Romance in Doctor Who: Doth the Director Protest too Much?
by Olga A.
Dr Who. For me, he was an essential part of being a teenager in Britain. How can one forget the iconic scarf, the slightly ruffled hair, the magic of the Tardis (the question of fitting so much inside a humble phone box has led many a lackadaisical student to become more or less interested in physics), and, of course, the Daleks. Don’t even get me started on the quaintness of the original 1960s series (which I admittedly did not see until much later) – it was the adorable smile of David Tennant that has drawn me to eagerly follow all the latest adventures of the mysterious epoch-crossing Time Lord. And yes, being Dr Who’s assistant seemed way more interesting than being a Bond Girl, for example – you don’t get to die as much, for one point!
Certainly, it might perhaps show me as a typical child of the current era, but like a great deal of you out there, I love the new series. The fans of the older series would remember them fondly, and perhaps be unkind towards the new, but in my extremely humble opinion, the new series have the liveliness and zest that make them more life-like, and hence, more interesting to watch, whereas the older version would be slightly kookier and more theatrical… and henceforth, a tad difficult to truly believe in.
So possibly this opinion is different from that of W. Hussein, the original director of the Dr Who series. During “The Reunion” program on Radio 4, he lamented the fact that “sexuality has crept in” during the course of the new series. Whether you agree with Mr Hussein or disagree, his point remains true and valid: in the original series, the Doctor was a somewhat Lovecraftian, otherworldly, and essentially closed character – it was mainly the story in itself that drew the viewers towards the television screens. The modern Doctor, in the meantime (yes, I am still thinking of David Tennant), is first and foremost a character in his own right – we watch the show since we care about what happens to him, and not just simply interested in seeing what will happen next. And since he is supposed to be a genuine and credible character (in order to become an iconic TV presence!), he must be allowed a story of his own – which yes, may include romantic or even sexual elements. Many may insist that the laconic understatement about who (or what) was the Doctor in the original series at the beginning is the right way to do it – yet it seems that the sheer believability of the Doctor as a character, which he has acquired in the recent decades, and the more “human” side to him would in turn make him more memorable – and more likeable as well.
Do you agree that there has been an excess of the romantic plot-line introduced into the Dr Who series recently?
For the original article, see here.
About the Contributing Reporter: Olga A.
Hailing from the swirling mists of London, I am a freelance journalist in my free time, and a huge fan of J R Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings,” as well as an admirer of the “Game of Thrones,” a worshiper of H P Lovecraft, a follower of R. Howard, a Star Wars aficionado and an Ursula Le Guin enthusiast. My other favourite things include Middle Eastern dance (sometimes somewhat discourteously referred to as “belly” dancing), Yoga, sunsets over the dreaming spires of Oxford and plush owls. Oh, and green tea too.