Does being a fan of the show make for a superior Doctor?

When I was writing the post about anxiety over a new Doctor I did a bit of reading on the actors, Chris Eccleston and David Tennant.  Let me refresh you on my feelings towards that specific changing of the guard.  I was uncertain at first how I would like a new Doctor because I had grown accustomed to Eccleston and to my virgin Doctor Who eyes, he was all I knew.  However, once I got a few episodes in to season 2 with David Tennant, I soon realized that, at least to me, he was a superior Doctor.

Now, let me be clear.  I understand that the overall concept of the Doctor requires and allows for a change in personality as well as the obvious physical difference, which allows the show to have such a long run with new actors.  That being said though, I started reading some information about the actors specifically that lead me to wonder if the actors as people affect their ability to play a great Doctor.

When Eccleston left the role after only one season there was speculation over the reasons for his exit.  When asked if he enjoyed his time with the show he responded saying “Mixed, but that’s a long story.”  Another person claimed that he left because he was overworked and exhausted, which Eccleston later stated was untrue.  In 2005 it was released that he wanted to leave the role because he was afraid of being “typecast.”  However, the BBC later revealed that it was an incorrect statement.  Finally, in a 2010 interview, Eccleston revealed that he “didn’t enjoy the environment and the culture that the cast and crew had to work in.”  To me, this is a person who, although did a good job in the role, didn’t have his heart in it.

Now, moving on to David Tennant.  At only 3 years old, David declared to his parents that he wanted to become an actor because of his interest in the show Doctor Who.  He watched every single episode of the original production while growing up and it was his dream to one day play the Doctor.  In 2006, his dream came true as he became the tenth Doctor.

It’s my opinion that David brings so much more to the table as the Doctor.  I can’t help but wonder how much of that is just acting skills alone and how much also lies with the fact that this role, this show, was David’s dream job.  He was a die hard fan of the show his entire life.  Don’t you think that love would be the catalyst for clinging on to the role with everything you have?  I think so.

Despite the popularity of the show within general public, it’s still a cult followed, genre show.  The type of show that creates a certain type of following.  So when you cast someone who is right in the middle of that following, you may just have a recipe for the perfect Doctor.  Of course, now that I’ve put so much backing into David as the Doctor, I’m most likely setting myself up for disappointment when I reach the end of his era and it’s on to Doctor 11.  Until then, long live David Tennant!

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4 thoughts on “Does being a fan of the show make for a superior Doctor?

  1. michaelp03 says:

    One of the reasons I love Christopher Eccleston’s take on the Doctor as much as I do is that his restraint and distance from the role made for a better performance. This wasn’t a dream come true for him, he didn’t like working on the show, and I think that the actor in him took those elements and made them part of his character.

    The fact that it was simply a job to Eccleston, gave us a great Doctor. I can’t help but compare it to David Tennant, who was so enthusiastic and overjoyed and landing the role that there was no restraint. He was like a kid in a candy shop. Cute and charming at first, but the novelty started to wear itself out before too long.

    Also, I find it hard to take your answer to the question “Does being a fan of Doctor Who Make For A Better Doctor?” seriously when your answer excludes the eight preceding actors who have taken on the role.

    • I think you point out an interesting perspective. However, as for not including information on the first 8 Doctors, I have already stated in the blog that I started my Doctor Who watching with the new Production. I will go back when I’m done with the current seasons.

  2. Kels says:

    I remember my mom watching Doctor Who every now and then when I was a little girl, but I just got the Who bug with the ‘new’ version. I thought Eccleston did a wonderful job. Let’s say he was “fantastic”. David Tennant brought an enormous amount of enthusiasm to the Doctor role and don’t get me started on the dynamics of the David/Doctor and Rose relationship! I can’t watch the episode where Rose ‘dies’ without crying like a baby. Tennant did a great job of keeping his fandom in check. Sometimes die hard fans can actual ruin parts as actors. His exit from the role was moving and seemed very genuine, more than just acting. I’m not sure about Matt Smith’s Who history, but he grew on me very quickly and while David Tennant has been my favorite, I look forward to see where the show goes!

  3. Aakash says:

    Eccleston did enjoy the role. In the same 2010 interview he has stated that he loved playing the Doctor and wished that he could’ve played it a lot longer than he did originally, but doing so would have gone against his personal morals and ethics. And he was a great Doctor. I couldn’t think of a better Doctor to bridge the two Doctor Who generations. His angry bloke look attracted many new fans and his aptitude at playing the role brought back many old fans. And the fact that his performance was top notch throughout that season just showed what a professional bloke he was.

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