Day 07: If you could have your memory erased of any Doctor Who episode so you could watch it again like it was brand new, which one would it be & why?
The Eleventh Hour
Although technically I started my foray into Doctor Who with “Parting of the Ways” from Season 1 with Christopher Eccleston, I would have to say that I picked this episode because it was the episode that introduced me to MY doctor, Matt Smith.
When I first got into the series in 2006 Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor had come and gone, passing his sonic screwdriver on to David Tennant whose first series was already underway, if not already completed. In fact, I even found it a bit disappointing to realize that, having not seen Eccleston’s previous episodes, that his version of the Doctor was already doom to disappear at the end of the season, albeit by Eccleston’s desire to leave. This left me with one Doctor with one foot out the door and one with both feet in, but neither having been around for me to say hello to.
However, when it was announced, by none other than the Time Lord himself, that David Tennant would be vacating the TARDIS for good at the end of 2009, and the speculation over who would be the next Doctor began circulating the entertainment pages of the news media, I began to feel something akin to motherly protection to the character that I had been so close to for going on three years. I listened attentively as the prospects were listed and, despite having little knowledge as to who the majority of the potential Doctor’s were, was very interested when Matt Smith, the unusual looking actor with the floppy dark hair was cast and shown in The End of Time.
I was skeptical of his performance in End of Time at first, and rightly so, considering Tennant’s heartbreaking “I don’t want to go” line right before his regeneration. The Tenth Doctor didn’t want to go, Tennant didn’t want to go and legions of loyal fans were bereft to say goodbye to their tall Doctor with the trench coat, trainers, spiky hair and spectacles. I left that episode a bag of mixed emotions: sad that the era of Tennant was ending and wary as to what the upcoming era of Smith might bring.
That being said, I approached The Eleventh Hour with a hearty grain of salt, wanting terribly to give the new kid a fair shake but afraid of what the new kid might do to my already established universe. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised on many counts and consider Matt Smith to be my Doctor if not for the sole reason that I was there for him practically from the get-go, to his being hired to him now establishing himself as an actor who is more than equal to the task of the Time Lord.
But, getting back to the question at hand, there are two reasons why I would pick this episode as my episode to be able to look back at brand new. 1) It would give me the chance to rediscover Matt Smith’s Doctor and be able to fall in love with him and his wonky chin and hair all over again. That being said, there exists an even more important reason for me to choose this episode and that is exemplified in the scenes that open up the episode between the Doctor and a young Amelia Pond. I don’t know what it is, maybe some sort of maternal instinct or just the fact that I consider myself a child at heart, but I have always been mindful of the treatment of children by characters in movies and on television and I must say that it is the exchange between the Doctor and Amelia that begins with a blue box with a swimming pool in the library and ends in fish fingers and custard that won me over and convinced me that Matt Smith’s Doctor was a Doctor I could get behind and root for.
So, I would say that to have the opportunity to rediscover that relationship and fall in love with the antics of a seven year old and her 900-year-old Gallifreyan imaginary friend again and again would be worth its weight in custard.