Friday, January 3, 2014

The 9th Regeneration of Christmas

Doctor Who got a new start in the 21st century, and the Ninth Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston in 2005, ushered in "New Who" for a new generation.  I haven't yet seen any of his episodes, but that will change as soon as we're done with Space: Above and Beyond -- my family got the Eccleston DVDs for Christmas.

The Ninth Doctor was with us for only one season's worth of episodes, but he kicked off a renaissance for the franchise that's still going strong.  Writer and show-runner Russell Davies held the reigns for all of the Ninth and Tenth, and he transformed the show from a cliffhanger-based action adventure to a much more character-driven mix of tragedy and comedy.

Coming right from the devastation of the Time War, it's been said that Eccleston played this Doctor with a definite subtext of post-traumatic stress disorder.  He was definitely hard-edged and intense, and he dropped the borderline-foppish eccentricities of nearly all prior incarnations.  Still, he retained the quick wit, charm, and dynamism that's always been a hallmark of the Doctor.  He formed a rapid and deep bond with his primary human companion, Rose Tyler.  This series also introduced the first pansexual companion, the unkillable Captain Jack Harkness.


"Your wish is my command. But be careful what you wish for."

The Ninth Doctor is an ARIES.  The first sign in the Zodiac seems appropriate for this new start for the show.  Again, the characteristics seem to just line up as if this was all part of the plan: adventurous, courageous, assertive, and confident (on the plus side); impulsive, foolhardy, and hot-tempered (on the minus).  The leather jacket and northern accent probably make him look like he's about to bash some skulls for the glory of Manchester United or something, but his sense of personal honor and optimism round out his embodiment of this cardinal sign.

The New Year's Resolution for the dynamic Aries is to be patient.  According to my source for these resolutions, "You love to burn through things as fast as possible but the good things take time. Commit to cultivating more patience and interest with the slower parts of the process and you can totally change your life."

[See the introduction for more about sources and motivations for this series of posts.]


  1. It's not that I don't have a response to this profile. It's that my response is primarily negative and before I can articulate anything, I have to take the time to understand why.

    1. I suppose I didn't paint the most flattering portrait. However, I'm really looking forward to watching the Eccleston episodes to see what nuances I (probably!) missed in my cursory reading about this incarnation. (For example, the PTSD thing could just be fannish speculation.)

    2. I knew you'd somehow think I meant I didn't like the profile because of how you portrayed it. :) That's not it. Think visual and imagine taking a look at this guy for the first time on the heels of looking at all of the other doctors for the first time. Think cosmic hobo and 'Ace, we've got work to do' and then compare it to hard-edged, post-traumatic stress disorder and skull-bashing and then filter it through my reactionary head. Coming back here, I only just now realized I didn't read the prescription for Aries bit. Ironically.

    3. No worries. I think this shift in tone was very deliberate. They were bringing back a cult show that was cancelled 16 years before, and they were extremely worried about limiting themselves to a sci-fi/fantasy ratings ghetto with too much "cosmic hobo." Thus a move toward "gritty detective show (with some time travel)." Thankfully, the success of that first season allowed them to start moving back in the right direction.

  2. Yes! This is MY Doctor!

    It's funny how people have certain Doctors - that's when they started watching the show. I mean, I loooove David Tennant, and I probably love his episodes more (maybe because of Donna Noble!), but Chris Eccleston is still always going to be my Doctor.

    The first show I saw was the first show of this series, when he met Rose Tyler.

    I loved Christopher Eccleston in this role.

    1. Thanks so much for saying this. I probably over-emphasized his differences from earlier Doctors, and I'm very keen on watching his episodes.

      (Donna was awesome, too... I love how when anyone would suggest that she and the Doctor were a couple, she would beat him to the punch to say "Oh, nooo way!")

  3. Replies
    1. So I hear, good sir. I'll have to re-post a comment here when I start digging into his season, to see if anything I wrote above is in error.