Monday, January 8, 2018

The Eighth Doctor

Another Doctor down. He only had one TV movie and a mini-episode. So as a result, I don’t have much for top or flop stories. So I’ll just review both stories. HOWEVER, the Eighth Doctor does have some spin-off media that held Doctor Who through the dark ages of 1996-2005. Anyways, here we go.

Fresh after regenerating
TV Movie: Doctor Who
So the first quarter/third of the movie was actually the Seventh Doctor. He gets shot while landing in San Francisco and regenerates into the Eighth Doctor. We had some unique moments with this Doctor. I found his youthful attitude to be a precursor to David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor. He was also the first Doctor to have a romantic kiss with a companion. The Y2K story was actually pretty compelling, but there are definitely critiques I’d have.

Eighth Doctor's TARDIS team
This movie was meant to reboot the show after it got cancelled in 1989, but it didn’t set it up very well. It didn’t leave room for new Whovians. It assumed you knew about the Doctor beforehand. So in comparison to when the Ninth Doctor arrived, this story didn’t even have a chance. There’s also the whole inconsistency with the Master’s interaction with Chang Lee. In one scene the Master is threatening him into helping and in the next he’s pulling some sort of elder brother move.

So my final thoughts: It’s worth watching, but it’s definitely not a starting point for the series.

Regenerating again
Mini-Episode: The Night of the Doctor
It’s near the beginning of the Time War and the Doctor ends up crashing, trying to help Cass. Then the Sisterhood of Karn forces a regeneration to keep him alive. This story came out shortly before the 50th Anniversary Special in 2013. It was the perfect way to help close the gap of the Doctor’s regenerations. I absolutely loved this story when it came out and I could still watch it a lot. One thing that I wish would have come from this story would be more appearances by the Eighth Doctor. Even if it’s just for a team-up episode with the current Doctor. I had hoped that Paul McGann would have worked with the Twelfth Doctor. Since Paul McGann is still young enough to play the character, why not? Maybe I can still hold out for him to team up with the Thirteenth Doctor. I really loved this Doctor and he deserved a better shot.

Grace    TV Movie
Chang   TV Movie

More than a match for the Doctor
Favorite Companion: Both companions only appeared in the TV Movie, but I really enjoyed Grace. My understanding is that she could have appeared more if the Eighth Doctor’s reboot had been picked up. She appeared in some spin-off media. Even just the fact that her intellect rivaled the Doctor, it was great. She didn’t need the Doctor explaining why the TARDIS was bigger on the inside. It kind of reminds me of companions like Zoe and Nyssa, who weren’t just along for the ride, but also were able to match wits with the Doctor (while not being completely obnoxious like Adric). I would have really liked to see more of her.

The Master's companion turned Doctor's companion
Least Favorite Companion: Chang Lee was actually more like the Master’s companion, but he ended up being on the Doctor’s side in the end, so I’ll count him. Like I said before, Chang’s motivation to help the Master changed between scenes, so it really didn’t help him; one scene he’s being threatened into helping and the next he’s being bribed. The writing of that didn’t sit well with me. But he ended up being a good guy at heart (despite being a gangster) so I guess I liked him in the end. Maybe we could still see him again at some point? Doubtful, but it’d be cool.

What do you think of the Eighth Doctor? Have you read any of his books or listened to any of the audio dramas? Which ones can you recommend? I’d love to get into more of his canon.

Just before regenerating in to the War Doctor, he acknowledges several names including Charley and Molly. These were companions who traveled with him in the Big Finish audio dramas.

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