Skepticism

New Who Tomorrow!

The new Doctor Who actor will be announced tomorrow, and this Skepchick is rooting for Paterson Joseph. He has the right timbre and presence, is handsome and cool and authoritative with a quiet intelligence and smile around the corners of his mouth, and we can all do Barack Obama comparisons if we get stuck for superficial analogies. Let’s reconvene here when we have something to discuss tomorrow!!

UPDATE: Matt Smith is the new Doctor.

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  1. Hm, I had no idea who he was, but I see on his Wiki page that he was in some Who already. I’ll have to re-watch those episodes. The pic on Wiki is total crap, so I did a GIS and can now say that he is appropriately sexy.

    Sigh, I’m just going to miss David Tennant so much.

  2. i’m also rooting for joseph. (rebecca, he was the uppity dude on the gamestation who argued w/ the doctor and then got his ass exterminated).

    and, yeah, i’m gonna miss dt, but i’m also very excited to see what else he’s capable of.

  3. I’m gunning for David Morrissey, myself. The Christmas special was a bit weak overall, but I liked him, and really enjoyed the way he did “the Doctor.”

    I know the “new, hip” Who would never go for it, but I also think Bill Nighy would be great in an “old school” sort of way.

  4. Patterson Joseph (who was the only redeeming thing about the BBC’s version of ‘Neverwhere’, and is excellent in the current ‘Survivors’ series) would be brilliant. I’ve also heard Chiwetel Ejiofor being tossed around, who would be great as well. Plus he’d bridge the Doctor Who / Firefly fandoms, meaning he couldn’t go in public in either the U.K. *OR* the U.S.

  5. Y’know, they’re rapidly running out of Doctors. Supposed to be 13 lives and that’s it. There’s only 3 left. The Doctor’s become reckless in his old age. He’s churned through 9 regenerations in the past 35 years (or however long that was in subjective time).

  6. Dylan Moran is a great suggestion. I don’t like Bill Nighy though, he’d lose me as a Who fan faster than you can say ‘Tom Baker wannabe’.

    wytworm: Hear hear. Davies gets kudos for reinventing the show but Moffat has written the best episodes by far.

  7. @Steve DeGroof: actually, i’d argue that the current doc is actually #11, considering that he did regenerate last series…not that the showrunners will see it that way.
    regardless, they’ll come up with some crazy way of getting the doc more lives. wasn’t the master supposed to be done for?

  8. I’d forgotten about that semi-regeneration.

    I’m not sure what happened with the Master. He was on his last life way back in the 70s. Then he stole someone’s body and somehow managed to get new lives. I think there was some mention of him being granter new lives during the Time War.

  9. Alex Kingston was awesome in The Library, I’d enjoy her as the doc. I hope it’s not David Hamactory from the xmas ep though, not only would that not make much sense (unless the doc has some choice about his new face?), and also cause I find that guy way too cheesy and mature. I like my doc with a bit of spunk about him. Well, Tennant. Sigh.

  10. @Steve DeGroof: A bit wasteful, I think.

    —————

    Yeah, but a series about an ultra-cautious time traveling adventurer probably wouldn’t have lasted as long.

    “Well, Doctor… where have we landed this time?”
    “Hmm… I’m not sure. Better not go out there. Cribbage?”

  11. @carr2d2: Oh dear! But that story ended with poor Alex dying and getting stuck in a horrible nightmare VR machine for eternity, which the Doctor did to “save” her somehow, even though just minutes earlier, he “rescued” Donna from the same fate.

    I never understood that ending. I LOVED that story, but it fell short of perfection because of that ending and “Hey, who turned out the lights?”

  12. @bug_girl: LOL WIN!!

    I don’t know, I feel like I have the awful character of “Roderick” stuck in my head when I think of Paterson Joseph. But I’m excited to hear the news tomorrow anyway!

    We’ll miss you DT…

    Tom Baker was the man though… that voice is epic!

  13. i’m very, very disappointed. the one thing i knew i didn’t want them to do was continue along this younger, prettier doctor trend. as much as i love dt, i thought the whole doctor as a love interest, at least on the show (leave that stuff to the fanfic) has been played out.
    well, all i can say is i hope he’s good, because i really don’t want to stop watching, esp w/ moffatt in charge.

  14. Matt Smith! What a terrible choice! He’s 10 years too young at least to play The Doctor. How can he possibly portray hundreds of years of experience and knowledge when he is barely shaving.

    I hope the writers haven’t decided to go down a gun swinging action hero route.

  15. K. Matt Smith isn’t particularly attractive. First glance he looks rugged, then he sort of looks ugly, but as you keep looking he sort of morphs into a state of ambiguity for me.

    Either way, I’m going to hope that he’s really that good if they chose him despite his age and unknowness.

  16. Oops. Meant to put 2 Ts there.

    I’m sure it’ll all work out fine. I remember being wary of Peter Davison when he took over the role (he was 29 at the time). I’m also not keen on the trend toward using the sonic screwdriver as a weapon but I’ll let that go. For now.

  17. Oh my god, Doctor Who is younger than ME now.

    I sure hope the producers know what the hell they are doing. This certainly seems like a left-field choice. I don’t really have a problem with the younger Doctor thing per se, but this guy is in his mid-twenties.

    Moffat said earlier that he wanted someone “weird looking” in their mid-forties, so I wonder if there is some BBC interference at play. Who knows though. Maybe he totally blew them away in the audition process.

    I’m not familiar with Smith at all. He doesn’t appear to have the background of the last couple o’ Doctor’s, who had proved their acting chops. On the other hand, maybe that’s why they went with an unknown: so he’s stick around for a few years (you know, until he’s thirty).

    The real question: Are they going with the traditional Time Lord lore, or is he going to sparkle?

  18. @greenishblu: you know, i thought the same thing at first…get an unknown and he’ll stick around. but actually, i think the opposite will happen. he’ll be slingshotted to superstardom and wonder what else he could do. my guess is bbc will be lucky to keep him till he’s 30…unless they’ve got him locked into a long term contract already.

  19. I like him. Well, I like the look of him at least, I haven’t seen him act, but first impression is ‘yes, this could work’. He does have the quality of a Doctor, although I couldn’t explain what I mean by that.

    Confession: I was dismayed by the casting of David Tennant. I loved Eccleston and thought Tennant was totally wrong. I avoided his first season as a result. Then I gave in and started watching and was hooked. So I’m going to give BabyFace Dullname a chance, because I know that the biggest Doctor Who fans are those who make the programme, and they’re not going to cast someone who won’t work. Or at least, they’re not going to take a crazy risk and alienate everyone, while at the same time they are going to attempt something a little different to keep the show fresh.

    We shall see. If he’s rubbish I will be the first to tear strips out of his pasty ass though :D

  20. @Steve DeGroof: That’s the official BBC YouTube channel, no takedown notices will occur. Their attitude is, the public pay for BBC programming, so it belongs to the public, unless there are other commercial interests to consider (for example expensive drama shows can attract revenue through DVD sales which can be reinvested into new shows, so it’s not in their interests to give it away permanently, although you can watch it up to a week later on iPlayer).

    Anyway, that interview will be there for the forseeable future, fear not.

  21. @carr2d2: i thought the whole doctor as a love interest, at least on the show (leave that stuff to the fanfic) has been played out.

    ——————-

    I didn’t get the whole Doctor as love interest thing. Dude is 900+ years old and essentially a god. Isn’t it a little creepy for him to have a thing for 19 year old girls?

  22. @tkingdoll: Likewise! I thought Tennant was too young at first… and way too good looking. It’s a bizarre thing to imagine that Hartnell’s Doc and Tennant’s Doc are the same guy…

    But anyways I have the same policy towards new Docs, no matter how emo/frankensteiny they may seem at first, give em’ a go before rejecting them.

    I think maybe Smith would make a better 12th Doctor? I can see why they’d cast him but he really does look like a teenager, he’d be better if left to mature for a few years before being let loose in the big blue box :)

    (Ew to the idea of a female Doctor! It’s probably a very unwise idea to knock the notion on SkepCHICK but… it just makes no sense!)

  23. @Amanda: Ha! It’s not so much that I think he’s two young, just that it makes me feel old: “Oh my god: I’m a year older than Doctor Who!… No, TWO years.”

    @Steve DeGroof: Okay, after seeing that interview, I’m encouraged. He needs a new haircut STAT, but he seems like he might do the trick… And I’m a little charmed by him describing how exciting it was to be cast, not being able to tell anyone.

    Plus, ‘Matt Smith’ is far easier to spell than “Chiwetel Ejiofor.”

  24. @tkingdoll:

    Bwaha “Babyface Dullname”. I’m going to have to use that.

    Also, I’d never heard of or seen Matt Smith until that BBC interview, and my first impression is that he reminds me a lot of Daniel Radcliffe, mannerisms and exuberance and such.

    Although the choice is a surprise because of his age, I’m still excited to see what happens. More because I have faith in Mr Moffatt. Bring it on!

  25. @sethmanapio: you have a point, but (though as a presumably straight guy this may be lost on you) come on! the whole alien-practically-a-god whisking you away through space and time?
    completely fucking sexy. especially if he looks like he has the past couple of incarnations. (i’ll take the ninth, please.)

    having said that, i find the show much more interesting without a lovelorn companion mooning over the doctor.
    and this may be my own snobbery or desire to believe that doctor who is somehow mine, but i can’t stand the idea of him as a teen idol.

    but, like teek said, there’s a reason he was cast, and i’ll give him a fair shot. who knows? maybe i’ll end up loving him.

  26. @carr2d2: the whole alien-practically-a-god whisking you away through space and time?
    completely fucking sexy.

    ——————

    Sure, I get it from the companions perspective. And that’s really how pedophiles work, isn’t it? They offer the young, naive victim things that their contemporaries can’t. I’m not blaming the companions, I’m blaming the Doctor.

    He never used to have a thing for his companions… except for Romana, and she was his equal.

  27. I was thinking about this year’s Xmas special (it wasn’t very good, really), and how Mercy made a derogatory comment about the black assistant. It was 1850, so this was highly likely to happen (on more of a scale than the episode actually acknowledged, I’d hazard). A similar thing was done with Martha in an earlier episode, who suffered racial abuse when it was historically likely that she would have.

    Does this exclude the possibility of a black Doctor? A Doctor has to have the ability to blend in in any period of history, on any planet. Given how many episodes are set in England, would that be possible in any period for a black man? Even today? There are rural parts of the country which openly sell these in tourist gift shops: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/06_01/dollLDPE1503_228x313.jpg

    Would anyone take orders from a random black stranger in 1850’s London? Would people immediately trust him for no reason, as they have to trust a Doctor? There were blacks in the country in 1850 who weren’t slaves or servants, but it was a rare thing. Could the Christmas special have worked with a black Doctor? They went to a lot of effort to make it historically accurate, and Paterson Joseph running around yelling orders at people would have been absurd for that period.

    Not sure if this is a can of worms question I will regret asking, but I am curious about other opinions. Also, the same could easily be said of a female Doctor. So are we doomed to a white, bland male Doctor til the end of time?

  28. @tkingdoll: It’s a good point. I think that a minority or female Doctor could be done, and done well, and would add an interesting new challenge for the Doctor to overcome in some episodes. But yeah, it could get annoying to see the Doctor facing off against racism or sexism in every. other. episode.

  29. @Rebecca: If they did it, the writers would probably have to avoid those sort of period settings, otherwise we’d end up with a political ep every other time as you say. And they probably don’t want to compromise the scope of the show that way, I wonder if that was a factor in their casting? They must have discussed it. Having said that, there have been loads of ‘period England’ episodes already, I’m not bothered about seeing any more Dickens or whatnot. Or is that an intrinsic part of Who and I’m committing some sort of blasphemy here?

  30. @tkingdoll:
    It’s an interesting point. Who does like its period England pieces and always has and its undeniable that having a black actor in the role would intrinsically complicate those episodes. It might be interesting to see once or twice, but you’re right that it could tedious after a bit.

    Perhaps it could be an opportunity for the good Doctor to explore other places in Earth’s history? Places where some gangly white dude would stick out like a sore thumb.

  31. @elles: I think it’s mostly the flock of seagulls hair (btw, rebecca, you totally read my mind…I had the same reaction to the promo shot). Clearly young people make bad hair decisions. :) Or people have a hard time getting over certain biases – such as not taking orders from the younglings seriously. Good question. Does a younger doctor mean we’re going to have plots where he has a hard time getting people to take him seriously every other episode? I’ll grow tired of that rather quickly.

  32. @elles: Look up the Milgram experiment on obedience. Age was a factor in the level of authority of the experimenter.

    Personally I’d like it if they left his looks alone. I think the brigadier should march up to him and bellow “Are you getting a hair cut this series!?!”

  33. @Elles:

    26 vs 29 (Peter Davison) — big deal. Won’t be a factor. His age won’t screw it up. What will be interesting to see is if Moffat is as good as Davies was at the arc planning and the macro-story. Its 50% actor and 50% writing.

  34. Agreed about the arc planning, although bear in mind that neither Davies nor Moffat work alone. There is a team of writers, so that expertise will always be present. And Moffat has written the best standalone eps, Blink and The Library, for many reasons not least of which is the superior dialogue. Davies scripts are always too hammy even for Doctor Who, the hammiest TV series of all time. Moffat has a wit and grace that improves all of the characters whenever they’re playing out his stories. I guess the issue will be, if the 2010 series is crap, do we blame Moffat, or Blandy McNoface?

  35. He also did “Jekyll”. He seems to have a knack for making complex, twisted plots work. That whole DVD thing in “Blink” was pure gold, as was “The Girl with Two Breasts” episode of “Coupling”. I like it when TV actually makes me think. It’s a refreshing change.

  36. @greenishblu: Places where some gangly white dude would stick out like a sore thumb.

    ——————-

    “Marco Polo” & “Doctor Who and the Aztecs” both come to mind.

    Of course, for the new series they invented psychic paper and have the TARDIS translate everything. Why not translate the Doctor? That is, people see someone who fits in, not matter where he is? Seems like an easy device and actually would expand the shows range.

  37. @sethmanapio: Like it, although they’d still have to often be drawing attention to his colour. Whenever the psychic paper is used it’s seen, they don’t not show it and then assume that we understand they used it out of shot or something. So it would have to be ‘activating not-black-guy field now!’, or mention it in one episode as a setup then not refer to it again, which leaves casual viewers in the dark (no pun intended and I feel slightly wrong for laughing but there you have it). But yeah, some sort of psychic field generated by the TARDIS that has any local see the Doctor as whatever would make them comfortable, I can live with that. It could even be cross-species. In fact, isn’t there a similar explanation for the presence of the TARDIS? So maybe what we’re suggesting already exists and we overlooked it, and some even geekier geek will be along in a minute to point and laugh at our ignorance.

  38. Sounds vaguely like the “I look different in the mirror” thing that was used in “Quantum Leap” and various other “OMG I’m in someone else’s body” stories. Not sure I’d like that.

  39. @Steve DeGroof: Sounds vaguely like the “I look different in the mirror” thing that was used in “Quantum Leap” and various other “OMG I’m in someone else’s body” stories.

    ———————–

    Well, the TARDIS already has a chameleon circuit (broken, yes, but it has one). And there’s no “OMG” to it, the Doctor wouldn’t in somebody else’s body, he/she would just blend in… sort of like he naturally speaks Egyptian or whatever.

    I’m not sure they’d have to mention it all the time. They didn’t mention the TARDIS’s translation function for most of season 1. They brought it up once, then brought it up again in Season 2.

  40. We’re treading pretty close to an uber-fan-technobabble party in here.

    The great thing about Doctor Who that you don’t get with other sci-fi franchises is that you don’t have to worry about stuff like “What’s the optimum matter/anti-matter ratio in a dilithium reaction?” (Of course the answer is 1:1, but I digress.) If the writers want to tell a story, no matter when, no matter where, they can tell it. And the Doctor can be in it. That’s why “The Girl in the Fireplace,” “Blink,” and “Silence in the Library” all work equally well.

    In a way, Doctor Who is (or can be) more like an anthology show like Twilight Zone, except we have one main character guiding us through the different stories. We don’t need to worry about Cardassian politics or whether a black man would seem out of place in Elizabethan England. He’d just be there in the story, and you go along with it.

    But the real question is, who would win in a fight, the TARDIS or an Imperial Star Destroyer?

  41. @wytworm: There is no evidence to support that conclusion….

    —————

    That’s true. But since there “wasn’t an investigation” can we be cavalier in our dismissal of the Vampire MILF theory?

    I think not.

    I agree with greenish. WHy not just have the Who who works for the audience, and let the fans fix any trivial details about whether a black/white man/woman should be able to operate with authority in a given time/place?

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