Doctor Who Season 1 and the Casting Change

I know I’m late to the party, but I just finished watching Season One of the most recent Doctor Who series, which began in 2005.

I loved Doctor Who as a child, the Tom Baker version.  I can’t say I watched it regularly or in any kind of order. Truth is, I watched it mostly “in secret” …  I didn’t grow up in a family of science fiction geeks, and it wasn’t until I got much older that I realized I was one (I only discovered Star Trek, for example, when I was a teenager babysitting two boys down the street).

So I remembered little about Doctor Who except the man with the curly hair and the big scarf, the Tardis and the various strange creatures.  It’s been a blast watching the new series (even though it’s not quite new anymore).  It’s campy and silly and the effects are laughable, but for me that’s part of the fun.

I was skeptical about the Christopher Eccleston casting, having only seen him in the film version of Jude the Obscure, but I have to say, I was sad to see the end of Season One with its very undignified changeover from Eccleston to Tennant.  He absorbs too much energy and has to grow a new head and body?  Really?   I knew it was coming, and I know that fans hugely prefer David Tennant.  I knew not to get too attached — and yet, he grew on me.  I’m sad to see him go, and not sure I like the new guy.  Like Rose in the first Tennant episode, The Christmas Invasion, I’m just not sure he’s The Doctor.  It’s too abrupt a change for me.

Although I do appreciate the irony of it being the guy, for once, that gets traded in for the younger and prettier model.

I know  people prefer Tennant, so I look forward to seeing where the series goes.  It’s just not clear to me why Eccleston had to go.  Was he annoying?  Too weird?  I figure the Doctor is supposed to be all those things.  Did they need a more age-appropriate love interest for Rose?  I’m thinking Billie Piper gets replaced too, since she doesn’t look like the girl on the Netflix cover, and I know she goes on to make Diary of a Call Girl.

I can’t consider myself a die-hard fan so I’d love to hear from those who are!  I’d be really interested to hear thoughts on the how and why of the change, and how it all turns out.  I grew to like Eccleston so I’m sure I’ll get used to this new guy.  I know most of you (if you were Doctor Who types to begin with) have watched a lot more of the series than I have.   What do you think?

  5 comments for “Doctor Who Season 1 and the Casting Change

  1. August 5, 2011 at 8:43 am

    These series are pretty huge in the uk and from what I remember it was actually Eccleston who instigated the change and quit. I seem to recall something about him not liking the publicity that came with being ‘Doctor Who’ and worrying about future roles as a result. I’m a Tennant girl myself so of course I think he’ll grow on you! Enjoy 🙂

    • August 5, 2011 at 11:54 am

      Oh, that’s much better if he quit. It just seemed kind of sad the way they switched him out. But if that’s what he wanted, that’s fine!

  2. August 5, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    We have a bit of a Doctor Theory that sates something along the lines of as soon as you get used to watching an actor as The Doctor they replace him with someone who just looks odd and awkward and is definitely not The Doctor but as soon as you get used to watching him as The Doctor they replace…. well, you get the idea!

    I didn’t see a lot of the Eccleston season, I really liked Tennant, and by now I also greatly enjoy Matt Smith!

    • August 13, 2011 at 9:07 am

      Your theory sounds right to me! I’m definitely addicted to the second season of Doctor Who. I like Tennant, although his facial expressions are a little over the top. I loved the episode where they brought back Sarah Jane.

  3. August 5, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Eccleston only wanted to do one season because he didn’t want to be typecast. Hope you enjoy the series. I’ve only started watching recently myself, and am on the 2010 season now.

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