The Many Faces of Doctor Who
When Doctor Who, the most iconic British sci-fi show, was rebooted in 2005, the fans didn’t know what or whom to expect. They were used to the old, witty, classy and classic Doctors, and believed that the new one was going to follow in their lead. However, no such thing happened. Christopher Eccleston, the ninth reincarnation of the Doctor, was nothing like the previous Doctors. The energetic, modern, slightly crazy alien with a Northern accent wasn’t really your typical Doctor – a man who’s out there to save the worlds. He belonged more in a rock band, dressed in his black leather jacket, than in the Tardis, traveling across the universe looking for adventures. A new era of Doctor Who was approaching, and Eccleston was a fantastic choice to attract new audiences, as well as to give the older ones something they had been waiting for almost 15 years.
Like every Doctor, he cares deeply for many races, humans in particular, although due to his short temper he tends to get angry very quickly, often because of humans’ (or stupid apes, as he sometimes calls them) idiocy. Nevertheless, he does love them, one human girl especially, and does everything to save their planet from everybody who’s trying to harm it. However, he can be a bit insensitive towards humans and their existence (he is alien, after all), so his companion Rose helps him understand and connect with them on a deeper level.
Still, there are two sides to the Ninth Doctor. He is also very dark and gloomy at times, being the direct reincarnation after the Time War. He is a warrior, the destroyer of races, a battle-scarred veteran. “I’m a Time Lord. I’m the last of the Time Lords. They’re all gone. I’m the only survivor. I’m left traveling on my own, ‘cos there’s no one else”. This feeling of loneliness is what describes every Doctor, but the Ninth and the Tenth in particular. His newly gained humanity prevails in the end, as he sacrifices himself to save Rose, his only friend.
He immediately reincarnates into David Tennant, one of the fans’ absolute favorite Doctors. The geeky, bespectacled Doctor, with tousled hair, a trench coat, and Converse shoes, became an instantaneous embodiment of the Doctor, and to this day remains one of the most beloved reincarnations so far. He brings the Doctor to a whole other level; he is certainly the most human reincarnation – the fact that many fans disliked – but it is that characteristic that also made him so loveable, and so easy to identify with. His relationships with his companions are deep and intricate, giving the show some of its strongest moments, as well as some of the most romantic/heartbreaking ones as well. His personality is what made Rose (and millions of fangirls) fall in love with him, along with his passion for humans, his will to fix everything and his determination.
However, he is still very young and very close to the Time War, so its consequences haunt him throughout the series, making him brooding, morose, always hopelessly searching for Gallifrey and the remainder of the Time Lords. He does manage to find one, as it happens, after the Face of Boe tells him that he is not the only one. He finds the Master, his archenemy, the second to last Time Lord, who ultimately causes both of them to die. “This song is ending, but the story never ends” – a sentence announcing the Tenth Doctor’s untimely end. He dies alone, without a soul to keep him company, uttering his final words which made millions of fans throughout the world shed a tear (or two) – “I don’t want to go”, and we “allons-y” to the next reincarnation.
Albeit still not ginger, the Eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith, now has some very big shoes to fill. Many fans were devastated with Tennant leaving, and didn’t expect much from the new Doctor. However, they were wrong yet again. This Doctor was once more unlike any other before him, he filled their hearts with joy. This “madman with a box” is a textbook definition of an alien. He is awkward, lost, and out of his depth when it comes to any kind of interaction with people, their emotions and behavior. He is like a child who is just getting to know the world around him, seeking adventure, experiencing new things in life. The Eleventh Doctor Who obviously has no sense of what is cool, and although he is trying to be “hip”, he fails miserably. That is evident by his lack of style. He adores fezzes, wears a tweed jacket, and thinks that bowties are cool.
Like each of his predecessors, he is madly in love with the human race. “In 900 years of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important”. He dedicates his life to saving them, with the help of his faithful companions. First was Amy and Rory and then Clara Oswald, as well as his wife, River Song. He is genuinely happy about life, exploring and enjoying life, which is, as per usual, brimming with excitement and danger. Unfortunately, every Doctor’s era has to come to an end, and the Eleventh Doctor found it on Trenzalore. After his legendary last words, “I will always remember when the Doctor was me”, he regenerates into the current Doctor, the twelfth reincarnation, played by the “eyebrows,” Peter Capaldi.
Once again, we are greeted by a lost Doctor, who doesn’t know what to do, or even how to operate the Tardis. But he quickly adapts to the role of the protector of Earth, with the help of his companion Clara. He seems grumpy, and dissatisfied, and is clearly confused about who he really is. Throughout the whole show we are used to hearing the question – Doctor Who?, asked by different people. Now that same question is uttered by the Doctor himself – who am I? His first season is dedicated to him finding out whether or not he is a good man. He learns how to be very compassionate, which is clearly depicted when it comes to his decisions about saving Davros, and is an extremely smart and clever man, solving numerous puzzles and saving a myriad of lives. It is still rather early to talk about this reincarnation because the Twelfth Doctor is at his beginning, but the fans seem to have accepted him positively, and it remains to be seen whether he can overshadow his predecessors and become the new favorite Doctor Who.