Wednesday, August 10, 2011

'Doctor Who:' The best of Christopher Eccleston

To celebrate the return of "Doctor Who" on Aug. 27, BBC America is showing a number of specials featuring the best of the Eleventh Doctor, the companions and the monsters.

Before that happens let's take a look back at the best moments of Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor. His Doctor was still feeling the effects of the time war and was very angry. It's a sharp contrast to David Tennant and Matt Smith's more tempered, fun Ten and Eleven.

In the first series' fifth episode "Dalek," fans get their first glimpse at the true amount of pain The Doctor carries around from the time war. He meets up with the last Dalek in existence and all the emotions he's been suppressing come out. Eccleston was great at showing the angry warrior side of The Doctor.

The Doctor's regenerations are always extremely emotional, but this was the first one of the new show, so it had to explain to new fans exactly what it means when The Doctor regenerates. Eccleston beautifully portrays The Doctor's sadness at leaving Rose and all the adventures he thought they would have.

Once again Eccleston pulls out all the stops playing The Doctor's fury at having to face an enemy he sacrificed everything to defeat. What stands out here is his conviction as he defies an obviously superior force. It's a nice set up for what we'll see from his successor.

The Ninth Doctor doesn't display a lot of emotion, but when he has to send Rose away, the true depth of his feelings for her are shown.

The Doctor and Rose don't get in a lot of arguments, actually this may have been the only one, but it's a doozy. Like most longtime couples, all the pent up feelings come out and it is revealed what The Ninth Doctor really thinks about humans at this point in his life.

These scenes represent just a fraction of Eccleston's work in the first series. He is often overshadowed by his counterparts, but when you think about he is responsible for the success of the relaunch. He had to portray The Doctor in a way that would satisfy old school fans, while simultaneously bringing something new to the series. By the way, he did it brilliantly.

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