Quick, call The Doctor. Our publishing intern, Angela Jin, has fallen down a rabbit hole and has come out all obssessy. Is there a cure, or will we just have to cut back her access to Youtube while she is at work? There’s one particular scene in TV history that thrills me like no other.
Apology to those unfamiliar with Doctor Who. Things are going to get a tiny bit wibbly wobbly (timey wimey) around here.
Recently, YouTube has decided to recommend me a slew of Doctor Who related videos. I’m not sure what part of my internet activities triggered this algorithm change but I began watching them nonetheless which only encouraged more recommendations.
I went down a nostalgia filled rabbit hole. I’d stopped watching during the Capaldi Era and even then, memories of the episodes feel like a fever dream. I barely remember the plot lines and Bill never endeared herself to me the same way previous companions did.
But in my binge, I was reintroduced to the series and to the absolute stunts that Mr Chibnall has been pulling. Though I’ve yet to see the offending episodes myself – and I do plan to watch it someday – I agree with the YouTube comment that said the Timeless Child ought to have been the Master, not the Doctor. While we’ve been keeping track of the Doctor’s regenerations quite diligently (no thanks to the War Doctor), it makes much more sense for the Master to have infinite regenerations because it provides a reason why they are able to keep appearing.
But enough about the Who that I haven’t watched and the Who that I have.
In 2013 I was a rabid Whovian and like many, I eagerly awaited the 50th Anniversary Special. I even woke up early to ensure I would watch it with UK and US fans, and not risk running across spoilers later. In the climax of the 75-minute special, all known incarnations of the Doctor unite to save Gallifrey – including the yet to be debuted Peter Capaldi.
I think I might have screamed when I first saw his angry owl eyes look directly into the camera. A glimpse! A glimpse of the next Doctor! A glimpse into the Who to come!
Some seven years later, apparently nothing has changed. I saw those determined, piercing eyes again while binging the many compilation videos and I gasped. What a moment! I realised very soon that the effect Twelve has on me does not wear with time. Somehow I lack the words to describe how exhilarating it was – is – to see Twelve for the first time and have him join in with his previous incarnations. It was – is – truly a thrill.
I’m sorry to report that I did not enjoy Twelve’s arrival and his adventures as much as that one shot of his angry eyes. When he was sneezed into existence by Matt Smith, some of the magic was lost. Did Twelve not deserve a full introductory regeneration scene?
And quite honestly, the show had started to struggle to hold my attention. I didn’t really care for Clara Oswald. Obviously, the best version of her was Oswin Oswald. I was enamoured. Fast-talking, quick-witted, tech savvy and clever? I was stunned when she died. And with every onscreen version of her, she became less charming and more normal.
When Clara finally left – as a dead but a little bit immortal being – I wasn’t impressed with how Bill was written, nor with the writing of the show in general.
I’m not interested in ‘catching up’ with Thirteen. I’ve seen the YouTube videos dissecting her character and her companions. That’s frankly enough for me. I will however jump into the fray just to see what iconic Who lore Chibnall is attempting to leave behind. A Timeless Child? Really? As if our beloved Doctor isn’t already enough of a god? Now she’s super duper immortal and the sole origin of all Time Lords? Good grief. However, I might give the Capaldi Era another try. I might learn to love Clara (I doubt it).
I wish current Whovians all the best in their viewings to come. At least we’ll always have Capaldi’s eyes.
Angela Jin is an intern at Spineless Wonders and Communication undergraduate at the University of Technology Sydney. She’s been writing creatively since she was a child and daydreaming since she was a toddler. Her current obsessions include: her dog, drag queens and pulling out weeds in her yard.
Blog post feature photo credit from BBC America