Yes, I'm a Whovian. Not the sort who can rattle off chapter and verse from every episode, but more the "We ARE watching Doctor Who tonight or SOMEONE IN THIS HOUSEHOLD WILL SUFFER!"
I'd even go to Comic-Con but only to meet the Doctor Who actors in the flesh and take about 500 photos. And to hear Klingon love poetry. Okay, you got me there. So I'm not a full-fledged, card-carrying Whovian but one who loves the latest incarnation of the program, from the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) through the present (Matt Smith).
I like it because it's goofy, I know the characters well - they've been deeply developed by now - and I care about them. Plus, the good Doctor himself is simultaneously endearing and fifty kinds of insane. I also love that most of what passes for science involves someone looking at a 3D map, screaming "We must find the control room!"
And once they do, the Doctor goes into full obsessive-compulsive mode, waves around his screwdriver (not a euphemism) and starts pulling on random wires while pushing random buttons. The premise is he knows what he's doing but he has no time to slow down long enough to explain it (and we wouldn't understand it, anyway), so GET OUT OF THE WAY! Though there's always something for his earthling friends to do, something key that will help him save Earth and the humans he so loves, all without causing unnecessary death to the baddies (much as we may think they deserve it). And the companion knows much more about what's necessary than we do, of course, and always plays that pivotal role.
All that being said, there's something missing this season, as it was from the ending episodes from last season, as well. It's been weakening the episodes and if it isn't fixed the show may well go down the tubes. Last evening I finally figured out what it is: The absence of sexual tension between "the companion" (Amy Pond) and the Doctor.
The storyline always involves the companion being starry-eyed about the Doctor - and him being partially oblivious because he's so busy saving the Universe. The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant - SWOON) and his companion, Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) were so in love it was torturous. It was difficult to watch, actually, because you know this will not happen.
The Doctor must be the Doctor; he'll live forever and never stop travelling the Universe but the companion will age normally. He'd have to watch her grow old and die and he can't stand the thought of it. So, he regularly drops off one companion and takes on another who doesn't love him. YET. Not that it doesn't hurt him to do so. Because it does, which makes us love him all the more. Did you see David Tennant's performance? Bad Wolf?
We all know Amy loves her first boyfriend, then husband Rory but she loves the Doctor, too. Rory's the good, kind, faithful husband who waited how many centuries for Amy and would wait hundreds of thousands more if it came to that. She appreciates his dedication, and returns his love, but what she feels for the Doctor is far, far different.
And while we all know that, the flirtation between the companion and the Doctor is part of the reason the show's so successful. A very large part, I think. Seeing Amy's animal attraction to the Doctor made for lots of interest, just as seeing sweet, darling Rory looking on - loving her regardless - made us feel all divided inside. Because Who could resist the crazy, unfailingly good looking Doctor and his pure heart - and borderline insanity? Though, being engaged to someone else mucks it all up a bit, forcing Amy to choose.
Still, the writers pulled it off. They struck the perfect balance from the beginning. But now that Amy and Rory are married they've backed away a bit, afraid to suggest outright adulterous lust, I suppose. Instead, we get the vague, "You're gone longer and longer each time" and "I quit my job so I could wait for the sound of the Tardis" lines, which are nice but not quite the same.
Where has all the flirtation gone?
Rumor has it the next companion's all queued up and ready to go. And, the new person is Jenna Coleman, Who's already been in an episode (the first of this season):
But when they do the switch I'll be angry and heartbroken. I adore the Ponds! I can't imagine anyone in Amy's place, just as I was broken hearted when Rose Tyler left, when Amy came on the scene. It will happen, it will be wrenching and then we'll have to learn to love the newbie.
Eventually. After we finish hating her.
I suppose Amy's marriage to Rory made the switch inevitable. Plus, none of the companions stay past a couple of seasons - though Amy's endured well. And I'm sure she'll show up in future episodes, she and Rory. After all, she is the mother of... Whoops! May be a SPOILER to some.
For those Who've never watched Doctor Who, does this explain anything or leave you even more muddled? Does it completely alienate you, I guess I should also ask. But if you think the show's a bunch of pseudo-scientific twaddle with no real depth you cannot be more wrong. It's a normal drama beneath and a brilliant one, too. On top of that is silliness, ugly aliens and an overlying moral concept that all life is valuable. Brilliant, really.
But now I'm sitting on that "When will the switch happen?" ledge, scared to watch each episode as it COULD BE IT. And when it comes... Oh, sigh.
In the meantime, I'll be glued to the television every Saturday evening, scared yet hopeful. Because IT IS COMING...