Sunday, 13 October 2013

Canon & Controversy

It's occured to me that on this blog I've never dealt with controversial issues directly. I've often brought them up and I've often expressed my own 'controversial' opinions in reviews and posts - but I've never gone through issues as a list. Probably because no one cares. But if anyone actually reads these posts - this might be some useful background. I'll be covering issues like What do you count as canon? and Who's your favourite/least favourite Doctor and Companion? as well as some others too. Enjoy.

Who's your favourite Doctor? Companion?
We'll start with the less geeky question. My favourite Doctor is Sylvester McCoy, 'cos he's wonderful. Once upon a time it was Peter Davison, but after watching more of some other Doctors, he's fallen to about half way on the list, maybe lower. William Hartnell used to be quite low down - but now he's near the top - he's got to be. It's quite hard to rank the modern Doctors amongst these, so there'll be a separate question for them. Jon Pertwee is probably my second favourite Doctor. Tom Baker isn't near the top at all.

My favourite companion is probably Ace - and that's mostly down to the uniqueness of the character, and her partnership with the Seventh Doctor. It works really well - and she's a really good companion. 'Honourable mentions' go to Jamie, Rose (in Series One), Liz Shaw, Jo Grant, Harry Sullivan and the Brigadier.

So does the Brigadier count as a companion?
I'd probably say that you have to travel in the TARDIS to be a companion - which would deny people like Liz the opportunity. But wait. Technically Liz travels into the future via the TARDIS in The Ambassadors of Death, and the Brigadier travels in it in The Three Doctors - so he's a companion - full stop. Sara Kingdom I'm not so sure about though.

When do the UNIT Stories take place?
It was a surprise to me to learn that they were meant to happen in a kind of 'day after tomorrow' thing - or late 70s/80s. I'd always assumed they were contemporary stories - but this is Doctor Who so of course all these things can exist and happen. I can see the argument for them happening later - because all these projects and drilling and things are more likely - but did they happen? No. So is that argument a bit pointless? Yes. I see no objection to them happening when they were broadcast. Except maybe a couple. Stupid Mawdryn Undead.

What's canon in the Doctor "Whoniverse"?
I hate the word Whoniverse. But - everything. Everything, licensed, is canon. There's accepted canon, Doctors Hartnell to Capaldi (and maybe Hurt?), which is accepted by everyone except my mum who doesn't think McGann counts. Then there's the other canon - so every single book Doctor, book adventure and audio. On license. Fan productions and amateur video productions don't count. Figure Adventures will never count in a million years (even "accepted by the BBC" ones) - and many of them aren't as good as people think anyway. (Rant over.) And let's not talk about fan fiction. Oh and Cushing is a human called Dr Who. But his films are amazing so that's ok. The Shalka Doctor is amazing (review soon, by the way) and he definitely counts, somewhere.

I realise many books/audios have conflicting views - but they're all possible in multiple times. Honest.

Who's your least favourite Doctor? Companion?
Notice 'least favourite' not 'worse'. I used to have a few least favourites but I probably like all of them enough. So while I can't put any at the bottom of my list - I can say which ones aren't my favourites. They would be Tom Baker, David Tennant, and um.. Occasionally William Hartnell. I like all three of them - they're just not my favourites. For example - a lot of Hartnell's are wonderful, some aren't. David Tennant's first and third series are better than the 'one with Martha'. Tom Baker's first season is incredible. His second season is incredible. Others - not so much. Peter Davison isn't brilliant all the time either.

My least favourite companion was probably Tegan once upon a time - but I quite like her now. So it may have to be Dodo I'm afraid. I know my friend really dislikes Ben and Polly, I'm not quite there on that one though. And as good an actress is Freema Ageyman is - I'm afraid Martha's gotta be quite low down on my list. She'd be a really good companion without the unrequited love storyline. Sorry.

Should the Doctor fall in love?
Yes and no. At the time (and even now) I hated the Doctor and Rose falling in love. Unrequited love from Martha is not the type of storyline Doctor Who, even modern Doctor Who, needs. That's why Series Four was such a hit for so many - because him and Donna were friends. Yet saying all that - the Doctor and River Song are something I'm ok with. In a strange way, it sort of works. The 8th Doctor and Grace I'm also fine with. The reason I give for that is that the Doctor just gets on and kisses the girl. There aren't thirteen episodes of will they/won't they/moaning about love. That's an exaggeration, but all the same. 

Is his name Doctor Who?
Let's not get started on that one - I honestly don't know. I really don't think it is. I guess I've always assumed it's a nickname given to him - I mean that can't be his actual name. And I see the argument for it being his name - but production notes and stories DO NOT count as evidence in terms of the fiction of the show.

Other Notes
Is Colin Baker's costume really bad? No, it isn't.
Are the Daleks a good monster? No, they're not.
Does the Doctor have 13 lives? At the minute - yes. But that can change. He doesn't have 507 anyway.
Could the Doctor be a woman? Probably - but only when regeneration starts getting risky after his 13th life.

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