This is a response to a question on a forum I wanted to answer which became WAY too long-winded to air as a post. So I thought I’d put it here and link to it.
I have to say that I haven’t got a top ten. Although I’m almost 38, grew up in Oz where there is a HUGE following of DW on TV (it was aired during my formative years), I didn’t really watch it. I was aware of Peter Davison’s Doctor, and tried to watch, but like most things aired on the TV channel in Oz that showed DW (The ABC) – I thought everything they aired was boring.
I can’t really therefore give a top ten of Doctors. But I did want to say that I was utterly smitten with the new series from episode one. I was worried I wouldn’t like it ‘cos I just wasn’t interested in it all the years beforehand.
The new series has taken me through up and downs. I LOVED Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor from the start and when it was revealed he’d only be Doctor for one series, I wanted to cry. Even more so when they announced this “who is he?” bloke, David Tennant. I wanted to boycott the second series, but thought I’d better give DT a go. I wasn’t really happy to begin with. I thought he played it too childishly, too manically (a diff manic to CE’s – an over-exuberant rather than a dark manic), too in-your-face happy clappy. Then of course it was announced Billie Piper was leaving, and despite my reservations when it was revealed who’d be playing the Doctor’s companion in the first series, that Billie would be too amateurish, I felt she allayed my fears.
Then Xmas 2006, and we get Catherine Tate as companion of sorts. I was NOT a happy bunny. Thank God we knew that this is not going to last, I thought, as we’d been told of Freema Agymen’s appointment as the new companion. I didn’t watch The Runaway Bride at all.
I lose interest a bit, miss bits and pieces, but come back to it in time. I thought Freema would be good, and thought she was competent enough at the time. I missed chunks because I went home to Australia for a few months shortly after series 3 began. I watched some while there and caught up once back home. By this time DT is maturing into the role as the 10th Doctor and I’m really beginning to shine to him.
Xmas 2007. Kylie Minogue? WTF?! Had you SEEN her in Neighbours? If not, check out Street Fighter (yes, the lame movie version of the video game with Jean Claude Van Damm in it). Sorry, I really LOVE Kylie as a musical performer, but as an “actress”, I’ve seen more animated and less wooden strips of MDF! She didn’t disappoint (with the notion she’d be even MORE sinkable than the Titanic itself). The best scene was her throwing herself off the precipice in the fork-lift truck!
I wasn’t really sad about Freema leaving, but I was peeved they’d decided to reprise Catherine Tate’s role as Donna Noble. Just when I was beginning to get happy with the dynamic (which on reflection was AWEFUL), they were going to have yet ANOTHER companion for the Doctor! And one I was really not happy about to boot. I SO feared it was going to send DW back into a more “kiddish” slant and have DT back to his manic Doctor and that there’d be too much farce with CT back as Donna.
I can’t say my fears were FULLY allayed by the first episode. But of the comedy and farce there was in Partners In Crime, I enjoyed. As I watch more episodes, The Fires of Pompeii, then Planet of The Ood, I was really beginning to take to Catherine Tate. By Turn Left, I really, really loved her character. And DT’s Doctor had matured even more than series 3. The dynamic between Doctor and companion was FINALLY at its most believable. He finally had someone by his side who was a true crutch for him, and not a soppy little teenager with a crush. A soulmate almost, a kindred spirit. Ballsy, brash and passionate, how can you not love that about Donna?!
I was crushed when it became obvious that this might be Catherine Tate’s only series of Doctor Who. I fell in love with Donna (metaphorically) and just thought her and the Doctor were the best pairing so far, and the best pairing of David and Catherine. No underlying sexual chemistry and all that baloney, just straight out mutual respect and friendship. Why does the Doctor always have to have “totty”?
The roller coaster continued when Russell T Davies toyed with us at the ending of The Stolen Earth with the regeneration scene. I was ready to slit my wrists at the very notion of David Tennant leaving! Heaven forbid! Just when you got me not only liking him as the Doctor, but actually falling in love with him! NNNNNOOOOOOO
I know he has his haters, but I think there was far more a collective sigh at the beginning of Journey’s End then “oh hell, it’s STILL David Tennant”. I think there were quite a few utterances of “tsk” when the first few minutes went out, from whichever side of the DT fence you sit on. What a wasted regeneration sequence that was!
BBC Three just finished repeating series one which I watched again. It felt VERY strange watching it, because although I SSOO loved Christopher Eccleston to begin with, when watching the repeats he didn’t feel like MY Doctor. My heart now belongs to David. CE was a darker Doctor, but he did have some mania with the role and he wasn’t quite as wholly competent as I remembered him to be. And although it has taken DT probably the two full series to “hone his craft”, I think he is now a compelling and complex Doctor with wonderfully subtle nuances.
So, now we are still left wondering if DT WILL continue into 2010 (he’s not signed the dotted line yet as far as I am aware) and who will be his companion. I, for one, hope the rumours that Catherine Tate will come back ARE true. For me, David Tennant and Catherine Tate ARE the “dream team”.