There was once a time when I was delighted that Doctor Who got a mention in the paper. I kept a half-assed scrap collection. But time has passed and now I have reached the point where I would like them to start talking about anything else. I know I am not alone in the surprise felt when the ABC grabbed the Eleventh Doctor with both hands, not merely as a dead donkey on a slow news day but gave it three times the amount of import and coverage than expected. Now, it is true that Doctor Who is a bit bigger and more popular than it was once, and presumably David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston were just part and parcel of the return and thus less newsworthy ("Hey, that guy no one's seen yet as quit and been replaced by that nutter from Taking Over The Asylum!") but let's be honest. Daniel Craig didn't get this much hype from the ABC and James Bond is for "normal people".
The Sydney Morning Herald gave it their usual 'just the facts with a slight smirk suggesting they only published this so they could see who would read it more than once' vibe with New Doctor in the house as Tennant moves out on Monday, as it was unable to be part of The Guide. (DWM have done something not entirely dissimilar). This is not what I have trouble with. What I have trouble with is the Opinions & Letters ever since.
One day later.
TIME’S RUNNING OUT
Time lords (sic) only have 12 regenerations. With Matt Smith to be incarnation No. 11, how long can this popular series run? Perhaps the Doctor’s cloned daughter from the last series will provide the answer. Watch out for a female Doctor.
Phillip Cooney, Wentworth Falls
Me: Oh, for fuck's sake...
Two days later.
BEATING THE TIME LORD LIMITS
There are ways a Time Lord may get around the 12 regenerations limit. The High Council may offer a new cycle of regenerations (as it did to the Master) or an extra body (providing an extra regeneration, again, to the Master). The Master also took possession of someone else’s body at the end of his regeneration cycle.
Kraeg MacKenzie, Richmond
Me: Give me strength!
Three days later.
DR WHO'S HELPING HAND
Another way to maybe get around the Time Lord 12 regeneration limit: David Tennant at the end of series four used a severed hand he had previously lost in the Christmas Invasion episode (sic) to regenerate into himself. Provided the body part used was lost within 24 hours of regeneration, the new regeneration apparently doesn't count as an official regeneration. It is impossible for the High Council to offer a new cycle of regenerations as it and the Time Lords have been destroyed. The Master in Doctor Who: The Movie did use a human's body, but it lasted him a day.
David Diekman (aged 12), Kellyville
Me: I have better conversations at Doctor Who CONVENTIONS for the love of Led Zeppellin!
Now, let's look at the possible options.
1) The 13 limit is held and the series ends some time in 2020 with the death of the Thirteenth Doctor, Keely Hawes
2) It is completely ignored with a get out clause that during the Time War all the soldiers on the front line were given infinite regenerations so they could survive fighting with Daleks for more than three minutes, hence all the Doctor's bollocks about never dying, only regenerating
3) It is completely ignored on the rightful grounds that Robert Holmes not only introduced that rule, but broke it. Three times.
Now can we please talk about something... ANYTHING ELSE?!?
Like, for example, Gabriel "If you're 40-something and consider Russell T.Davies' version of your favourite show to be an abomination against all mankind, this site is for you" Chase has shown his incredible gift for updating his constantly evolving site...
A fifth series was downgraded to a handful of "specials" when Tennant took time out to honour a commitment with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
No. Tennant only agreed to play Hamlet AFTER the gap year was decided on.
He then decided to quit the show altogether,
Actually, he did that in 2006. Still, why let facts get in the way of presenting everything in the worst possible light.
forcing new Executive Producer Steven Moffatt to cast
Oh, poor Steven Moffatt! He must have had no idea! What a backstabbing betrayal on Tennant's part! He even forced Steven to cast a specific actor! Tennant, you fascist, how dare you?!
the virtually unknown,
Ironic as 80% of ABC viewers know who he is. (I admit, took a moment to twig). And, how DARE they pick an unknown! They should pick someone already typecast! The last complete unknown was Tom Baker! How terrible it would be!
and very young,
Because nothing else he has ever done in his life merits attention.
Matt Smith in the title role. It remains to be seen how much longer this vastly different version of Who will last.
Well, it'll last till 2010. So that's two years. As anyone could tell you.
Christ, Gabe, you refuse to leave things on a good note, don't you?