool shot.
Mickey referring to Sarah Jane and Rose as “The mrs and the ex.”
Kenny getting to be the hero.
Things that annoyed me a bit:
Mickey can contact Rose and the Doctor whenever he wants? I suppose Rose’s phone can receive calls through time as well, but have we seen this done before?
The Torchwood references are getting old already. Having “Bad Wolf” pop up in every episode last series I found clever because it was often subtle and laying the groundwork for the finale. But who doesn’t know ‘Torchwood’ is going to be a spin-off of ‘Who’? To me it’s coming off like product placement even though I’m sure it does tie into the series we are watching.
And a very Happy Birthday! to a fellow Michigander thedeadlyhook. I hope your feeling better and up to doing a little celebrating today. ;-)